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Turnaround time for visa?

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I've deferred enrolment till next year, and will be reapplying to try to get into a better programme. I also plan to be wandering aimlessly around the world from February till when I start school. This could obviously be hampered by having to give my passport to the US consulate for an unknown length of time.

There is information on the web for each consular branch worldwide, saying X days for an appointment and Y days to process applications, but it also says to allow for admininstrative procedures, and for this there is no estimate of timing.

How long did it take you to get your visa, from your appointment to when you got your passport back? How did that compare with advertised times?

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This depends a great deal on where you are from. My husband is almost done with the spousal visa process so if the student visa process is anything similar--you'll go in to file your forms, etc. You have to show them your passport, but they give it back to you at the end of the interview. Then your files are sent into the system and it can take anywhere from 3 weeks (really fast) to a few months (or many many months) to process. They'll send you a notice when they have processed everything, you get the rest of the necessary paperwork done and make another appointment where you must actually give the officer your passport. By the time this is done, however, and everything is in order, it really only takes a week or so to issue the visa.

So the long story short, the visa process can take forever, but you are only without a passport for a very short period of time. Student visas must be similar, and they probably take less time to process than other kinds.

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