The United States Mission has issued a warning to all South Africans planning to travel to the US to apply for their visa far in advance to avoid extended waiting times.

“All visa applications at US Consulates in Johannesburg, Cape Town, and Durban are processed as efficiently as possible, and the US Mission aims to keep the wait time for appointments at a minimum,” the embassy said to BusinessTech. “However, heavy demand for US visas has currently led to a longer-than-usual wait time in South Africa. We encourage all potential travellers to apply for their visas at least three months before the planned travel date.”

The embassy added that while it makes a concerted effort to make provisions for every applicant’s travel emergency, it cannot accommodate all appointments.

“For those already with valid visas, a renewal application can be submitted at any time, and we encourage these travellers not to wait until their current visa has expired to apply for a new one. If a visa is still valid or has expired within the last 12 months, the traveller may be eligible to renew by mail without an interview.”

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