When will the Embassy reopen?
The United States Embassy in Bogotá is operating with limited capacity due to the covid-19 pandemic. We will adjust the number of appointments available for visa interviews as local conditions allow. We are pleased to report that we have reduced the majority of our backlog on US Citizen Immediate Relative (IR) visa applications and are in the process of doing the same for fiancé (K-1) visa applications that were delayed due to to the pandemic. Our number one priority is the health and safety of our staff and the public.
(See here: How can I request an appointment advance at the US embassy?)
As the COVID-19 pandemic situation continues to improve in Colombia, we will gradually return to our usual visa services, but we cannot give a specific date at this time. We appreciate your patience and understanding.
How can I apply for an immigrant visa?
This article is focused on immigrant visas. If you are interested in a non-immigrant visa, visit our website: https://ais.usvisa-info.com/es-co/niv/information/niv
For immigrant visas, the two most common ways for Colombians to immigrate to the United States are:
1. Through a family member eligible, US citizens can file an immigrant visa petition on behalf of a parent, sibling, child, or spouse. Legal Permanent Residents (LPRs) can petition on behalf of a spouse or child. The US citizen or the LPR must submit the I-130 form to the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). For information on visas based on the family of a U.S. citizen, see: https://travel.state.gov/content/travel/en/us-visas/immigrate/family-immigration.html
2. Through employment. In most cases, your employer in the United States must seek approval from the United States Department of Labor and then USCIS. Specific requirements depend on the type of job, your education, skills, and experience. In some limited cases, applicants can petition for themselves without the help of a US employer. For more information visit this link: https://travel.state.gov/content/travel/en/us-visas/immigrate/employment-based-immigrant-visas.html
For more detailed information and to start the immigrant visa process, visit: www.uscis.gov.
How can I check the status of my immigrant visa?
Please note that your immigrant visa petition must be approved by USCIS before you can schedule an interview appointment at the Embassy. We do not have information about your case until it is approved by USCIS.
If your case is still with USCIS, we suggest you contact the National Visa Center for more information. Contact details can be found at https://travel.state.gov/content/travel/en/us-visas/immigrate/national-visa-center/nvc-contact-information.html.
If your case has already been approved by USCIS and sent to the Embassy in Bogotá, you can check the status of your application online by following the instructions on our visa status page at:
https://ceac.state.gov/CEACStatTracker/Status.aspx. Use your case number in this format: BGTXXXXXXXX.
If you have an urgent matter and need to travel immediately, please follow the instructions provided at https://ais.usvisa-info.com/es-co/niv/information/faqs
What happens if after the interview they tell me that I have to present additional documents for the visa, or if my case is in administrative process?
If we request additional documents, we recommend that you send them as soon as possible. Due to the covid-19 pandemic, we are taking longer than usual to review applications. Please note that it may take up to two months to receive a response. Please do not contact us until this time has passed, unless your medical exams are due in four weeks. Excessive inquiries only further delay our response time.
(You may be interested: Can a travel agent get me a US visa faster?)
In many cases, you could have avoided this delay by preparing all the required documents for the interview. We know the instructions are complex, but we ask that you do your best to follow them so that we can issue your visa quickly after the interview.
What if my Green Card expires soon or is lost?
The Embassy cannot extend the validity of permanent resident cards (Green Cards). The Embassy can only issue letters of transport (Borging foils) for legal permanent residents (LPR) whose green cards are expired or lost. If you have lost your green card, you must make an appointment. Follow the instructions here: https://co.usembassy.gov/es/visas-es/immigrant-visas-es/servicios-para-los-residentes-legales-permanentes.
Legal permanent residents can stay outside the United States for up to one year, however, if you remain outside the United States for more than six months, immigration officers at the ports of entry may ask additional questions when you enter the United States. If you plan to stay outside of the United States for more than six months, you must have evidence that tells the immigration officer at the port of entry why you were unable to travel to the United States for reasons beyond your control. If you have been outside the United States for more than a year, you will need to submit an application for a returning resident visa. For more information, visit: https://travel.state.gov/content/travel/en/us-visas/immigrate/returning-resident.html
What if my immigrant visa expires soon?
If you and / or your family member currently have an immigrant visa or a transportation letter that has expired or is about to expire and cannot travel before the expiration date, you will need to obtain a new visa and, in some cases, will need to complete the medical examination and pay the corresponding fees again. It is NOT possible to extend the validity of the visa.
What if I require a visa for my fiancé (e)?
US citizens must submit petition form I-129F to USCIS. Applications are not received at the Embassy in Bogotá. To download the form and instructions, visit: https://www.uscis.gov/es/i-129f. The unmarried children of the fiancées can immigrate with their father or mother as long as they enter the United States before their 21st birthday.
Some K-1 visa applicants worry that USCIS approved their petition for only four months, and this time was or will be served soon. Do not worry! The consular officer can renew the request.
Thank you note from the United States Embassy in Bogotá
We hope this information is helpful to you as you go through the immigrant visa process. We understand that the covid-19 pandemic has created challenges for everyone and we appreciate your patience and cooperation as we work to provide exceptional service to immigrant visa applicants even during these difficult times.
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