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Old 27.06.2011, 14:35
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Delays in getting an appointment for a tourist Visa from the US consulate in Bern

(Mods - not entirely sure where this one should be posted, feel free to move it as you see fit)

We're due to travel to the US for a wedding and some vacation from the middle of August. Unfortunately the earliest that we can can get an appointment for a visa interview is 3 days after the wedding . Apparently it's the high season, and the embassy in Bern is only able to give appointments up to 8 weeks from now (of course - non EU = no visa waiver)

Paris currently has a backlog of 10 days, whilst Athens only has a delay of 1 day. We'd like to apply from either of these places, but really not sure what our chances of getting the tourist visas are. We've both got B permits if that helps.

Has anyone got any experience with applying for a US tourist visa from a third country? (i.e. not their home country and not one that they're living in)

Thanks
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Old 27.06.2011, 16:06
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Re: Delays in getting an appointment for a tourist Visa from the US consulate in Bern

Wow ! That was fast. I called on June 21 and got an appointment for Jul 21.

About the original question, I have no idea. Your best hope will be to call them and find out.

Regards
-Ip
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Old 27.06.2011, 17:16
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Re: Delays in getting an appointment for a tourist Visa from the US consulate in Bern

Yeah - guess everyone is after the same thing at once - so jealous that you managed to get the interview in 'only' one month IP.

Seems like they're open to being called on a daily basis to find out about cancellations though - so let's try that and hold thumbs.
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Old 29.06.2011, 11:40
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Re: Delays in getting an appointment for a tourist Visa from the US consulate in Bern

Just a quick update - more to complain than anything else.

Current waiting times at Bern are now officially 35 working days - http://travel.state.gov/visa/temp/wa...Bern&x=52&y=14 , which is closer to 3 calendar months in reality.

In April they did apologetically mention that there's an increased demand over the summer period and that they're having staffing problems.
http://bern.usembassy.gov/pr_04112011.html

Seems like if it really varies around the rest of Europe

Athens - 1 day
Milan - 5 days
Munich - 10 days
Stockholm - 11 days
Paris - 14 days
London - 18 days

Now for the fun part - anyone care to try and explain these?

Harare - same day
Ouagadougou - 1 day
Kuwait - 1 day
Brazzaville - 2 days
Tripoli - 2 days
Baghdad - 3 days
Tunis - 4 days
Khartoum - 4 days
Abidjan - 6 days
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Old 29.06.2011, 11:47
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Re: Delays in getting an appointment for a tourist Visa from the US consulate in Bern

I got it done in Winter within 5 days in CH.

As for the other countries in the fun part, I guess it is easier and quicker to decline when there is little or no prospect of succeeding in an application for a US visa to overrcome the legal burden of proof ( one is presumed to be an intending immigrant ), hence the faster processing times.
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Old 29.06.2011, 11:47
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Re: Delays in getting an appointment for a tourist Visa from the US consulate in Bern

I just got back from Bern yesterday after starting the process of getting an immigration visa. I booked the appointment last week.
I was also told of delays due to one person being in charge of the dept due to people leaving.
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Old 29.06.2011, 11:54
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Re: Delays in getting an appointment for a tourist Visa from the US consulate in Bern

If the embassy in Bern is having a staffing shortage, etc., then it's a shame that they can't start taking visa appointments, etc. at their consulate office in Zurich.

Have you called the U.S. consulate in Zurich to see if there is anything they can do to help your situation from there?

Good luck!
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Old 29.06.2011, 12:29
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Re: Delays in getting an appointment for a tourist Visa from the US consulate in Bern

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If the embassy in Bern is having a staffing shortage, etc., then it's a shame that they can't start taking visa appointments, etc. at their consulate office in Zurich.

Have you called the U.S. consulate in Zurich to see if there is anything they can do to help your situation from there?

Good luck!
Thanks Carrie - but you can only apply from Bern. The Zurich and Geneva consulates don't do visas.

I understand that it's their country so they make the rules, but really, 3 months is pathetic. If I do wind up having to cancel all the flights and hotels and tours it'll probably end up costing a fair amount, but that I can live with that and chalk it up to school fees.

What I can't handle is the fact that given their ridiculous fees - they're still offering such sh*tty service. Want to speak to the visa service? Sure, that's 10 swissies every time you call. Want to apply for a visa with a fair chance of rejection? Sure, 140 swissies. Want to visit even with though you're under the visa waiver program? Sure - $14.

With the benefit of hindsight - why would I event want to go through all this again for a holiday? If I wanted to get zero value for money for everything I'd just as easily stay in Switzerland At least it's prettier.
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Old 29.06.2011, 12:44
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Re: Delays in getting an appointment for a tourist Visa from the US consulate in Bern

It is much the same for other developed countries - visa services have been outsourced to a subsidiary of CSC, US called World Bridge Services. Want to speak to them ? It costs a bomb.

I guess it is an improvement and resulting from the independent investigator`s report.
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/6768405.stm

http://www.csc.com/investor_relation...cation_process

https://www.visainfoservices.com/Pages/dest_org.aspx

They do it for Australia, the UK and Germany.

UK - up to 3 months, cost EUR90, and rising.

Quote:
Emergency Appointments
Emergency requests for an expedited interview appointment can be made through the same toll number used to make regular appointments. These requests are typically granted for the following reasons:

Emergency medical treatment, including those who need to accompany the individual requiring treatment, such as parents or caregivers;
Students and exchange visitors in danger of missing the start of their program;
Emergent business travel;
Family emergency, such as death;
Other emergencies, such as required appearance in a U.S. court.
You should be prepared to present evidence of the emergency situation.
Embassy page

Last edited by jrspet; 29.06.2011 at 13:01.
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Old 13.07.2011, 15:58
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Re: Delays in getting an appointment for a tourist Visa from the US consulate in Bern

Result!

We managed to get the visa issued in Athens.

1 day delay to get an appointment + 2 working days for courier delivery = no more expensive calls to the embassy or even more expensive flight cancellations.

So, the moral of the story is - there's nothing preventing you from applying at any US embassy. Just have all your ducks in a row when it comes to documents and travel plans, and you'll be fine.

Last edited by Radioactive Man; 13.07.2011 at 17:41.
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Old 13.07.2011, 16:05
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Re: Delays in getting an appointment for a tourist Visa from the US consulate in Bern

I didn't see any mention of what country passport are you currently holding. That would be helpful.
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Old 13.07.2011, 16:11
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Re: Delays in getting an appointment for a tourist Visa from the US consulate in Bern

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Want to visit even with though you're under the visa waiver program? Sure - $14.

Electronic visas are the wave of the present. Even Australia charges you to apply for an e-visa. I think theirs is $25AUD though.
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Old 13.07.2011, 16:14
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Re: Delays in getting an appointment for a tourist Visa from the US consulate in Bern

Australian ETA - free other than an A$20 service charge

http://www.immi.gov.au/allforms/990i/tourist.htm

Eligible passports ( for me it was totally free and part of the ticket pre-2009 )

http://www.eta.immi.gov.au/ETAAus1En.html

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Electro...avel_Authority
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Old 13.07.2011, 17:43
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Re: Delays in getting an appointment for a tourist Visa from the US consulate in Bern

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I didn't see any mention of what country passport are you currently holding. That would be helpful.
Sorry - I realize it could have been a little misleading from my posts.

I'm the classic EF case - EU with non-EU spouse. So visa waiver for me, and my wife had the pleasure of jumping through all the hoops to get the US visa.
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Old 13.07.2011, 18:28
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Re: Delays in getting an appointment for a tourist Visa from the US consulate in Bern

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Sorry - I realize it could have been a little misleading from my posts.

I'm the classic EF case - EU with non-EU spouse. So visa waiver for me, and my wife had the pleasure of jumping through all the hoops to get the US visa.
But what country passport does your spouse hold?

And the $14 for ESTA is also a service charge, just like the Aussie fee. EU is in the process of implementing the same thing.

And if you're Dutch, you can enroll in the US trusted traveler program, "Global Entry".
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Old 13.07.2011, 19:13
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Re: Delays in getting an appointment for a tourist Visa from the US consulate in Bern

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But what country passport does your spouse hold?

And the $14 for ESTA is also a service charge, just like the Aussie fee. EU is in the process of implementing the same thing.

And if you're Dutch, you can enroll in the US trusted traveler program, "Global Entry".
Not to derail my own thread - and certainly not trying to be rude when I say this, but what does it matter what her nationality (other than her ineligibility for visa waiver) is? Do you not think that by having already made the post about the waiting times that we hadn't already researched her visa eligibility and the visa application process?

I made the original post for two reasons.

1. To moan about the crappy waiting times for a visa appointment in Bern, and my general annoyance at the possibility of having to cancel an expensive vacation because of the long waiting times.

2. To find out if anyone had ever applied for a visa outside out Switzerland - and now having gone through the experience - I made the update for information to other EF'ers in case they ever found themselves in the same situation.

I appreciate the willingness to offer advice, but making the thread about nationality derails the thread.
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Old 13.07.2011, 19:46
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Re: Delays in getting an appointment for a tourist Visa from the US consulate in Bern

[QUOTE=Radioactive Man;1263457]
2. To find out if anyone had ever applied for a visa outside out Switzerland - and now having gone through the experience - I made the update for information to other EF'ers in case they ever found themselves in the same situation.

On the point above, embassy say it is highly recommended to apply from your permanent residence or from home country, otherwise you have a burden of illustrating your social and economic ties..or let us say at least it will raise a question on your interview...

I am also on a long wait due to longer appt times for business visa.
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Old 13.07.2011, 19:54
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Re: Delays in getting an appointment for a tourist Visa from the US consulate in Bern

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Not to derail my own thread - and certainly not trying to be rude when I say this, but what does it matter what her nationality (other than her ineligibility for visa waiver) is?
Because, depending on the nationality, the visa requirements will vary. And, depending on the nationality, it may be easier or harder. I was willing to shed some light, but I would need you to be less secretive with that one very important detail.

Quote:
I appreciate the willingness to offer advice, but making the thread about nationality derails the thread.
People don't always get a visa just because they want one. Nationality plays a very important role, along with purpose of travel, duration of travel, means of support, ties to the country, etc.

Regardless, she already got her visa, so it's moot.
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Old 13.07.2011, 22:03
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Re: Delays in getting an appointment for a tourist Visa from the US consulate in Bern

[QUOTE=KeinFranzösisch;1263491] but I would need you to be less secretive with that one very important detail.

/QUOTE]


Meh - not secretive at all. A quick glance at my very public profile would tell you everything you need to know. Hint - it's not the EU nationality

As for the nationality playing a part in the embassy decision - absolutely. Part of the research we did discovered was this little gem - actually published by the state department.

http://travel.state.gov/pdf/FY10.pdf

Again - I didn't want this thread to devolve into 'what are my chances of getting a visa because I'm Indian/Russian/Chinese/ from Mars etc.' Sure there are some nationality factors, but each case is ultimately up to the embassy. Apart from that, there are literally thousands of sites (which we also discovered) geared at helping people "pass" their visa interviews - something I'd firmly recommend anyone looking to get a visa to stay away from, simply because each case is up to the individual.


As I said in my previous post, have your ducks in a row with all your documents and you'll be fine.
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Old 13.07.2011, 22:04
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Re: Delays in getting an appointment for a tourist Visa from the US consulate in Bern

[QUOTE=Radioactive Man;1263702][QUOTE=KeinFranzösisch;1263491] but I would need you to be less secretive with that one very important detail. /QUOTE]


Meh - not secretive at all. A quick glance at my very public profile would tell you everything you need to know. Hint - it's not the EU nationality

As for the nationality playing a part in the embassy decision - absolutely. Part of the research we did discovered was this little gem - actually published by the state department.

http://travel.state.gov/pdf/FY10.pdf

Again - I didn't want this thread to devolve into 'what are my chances of getting a visa because I'm Indian/Russian/Chinese/ from Mars etc.' Sure there are some nationality factors, but each case is ultimately up to the embassy. Apart from that, there are literally thousands of sites (which we also discovered) geared at helping people "pass" their visa interviews - something I'd firmly recommend anyone looking to get a visa to stay away from, simply because each case is up to the individual.


As I said in my previous post, have your ducks in a row with all your documents and you'll be fine.
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