Apply for an Expedited Appointment

Overview

Important Notice:  

The consular section of the U.S. Embassy in Accra has not resumed routine visa services.  At this time, only students and visa applicants who have urgent medical reasons to travel are receiving expedited interview appointments.  Increased health and safety protocols, as well as current resource constraints, have significantly reduced the consular section's ability to expedite appointments.  We are not able to approve all of the expedited appointment requests we receive.  Expedited appointment requests for other travel purposes (including business trips and funerals) are not currently being prioritized.   

Qualifications

It is essential that you possess all required documentation for your desired visa type before you make this request. Please be aware that false statements about the need for an expedited appointment may adversely affect the credibility of your case during the visa interview.

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.

VWP travel information:

As of April 1, 2016, those who are able to travel to the United States via the Visa Waiver Program must have a valid electronic passport.  This rule applies even to those who possess a valid Electronic System for Travel Authorization (ESTA). Electronic passports have this symbol on their cover:

 

 

 

Additionally, nationals of VWP countries who have traveled to, or been present in, Iraq, Iran, Syria, Sudan, Libya, Somalia, and/or Yemen on or after March 1, 2011 are no longer eligible to travel or be admitted to the United States under the VWP.  Dual nationals of VWP countries and Iraq, Iran, Syria, and Sudan are also no longer eligible to travel or be admitted to the United States under the VWP.

This restriction does not apply to VWP travelers whose presence any of those countries was to perform military service in the armed forces of a VWP country, or in order to carry out official duties as a full-time employee of the government of a VWP country. 

The Secretary of Homeland Security may waive this VWP restriction if he determines that such a waiver is in the law enforcement or national security interests of the United States.  Such waivers will be granted only on a case-by-case basis.  As a general matter, categories of travelers who may be eligible for a waiver include:

  • Individuals who have traveled to Iraq, Iran, Syria, Sudan, Libya, Somalia, and/or Yemen on behalf of international organizations, regional organizations, or  sub-national governments on official duty;
  • Individuals who have traveled to Iraq, Iran, Syria, Sudan, Libya, Somalia, and/or Yemen on behalf of a humanitarian non-governmental organizations (NGO); and
  • Individuals who have traveled to Iraq, Iran, Syria, Sudan, Libya, Somalia, and/or Yemen as a journalist for reporting purposes.
  • Individuals who traveled to Iran for legitimate business-related purposes following the conclusion of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (July 14, 2015); and
  • Individuals who have traveled to Iraq for legitimate business-related purposes.

An updated ESTA application form is available.  The new form contains additional questions to address the new travel eligibility requirements called for in the Act.  We encourage travelers seeking an ESTA to use the enhanced system, which will assist in making individual determinations on the potential granting of a waiver. There is no separate application for a waiver.                              

Current ESTA holders should check their ESTA status prior to travel on CBP’s website, https://esta.cbp.dhs.gov/esta/.

 

Medical Needs 

Purpose of travel is to obtain urgent medical care, or to accompany a relative for urgent medical care. In order for your expedited appointment request to be considered, you must include the below items in your request. 

Essential documentation: 

  1. A letter from your doctor in Ghana describing the medical condition and why medical care is needed in the United States. 
  2. A letter from the physician or hospital in the United States indicating that they are prepared to treat the case and providing the estimated cost of the treatment. 
  3. Evidence of how you will pay for the cost of the treatment.  
  4. If applicable, evidence of your relationship to the sick or injured person. 

Students or Exchange Visitors 

Purpose of travel is to begin or resume a valid program of study in the United States within 60 days.  Students and exchange program applicants who have previously been refused a visa at the U.S. Embassy in Accra do not qualify for expedited appointments.  In order for your expedited appointment request to be considered, you must include the below items in your request. 

Essential documentation: 

  1. A scanned copy of your Form I-20 or DS-2019 

Urgent Business Travel 

Purpose of travel is to attend to an urgent business matter where the travel requirement could not be predicted in advance.  In order for your expedited appointment request to be considered, you must include the below items in your request. 

Essential documentation:  

  1. A letter of invitation from the corresponding company in the United States attesting to the urgency of the planned visit, describing the nature of the business, and the significant loss the U.S. or Ghanaian enterprise will suffer if an expedited appointment is not available. 
  2. If applicable, evidence of a necessary training program in the United States of three months duration or less, to include letters from both the Ghanaian employer and the U.S. company providing the training.  Both letters should include a detailed explanation of the training, and explain how either the U.S. or Ghanaian company will suffer a significant loss if an expedited appointment is not available. 

Funeral/Death 

Purpose of travel is to attend the funeral of or repatriate the remains of an immediate family member (mother, father, brother, sister, child, grandparent, or grandchild) who died in the United States.  In order for your expedited appointment request to be considered, you must include the below items in your request. 

Essential documentation: 

  1. A letter from the funeral director in the United State listing the funeral home's contact information, details of the deceased, and the date of the funeral. 
  2. Evidence that the deceased is your immediate relative. 

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 no earlier dates available. If you wish to proceed with requesting an expedited appointment, then complete the Request Form or contact the call center to request assistance. Please be sure to note the criteria you believe qualifies you for an expedited appointment. Once you have submitted your request, please wait for a response from the Embassy, which will come 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 in Accra on the date and time of your interview. Bring all required documents with you.