By Judith Gicobi
Due to the huge demand, Kenyans wishing to travel to the United States would have to wait until June 2024 since no appointments for visa interviews are being made.
“Currently, the first available dates for a visitor visa appointment in Nairobi are in June 2024. U.S. Embassy Nairobi recognizes the significant challenges and frustrations this poses for Kenyans planning to visit the United States for business and tourism,” the embassy said in a statement on Monday.
The embassy promised to work hard to accommodate the demand for visa services.
The embassy also stated that non-immigrant visa interviews at the US Embassy in Nairobi had been discontinued for more than a year due to Covid-19 health and safety measures.
In February 2022, it resumed interviews at full capacity.
“As we work through the backlog of applications and address the high demand for services, we recognize that some applicants may face extended visa interview wait times. This is a worldwide problem that US embassies are diligently striving to address.”
It noted that since beginning operations, the number of daily interviews has doubled and that it would gradually hire additional people and expand its capacity.
“We instituted a visa renewal process that does not require an in-person interview for certain applicants. Kenyans renewing visitor (B1/B2 category) or student visas (F category) whose visas expired less than one year ago may be eligible to renew without an interview.”
The embassy will also rush appointments for those who need to travel for urgent medical care, have a death in the immediate family, or whose program begins in less than 30 days and who would suffer irreparable harm if they couldn’t go, such losing a scholarship.
The announcement was made a few days after 26-year-old Ferdinand Omanyala, widely regarded as the fastest man in Africa, almost missed competing in the World Athletics Championships last week in Eugene, Oregon.