The U.S. Embassy in Tel Aviv advises visa applicants with scientific and technology backgrounds to apply early and well before anticipated travel to the United States. The issue is that many applicants are subject to "Necessary Administrative Processing" in advance of visa issuance. This process, which is akin to an extended security clearance, takes about three to four weeks to complete from the date of a visa interview. To help educate applicants, the Embassy has published excellent resources on its web site including a video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=megTaZoCtlo.
Visa applicants in Tel Aviv who have advanced degrees in science, technology, engineering and related fields such as math and statistics should expect additional processing delays prior to receiving a visa. The Embassy has published guidance on materials that applicants should bring to interviews at http://israel.usembassy.gov/consular/niv/nonimmigrant/information-for-applicants-with-a-technical-or-scientific-background.html. Applicants should come to the Embassy with a Word document that contains the following:
- Applicant: Name and passport number
- Work Experience: Detailed description of current and past work;
- Specialized Skills: Possible examples include languages, computer training, research expertise, military service, work in defense industry, or other specialized training;
- Educational/Research Background: Name of institution(s), dates of attendance, field(s) of study, degree(s) obtained, and research topics;
- Publication List (as applicable): Titles, topics, dates of publication, and brief abstracts or summaries;
- Travel: Countries and years visited in the past 10 years;
- Trip itinerary: Date(s), location, and purpose of the visit and any relevant addresses, websites, and contact information (as applicable) of companies, conferences, and/or institutions.
In our experience, the best way to secure faster processing of a visa is to appear at an interview with as much advance preparation as possible. Visa applicants in Israel who may face additional administrative processing should closely review the web site of the Embassy before attending an interview to be as prepared as possible. The web site of the Nonimmigrant Visa Section in Tel Aviv is at http://israel.usembassy.gov/consular/niv/nonimmigrant.html.