Apply for an Expedited Appointment

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Overview

If you have an unforeseen travel need as per one of the criteria listed below, you may qualify for an expedited appointment depending on availability at the U.S. Embassy/Consulate. It is important to ensure you meet all the criteria, because applicants are only allowed to create one expedited appointment request.

Qualifications

Before you apply for an expedited appointment, you must ensure that you have documentary evidence to prove the urgency. If it appears during your visa interview that you misrepresented the reasons for urgent travel, such facts will be noted on your case file and may adversely influence the outcome of your visa application. All applicants requesting an expedited appointment are required to first pay visa fees for a regular visa appointment. Applicants who are granted an expedited appointment but subsequently refused a visa at the U.S. Embassy will not be allowed to utilize this option to obtain another expedited appointment.

Note: Travel for the purpose of attending weddings and graduation ceremonies, assisting pregnant relatives, participating in an annual business/academic/professional conference, or enjoying last-minute tourism does not qualify for expedited appointments. For such travel, please schedule regular visa appointment well in advance.

 
Medical Need

Purpose of travel is to obtain urgent medical care, or to accompany a relative or employer for urgent medical care.

Essential documentation:

  • A letter from your doctor in Costa Rica describing the medical condition and why you are seeking medical care in the United States.
  • A letter from the physician or hospital in the United States indicating that they are prepared to treat the case and providing the approximate cost of the treatment.
  • Evidence of how you will pay for the cost of the treatment.
 
Funeral/Death

Purpose of travel is to attend the funeral of or make arrangements for repatriating the body of an immediate family member (mother, father, brother, sister, child,) in the United States.

Essential documentation: 

  • A letter from the funeral director stating the contact information, the details of the deceased and the date of the funeral.
  • You must also present evidence that the deceased is an immediate relative.
 
Medical Professionals or Air/Sea Crew

Purpose of travel is to work in the United States as a doctor or other medical professional, or as an air/sea crew member.

Essential documentation:

  • Letter from employer explaining the nature and dates of employment.
  • Copy of executed employment contract.

 

Students or exchange visitors

Purpose of travel is to begin or resume a valid program of study in the United States within 60 days when no regular visa appointments are available. This option is limited only to students and exchange students who are residents of Costa Rica and within 60 days of their start date. It is also limited only to applicants who have not been refused a visa within the last six months at the U.S. Embassy.

Essential documentation:

  • Original Form I-20 or Form DS-2019 indicating start date of program within 60 days.
  • Evidence that you have paid the SEVIS fee (when applicable).
  • Evidence of your Costa Rican residency

 

Victims of Crime/Lost and Stolen Visas and Passports tors

Applicants may qualify for an expedited appointment who either had a valid U.S. visa, or was qualified under the Visa Waiver Program and authorized to travel under Electronic System for Travel Authorization (ESTA), but the passport was lost or stolen just before he or she was due to travel.

Essential documentation:

  • For citizens of Costa Rica and foreigners in Costa Rica, an original police report, known as denuncia policial, issued by the Organismo de Investigación Judicial
  • For foreigners in Costa Rica only, an official letter from your embassy or consulate verifying the passport was lost or stolen

 

ESTA Denied

You may request an expedited visa appointment if you are a citizen of a Visa Waiver Program partner but have received notice that you are no longer eligible to travel to the United States under that program. Such travelers include those who are dual nationals of Iraq, Iran, Sudan or Syria, or those who have travelled to Iraq, Iran, Sudan, Syria, Libya, Yemen, or Somalia after March 1, 2011.  Your travel must be imminent to qualify for an expedited appointment. Please include in your request the date and purpose of your travel.

Essential documentation:

  • A copy of the U.S. Customs and Border Protection message you received regarding your ESTA status.

Applying for an Expedited Appointment

Step 1

Pay the visa application fee.

Step 2

Complete the Nonimmigrant Visa Electronic Application (DS-160) form.

Step 3

Schedule an appointment online for the earliest available date. Please note that you must schedule an appointment before you can request an expedited date. At the time you schedule your appointment, you will see an onscreen message showing the earliest available appointment date, which includes expedited appointments. Accordingly, you may find that it is not necessary to request an expedited appointment because there are earlier dates available. If you wish to proceed with requesting an expedited appointment, then complete the Expedited Request Form or contact the call center to request assistance. Please be sure to note the type of urgency you believe qualifies you for an expedited appointment. Once you have submitted your request, please wait for a response from the Embassy, which will arrive via email.

Step 4

If the Embassy approves your request then you will receive an email alerting you to schedule your expedited appointment online. Please understand that the call center cannot schedule your expedited appointment for you, but agents are able to assist you if questions arise. Should the Embassy deny your request for an expedited appointment, you will be notified of the denial by email and you should keep your existing appointment.

Note: The email confirming or denying your request will come from no-reply@ustraveldocs.com. Some email applications have rules which filter unknown senders into a spam or junk mail folder. If you have not received your email notification, please look for the message in your junk and spam email folders.

Step 5

Visit the U.S. Embassy on the date and time of your visa interview. You will need to bring a printed copy of your appointment letter, your Form DS-160 confirmation page, one photograph taken within the last six months, your current and all old passports, and the original visa fee payment receipt. Applications without all of these items will not be accepted.