U.S. Embassy Santiago began a phased resumption of visa services on November 2, 2020. Limited visa processing has resumed for all visa classes except B1/B2 visitors for tourism/business. 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, 2023, 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 B1/B2 renewals and 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 48 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.
For Immigrant Visas:
As of February 25, 2021, Embassy Santiago is interviewing for all classes/types of immigrant visas. Visa processing may be delayed due to limited resources and other challenges related to the coronavirus pandemic.