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I want to apply for a B2 visa in London to visit Orlando and Disney World with my family (wife is British citizen as are our children).

Can I apply for the visa 12/11 months in advance of intended travel date? The Disney World website provides great offers but they have to be secured in advance. Also flights are realised 11 months in advance.

If we can apply a year in advance, how do we know what address to put on the application (where we will be residing)? We intend to stay at a Disney World hotel or another hotel off site in the same area but if we can’t book before applying for the visa the specific hotel may change. Does this matter?

I am travelling with a refugee travel document (have strong ties to the U.K.)

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  • Why are you applying for a B2? Do you not just need an ESTA? May 19 at 8:53
  • @KateGregory Based on the parenthesized text "wife is British citizen as are our children" as well as the original tags (before your edit), I suspect OP is only a UK resident, not a citizen. May 19 at 9:19
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    Sorry I am a U.K. resident and cannot apply for my citizenship for a while.
    – Disneyfan
    May 19 at 9:25

2 Answers 2

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Assuming you actually need a B1/B2 Visa that requires an appointment, the Visitor Visa site has the following to say about when to apply for a Visa

Wait times for interview appointments vary by location, season, and visa category, so you should apply for your visa early. Review the interview wait time for the location where you will apply:

And includes a handy calculator where you can enter the U.S. Embassy or Consulate where you will be scheduling your appointment and see what the current wait time is.

For the sake for some real numbers, I entered "London", and it says as of today that the wait time is 200 days for a visitor visa. So applying at least 7 to 8 months ahead would be the bare minimum amount of time that you should think about. And to answer your question, 12 months wouldn't be unreasonable.

Note that Visa Appointment Wait Times page has the same calculator, but has some additional explanation about the process. One of the things that this page mentions is the possibility of expedited processing of your visa. Here it notes (my emphasis)

Note: Travel for the purpose of attending weddings and graduation ceremonies, assisting pregnant relatives, participating in an annual business/academic/professional conference, or enjoying last-minute tourism does not qualify for expedited appointments. For such travel, please schedule a regular visa appointment well in advance.

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  • Thanks this is great information and really helpful. Do you know if it matters if my accommodation changes?
    – Disneyfan
    May 19 at 9:26
  • @Disneyfan Sorry, no idea about accommodation.
    – Peter M
    May 19 at 9:27
  • That’s okay the link you provided was very helpful.
    – Disneyfan
    May 19 at 9:31
  • So sorry I just realised, I wasn’t sure if I was clear. I would want the interview and approval of visa 12 months in advance to know I have it and can book travel as it’s generally booked that far out for these type of trips?
    – Disneyfan
    May 19 at 9:38
  • The FAQ for the DS-160 form says under the Document list that you should supply an itinerary "if you have already made travel arrangements". So that implies you don't have to have travel arrangements before applying. Obviously you will still be stating the reason for travel. I don't know about Disney's (or your potential airlines) cancellation policy in case your visa isn't approved.
    – Peter M
    May 19 at 9:56
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Before you apply far in advance, you should check the visa reciprocity schedule for your country of nationality. As you can see from the notes for the United Kingdom, it is your country of nationality that determines the maximum validity of the visa, not the fact that you are applying with a UK-issued refugee travel document:

Refugee Travel Documents: The new Refugee Travel Documents issued by the United Kingdom are machine-readable. The Travel Documents include the Certificate of Identity which is brown in color, a travel document for refugees under the 1951 Convention which is dark blue in color, and a travel document for refugees under the 1954 Convention which is red in color. All documents contain a disclaimer stating their issuance is "without prejudice to and in no way affects the holder's nationality." All list either the country of nationality or of birth, or both. The nationality of the bearer is listed as "Unknown". The documents will also indicate whether the bearer has "indefinite leave to remain" or the "right of abode."

Nonimmigrant visas issued to bearers of these travel documents should reflect the visa reciprocity schedule of his/her nationality or origin, even if the bearer has "indefinite leave to remain" in the United Kingdom.

Old style Refugee Travel Documents issued by the United Kingdom are still valid until they expire. These include a light brown travel document and a light blue Certificate of Identity. These documents also indicate whether the bearer has indefinite leave to remain or the right of abode in the United Kingdom.

If you are stateless, your visa will be issued according to the Temporary Reciprocity Schedule, which means that it will be valid for three months. (This means that you will be able to use the visa to enter the US within three months of its date of issuance. It does not mean that you will have to leave the US before the visa expires.)

Also note that the fee cited in the reciprocity table is an additional "reciprocity fee" on top of the usual $160 nonimmigrant visa application fee. Therefore, the entry "Fee: none" does not mean that the visa is entirely free of charge.

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  • I think this is correct, but it is very confusing, so take with a grain of salt: I believe that the Temporary Reciprocity Schedule does not apply to stateless people who are residents of another country, so if OP is stateless but a UK resident, the UK reciprocity table would apply. However, if OP is has nationality of some other country (even though they may not be able to return there) but a refugee living in the UK, the reciprocity table of that other country would apply. Honestly, this is confusing enough that it may be worth it to try to contact the embassy and ask what rules will apply.
    – mlc
    May 19 at 23:24
  • Thank you both for your comments. My nationality is Nigeria . I have a feeling it’s 2 years for me.
    – Disneyfan
    May 20 at 11:13
  • @Disneyfan yes, the reciprocity table for Nigeria clearly shows 24 months for B visas, so you will certainly be fine applying for the visa a year in advance.
    – phoog
    May 20 at 11:38
  • @mlc you're right. I saw that the temporary table applies to stateless people who are not settled anywhere, and then I forgot about that as I was searching for the answer to the question "what about stateless people who are settled somewhere?" It's certainly possible that the table for the country of refuge would apply, but I wouldn't count on it. Fortunately, we can answer Disneyfan's question without knowing, since we now know that Disneyfan is Nigerian.
    – phoog
    May 20 at 11:39
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    @Disneyfan I have no personal experience of it, but I know someone who had one as a stateless person born in Iran. I don't know how much trouble she had getting it, but she did typically have trouble entering the US -- hours of questioning at the border. Iran is not Nigeria, of course. Since you live with your family in the UK, it sounds like you should have little trouble establishing your ties there and a lack of immigrant intent in the US. Applying early to avoid stress, as you're planning, is a good idea, but a lot of worry is probably not necessary. Good luck!
    – phoog
    May 20 at 17:28

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