Appointment Wait Times

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All applicants are processed as efficiently as possible and the U.S. Consulate strives to keep the wait time for appointments as short as possible. That said, the earlier you book your appointment, the more likely you are to be able to get the interview date and time you want.

Nonimmigrant visa applicants are encouraged to apply at least four months in advance of the intended date of travel. So remember, apply early!

Visa Processing Time

Although visa processing time is typically five (5) to seven (7) business days, processing time for specific cases may vary due to an individual's circumstances and other special requirements, and this may take a longer time. Visa processing cannot be expedited.

Please do not pay for travel arrangements such as airfare without having a U.S. visa in your possession. The Embassy/Consulate bears no responsibility if you do so. The Embassy/Consulate is unable to guarantee the issuance of a visa before any fixed travel date.

Note: A business day is defined as a day between Monday and Friday (excluding U.S. and New Zealand public holidays observed in Auckland).

Travelers with Criminal Records

Convictions for certain crimes may make you ineligible to travel to the U.S. The only way to know for sure if your criminal record makes you ineligible is to apply for a visa. Only a consular officer can determine your visa eligibility. Please note that New Zealand’s Clean Slate Act does not apply to U.S. visa law. If you have a criminal record and attempt to travel without a visa, you may be refused entry into the United States.

You must present a copy of your Criminal History Report at the visa interview. The administration of criminal records is the responsibility of the New Zealand Ministry of Justice. You should use the "Priv/F1 - Request by Individual" form found on the Ministry of Justice website and follow the instructions listed there. Be sure to request your full record of convictions.

Should you be found ineligible, there is the possibility that the interviewing consular officer may submit a request for a waiver of your ineligibility. This request is made on your behalf to U.S. Customs and Border Protection’s Admissibility Review Office (ARO) in the United States. The recommendation for a waiver is at the discretion of the interviewing consular officer and will be based on the nature, recency, and severity of your offense(s).

Approval of a waiver can take up to 120 days or more, and you will need to provide details of your conviction in the form of court records. Be aware that it is your responsibility to obtain these records should they be required.

As a general guide, a consular officer will not recommend a waiver within five years of the completion of a sentence, nor for applicants convicted of serious felonies such as murder or kidnapping. This timeframe should only be used as a guide, as there is no set time that must have passed.

If you have had any minor traffic offenses which did not result in an arrest or conviction, you may use the VWP, provided you are otherwise qualified. If the traffic offense occurred while you were in the United States and you have an outstanding fine against you or you did not attend your court hearing, it is possible there may be a warrant out for your arrest. You should resolve these issues before traveling by contacting the court where you were to appear. If you do not know the address of the court, click here.

Travelers with DUIs
When applying for a U.S. visa, the applicant must indicate whether there has been any instance of being stopped for driving while intoxicated, whether or not a conviction resulted. If detention resulted, bring proof of the outcome of such detention (conviction). If there has been a single incident within the five years prior to the visa interview, or if there have been two such incidents ever, the applicant will be referred to a designated physician for a medical review. Visa issuance will be delayed pending the outcome of the medical review.

Current Wait Time and Availability