Why you will have to wait until June 2024 to secure a US visa

Exemptions will be offered for emergency situations only

A paramilitary policeman stands guard next to a protester as they march during a demonstration in solidarity with the global Black Lives Matter movement as they protest over police brutality and white supremacy in the United States (US), Kenya and globally, outside the US Embassy in Nairobi on June 2, 2020.  (Photo by SIMON MAINA/AFP via Getty Images)

Planning on travelling to the United States of America? Well, the US embassy in Nairobi has revealed that due to a backlog of applications, Kenyans will have to wait until June 2024 to successfully book a visitor visa appointment.

According to the embassy, the emergence of the COVID-19 pandemic forced all nonimmigrant visa interviews to be stopped for over a year.

Interviews at full capacity resumed in February this year but embassy officials were forced to deal with the backlog of applications first.

"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," read a statement from the embassy in part.

In a bid to clear the backlog, the embassy has also opted to double the number of daily interviews.

"Since resuming operations, U.S. Embassy Nairobi has doubled the number of daily interviews and will continue to add additional staff and increase capacity over time," stated the embassy.

The embassy however clarified that visa appointments will be expedited for emergency situations such as death of a family member, medical care and some students.

"We offer expedited appointments for emergency situations, including the death of an immediate family member, the need to travel for urgent medical care, and for students whose program starts in less than 30 days and who will suffer irreparable harm, such as the loss of a scholarship, if they cannot travel," the statement concluded.

The statement comes only days after Africa's fastest man, Ferdinand Omanyala almost missed out on participating in the just concluded World Athletics Championships in Eugene, Oregon.

The delay in his visa saw Omanyala depart the country on July 14, a day before the start of the competitions. He arrived just a few hours before his scheduled 100m heats.

Many fans attributed his subpar performance to the Visa frustrations and expressed disappointment in how the government handled the matter, as the 26-year-old bowed out of competition in the semi-finals, finishing fifth.

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