U.S. Embassy Santiago: Limited Visa Services Resume

U.S. Embassy Santiago began a phased resumption of visa services on November 2, 2020. Limited visa processing resumed for all visa classes except B1/B2 visitors for tourism/business requiring an interview. We continue to provide emergency and mission-critical visa services for all visa classes as resources and local conditions allow. While the Embassy aims to process cases as soon as practicable, there is likely to be increased wait times for completing visa services due to substantial backlogs. We are unable to provide a specific date of when we will resume full routine visa operations at this time.

The health and safety of both our visa applicants and workforce remain our highest priority, and we will be enforcing strict social distancing measures and require masks covering mouth and nose while in our facility. To support social distancing, applicants should not arrive more than 5 minutes before their scheduled appointment time. Any applicant with symptoms such as a cough, sore throat, or fever should reschedule their interview immediately, for a date at least 14 days after the disappearance of symptoms.

For Nonimmigrant Visas:

  • Nonimmigrant visa fees have been extended: The State Department has extended the validity of nonimmigrant visa payments (known as MRV fees) until September 30, 2022, to allow all applicants who were unable to schedule a visa appointment as a result of the suspension of routine consular operations an opportunity to schedule and/or attend a visa appointment with the already paid fee.
  • Interviews for B1/B2 visitors (tourism/business) remain suspended until further notice. Appointments for B1/B2 visitors that appear as scheduled in the online Visa Information and Appointment Scheduling System are not guaranteed. Given local conditions, limited resources, and other ongoing challenges related to the coronavirus pandemic, visa appointments are subject to change with little or no notice. 
  • Interview Waiver visa services have resumed: U.S. Embassy Santiago is accepting interview waiver visa applications for all qualified visa classes, with the exception of first-time B1/B2 applicants exempted from interviews due to age (under 14, age 80 and older). Eligibility to apply as an interview waived case is determined based on the answers provided online during the appointment scheduling process. If you already have a full-validity visa last issued in Santiago, which is still valid, or which expired less than 24 months ago, you may be eligible to renew your visa without an interview (by mail). NEW January 2021 In addition to Chilean nationals, permanent residents of Chile of other nationalities who received their prior visa in Santiago may now renew by interview waiver. Start the application process here: https://ais.usvisa-info.com/es-cl/niv/. Please note that qualified first-time applicants for H2A visas (and their dependents) may also apply for visas with a waiver of their interview, now through December 31, 2021. 
    If you do not qualify for interview waiver processing, you will need to appear for an in-person interview.
  • Emergency Appointments: For all visa classes, and particularly for student visa applicants, if you have an urgent need to travel, please follow the guidance provided at https://ais.usvisa-info.com/en-co/niv/information/faqs#need_earlier_appt to request an emergency appointment.
  • Presidential Proclamation 10052: Applicants for H1B, H2B, H4, L and certain J categories should carefully read the Department of State notice on the court order regarding Presidential Proclamation 10052 (https://travel.state.gov/content/travel/en/News/visas-news/court-order-regarding-presidential-proclamation-10052.html).
    • Applicants whose employers are plaintiffs in the court case National Association of Manufacturers vs. Department of Homeland Security are not subject to Presidential Proclamation10052 and should bring evidence of this membership to their visa interview. Read more about the court order here: 
      https://travel.state.gov/content/travel/en/News/visas-news/court-order-regarding-presidential-proclamation-10052.html.
    • Individuals not connected to the court order noted above who are applying for suspended visa categories may still schedule and attend interview appointments at Embassy Santiago. If during the interview, or during a review period thereafter, a visa applicant is determined to be exempt from President Proclamation 10052 based on national interest, a visa may still be issued. However, if the visa applicant’s case is not qualified as a national interest exception, but otherwise qualified for the visa, the visa application will remain in “refused” status (221G, administrative processing) until the end of the suspension period: March 31, 2021, unless otherwise amended.

For Immigrant Visas:

If you have an urgent matter and need to travel immediately, please contact us here. to request an emergency appointment for your immigrant visa application.

U.S. Embassy Santiago is currently providing immigrant visa services for all cases designated as mission critical, including IR1/IR2 and CR1/CR2 visa processing. If you are applying for an IR1/IR2 visa or CR1/CR2 visa and your case is ready to be interviewed, you may register online at https://ais.usvisa-info.com/en-cl/iv and follow the instructions to select an appointment.