Apply for an Expedited Appointment

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If you have an unforeseen travel need and meet the criteria listed below, you may qualify for an expedited appointment depending on availability. It is important to ensure you meet all the criteria and attach documentation of your Costa Rican citizenship or residency and documentation (copy of the passport or valid residence ID card of Costa Rica) to prove your urgent need for travel. Expedite requests without documentation outlined in the criteria below will be denied. Applicants are only allowed to create one expedited appointment request.

Note: Only a limited number of expedited appointments are available. Availability of an expedited appointment ahead of your travel dates is not a guarantee and those applicants who have life-or-death emergency needs for travel are prioritized over those traveling for business or study purposes.


Before you apply for an expedited appointment, you must ensure that you have documentary evidence to prove your Costa Rican citizenship or residency as well as the need for urgent travel.  Acceptable forms of evidence include scans or clear photos of a Costa Rican passport or residence ID card.  If it appears during your visa interview that you misrepresented the reasons for urgent travel, such facts will be noted in your case file and may result in the denial of your visa.  All applicants requesting an expedited appointment are required to first pay visa fees for a regular visa appointment. 

Note:  Due to backlogs caused by the pandemic, we are unable to accommodate expedite requests to enable travel for the purpose of tourism. Please review this website in the future for any updates to this policy.


Medical Need

Purpose of travel is to obtain urgent medical care, or to accompany an immediate relative (spouse, child, parent or sibling) or employer for urgent medical care.

Essential documentation:

  • A letter from your doctor in Costa Rica describing the medical condition and why you are seeking medical care in the United States.
  • A letter from the physician or hospital in the United States indicating that they are prepared to treat the case and providing the approximate cost of the treatment.
  • Evidence of how you will pay for the cost of the treatment.
Once-in-a-Lifetime Events

Purpose of travel is to attend a “once-in-a-lifetime” event such as a funeral, wedding, or the birth of a child in the United States. You must provide evidence of your relationship to the person who is involved in the event.

Essential documentation:

  • An invitation or announcement for the event.
  • You must also present evidence of your relationship to the person involved in the event.
Business Travel

Purpose of travel is to work in the United States on a petition-based visa (H, L, O, P, R) or your employer is requesting you to travel for urgent trainings or meetings in the United States.

Essential documentation:

  • For petition-based visas, an approval notice I797 to verify the petition validity or I-129S Nonimmigrant Petition Based on Blanket L Petition.
  • For other business travel needs, to qualify for an expedited appointment you must attach both a letter from the Chief Operating Officer at your company explaining the dates of your travel and why your attendance is required and a letter from the U.S. office's Human Resources Officer certifying your attendance is required on specific dates. Both letters must have a contact number and email address for follow up questions from our office. We will not accept requests without this documentation.
Air/Sea Crew

Purpose of travel is to work in the United States as an air/sea crew member.

Essential documentation:

  • Letter from employer explaining the nature and dates of employment.
  • Copy of executed employment contract.


Students or exchange visitors

Purpose of travel is to begin or resume a valid program of study or participation in a cultural exchange to include involvement in international competitions, performances, and exhibitions. This option is limited only to students and cultural exchange participants who are residents or citizens of Costa Rica and the event is within 60 days of the start date. It is also limited only to applicants who have not been refused a visa within the last six months at the U.S. Embassy.

Essential documentation:

  • Original Form I-20 or Form DS-2019 indicating start date of program within 60 days.
  • Evidence that you have paid the SEVIS fee (when applicable).
  • Evidence of your Costa Rican residency

Applying for an Expedited Appointment

Step 1

Pay the visa application fee.

Step 2

Complete the Nonimmigrant Visa Electronic Application (DS-160) form.

Step 3

Schedule an appointment online for the earliest available date. You must schedule an appointment before you can request an expedited date. At the time you schedule your appointment, you will see an onscreen message showing the earliest available appointment date, which includes expedited appointments. If you wish to proceed with requesting an expedited appointment, complete the Expedited Request Form or contact the call center to request assistance. Please be sure to note the type of urgency you believe qualifies you for an expedited appointment and attach all documentation listed in the criteria above, including your Costa Rican residency card or Costa Rican passport. Once you have submitted your request, please wait for a response from the Embassy, which will arrive via email. We try to respond to all expedite requests within three business days.

Step 4

If the Embassy approves your request, then you will receive an email notifying you of the option to schedule your expedited appointment online. Please understand that the call center cannot schedule your expedited appointment for you, but agents are able to assist you if questions arise. Should the Embassy deny your request for an expedited appointment, you will be notified of the denial by email and you should keep your existing appointment.

Note: Please check your junk or spam folder. The email confirming or denying your request will come from Some email applications have rules which filter unknown senders into a spam or junk mail folder. If you have not received your email notification within three business days, please look for the message in your junk and spam email folders.

Step 5

Visit the U.S. Embassy on the date and time of your visa interview. You will need to bring a printed copy of your appointment letter, your Form DS-160 confirmation page, one 2x2 inch photograph taken within the last six months on a white background with no glasses, your current and all old passports, and the original visa fee payment receipt. Applications missing any of items will not be accepted.