We encourage people to apply for a visa 6-8 weeks before they intend to travel. Most visas can be issued in much less time but some applications require special clearances or extra administrative processing. In extremely rare instances it can take longer to get a visa.
All visa applicants must now appear in person before a Consul for an interview. The only possible exceptions to this policy are people under 14 or over 80 and applicants for diplomatic (A and G) visas.