Do You Need Visa to Visit United States of America?

Do You Need Visa to Visit United States of America? Check It Out!

Visa Types

US Business Visa

US Business Visa

US B-1 visas are nonimmigrant visas for persons traveling to the United States temporarily to engage in business activities such as the negotiation of contracts, consultation with business associates, litigation, and participation in scientific, educational, professional or business conventions, conferences or seminars and other legitimate activities of a commercial or professional nature.

It does not generally allow for gainful employment or productive activity, such as operating a business or consultancy work.

 

How Long Can You Stay in the US With US Business Visa?

The visa expiry date is indicated on the visa along with the date on which the visa is issued. The time between the issuance of a visa and the expiry date is called your visa's validity. Visa validity is the amount of time you're permitted to travel to a United States port of entry.

Depending on your nationality, visas can be issued from a single entry (application) up to multiple/unlimited entries.

Also, be aware that a visa does not guarantee entry into the USA. In fact, the visa expiry date indicated on your passport does not indicate how long you are allowed to stay in the US. Entry and the duration of the permitted stay within the United States shall be determined by the Customs and Border Protection Officer (CBP) at the port of entry each time you travel.

 
How to Apply for US Business Visa?

Applicants aged 14 – 79 are required to apply for a visa in person through a pre-arranged interview. Applicants under 14 or 80 and over may be eligible to apply by courier.

Step One:

  • Complete the online DS-160 and print the confirmation page for each person applying for a visa, regardless of age.
  • Answer the questions to the best of your ability;

Step Two:

  • Go to this website to pay the MRV application fee and schedule an interview, or obtain information on applying for the visa by courier. 
  • Click on “Apply” if you are a first-time user or “Continue” if you already have an account.

After creating your account, please follow the process and guidance for each person applying for a visa.

 

Required Documents for US Business Visa 

 

1. Confirmation Page of the Application Form DS-160

2. Appointment Confirmation Page (if Relevant)

3. A Passport or Other Travel Document

  • It is recommended that at least one more blank page is available for your passport to be stamped if you are admitted to the United States.
  • For certain nationalities, the passport or other travel document must be valid for at least six months beyond the proposed stay in the United States.

4. One 5 x 5 Cm (2” By 2”) Color Photograph Taken within the Last Six Months

5. Evidence of Your Status in Your Country

  • Your residence permit (if any)

6. Evidence of Your Intended Business Activities in the United States, Such as A Letter From Your Employer, if Attending A Business Meeting.

7. Proof of Financial Supports

  • Bank statements for the last 6 months at least, pay slips, bank extracts, etc.

8. NOC Letter by Your Employer

  • The letter must include:
    • Name, postal address, and telephone number of sponsor/company
    • Details regarding the applicant’s working position, starting date of the employment, and salary
    • The timeframe of work leave (expected date to resume duties) and purpose of travel
  • Valid trade license copy and company ownership documents (if a person is an owner of the company).
  • Letter from University (if student)

9. Photocopies of Flight Ticket Reservations and Hotel Bookings

*Additional documents can be required by the visa-issuing authorities.

 
The Interview for US Business Visa

Interviews are by appointment only. Applicants aged 14 – 79 are required to appear in person for an interview with a consular officer. You are required to bring your Appointment Confirmation letter with you. You will not be admitted more than 30 minutes prior to the time shown, and arriving too late may result in the cancellation of your appointment. You can expect to be at the Embassy or Consulate for approximately two to three hours.

The interview with a consular officer is the last step in a two-stage process, which usually only lasts a few minutes. Persons must collect, enter details, and review the application prior to the interview. A set of your fingerprints will be electronically scanned.

The questions you will be asked during the interview can be about your travel plan, details of your trip (destinations, travel dates, hotels where you will stay, etc.), your work, family life, documents, etc. that may be related to you. There is no standard form or sequence of these questions. In short, the consul can ask you any question he/she wants about you, your life, and your journey. You can know your visa answer at the end of this interview.

 

Processing Time for US Business Visa

The average processing time for a US Business Visa (B-1) is 3-10 calendar days. It depends on your visa application country.

If your application has been refused under Section 221(g) of the Immigration and Nationality Act for administrative processing, the consular section will notify you when it is complete or if additional information is required from you. Please be advised that we do not know how long administrative processing will take.  In some cases, it may take many months or years.

 

US Business Visa Fee

US Business visa fee is 160 USD for all nationalities. You will pay this amount online when you schedule an interview.

 

Where to Apply for US Business Visa?

You will apply for a US Business visa in the US visa application center, embassy, or consulate, whichever accepts visa applications, in your country of residence. If there is none of them in your country, you need to apply to the nearest embassy or consulate to your location.

US Tourism & Visitor Visa

US Tourism & Visitor Visa

US B-2 visitor visas are nonimmigrant visas for persons traveling to the United States temporarily for tourism, pleasure, or visiting.

You will require a visa to travel to the United States unless you are eligible to enter the United States visa free under the Visa Waiver Program (VWP), or you are a citizen of Canada or Bermuda.

A visa is also required if you applied for travel authorization under the Electronic System for Travel Authorization (ESTA) and your registration has been denied.

 

How Long Can You Stay in the US With US Tourism Visa?

The visa expiry date is indicated on the visa along with the date on which the visa is issued. The time between the issuance of a visa and the expiry date is called your visa's validity. Visa validity is the amount of time you're permitted to travel to a United States port of entry.

Depending on your nationality, visas can be issued from a single entry (application) up to multiple/unlimited entries.

Also, be aware that a visa does not guarantee entry into the USA. In fact, the visa expiry date indicated on your passport does not indicate how long you are allowed to stay in the US. Entry and the duration of the permitted stay within the United States shall be determined by the Customs and Border Protection Officer (CBP) at the port of entry each time you travel.

 

How to Apply for US Tourist Visa?

Applicants aged 14 – 79 are required to apply for a visa in person through a pre-arranged interview. Applicants under 14 or 80 and over may be eligible to apply by courier.

Step One:

  • Complete the online DS-160 and print the confirmation page for each person applying for a visa, regardless of age.
  • Answer the questions to the best of your ability;

Step Two:

  • Go to this website to pay the MRV application fee and schedule an interview, or obtain information on applying for the visa by courier. 
  • Click on “Apply” if you are a first-time user or “Continue” if you already have an account.

After creating your account, please follow the process and guidance for each person applying for a visa.

 

Required Documents for US Tourism & Visitor Visa

 

1. Confirmation Page of the Application Form Ds-160

2. Appointment Confirmation Page (If Relevant)

3. A Passport or Other Travel Document

  • It is recommended that at least one more blank page is available for your passport to be stamped if you are admitted to the United States.
  • For certain nationalities, the passport or other travel document must be valid for at least six months beyond the proposed stay in the United States.

4. One 5 X 5 Cm (2” By 2”) Color Photograph Taken within the Last Six Months

5. Evidence of Your Status in Your Country

  • Your residence permit (if any)

6. Proof of Financial Supports

  • Bank statements for the last 6 months at least, pay slips, bank extracts, etc.

7. NOC Letter By Your Employer

  • The letter must include:
    • Name, postal address, and telephone number of sponsor/company
    • Details regarding the applicant’s working position, starting date of the employment, and salary
    • The timeframe of work leave (expected date to resume duties) and purpose of travel
  • Valid trade license copy and company ownership documents (if a person is an owner of the company).
  • Letter from University (if student)

8. Photocopies of Flight Ticket Reservations Aand Hotel Bookings

*Additional documents can be required by the visa-issuing authorities.

 

The Interview for US Tourist Visa

Interviews are by appointment only. Applicants aged 14 – 79 are required to appear in person for an interview with a consular officer. You are required to bring your Appointment Confirmation letter with you. You will not be admitted more than 30 minutes prior to the time shown, and arriving too late may result in the cancellation of your appointment. You can expect to be at the Embassy or Consulate for approximately two to three hours.

The interview with a consular officer is the last step in a two-stage process, which usually only lasts a few minutes. Persons must collect, enter details, and review the application prior to the interview. A set of your fingerprints will be electronically scanned.

The questions you will be asked during the interview can be about your travel plan, details of your trip (destinations, travel dates, hotels where you will stay, etc.), your work, family life, documents, etc. that may be related to you. There is no standard form or sequence of these questions. In short, the consul can ask you any question he/she wants about you, your life, and your journey. You can know your visa answer at the end of this interview.

 

Processing Time for US Tourist and Visitor Visa

The average processing time for a US Tourist & Visitor Visa (B-1) is 3-10 calendar days. It depends on your visa application country.

If your application has been refused under Section 221(g) of the Immigration and Nationality Act for administrative processing, the consular section will notify you when it is complete or if additional information is required from you. Please be advised that we do not know how long administrative processing will take.  In some cases, it may take many months or years.

 

US Tourist and Visitor Visa Fee

US Tourist and Visitor visa fee is 160 USD for all nationalities. You will pay this amount online when you schedule an interview.

 
Where to Apply for US Tourist Visa?

You will apply for a visa US Tourist and Visitor visa in the US visa application center, embassy, or consulate, whichever accepts visa applications, in your country of residence. If there is none of them in your country, you need to apply to the nearest embassy or consulate to your location.

US Transit Visa

US Transit Visa

US Transit (C) visas are nonimmigrant visas for persons traveling in immediate and continuous transit through the United States en route to another country, with few exceptions. Immediate and continuous transit is defined as a reasonably expeditious departure of the traveler in the normal travel course as the elements permit and assume a prearranged itinerary without any unreasonable layover privileges. If the traveler seeks layover privileges for purposes other than for transit through the United States, such as to visit friends or engage in sightseeing, the traveler will have to qualify for the type of visa required for that purpose.

You will require a visa to travel to the United States unless you are eligible to enter the United States visa free under the Visa Waiver Program, or you are a citizen of Canada or Bermuda.

A visa is also required if you applied for travel authorization under the Electronic System for Travel Authorization (ESTA) and your registration has been denied.

 

Eligibility for US Transit Visa

Travel purposes which Require a Transit (C) Visa – Examples:

  • A foreign citizen traveling to another country will have a brief layover in the United States when the only reason for entering the United States is to transit.
  • A passenger embarking from a foreign port on a cruise ship or other vessel which is proceeding to another country, other than the United States, but during the course of the journey, the vessel makes port in the United States with no intention of landing in the United States.
  • A crew member traveling to the United States as a passenger to join a ship or aircraft you will work on, providing services for operation. You will also need a crewmember D visa, most often issued as a combination C-1/D visa. Learn more about Crewmember visas.
  • A foreign citizen proceeding in immediate and continuous transit through the United States to or from the United Nations Headquarters District, under provisions of the Headquarters agreement with the United Nations, requires a diplomatic transit (C-2) visa. Travel within the United States will be limited to the immediate New York City vicinity.

Travel Purposes Which are Not Permitted on a Transit (C) Visa – Examples:

  • A foreign citizen whose layover in the United States is for a primary purpose other than to transit, for example, to visit friends or sightsee, requires a visitor (B) visa.
  • A coasting officer seeking to enter the United States generally requires a visitor (B) visa. Coasting officers are employed temporarily when an officer of a foreign ship is granted home leave while the vessel is in U.S. ports, provided the vessel does not remain in U.S. waters for more than 29 days. The coasting officer may then repeat the process with another vessel of the same foreign line.
  • A crew member on a private yacht sailing out of a foreign port cruising in U.S. waters for more than 29 days is generally required to have a visitor (B) visa.
  • An officer or employee of a designated international organization assigned to the United States may pass in immediate and continuous transit through the United States on an International Organization (G-4) visa.

 

How Long Can You Stay in the US With US Transit Visa?

The visa expiry date is indicated on the visa along with the date on which the visa is issued. The time between the issuance of a visa and the expiry date is called your visa's validity. Visa validity is the amount of time you're permitted to travel to a United States port of entry.

Depending on your nationality, visas can be issued from a single entry (application) up to multiple/unlimited entries. In the case of a transit visa, the duration of stay and number of entries can be limited.

Also, be aware that a visa does not guarantee entry into the USA. In fact, the visa expiry date indicated on your passport does not indicate how long you are allowed to stay in the US. Entry and the duration of the permitted stay within the United States shall be determined by the Customs and Border Protection Officer (CBP) at the port of entry each time you travel.

 
How to Apply for US Transit Visa?

Applicants aged 14 – 79 are required to apply for a visa in person through a pre-arranged interview. Applicants under 14 or 80 and over may be eligible to apply by courier.

Step One: Complete the online DS-160 and print the confirmation page for each person applying for a visa, regardless of age. Answer the questions to the best of your ability;

Step Two: Go to this website to pay the MRV application fee and schedule an interview, or obtain information on applying for the visa by courier.  Click on “Apply” if you are a first-time user or “Continue” if you already have an account.

After creating your account, please follow the process and guidance for each person applying for a visa.

 

Required Documents for US Transit Visa 

 

1. Confirmation Page of the Application Form Ds-160

2. Appointment Confirmation Page (If Relevant)

3. A Passport or Other Travel Document

  • It is recommended that at least one more blank page is available for your passport to be stamped if you are admitted to the United States.
  • For certain nationalities, the passport or other travel document must be valid for at least six months beyond the proposed stay in the United States.

4. One 5 X 5 Cm (2” By 2”) Color Photograph Taken within the Last Six Months

5. Evidence of Your Status in Your Country

  • Your residence permit (if any)

6. Proof of Financial Supports

  • Bank statements for the last 6 months at least, pay slips, bank extracts, etc.

7. NOC Letter by Your Employer

  • The letter must include:
    • Name, postal address, and telephone number of sponsor/company
    • Details regarding the applicant’s working position, starting date of the employment, and salary
    • The timeframe of work leave (expected date to resume duties) and purpose of travel
  • Valid trade license copy and company ownership documents (if a person is an owner of the company).
  • Letter from University (if student)

8. Photocopies of Flight Ticket Reservations and Hotel Bookings

  • Your final destinations, the time between your connected flights via Canada airport must be shown clearly on your tickets

*Additional documents can be required by the visa-issuing authorities.

 

The Interview for US Transit Visa

Interviews are by appointment only. Applicants aged 14 – 79 are required to appear in person for an interview with a consular officer. You are required to bring your Appointment Confirmation letter with you. You will not be admitted more than 30 minutes prior to the time shown, and arriving too late may result in the cancellation of your appointment. You can expect to be at the Embassy or Consulate for approximately two to three hours.

The interview with a consular officer is the last step in a two-stage process, which usually only lasts a few minutes. Persons must collect, enter details, and review the application prior to the interview. A set of your fingerprints will be electronically scanned.

The questions you will be asked during the interview can be about your travel plan, details of your trip (destinations, travel dates, hotels where you will stay, etc.), your work, family life, documents, etc. that may be related to you. There is no standard form or sequence of these questions. In short, the consul can ask you any question he/she wants about you, your life, and your journey. You can know your visa answer at the end of this interview.

 

Processing Time for US Transit Visa

The average processing time for a US Transit Visa (C) is 3-10 calendar days. It depends on your visa application country.

If your application has been refused under Section 221(g) of the Immigration and Nationality Act for administrative processing, the consular section will notify you when it is complete or if additional information is required from you. Please be advised that we do not know how long administrative processing will take.  In some cases, it may take many months or years.

 

US Transit Visa Fee

US Transit visa fee is 160 USD for all nationalities. You will pay this amount online when you schedule an interview.

 

Where to Apply for US Transit Visa?

You will apply for a US Transit visa in the US visa application center, embassy, or consulate, whichever accepts visa applications, in your country of residence. If there is none of them in your country, you need to apply to the nearest embassy or consulate to your location.

US Student Visa

US Student Visa

In general, those wishing to study in the United States require student (F-1 or M-1) visas depending on whether the study is academic or vocational.

Students taking part in an exchange program and those wishing to take up prearranged employment, training, or research in the United States under an officially approved program sponsored by an educational or other nonprofit institution, require exchange visitor (J-1) visas.

Your course of study and the type of school you plan to attend determine whether you need an F visa or an M visa.

If you attend to below, you need to apply for F Visa.

  • University or college      
  • High School
  • Private elementary school
  • Seminary
  • Conservatory
  • Another academic institution, including a language training program

If you attend to below, you need to apply for M Visa.

  • Vocational or other recognized nonacademic institution, other than a language training program      

Students cannot travel on the Visa Waiver Program or with Visitor Visas.

A student visa (F or M) is required to study in the United States. Foreign nationals may not study after entering on a visitor (B) visa or through the Visa Waiver Program (VWP), except to undertake recreational study (non-credit) as part of a tourist visit.

 

How Long Can You Stay in the US With US Student Visas?

The visa expiry date is indicated on the visa along with the date on which the visa is issued. The time between the issuance of a visa and the expiry date is called the validity of your visa. Visa validity is the amount of time you're permitted to travel to a United States port of entry.

Depending on your nationality, visas can be issued from a single entry (application) up to multiple/unlimited entries. In case of a student visa, your duration of stay will be determined by considering your study duration in the US.

Also, be aware that a visa does not guarantee entry into the USA. In fact, the visa expiry date indicated on your passport does not indicate how long you are allowed to stay in the US. Entry and the duration of the permitted stay within the United States shall be determined by the Customs and Border Protection Officer (CBP) at the port of entry each time you travel.

 
US SEVIS

When you are accepted into the exchange visitor program, you will be enrolled in the Student and Exchange Visitor Information System (SEVIS). SEVIS is a web-based system for maintaining information on international nonimmigrant students and exchange visitors in the United States.

F-1, M-1, and J-1 visa applicants are required to pay a Student and Exchange Visitor Information System (SEVIS) fee. You must pay through the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) website at least 3 days before your visa interview.

The service fee for students (F-1, F-3, M-1, or M-3) is 350 USD.

The service fee for exchange visitors (J-1) is 220 USD.

Service fee can vary in some special cases depending on your activity in the US. For example, the service fee is 35 USD for a summer work/travel program, Au pair program, and Camp counselor program participants.

The service fee is not a visa fee. The visa fee is to defray the cost for machine-readable visas and to support the consulates. There is a separate non-refundable fee for anyone seeking a nonimmigrant visa for the United States.

The I-901 SEVIS Fee is a separate fee paid to SEVP. This fee supports the Student and Exchange Visitor Program in DHS.

 

How to Apply for US Student Visas?

Step One:

  • To apply to a SEVP-approved school in the United States.  After the SEVP-approved school accepts your enrollment, you will be registered for the Student and Exchange Visitor Information System (SEVIS) and must pay the SEVIS I-901 fee. 
  • The SEVP-approved school will issue you a Form I-20.  After you receive the Form I-20 and register in SEVIS, you may apply at a U.S. Embassy or Consulate for a student (F or M) visa. You must present Form I-20 to the consular officer when you attend your visa interview.

Step Two:

  • Complete the online DS-160 and print the confirmation page for each person applying for a visa, regardless of age.
  • Answer the questions to the best of your ability;

Step Third:

  • Go to this website to pay the MRV application fee and schedule an interview, or obtain information on applying for the visa by courier. 
  • Click on “Apply” if you are a first-time user or “Continue” if you already have an account.

After creating your account, please follow the process and guidance for each person applying for a visa.

 

Required Documents for US Student Visa (M-1 or F-1)

 

1. Confirmation Page of the Application Form Ds-160

2. Appointment Confirmation Page (if relevant)

3. Nonimmigrant Visa Instructions

4. A Passport or Other Travel Document

  • It is recommended that at least one more blank page is available for your passport to be stamped if you are admitted to the United States.
  • For certain nationalities, the passport or other travel document must be valid for at least six months beyond the proposed stay in the United States

5. One 5 X 5 Cm (2” By 2”) Color Photograph Taken within the Last Six Months

6. Form I-20

  • If you are applying for an F or M visa.
  • This will be provided to you by your Designated School Official.
  • You must provide your original Form I-20, not a photocopy or scanned copy.

7. Sevis Fee Receipt:

  • F-1, M-1, and J-1 visa applicants are required to pay a Student and Exchange Visitor Information System (SEVIS) fee.
  • You must pay through the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) website at least 3 days before your visa interview.

8. Evidence of Your Status in Your Country

9. Your Residence Permit (if Any)

10. Proof of Financial Supports

  • Bank statements for the last 6 months at least, pay slips, bank extracts, etc.

11. Noc Letter by Your Employer (if Any)

  • The letter must include:
    • Name, postal address, and telephone number of sponsor/company
    • Details regarding the applicant’s working position, starting date of the employment, and salary
    • The timeframe of work leave (expected date to resume duties) and purpose of travel
  • Valid trade license copy and company ownership documents (if a person is an owner of the company).
  • Letter from University (if student)

12. Photocopies of Flight Ticket Reservations

13. Document About Your Accommodation Details

  • Such as contacts, reservations, etc.

*Additional documents can be required by the visa-issuing authorities.

 

The Interview for US Student Visas

Interviews are by appointment only. You are required to bring your Appointment Confirmation letter with you. You will not be admitted more than 30 minutes prior to the time shown, and arriving too late may result in the cancellation of your appointment. You can expect to be at the Embassy or Consulate for approximately two to three hours.

The interview with a consular officer is the last step in a two-stage process, which usually only lasts a few minutes. Persons must collect, enter details, and review the application prior to the interview. A set of your fingerprints will be electronically scanned.

The questions you will be asked during the interview can be about your travel plan, details of your trip (destinations, travel dates, where you will stay, etc.), your study or your work, family life, documents, etc. that may be related to you. There is no standard form or sequence of these questions. In short, the consul can ask you any question he/she wants about you, your life, and your journey. You can know your visa answer at the end of this interview.

 

Processing Time for US Student Visa

The average processing time for a US Student Visa is 3-15 calendar days. It depends on your visa application country. Student visas’ processing time can be longer due to checking and approving your study plans with official authorities.

If your application has been refused under Section 221(g) of the Immigration and Nationality Act for administrative processing, the consular section will notify you when it is complete or if additional information is required from you. Please be advised that we do not know how long administrative processing will take.  In some cases, it may take many months or years.

 
US Student Visa Fee

US Student visa fee is 160 USD for all nationalities. You will pay this amount online when you schedule an interview. It is an apart visa fee than Sevis fee.

 

Where to Apply for US Student Visa?

You will apply for a US Student visa in the US visa application center, embassy, or consulate, whichever accepts visa applications, in your country of residence. If there is none of them in your country, you need to apply to the nearest embassy or consulate to your location.

US Exchange Visitor Visa

US Exchange Visitor Visa

US Exchange Visitor (J) visas are nonimmigrant visas for individuals approved to participate in exchange visitor programs in the United States.

Students taking part in an exchange program and those wishing to take up prearranged employment, training, or research in the United States under an officially approved program sponsored by an educational or other nonprofit institution, require exchange visitor (J-1) visas.

US Exchange Visitor Categories
  • Au pair and EduCare
  • Camp Counselor
  • Government Visitor
  • Intern
  • International Visitor (Dept. of State use)
  • Physician
  • Professor and Research Scholar
  • Short-term Scholar
  • Specialist
  • Student, college/university
  • Student, secondary
  • Summer Work Travel
  • Teacher
  • Trainee

Exchange Visitors cannot travel on the Visa Waiver Program or with Visitor Visas. An exchange visitor visa (J) is required to participate in an exchange visitor program in the United States.  Foreign nationals may not study after entering on a visitor (B) visa or through the Visa Waiver Program (VWP).

 

How Long Can You Stay in Us with US Exchange Visitor Visa?

The visa expiry date is indicated on the visa along with the date on which the visa is issued. The time between the issuance of a visa and the expiry date is called your visa's validity. Visa validity is the amount of time you're permitted to travel to a United States port of entry.

Depending on your nationality, visas can be issued from a single entry (application) up to multiple/unlimited entries. In case of an exchange visitor visa, your duration of stay will be determined by considering your purpose of visit, duration of your program in the US.

Also, be aware that a visa does not guarantee entry into the USA. In fact, the visa expiry date indicated on your passport does not indicate how long you are allowed to stay in the US. Entry and the duration of the permitted stay within the United States shall be determined by the Customs and Border Protection Officer (CBP) at the port of entry each time you travel.

 

SEVIS

When you are accepted into the exchange visitor program, you will be enrolled in the Student and Exchange Visitor Information System (SEVIS). SEVIS is a web-based system for maintaining information on international nonimmigrant students and exchange visitors in the United States.

F-1, M-1, and J-1 visa applicants are required to pay a Student and Exchange Visitor Information System (SEVIS) fee. You must pay through the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) website at least 3 days before your visa interview.

The Service fee for exchange visitors (J-1) is 220 USD.

Service fee can vary in some special cases depending on your activity in the US. For example, the service fee is 35 USD for a summer work/travel program, Au pair program, and Camp counselor program participants.

The service fee is not a visa fee. The visa fee is to defray the cost for machine-readable visas and to support the consulates. There is a separate non-refundable fee for anyone seeking a nonimmigrant visa for the United States.

The I-901 SEVIS Fee is a separate fee paid to SEVP. This fee supports the Student and Exchange Visitor Program in DHS.

 

How to Apply for US Exchange Visitor Visa?

Step One:

  • To apply for and be accepted into an exchange visitor program through a designated sponsoring organization in the United States. Visit the Department of State J-1 Visa Exchange Visitor Program website to learn about program requirements, regulations, and more.
  • After the exchange visitor program accepts your participation, you will be registered for the Student and Exchange Visitor Information System (SEVIS) and must pay the SEVIS I-901 fee (except in certain cases – consult your exchange visitor program sponsor). Visit the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP) website to learn more about SEVIS and the SEVIS I-901 Fee.

Step Two:

  • Complete the online DS-160 and print the confirmation page for each person applying for a visa, regardless of age.
  • Answer the questions to the best of your ability;

Step Third:

  • Go to this website to pay the MRV application fee and schedule an interview, or obtain information on applying for the visa by courier. 
  • Click on “Apply” if you are a first-time user or “Continue” if you already have an account.

After creating your account, please follow the process and guidance for each person applying for a visa.

 

Required Documents for US Exchange Visitor Visa 

 

1. Confirmation Page of the Application Form Ds-160

2. Appointment Confirmation Page (if Relevant)

3. Nonimmigrant Visa Instructions

4. A Passport or Other Travel Document

  • It is recommended that at least one more blank page is available for your passport to be stamped if you are admitted to the United States.
  • For certain nationalities, the passport or other travel document must be valid for at least six months beyond the proposed stay in the United States.

5. One 5 X 5 Cm (2” By 2”) Color Photograph Taken within the Last Six Months

6. Form I-20

  • If you are applying for an F or M visa. This will be provided to you by your Designated School Official. You must provide your original Form I-20, not a photocopy or scanned copy

7. Form DS-2019 

  • If you are applying for a J visa. Your Form DS-2019 will be provided to you by your program sponsor. You must present your original Form DS-2019, not a photocopy or scanned copy. If you are provided with Form DS-7002, Training/Internship Placement Plan, you must also provide that form when you apply for your visa.

8. Sevis Fee Receipt:

  • F-1, M-1, and J-1 visa applicants are required to pay a Student and Exchange Visitor Information System (SEVIS) fee. You must pay through the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) website at least 3 days before your visa interview.

9. Evidence of Your Status In Your Country

10. Your Residence Permit (if Any)

11. Proof of Financial Supports

  • Bank statements for the last 6 months at least, pay slips, bank extracts, etc.

12. Noc Letter by Your Employer (if Any)

  • The letter must include:
    • Name, postal address, and telephone number of sponsor/company
    • Details regarding the applicant’s working position, starting date of the employment, and salary
    • The timeframe of work leave (expected date to resume duties) and purpose of travel
  • Valid trade license copy and company ownership documents (if a person is an owner of the company).
  • Letter from University (if student)

13. Photocopies of Flight Ticket Reservations

14. Document About Your Accommodation Details

  • Such as contacts, reservations, etc.

*Additional documents can be required by the visa-issuing authorities.

 

The Interview for US Exchange Visitor Visa

Interviews are by appointment only. You are required to bring your Appointment Confirmation letter with you. You will not be admitted more than 30 minutes prior to the time shown, and arriving too late may result in the cancellation of your appointment. You can expect to be at the Embassy or Consulate for approximately two to three hours.

The interview with a consular officer is the last step in a two-stage process, which usually only lasts a few minutes. Persons must collect, enter details, and review the application prior to the interview. A set of your fingerprints will be electronically scanned.

The questions you will be asked during the interview can be about your travel plan, details of your trip (destinations, travel dates, where you will stay, etc.), your study or your work, family life, documents, etc. that may be related to you. There is no standard form or sequence of these questions. In short, the consul can ask you any question he/she wants about you, your life, and your journey. You can know your visa answer at the end of this interview.

 

Processing Time for US Exchange Visitor Visa

The average processing time for an Exchange Visitor Visa is 3-15 calendar days. It depends on your visa application country. Exchange Visitor Visas’ processing time can be longer due to checking and approving your exchange plans and programs with official authorities.

If your application has been refused under Section 221(g) of the Immigration and Nationality Act for administrative processing, the consular section will notify you when it is complete or if additional information is required from you. Please be advised that we do not know how long administrative processing will take.  In some cases, it may take many months or years.

 

US Exchange Visitor Visa Fee

US Exchange Visitor Visa fee is 160 USD for all nationalities. You will pay this amount online when you schedule an interview. It is an apart visa fee from the Sevis fee.

 

Where to Apply for US Exchange Visitor Visa?

You will apply for a US Exchange Visitor visa in the US visa application center, embassy, or consulate, whichever accepts visa applications, in your country of residence. If there is none of them in your country, you need to apply to the nearest embassy or consulate to your location.

US Media, Journalist Visa

US Media, Journalist Visa

US Media (I) visas are for representatives of the foreign media, including members of the press, radio, film, and print industries, traveling temporarily to the United States to work in their profession engaged in informational or educational media activities, essential to the foreign media function. Activities in the United States while on a media (I) visa must be for a media organization having its home office in a foreign country. Activities in the United States must be informational in nature and generally associated with the newsgathering process and reporting on current events.

Representatives of the foreign media traveling on assignment to the United States require “I” classification visas. They are not eligible to travel visa-free under the Visa Waiver Program or enter the United States on B-1 business visas. Those who attempt to do so may be denied admission to the United States by immigration authorities at the entry port.

Some of the travel purposes which require a Media Visa (I) for representatives of foreign press, radio, film, or other information media – Examples:

  • An employee of foreign information media or employee of an independent production company having a credential issued by another country’s professional journalistic association engaged in filming a news event or documentary.
  • A foreign media member engaged in the production or distribution of film, if the material being filmed will be used to disseminate information, news, or is educational in nature.  The primary source and distribution of funding must be outside the United States.
  • A journalist working under contract with a credential issued by another country’s professional journalistic association, if working on a product to disseminate information or news that is not primarily intended for commercial entertainment or advertising.
  • A foreign journalist traveling to the United States to report on U.S. events solely for a foreign audience, if the journalist works for an overseas media outlet having its home office in a foreign country.
  • An accredited representative of a tourist bureau, controlled, operated, or subsidized in whole or in part by a foreign government, who engages primarily in disseminating factual tourist information about that country, and who is not entitled to receive an A-2 visa as a foreign government official or employee.
  • An employee of an organization that distributes technical industrial information who will work in the U.S. office of that organization.

 

How Long Can You Stay in Us With Us Media Visa?

The visa expiry date is indicated on the visa along with the date on which the visa is issued. The time between the issuance of a visa and the expiry date is called the validity of your visa. Visa validity is the amount of time you're permitted to travel to a United States port of entry.

Depending on your nationality, visas can be issued from a single entry (application) up to multiple/unlimited entries.

Also, be aware that a visa does not guarantee entry into the USA. In fact, the visa expiry date indicated on your passport does not indicate how long you are allowed to stay in the US. Entry and the duration of the permitted stay within the United States shall be determined by the Customs and Border Protection Officer (CBP) at the port of entry each time you travel.

 
How to Apply for US Media Visa?

If you are applying for a petition-based visa, your prospective employer is required to file an employment-based petition on your behalf with the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). Further information is available from the USCIS website. The instructions on filing a petition will vary with each visa category; it is important, therefore, to read the information carefully.

Once the petition has been approved by USCIS, and you are in possession of either the Notice of Action, Form I-797, or Petition Receipt number, you may apply for the visa.

Applicants aged 14 – 79 are required to apply for a visa in person through a pre-arranged interview. Applicants under 14 or 80 and over may be eligible to apply by courier.

Step One:

  • Complete the online DS-160 and print the confirmation page for each person applying for a visa, regardless of age.
  • Answer the questions to the best of your ability;

Step Two:

  • Go to this website to pay the MRV application fee and schedule an interview, or obtain information on applying for the visa by courier. 
  • Click on “Apply” if you are a first-time user or “Continue” if you already have an account.

After creating your account, please follow the process and guidance for each person applying for a visa.

 
Required Documents for US Media Visa 

 

1. Confirmation Page of the Application Form Ds-160

2. Appointment Confirmation Page (If Relevant)

3. A passport or Other Travel Document

  • It is recommended that at least one more blank page is available for your passport to be stamped if you are admitted to the United States.
  • For certain nationalities, the passport or other travel document must be valid for at least six months beyond the proposed stay in the United States.

4. One 5 X 5 Cm (2” By 2”) Color Photograph Taken within the Last Six Months

5. Evidence Of Your Status in Your Country

6. The Receipt Number Of The Approved Petition (for Petition-based Applicants)

7. A Letter From Employer Related to Your Purpose of Stay in USA (for Media Members)

  • Staff Journalist
    • A letter from the employer which gives the following information: name; a position held within the company and purpose and length of stay in the United States;
  • Freelance Journalist under contract to a media organization
    • If possible, a signed letter from the organization you will be working for, on official letter-headed paper, with the following information: your name, your job title, your relationship to the company, your purpose of travel, including a brief description of the project, your proposed length of stay in the United States and, if you are contracted to the company, the duration of the contract;
  • Media Film Crew
    • A letter from the employer which gives the following information: name; a position held within the company; title and a brief description of the program being filmed and period of time required for filming in the United States;
  • Independent Production Company
    •  A letter from the employer which gives the following information: name; a position held within the company; title and a brief description of the program being filmed and period of time required for filming in the United States

8. Proof of Financial Supports

  • Bank statements for the last 6 months at least, pay slips, bank extracts, etc.

9. Photocopies of Flight Ticket Reservations and Hotel Bookings

*Additional documents can be required by the visa-issuing authorities.

 

The Interview for US Media Visa

Interviews are by appointment only. Applicants aged 14 – 79 are required to appear in person for an interview with a consular officer. You are required to bring your Appointment Confirmation letter with you. You will not be admitted more than 30 minutes prior to the time shown, and arriving too late may result in the cancellation of your appointment. You can expect to be at the Embassy or Consulate for approximately two to three hours.

The interview with a consular officer is the last step in a two-stage process, which usually only lasts a few minutes. Persons must collect, enter details, and review the application prior to the interview. A set of your fingerprints will be electronically scanned.

The questions you will be asked during the interview can be about your travel plan, details of your trip (destinations, travel dates, hotels where you will stay, etc.), your work, family life, documents, etc. that may be related to you. There is no standard form or sequence of these questions. In short, the consul can ask you any question he/she wants about you, your life, and your journey. You can know your visa answer at the end of this interview.

 

Processing Time for US Media Visa

The average processing time for a US Media Visa (I) is 3-10 calendar days. It depends on your visa application country.

If your application has been refused under Section 221(g) of the Immigration and Nationality Act for administrative processing, the consular section will notify you when it is complete or if additional information is required from you. Please be advised that we do not know how long administrative processing will take.  In some cases, it may take many months or years.

 

US Media Visa Fee

US Media visa fee is 160 USD for all nationalities. You will pay this amount online when you schedule an interview.

 

Where to Apply for US Media Visa?

You will apply for a US Media visa in the US visa application center, embassy, or consulate, whichever accepts visa applications, in your country of residence. If there is none of them in your country, you need to apply to the nearest embassy or consulate to your location.

US Crewmember Visa

US Crewmember Visa

US Crewmember (D) visas are nonimmigrant visas for persons working on board commercial sea vessels or international airlines in the United States, providing services required for normal operation and intending to depart the United States on the same vessel or any other vessel within 29 days. If you travel to the United States to join the vessel you will work on, in addition to a crewmember (D) visa, you also need a transit (C-1) visa or a combination C-1/D visa.

  • You may apply for a crewmember visa without being employed at the time of your visa application. However, the crewmember visa may only be used for entry to a U.S. port if you are employed on the sea vessel or aircraft on which you arrive.
  • There is no guarantee that you will be issued a visa. Do not make final travel plans or buy tickets until you have a visa.
  • Crewmember (D) visa holders must depart the United States on a vessel within 29 days. The United States is defined as including the continental United States, Alaska, Hawaii, Puerto Rico, Guam, and the U.S. Virgin Islands. You are not considered to have departed the United States until the vessel you are on travels to international waters destined to a foreign port.
  • The operating base is where the vessel takes on supplies regularly, where the vessel's cargo is sold, or where the owner or master of the vessel engages in business transactions.

 

How Long Can You Stay in Us With US Crewmember Visa?

The visa expiry date is indicated on the visa and the date on which the visa is issued. The time between the issuance of a visa and the expiry date is called the validity of your visa. Visa validity is the amount of time you're permitted to travel to a United States port of entry.

Depending on your nationality, visas can be issued from a single entry (application) up to multiple/unlimited entries.

Also, be aware that a visa does not guarantee entry into the USA. In fact, the visa expiry date indicated on your passport does not indicate how long you are allowed to stay in the US. Entry and the duration of the permitted stay within the United States shall be determined by the Customs and Border Protection Officer (CBP) at the port of entry each time you travel.

Crewmember (D) visa holders must depart the United States on a vessel within 29 days. The United States is defined as including the continental United States, Alaska, Hawaii, Puerto Rico, Guam, and the U.S. Virgin Islands. You are not considered to have departed the United States until the vessel you are on travels to international waters destined to a foreign port.

 

How to Apply for US Crewmember Visa?

Applicants aged 14 – 79 are required to apply for a visa in person through a pre-arranged interview. Applicants under 14 or 80 and over may be eligible to apply by courier.

Step One:

  • Complete the online DS-160 and print the confirmation page for each person applying for a visa, regardless of age.
  • Answer the questions to the best of your ability;

Step Two:

  • Go to this website to pay the MRV application fee and schedule an interview, or obtain information on applying for the visa by courier. 
  • Click on “Apply” if you are a first-time user or “Continue” if you already have an account.

After creating your account, please follow the process and guidance for each person applying for a visa.

 

Required Documents for US Crewmember Visa (D)

 

1. Confirmation Page of the Application Form Ds-160

2. Appointment Confirmation Page (if Relevant)

3. A Passport or Other Travel Document

  • It is recommended that at least one more blank page is available for your passport to be stamped if you are admitted to the United States.
  • For certain nationalities, the passport or other travel document must be valid for at least six months beyond the proposed stay in the United States.

4. One 5 x 5 Cm (2” By 2”) Color Photograph Taken within the Last Six Months

5. Evidence Of Your Status In Your Country

  • Your residence permit (if any)

6. Proof of Financial Supports

  • Bank statements for the last 6 months at least, pay slips, bank extracts, etc.

7. NOC Letter By Your Employer

  • A letter from your employer on letter headed stationery confirming your employment with the company and period that you will be in the United States;

8. Photocopies of Flight Ticket Reservations and Hotel Bookings

*Additional documents can be required by the visa-issuing authorities.

 

The Interview for US Crewmember Visa

Interviews are by appointment only. Applicants aged 14 – 79 are required to appear in person for an interview with a consular officer. You are required to bring your Appointment Confirmation letter with you. You will not be admitted more than 30 minutes prior to the time shown, and arriving too late may result in the cancellation of your appointment. You can expect to be at the Embassy or Consulate for approximately two to three hours.

The interview with a consular officer is the last step in a two-stage process, which usually only lasts a few minutes. Persons must collect, enter details, and review the application prior to the interview. A set of your fingerprints will be electronically scanned.

The questions you will be asked during the interview can be about your travel plan, details of your trip (destinations, travel dates, hotels where you will stay, etc.), your work, family life, documents, etc. that may be related to you. There is no standard form or sequence of these questions. In short, the consul can ask you any question he/she wants about you, your life, and your journey. You can know your visa answer at the end of this interview.

 

Processing Time for US Crewmember Visa

The average processing time for a US Crewmember Visa is 3-10 calendar days. It depends on your visa application country.

If your application has been refused under Section 221(g) of the Immigration and Nationality Act for administrative processing, the consular section will notify you when it is complete or if additional information is required from you. Please be advised that we do not know how long administrative processing will take.  In some cases, it may take many months or years.

 

US Crewmember Visa Fee

US Crewmember visa fee is 160 USD for all nationalities. You will pay this amount online when you schedule an interview.

 
Where to Apply for US Crewmember Visa?

You will apply for a US Crewmember visa in the US visa application center, embassy, or consulate, whichever accepts visa applications, in your country of residence. If there is none of them in your country, you need to apply to the nearest embassy or consulate to your location.

US Temporary Worker Visas

US Temporary Worker Visas

Temporary worker visas are for persons who want to enter the United States for employment lasting a fixed period of time and are not considered permanent or indefinite. Each of these visas requires the prospective employer to first file a petition with U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). An approved petition is required to apply for a work visa.

 

Temporary Worker Visa Categories

1. H-1B: Person in Specialty Occupation  

  • To work in a specialty occupation. Requires a higher education degree or its equivalent. Includes fashion models of distinguished merit and ability and government-to-government research and development, or co-production projects administered by the Department of Defense.

2. H-1B1: Free Trade Agreement (FTA) Professional

  • To work in a specialty occupation. Requires a post-secondary degree involving at least four years of study in the field of specialization. (Note: This is not a petition-based visa. For application procedures, please refer to the website for the U.S. Embassy in Chile or the U.S. Embassy in Singapore.)

3. H-2A: Temporary Agricultural Worker

  • For temporary or seasonal agricultural work. Limited to citizens or nationals of designated countries, with limited exceptions, if determined to be in the United States interest.

4. H-2B: Temporary Non-agricultural Worker

  • For temporary or seasonal non- agricultural work. Limited to citizens or nationals of designated countries, with limited exceptions, if determined to be in the United States interest.

5. H-3: Trainee or Special Education visitor

  • To receive training, other than graduate medical or academic, that is not available in the trainee’s home country or practical training programs in the education of children with mental, physical, or emotional disabilities.

6. L: Intracompany Transferee

  • To work at a branch, parent, affiliate, or subsidiary of the current employer in a managerial or executive capacity or in a position requiring specialized knowledge. Individuals must have been employed by the same employer abroad continuously for 1 year within the three preceding years.

7. O: Individual with Extraordinary Ability or Achievement 

  • For persons with extraordinary ability or achievement in the sciences, arts, education, business, athletics, or extraordinary recognized achievements in the motion picture and television fields, demonstrated by sustained national or international acclaim, to work in their field of expertise. Includes persons providing essential services in support of the above individual.

8. P-1: Individual or Team Athlete, or Member of an Entertainment Group

  • To perform at a specific athletic competition as an athlete or as a member of an entertainment group. Requires an internationally recognized level of sustained performance. Includes persons providing essential services in support of the above individual.

9. P-2: Artist or Entertainer (Individual or Group)

  • For performance under a reciprocal exchange program between an organization in the United States and an organization in another country. Includes persons providing essential services in support of the above individual.

10. P-3: Artist or Entertainer (Individual or Group)

  •  To perform, teach or coach under a program that is culturally unique or a traditional ethnic, folk, cultural, musical, theatrical, or artistic performance or presentation. Includes persons providing essential services in support of the above individual.

11. Q-1: Participant in an International Cultural Exchange Program

  • For practical training and employment and to share the history, culture, and traditions of your home country through participation in an international cultural exchange program.

*Additional documents can be required by the embassy

 

How Long Can You Stay in the US With US Temporary Worker Visas?

The visa expiry date is indicated on the visa along with the date on which the visa is issued. The time between the issuance of a visa and the expiry date is called your visa's validity. Visa validity is the amount of time you're permitted to travel to a United States port of entry.

Depending on your nationality, visas can be issued from a single entry (application) up to multiple/unlimited entries. The validity of your visa and duration of stay on temporary work visas can be dependent on your work period and duration in the USA.

Also, be aware that a visa does not guarantee entry into the USA. In fact, the visa expiry date indicated on your passport does not indicate how long you are allowed to stay in the US. Entry and the duration of the permitted stay within the United States shall be determined by the Customs and Border Protection Officer (CBP) at the port of entry each time you travel.

 

How To Apply For US Temporary Worker Visas?

Before your visa application and schedule an interview in the embassy, the applicant should get a labor certification and petition approval.

1. Labor Certification

  • Some temporary worker visa categories require your prospective employer to obtain a labor certification or other approval from the Department of Labor on your behalf before filing the Petition for a Nonimmigrant Worker, Form I-129, with USCIS.
  • Your prospective employer should review the Instructions for Form I-129 on the USCIS website to determine whether labor certification is required for you.

2. Petition Approval

  • Some temporary worker categories are limited in the total number of petitions, which can be approved on a yearly basis. Before you can apply for a temporary worker visa at a U.S. Embassy or Consulate, a Petition for a Nonimmigrant Worker, Form I-129, must be filed on your behalf by a prospective employer and be approved by USCIS.
  • For more information about the petition process, eligibility requirements by visa category, and numerical limits, if applicable, see Working in the U.S. and Temporary (Nonimmigrant) Workers on the USCIS website. Once the petition is approved, USCIS will send your prospective employer a Notice of Action, Form I-797.

Applicants aged 14 – 79 are required to apply for a visa in person through a pre-arranged interview. Applicants under 14 or 80 and over may be eligible to apply by courier.

Step One:

  • Complete the online DS-160 and print the confirmation page for each person applying for a visa, regardless of age.
  • Answer the questions to the best of your ability;

Step Two:

  • Go to this website to pay the MRV application fee and schedule an interview, or obtain information on applying for the visa by courier. 
  • Click on “Apply” if you are a first-time user or “Continue” if you already have an account.

After creating your account, please follow the process and guidance for each person applying for a visa.

 

Required Documents for US Temporary Work Visas

 

1. Confirmation Page of the Application Form DS-160

2. Appointment Confirmation Page (if relevant)

3. A passport or Other Travel Document

  • It is recommended that at least one more blank page is available for your passport to be stamped if you are admitted to the United States.
  • For certain nationalities, the passport or other travel document must be valid for at least six months beyond the proposed stay in the United States.

4. One 5 x 5 cm (2” by 2”) Color Photograph Taken within the Last Six Months

5. Evidence of Your Status in Your Country

  • Your residence permit (if any)
  • Receipt Number for your approved petition as it appears on your Petition for a Nonimmigrant Worker, Form I-129, or Notice of Action, Form I-797, from USCIS.
  • L Visa Applicants – If you are included in an L blanket petition, you must bring Form I-129S, Nonimmigrant Petition Based on Blanket L Petition, to your interview.
  • Proof of financial supports
    • Bank statements for the last 6 months at least, pay slips, bank extracts, etc.
  • Photocopies of flight ticket reservations and hotel bookings

*Additional documents may be required by the visa-issuing authorities.

 

The Interview for US Temporary Worker Visas

Interviews are by appointment only. Applicants aged 14 – 79 are required to appear in person for an interview with a consular officer. You are required to bring your Appointment Confirmation letter with you. You will not be admitted more than 30 minutes prior to the time shown, and arriving too late may result in the cancellation of your appointment. You can expect to be at the Embassy or Consulate for approximately two to three hours.

The interview with a consular officer is the last step in a two-stage process, which usually only lasts a few minutes. Persons must collect, enter details, and review the application prior to the interview. A set of your fingerprints will be electronically scanned.

 

Processing Time for US Temporary Worker Visas

The average processing time for a US Temporary Work Visas is 5-20 calendar days. It depends on your visa application country.

If your application has been refused under Section 221(g) of the Immigration and Nationality Act for administrative processing, the consular section will notify you when it is complete or if additional information is required from you. Please be advised that we do not know how long administrative processing will take.  In some cases, it may take many months or years.

 

US Temporary Worker Visas Fee

US Temporary Work Visas’ fee is 190 USD for all nationalities. You will pay this amount online when you schedule an interview.

 

Where to Apply for US Temporary Worker Visas?

You will apply for US Temporary Worker visas in the US visa application center, embassy, or consulate, whichever accepts visa applications, in your country of residence. If there is none of them in your country, you need to apply to the nearest embassy or consulate to your location.

US Green Card

US Green Card

Green Card is the unofficial nickname for the permit allowing immigrants to live and work in the United States of America permanently.

A Green Card (Permanent Resident Card):
  • Gives you official immigration status in the United States
  • Entitles you to certain rights and responsibilities
  • Is required if you wish to naturalize as a U.S. Citizen

 

How to Apply for Green Card?
  • Find out if you're eligible.
    • To apply for a Green Card, you must be eligible under one of the categories listed below. Once you find the category that may fit your situation, click on the link provided to get information on eligibility requirements, how to apply, and whether your family members can also apply with you. You can check eligibility requirements through this website.
  • If you are eligible, file Form I-485 - Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status with USCIS, including all supporting documents and fees.
  • USCIS will review your application and schedule an interview with you.
  • Once issued, your Green Card will be valid for 10 years.

 

Diversity Immigrant Visa Lottery Program

The United States’ Diversity Immigrant Visa (DV) Lottery program allows for up to 50,000 immigrant visas to be awarded each year. It gives foreign nationals of countries that have low immigration rates to the U.S. an opportunity to participate in a random drawing for the potential of getting an immigration visa. Check the State Department’s DV lottery site to learn more about the program.

 

Eligibility Requirements for US Green Card

Also known as the Green Card lottery, the DV program makes a limited number of immigrant visas available every year to people meeting certain eligibility requirements:

  • You must be a foreign citizen from a country with a low immigration rate to the United States. Each year, the U.S. Department of State puts out a list of eligible and ineligible countries. The list of countries may change each year. See the 2021 DV lottery instructions (PDF, Download Adobe Reader) for the most recent list.
  • You must have graduated from high school or its equivalent or have qualifying work experience.

 

Participating in the Lottery for US Green Card

The lottery is open once a year, usually for 4 to 5 weeks in the fall.

  • Online registration for the 2021 Diversity Visa Lottery began on October 2, 2019, and ended on November 5, 2019.
  • If you qualify for a Green Card, 2021 is the year you can enter into the United States.
  • Complete the online application for the lottery. It is a web form only and cannot be downloaded. There is no charge for registering.
  • Keep your confirmation number in a safe place; you will need that number to check your entry status online. If you lose it, you can recover your confirmation number.

 

DV Lottery Results

Results for the 2021 and 2020 DV lotteries are available.  The 2021 results are available through September 30, 2021. The 2020 results are available through September 30, 2020.

Make sure you have your confirmation number to check your application status. You can only check your status by going online. The State Department will not send you a letter or an email about winning a Green Card.

 

If You are A DV Lottery Winner

If you are selected through the random lottery drawing, you can move forward in applying for an immigrant visa (Green Card).

EMBASSY INFORMATION AND LOCATION

FAQ

pickvisa.com

What is administrative processing?

Some visa applicants require additional administrative processing which takes extra time after a Consular Officer's interview with the visa applicant. Applicants are informed when they apply for this requirement.

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If my visa application is refused, can I get my money back?

The fee that you paid is an application fee.   Everyone who applies for a U.S. visa anywhere in the world must pay a fee, which must cover the processing expenses of the application. This fee is non-refundable irrespective of whether or not you are issued a visa, since your application has been processed to the conclusion. As one example, if your application was refused under Section 214(b) and you choose to reapply for a visa, whether applying at the same embassy or elsewhere, you will be required to pay the visa application processing fee.

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My non-immigrant visa will be expired soon and I want to renew it. Do I need to go through the whole visa application process again?

Yes. Any time you choose to apply for a visa you will have to go through the whole visa application process, even though your visa is still valid. There are certain conditions that do not require a visa applicant to be interviewed before renewing his/her visa.

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Does a visa guarantee that I will be able to enter the US?

A visa does not guarantee entry into the United States. A visa allows a foreign citizen to travel to the U.S. Port of entry. The Department of Homeland Security U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) immigration inspector authorizes or denies admission to the United States.

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If my passport and visa are stolen, what should I do?

If your passport with your admission stamp or paper Form I-94 is lost or stolen, you must get them replaced immediately. There are a number of steps you need to take, learn more, see Lost and Stolen Passports, Visas, and Form I-94s.

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If my visa is damaged, what should I do?

If your visa has been damaged in any way, you will need to reapply for a new visa at a U.S. Embassy or Consulate abroad.

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My old passport has already expired. My visa to the US is still valid but in my expired passport. Do I need to apply for a new visa with my new passport?

No. If your visa is still valid you can travel to the United States with your two passports, as long as the visa is valid, not damaged, and is the appropriate type of visa required for your principal purpose of travel. (Example: tourist visa, when your principal purpose of travel is tourism). Both passports (the valid and the expired one with the visa) should be from the same country and type (Example: both Uruguayan regular passports, both official passports, etc.). When you arrive at the U.S. Port-of-entry (POE, generally an airport or land border) the Customs and Border Protection Immigration Officer will check your visa in the old passport and if she/he decides to admit you into the United States they will stamp your new passport with an admission stamp along with the annotation "VIOPP" (visa in the other passport). Do not try to remove the visa from your old passport and stick it into the new valid passport. If you do so, your visa will no longer be valid.

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If my visa expires while I am in the US, is there any problem with that?

No. If the Department of Homeland Security, Customs and Border Protection Immigration Officer at the Port-of-entry admitted you into the United States for a specific period of time, she/he will note your authorized period of stay on your admission stamp or paper Form I-94, called an Arrival/Departure Record. You will be able to remain in the United States during your authorized period of stay, even if your visa expires during the time you are in the United States. Since your admission stamp or paper Form I-94 documents your authorized stay and is the official record of your permission to be in the United States, it is very important to keep it inside your passport.

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How can I find out how long I am authorized to stay in the US?

A visa does not guarantee entry into the United States but allows a foreign citizen coming from abroad, to travel to the United States port-of-entry (generally an airport or land border) and request permission to enter the United States. The Department of Homeland Security, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officials have the authority to permit or deny admission to the United States, and determine how long a traveler may stay. At the port of entry, upon granting entry to the United States, the Department of Homeland Security, U.S. immigration inspector, provides you an admission stamp or paper Form I-94, Arrival/Departure Record in your passport. On this admission stamp or paper Form I-94, the U.S. immigration inspector records either a date or "D/S" (duration of status). If your admission stamp or paper Form I-94 contains a specific date, then that is the date by which you must leave the United States. Your admission stamp or paper Form I-94 is very important to keep in your passport since it shows your permission to be in the United States.

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Should I bring my entire application or just the confirmation page with me to the interview?

You don't have to bring in the whole application. You will bring your confirmation page with your application ID number on it for your interview so that they can obtain your DS-160. In all stages of the verification process, you have to bring the confirmation page with you. They may not be able to process your visa application without the Confirmation page.

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If I am traveling with my family or as a part of a group, can I create a family or group application?

Yes. When you select “Email Confirmation” on your Confirmation Page, you will be directed to a “Thank You” page. On the “Thank You” page you will see an option to create a family or group application. When you select this option, certain information from your application, such as destination, will automatically be imported to and displayed on a new application. Please note that if you use this option you must create an individual application for each family member or for each individual within the group.

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Who is required to apply for a visa in person?

If you are aged between 14 and 79 you are required to apply for a visa in person unless you are renewing an O, P, or J visa that has expired within the last 12 months and you meet certain criteria. Applicants who are under 14 and 80 and over may be eligible to apply for a visa by courier.

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Are return tickets required with a valid visa?

No. If you have a valid visa you are not required to be in possession of a round-trip or onward ticket.

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Is there a set period of time a person is required to remain outside the United States before returning?

There is no set period of time you are required to remain outside the United States before reapplying for admission.

Each time you travel, the immigration authorities at the port of entry need to be satisfied that the purpose of your trip is for a visit only and that you have a residence outside the United States which you have no intention of abandoning.

However, if he or she is not convinced that you are a genuine visitor, you will be denied entry.

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