Getting a U.S. Visa in Canada

Looking to get your US Visa at the US Embassy or Consulate in Canada?

Below you will find reviews from others who have, including turnaround times, and appointment wait times.

If you’re looking for more information about the types of visa available and other locations, visit my Immigration section and you can read everything from a step-by-step guide to the E3 visa through to introductions to the best immigration lawyers available.

If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to comment below or email [email protected] – I love getting your questions!

If you’ve recently gone through a visa process (good or bad), I’d love to hear about it so I can help people in the future!

Calgary, AB, Canada

4.00

3 days

3 days

2 reviews

5

 E-3 Renewal
3 Days
No appointment wait time. Do the interview then spend a few days hiking/skiing at Banff
- Richard (about 3 years ago)

3

  Renewal
3 Days

- Michael (about 10 months ago)

Montreal, QC, Canada

4.50

5 days

36 days

2 reviews

4

 E-3 New
5 Days
Had an early morning appointment and everything went smoothly. Minus one star because the visa did take a full 5 business days from appointment to be returned.
- Jackie (about 3 years ago)

5

 E-3 New
5 Days
The process was relatively easy, I went in on a Tuesday morning and has my passport back Monday morning.
- Jannah (about 3 years ago)

Ottawa, ON, Canada

4.50

3 days

98 days

4 reviews

4

 E-3 Renewal
4 Days
Ottawa office lets you bring zero with you inc bag, phone - just your paperwork. I was told to bring something to read but in Ottawa there are no seats- you just line standing up so can’t really read anything so glad I didn’t bother. Took about 60mins to get to front of line - they asked for DS160, LCA and letter from company plus hard copy photo (less than 6mths old). Line up for second part for actual interview in total another 30mins. Was asked name of company, job title, salary, if same role as before then told approved. Didn’t go into any details with me at all but then my company pays for lawyers to complete all the paperwork so perhaps the big wad of documents in hand made them comfortable enough not to delve further. Passport had to be mailed to Toronto in my case (my request) so 4 day turn inc weekend (Interview Wed, passport in hand Monday) All up pretty easy and quick. Hope that helps anyone up next.
- Kym (about 1 year ago)

4

 E-3 Renewal
3 Days
First available appointment was more than two months in advance.
- Little T (about 1 year ago)

5

 E-3 New
2 Days
I think Ottawa is a forgotten destination for E3 over the more "popular" locations of Bahamas or London. TIPS: *Arrive more than 15 mins ahead of your time even though they say not to. *DO NOT take bags they won't let you in, your file of documents and your iPhone max. *On the application form (at the time of making your appointment) will ask for US or Canadian ID which I did not have. I put the address of my friend in Ottawa who HAD to accompany me to the Post Office to get my passport, zero flexibility on that one. *Ottawa is like Canberra so go with low-ish expectations (I can say that cos I used to live in Canberra. *Appointment at 0745am Monday, passport in my hand 9.30am Wednesday, flight 4.30pm Wednesday.
- Adele (about 10 months ago)

5

 E-3 New
3 Days
Super friendly interviewer and overall a really smooth experience.
- Edwina (about 2 years ago)

Toronto, ON, Canada

4.00

3.5 days

41 days

4 reviews

5

 E-3 Renewal
3 Days
Renewed for my 4th E3 back in March in Toronto. Quick and easy process but took 3 business days to pickup my passport.
- Leigh (about 2 years ago)

3

 E-3 New
5 Days

- Hersh (about 2 years ago)

4

 E-3 New
3 Days
In order to pick up your passport you either need a US drivers license (no other form of US/other country issued photo ID is accepted) or you need to go to be accompanied by a Canadian who has a Canadian-issued photo ID.
- (about 4 years ago)

4

 E-3 Renewal
3 Days
The visa took 3 business days to process, however, we miscalculated that the Canadians celebrate Thanksgiving in October on a Monday therefore had to stay for one extra day. The Toronto Consulate doesn't provide lockers inside and no phones are allowed. We managed to find a convenience store near by to store our phones and it costs $10 CAD. Overall we recommend it.
- Lisa (about 5 months ago)

Vancouver, BC, Canada

4.75

3.25 days

57 days

8 reviews

5

 E-3 New
3 Days
E3 update (because I really appreciated being able to read everyone else’s) : had my first e3 interview in Vancouver on Monday morning. I shit you not, took less than a minute of ‘interviewing’. They didn’t care to see ANY of my masses of paperwork. 4 quick questions: What’s your company? What’s your job title? What did you study? How much money you making? -approved, bye - Got my passport back in 3 days.
- Raani (about 2 years ago)

5

 E-3 New
2 Days
This was my first E3, so I was nervous. I needn’t have been. This is the nicest consulate I’ve ever been to! Even the security guard was friendly. My interview was completely rubber stamped. Guy asked me to explain my role. The only paperwork he looked at was LCA. Vancouver is fun to visit and I highly recommend getting your visa there.
- Kat (about 1 year ago)

5

 E-3 Renewal
2 Days

- (about 1 year ago)

4

 E-3 New
7+ Days
The actual visa process was quite easy so I’d recommend Vancouver the problem we encountered was with Canada Post. We got tracking that advised delivery by end of day Friday, after a 7.30am Appointment on the Tuesday. We went to the post office but they said they had already received their delivery that day of passports. They helped me call to try to track them. After a long time I was assured that we would get it by 3pm or I would get a call advising timing. This was Friday of a long weekend so if we didn’t get them we were stuck... went back to post office at 2.30pm to find tracking had been updated to delivery Tuesday... not happy Jan!
- Sharon (about 7 months ago)

5

 E-3 Renewal
4 Days
A lengthy response I know but when I was looking for some of this information I was unable to find it so thought I would leave a comprehensive review for others to refer to. Please note everything listed below is per my specific case and may well vary on a case by case basis. Paperwork: LCA: make sure page 5 is signed and dated by your employer. I overlooked this once and it obviously delayed the process DS-160: this is obviously the most critical form. Name, DOB, place of birth and passport number should be triple checked Appointment form (https://ais.usvisa-info.com/en-ca/niv): this is a pretty straight forward form however there are drop downs for some selections. Admittedly, I was in a rush to get through this form to make an appointment and overshot the “place of birth” category by a couple of countries. i.e. I did NOT select Australia. I noticed this a couple days before I was set to jet off to Vancouver and like many other occasions when putting together visa paperwork, I felt sick to my stomach. This is something that cannot be edited. Added to that, there is a clear headline that states something along the lines of “any discrepancy to the DS-160 will cause processing delays”. I called the non-immigrant service and they offered me 2 options. 1. Cancel the appointment and make a new one with the correct information or 2. Make the correction at the interview. It comes as no surprise I elected for option 2. I did a little bit of research online and people said they were able to correct most paperwork errors at the interview. In my mind, if I was to make any errors, I thought the appointment form was the place to do it rather than the DS-160/LCA. Be sure to bring any errors to the attention of the interviewer. The error did not have any affect on visa approval or processing. Entering Canada: To be safe I said I was visiting a friend and not renewing/applying for a US visa Appointment: I had at 7:45 appointment but got to the consulate at 7. This was a waste of time. Whilst you are free to line up whenever you like, they call you at your time intervals. In the case of the E3, the woman asks to see your passport, DS-160, LCA and 2 visa photos (I will get to this more in depth later but be sure you have “US VISA photos” and NOT “passport photos” – there is a place across the road that knows exactly what they are doing and will charge you $15CAD for 2 photos). I brought with me a folder containing my documents and a phone. The phone they store in their locker system and provide you with a bracelet for you to collect at the end. I cannot speak for storage of larger items. There is security downstairs and then you go upstairs for additional screening. Do not have any un-open envelopes. It isn’t a big deal but they will pull you to the side to open them. To expedite just make sure all envelopes are opened/unsealed. Upstairs there are 2 windows who review your information. In my case passport, DS-160, LCA and photos. They are extremely stringent about the photos. Much more so than I’ve ever experienced before. Earlier in the year I had to renew my passport so I had 4 photos taken. Whilst the gentleman at the time said they would satisfy the requirements for a US visa, he was incorrect. Australian passport photos are smaller and the lighting is different. Added to that, it MUST be within the past 6 months. I’m sure somehow/someway there’s a way for them to find out and it was mentioned a few times, if the photo isn’t within 6 months old it would delay the process. Not a risk worth taking. Again, there is a place across the road, or have your photos taken elsewhere in advance of the interview. So my passport photos were rejected, I had to go back out, across the road, and then back upstairs. More of an inconvenience than anything else but I just pushed to the front of the line (the woman at the window said to come directly back to her when done). From here I went upstairs to have the in person interview. As most other reviews indicate, I was asked 2 questions and granted approval on the spot. I was sure to mention the error I had made on the appointment form. Judging by his response this information wasn’t shown on his end as he said I will make a note of it. He also said it should have no affect and cause no delays. This is obviously a case by case thing but if you have made an error on your appointment form then my advice is don’t panic, I’m not sure it has any bearing on the final outcome. 3-5 business days was his estimate for return. You should note that, from my understanding, the day of the interview is not considered the first business. So in my case, my interview was on Friday, Monday is considered business day number 1. Phases of processing: There are 2 websites to track the status of the visa: https://ais.usvisa-info.com/ - in my case this went from “checking DS-160” to providing the tracking information. All the while noting current status as “appointment” up the top so do not be phased when this doesn’t change https://ceac.state.gov/CEACStatTracker/Status.aspx - this is a little more in depth. Nothing will show up until you’re in Administrative Processing. For me this happened at business day 2. Don’t torture yourself by researching what this means online. There are some horror stories but I did stumble over a post that said Administrative Processing was them just printing the visa, so I left it at that. In less than a day it went from Administrative Processing to Visa Issued. I received an email from Canada post with tracking information and it was ready for pickup at 9am on business day 4. Be sure to enjoy Vancouver. It is a beautiful city. Josh
- Josh (about 5 months ago)

5

 E-3 Renewal
2 Days
I'm not entirely sure what other consulates are like but the Vancouver line got long. It was a pretty extensive wait, but if that's the only negative from the visit you're laughing. The staff was friendly and super helpful. I submitted my DS160 and booked my interview under my old passport, However a few days before leaving the US I received a new passport because my old one had about a year left. I was worried they were going to give me bad news about putting a new VISA in an expired passport, but the lady at the first desk simply changed the DS160 to reflect my new passport (they have the powers to edit submitted DS160's unlike as mere mortals). It was such a huge relief because the E3 process and arbitrary leaving of the country feels a little ridiculous sometimes. One piece of advice is to pick up your passport rather than get it delivered. Passport was ready within 2 days but due to some delivery issues it took an extra few days, which is really stressful when you're on a tight schedule. Long story short, good place to renew.
- Matt (about 4 months ago)

5

 E-3 New
3 Days
Sharing my E-3 experience in Vancouver, Canada (new job, not a renewal). My new job insisted I choose Vancouver over other locations due to easier processing (proximity to the US), even though Canada has long waits for appointments. I booked mine for 5 weeks out, and chose the downtown location on W Pender St. I had a 7:30am appointment. Turn up 15 minutes early so you get in quick, the line basically extends for everyone with early appointments. It was snowing when I got there, so be prepared for Canadian winters! After about 15 minutes in line where they ask you for your passport, DS-160 confirmation page, and a recent passport photo (don’t worry, there’s a photobooth for CAD$10 upstairs on the 20th floor where you do your interview too). Then they take your electronics (bear in mind lockers here are about the size of a brick - much smaller than Barbados. They had to kee my headphones under the security desk because it wouldn’t fit in the tiny locker. Don’t bring a backpack (you CANNOT bring it in), but I got away with a tote bag with my documents and a bottle of water. Once you enter the first floor, you go through (1) security and then stand in line for your fingerprints and document review. Then (2) fingerprints. Then you get sent upstairs to Level 20 for the actual interview (3). Took me 15 minutes, where they asked where I would be working, the title of the role, the amount of experience I have in the industry, and how much money I would make. Only document they asked for was the LCA. Was told my application was approved on the spot, and to expect an email to pick my passport up at the downtown Post Office in 3-5 business days. Judging by other Aussies who did theirs on Vancouver, I’m going to guess it’ll be closer to 3 days. Plenty of GREAT Asian food in Vancouver (go to Phnom Penh and get the chicken wings and butter beef, thank me later) and awesome dim sum. Great brunch at Medina’s as well.
- Greg T (about 1 month ago)

4

 E-3 New
3 Days
Interview Process Notes: 1/ Time: EndEnd,
- B.M. (about 26 days ago)