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

Visa Types & Categories to Apply for USA

Visa Types & Categories to Apply for USA

There are 2 main types of visas in the United States of America:

  • Non-immigrant Visas 
  • Immigrant Visas

Nationals who are eligible for US Visa Waiver Program are not required to apply for a visa to travel to the USA, but they have to obtain Electronic Authorization (ESTA) if they are arriving by air or sea. Visitors can stay for up to 90 days in the USA. 

US Electronic System for Travel Authorization

US Electronic System for Travel Authorization

Electronic System for Travel Authorization is not considered as a visa, but it is a prerequisite for entering the USA by air or sea. Nationals who are eligible for US Visa Waiver Program are not required to apply for a visa to travel to the USA, but they have to obtain Electronic Authorization (ESTA) if they are arriving by air or sea. Visitors can stay for up to 90 days in the USA.

Who should apply for ESTA?

  • You are a resident or eligible national of a country participating in the Visa Waiver Program.
  • You are currently ineligible for a visitor's visa.
  • Your trip will last no more than 90 days.
  • You want to visit the United States for either business or pleasure.
  • You want to submit an application for a new authorization for one individual or a group of applications for two or more people.

Nationals of the below-mentioned countries are eligible for USA Electronic System for Travel Authorization:

 

Andorra

Denmark

Iceland

Lithuania

Portugal

Switzerland

Australia

Estonia

Ireland

Luxembourg

San Marino

Taiwan

Austria

Finland

Italy

Malta

Singapore

United Kingdom

Belgium

France

Japan

Monaco

Slovakia

 

Brunei

Germany

South Korea

Netherlands

Slovenia

 

Chile

Greece

Latvia

New Zealand

Spain

 

Czech Republic

Hungary

Liechtenstein

Norway

Sweden

 

 

Required Documents and Information for Electronic System for Travel Authorization

 

1. Passport

  • Valid passport from a Visa Waiver Program country

2. Valid E-mail Address

3. Home Address and Phone Number

 

The following information also can be required:

  • Applicant's aliases or other names (If Applicable).
  • Applicant's National ID or Personal ID number (If Applicable).
  • Applicant's Global Entry ID number (If Applicable).
  • Applicant's employer address and phone number (If Applicable).
  • Applicant's U.S. point of contact name, address, and phone (If Applicable)

 

Processing Time for USA Electronic System for Travel Authorization

The average processing time for a USA Electronic System for Travel Authorization is 25 minutes.

 

USA Electronic System for Travel Authorization Fee

USA ESTA fee is 4 USD, and if your application is approved, then you will be charged an additional 10 USD.

 

Where to Apply for USA Electronic System for Travel Authorization?

You can apply for an ESTA from this website.

US Non-Immigrant Visas

US Non-Immigrant Visas

Non-immigrant visas are granted to foreign nationals who are temporarily attempting to enter the United States for travel, industry, medical care, and some forms of temporary jobs. The type of visa provided for non-immigrants is specified by immigration law, which is related to the purpose of travel. Generally, a person applies directly to the US consulate/embassy in their country for a Tourist or Business Visa. However, foreigners planning to enter the USA for studying or working are required certain authorization and documents before applying for a Non-immigrant visa.

 

Obtaining a visa does not always give you the guarantee to enter the United States. A visa simply represents that a US consular officer at a USA embassy/consulate reviewed the application, and the officer has decided that the applicant is eligible to enter the USA for a purpose. The CBP Officer will conduct an inspection to determine if the person is eligible for admission under US immigration law at the port-of-entry.

 

Purpose of Travel

Visa Category

Required: Before applying for visa*

Athlete/Amateur/Professional (Competing for prize money only)

B-1

(NA)

Au Pair (Exchange visitor)

J

SEVIS

Business Visitor

B-1

(NA)

Crewmember

D

(NA)

Domestic Employee/Nanny - Must be accompanied by a foreign national employer

B-1

(NA)

Exchange visitor

J

SEVIS

Foreign national with extraordinary ability in Science, Arts, Education, Business or Athletics

O

USCIS

International cultural exchange visitor

Q

USCIS

Intra-company transferee

L

USCIS

Medical treatment, visitor for

B-2

(NA)

Media, journalist

I

(NA)

Performing athlete, artist, entertainer

P

USCIS

Physician

J, H-1B

SEVIS

Professor, scholar, teacher (exchange visitor)

J

SEVIS

Specialty occupations in fields requiring highly specialized knowledge

H-1B

DOL then USCIS

Student: academic, vocational

F, M

SEVIS

Temporary agricultural worker

H-2A

DOL then USCIS

Temporary worker performing other services or labor of a temporary or seasonal nature.

H-2B

DOL then USCIS

Tourism, vacation, pleasure visitor

B-2

(NA)

Training in a program not primarily for employment

H-3

USCIS

Treaty trader/treaty investor

E

(NA)

Transiting the United States

C

(NA)

 

US Business Visa (B-1)

US Business Visa (B-1)

US Business visas are types of Non-immigrant visas for individuals traveling to the United States temporarily to engage in business activities such as the negotiation of contracts attending meetings or conferences, conducting or attending the training, conducting internal audits, installing equipment, or performing other temporary services for a client, local affiliate, or branch office. It does not generally permit for employment with gain 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 between the ages of 14 – 79 are required to apply for a visa in person through a pre-arranged interview. Applicants under 14 or over 80 may be eligible to apply by courier.

Step One:

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

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 using it for the first time or press “Continue” if you already have an account.

After creating your account, you need to follow the process and guidance for obtaining a visa for each person.

 

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

  • At least one more blank page is available for your passport to be stamped.
  • Must be valid for at least six months beyond the proposed stay in the USA.

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 at least last 6 months, 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 between the ages of 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. 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 the consulate/embassy does not know how long administrative processing will take.  In exceptional cases, it can 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 (B-2)

US Tourism & Visitor Visa (B-2)

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

You will be required 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.

 

How Long Can You Stay in the US With US Tourist 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 between the ages of 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 form and print the confirmation page for each person applying for a visa, regardless of age.
  • Answer the questions to the best of your ability and truthfully;

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 using it for the first time or press “Continue” if you already have an account.

After creating your account, please follow the process and guidance 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

  • At least one more blank page is available for your passport to be stamped
  • Must be valid for at least six months beyond the proposed stay in the USA.

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 at least last 6 months, 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 between the ages of 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. 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 the consulate/embassy does not know how long administrative processing will take. In exceptional cases, it can 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 (C)

US Transit Visa (C)

US Transit (C) visa is a Non-immigrant visa for individuals who are planning to travel in immediate and continuous transit through the United States to another country, with few exceptions. Immediate and continuous transit is characterized as a relatively expeditious departure of the traveler in the usual travel path as the elements allow and assuming a prearranged itinerary with no unnecessary layover privileges. If the traveler wishes to use the layover rights for reasons other than transit through the United States, such as visiting friends or sightseeing, the traveler must meet the requirements for the type of visa needed for that purpose. You will need 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 that Require a Transit (C) Visa:
  • Foreigner who travels to another country and will have a brief layover in the USA, then that foreigner needs a Transit visa for USA.
  • 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.
  • Crew member traveling to the United States as a passenger to join a ship or aircraft he/she will work on, providing services for operation. He/she will also need a Crewmember D visa, most of the time issued as a combination C-1/D visa.
  • A foreign citizen proceeding in 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 Allowed on a Transit Visa:
  • Foreigner whose layover in the USA is for a primary purpose other than to transit, for example, to visit friends or sightsee, needs a Visitor visa.
  • A coasting officer seeking to enter the USA generally needs a Visitor 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 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 between the ages of 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 application form and print the confirmation page for each person applying for a visa, regardless of age. Answer the questions to the best of your ability and truthfully;

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 using it for the first time or press “Continue” if you already have an account.

After creating your account, please follow the process and guidance 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

  • At least one more blank page is available for your passport to be stamped.
  • Must be valid for at least six months beyond the proposed stay in the USA.

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 at least last 6 months, 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 between the ages of 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 the consulate/embassy does not know how long administrative processing will take.  In exceptional cases, it can 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 (F-1 or M-1)

US Student Visa (F-1 or M-1)

People who are planning to study in the United States need 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) Visa.

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 educational institutions such as 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 an educational institution such as below, you need to apply for M Visa.

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

Students are not allowed to 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 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 obtaining 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 SEVIS fee for Students (F-1, F-3, M-1, or M-3) is 350 USD.

The SEVIS fee for Exchange visitors (J-1) is 220 USD.

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

The SEVIS fee is not a visa fee. The visa fee is used to offset the expense of machine-readable visas as well as to support consulates. Anyone obtaining a nonimmigrant visa to the United States must pay a separate, non-refundable fee.

The I-901 SEVIS Fee is charged separately to SEVP. This fee benefits DHS's Student and Exchange Visitor Program. 

 

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 Form I-20 and register in SEVIS, you may apply at a U.S. Embassy/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

  • At least one more blank page must be available for your passport to be stamped
  • 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

  •  Your Residence Permit (if Any)

9. Proof of Financial Supports

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

10. 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)

11. Photocopies of Flight Ticket Reservations

12. 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. 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 from 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 (J-1)

US Exchange Visitor Visa (J-1)

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

Applicants who are students taking part in an exchange program and wishing to undertake a prearranged employment, training or research in the USA under an officially approved program sponsored by an educational or other nonprofit institution need an 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 are not allowed to 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 the 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 obtaining 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 SEVIS fee for exchange visitors (J-1) is 220 USD.

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

The SEVIS fee is not a visa fee. The visa fee is used to offset the expense of machine-readable visas as well as to support consulates. Anyone obtaining a nonimmigrant visa to the United States must pay a separate, non-refundable fee.

The I-901 SEVIS Fee is charged separately to SEVP. This fee benefits DHS's Student and Exchange Visitor Program. 

 

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 application form and print the confirmation page for each person applying for a visa, regardless of age.
  • Answer the questions to the best of your ability and truthfully;

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 using it for the first time or press “Continue” if you already have an account.

After creating your account, please follow the process and guidance 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

  • At least one more blank page is available for your passport to be stamped.
  • Must be valid for at least six months beyond the proposed stay in the USA.

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

6. 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.

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

  • Your residence permit (if any)

9. Proof of Financial Support

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

10. 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)

11. Photocopies of Flight Ticket Reservations

12. 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. 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 the consulate/embassy does not know how long administrative processing will take.  In exceptional cases, it can 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 (I)

US Media, Journalist Visa (I)

US Media and Journalist 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. 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 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:

  • An international information media employee or an employee of an independent production firm with a certificate given by that country's professional journalists organization who is recording a news event or documentary.
  • A member of the international media participating in the creation or dissemination of video, whether the content being filmed would be used to disseminate information, news, or be educational in nature. The main source of financing and its delivery must be based outside of the United States.
  • A journalist employed under a contract that holds a license provided by a professional journalism body in another jurisdiction, if working on a product to disseminate facts or news that is not specifically intended for commercial entertainment or advertisement.
  • An international journalist entering the United States exclusively to write on developments in the United States for a foreign audience, whether the journalist works for an international media outlet with its headquarters in a foreign country.
  • An approved agent of a tourist bureau owned, run, or funded entirely or partially by a foreign government, who primarily disseminates factual tourist knowledge about that country and is not eligible for an A-2 visa as a foreign government official or employee.
  • An executive of a company that distributes specialized industrial knowledge that will serve in the company's U.S. office. 

 

How Long Can You Stay in the 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 between the ages of 14 – 79 are required to apply for a visa in person through a pre-arranged interview. Applicants under 14 and over 80 may be eligible to apply by courier.

Step One:

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

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 using it for the first time or press “Continue” if you already have an account.

After creating your account, please follow the process and guidance 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

  • At least one more blank page is available for your passport to be stamped
  • 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 at least last 6 months, 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 between the ages of 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. 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 the embassy/consulate does not know how long administrative processing will take.  In exceptional cases, it can 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 (D)

US Crewmember Visa (D)

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.
  • 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 the 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 between the ages of 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 form and print the confirmation page for each person applying for a visa, regardless of age.
  • Answer the questions to the best of your ability and truthfully;

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 using it for the first time or press “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

  • At least one more blank page is available for your passport to be stamped
  • Must be valid for at least six months beyond the proposed stay in the USA.

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 at least last 6 months, 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 the 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 between the ages of 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. 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 embassy/consulate does not know how long administrative processing will take.  In exceptional cases, it can 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 (H-1B, H-1B1, H-2A, H-2B, H-3, L, O, P-1, P-2, P-3, Q1)

US Temporary Worker Visas (H-1B, H-1B1, H-2A, H-2B, H-3, L, O, P-1, P-2, P-3, Q1)

Temporary Worker visas are for persons who wish to enter the United States for employment temporarily. 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 technical area. A higher education degree or its equivalent is required. Fashion models of exceptional merit and skill, as well as state research and development or co-production programs managed by the Department of Defense

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

  • To serve in a specialized sector. A post-secondary degree with at least four years of study in the field of specialization is required. (Please keep in mind that this is not a petition-based visa.) Please visit the websites of the US Embassy in Chile or the US Embassy in Singapore for application procedures.)

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 obtain instruction that is not applicable in the trainee's home country, such as graduate medical or academic training or practical training services in the education of children with social, physical, or emotional disabilities.

6. L: Intracompany Transferee

  • To serve in a management or executive capacity or in a role requiring advanced expertise at a branch, parent, partner, or division of the current employer. Individuals may have worked for the same company overseas for at least one year of the three intervening years.

7. O: Individual with Extraordinary Ability or Achievement 

  • For individuals of outstanding talent or accomplishment in the sciences, arts, education, business, sports, or remarkable recognised accomplishments in the motion picture and television industries, as evidenced by enduring national or international recognition, to work in their area of expertise. Persons that offer critical care in favor of the aforementioned person are included.

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

  • To compete as an individual or as a part of an entertainment community in a particular sporting competition. Requires a degree of sustained success that is globally recognised. Persons that offer critical care in favor of the aforementioned person are included.

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.

 

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 between the ages of 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 form and print the confirmation page for each person applying for a visa, regardless of age.
  • Answer the questions to the best of your ability and truthfully;

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 using it for the first time or press “Continue” if you already have an account.

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

 

Required Documents for US Temporary Worker Visas

 

1. Confirmation Page of the Application Form DS-160

2. Appointment Confirmation Page (if relevant)

3. A passport or Other Travel Document

  • At least one more blank page is available for your passport to be stamped
  • 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. 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.

7. Proof of financial supports

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

8. 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 between the ages of 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. 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 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 the embassy/consulate does not know how long administrative processing will take.  In exceptional cases, it can 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 Immigrant Visas

US Immigrant Visas

An Immigrant Visa is issued to foreigners who want to live and work permanently in the United States. In most cases, a relative or employer sponsors the individual by filing an application with U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). Certain applicants such as workers with extraordinary ability, investors, and certain special immigrants can petition on their own behalf. The application is later forwarded to the appropriate U.S. Consulate or Embassy overseas for continued processing and issuance of the immigrant visa to the intending immigrant, if eligible. Immigrant must present the immigrant visa at a U.S. port-of-entry prior to the expiration of the immigrant visa. An intending immigrant becomes a lawful permanent resident once the immigrant visa and accompanying paperwork is reviewed and endorsed by a CBP Officer.

 

Immediate Relative & Family-Sponsored

Visa Category

Spouse of a U.S. Citizen 

IR1, CR1

Fiance to marry U.S. Citizen & live in the U.S.

K-1 *

Certain Family Members of U.S. Citizens

IR2, CR2, IR5, F1, F3, F4

Certain Family Members of Lawful Permanent Residents

F2A, F2B

Employer Sponsored – Employment

 

Employment-Based Immigrants, including (preference group):

  • Priority workers [First]
  • Professionals Holding Advanced Degrees and Persons of Exceptional Ability [Second]
  • Professionals and Other Workers [Third]
  • Employment Creation/Investors [Fifth]
  • Certain Special Immigrants: [Fourth]

E1
E2



E3, EW3


C5, T5, R5, I5

S (many**)

US Immigrant Visa for a Spouse of a U.S. Citizen (IR1 or CR1)

US Immigrant Visa for a Spouse of a U.S. Citizen (IR1 or CR1)

A spouse is a legally wedded husband or wife. 

  • Merely living together does not qualify a marriage for immigration.
  • Common-law spouses may qualify as spouses for immigration purposes, depending on the laws of the country where the common-law marriage happens.
  • In cases of polygamy, only the first partner is eligible for immigration as a spouse. 

 

How to Apply for a Spouse of a U.S. Citizen?

The first step is to file a Petition for Alien Relative, Form I-130, with the Department of Homeland Security, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) for your spouse (husband or wife) to immigrate to the United States. 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.

After USCIS approves the petition, it is sent to the National Visa Center (NVC). Once received, the NVC will assign a case number for the petition and instruct the applicant to complete Form DS-261, Choice of Address, and Agent. (NOTE: If you already have an attorney, the NVC will not instruct you to complete Form DS-261.) The NVC will begin pre-processing the applicant’s case by providing the applicant and petitioner with instructions to submit the appropriate fees. After the appropriate fees are paid, the NVC will request that the applicant submit the necessary immigrant visa documents, including the Affidavit of Support, application forms, civil documents, and more.

Applicants between the ages of 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.

Then complete the online DS-260 and print the confirmation page for each person applying for a visa, regardless of age. Answer the questions to the best of your ability and truthfully;

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 using it for the first time or press “Continue” if you already have an account.

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

 

U.S. Sponsor Minimum Age Requirement

There is no minimum age for a U.S. sponsor (petitioner) to file a petition for a spouse. However, you must be at least 18 years of age and have a residence (domicile) in the U.S. before you can sign the Affidavit of Support (Form I-864 or I-864EZ). This form is required for an immigrant visa for a spouse and other relatives of U.S. sponsors.

 

Is Residence in the U.S. Required for the U.S. Sponsor?

Yes. As a U.S. sponsor/petitioner, you must maintain your principal residence (also called domicile) in the United States, which is where you plan to live for the foreseeable future. Living in the United States is required for a U.S. sponsor to file the Affidavit of Support, with few exceptions.

 

Required Documents for Visa for a Spouse of a U.S. Citizen

 

You are required to furnish the following forms and documents in support of your visa application:

  • Form DS-260, Immigrant Visa and Alien Registration Application
  • The appointment confirmation page (if relevant)
  • A passport or other travel document (It is recommended that at least one more blank page is available for your passport to be stamped. 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).
  • Affidavit of Support (I-864, I-864A, I-864 EZ, or I-864W, as appropriate) from the petitioner/U.S. sponsor
  • One 5 x 5 cm (2” by 2”) color photograph taken within the last six months
  • Evidence of your status in your country
  • Completed Medical Examination Forms – These are provided by the panel physician after you have completed your medical examination and vaccinations.
  • Marriage Certificates
    • If you are or have been married, you must obtain original marriage certificate/s or certified copies of EVERY marriage
  • Marriage Termination Documentation
    • If you were previously married, you must obtain evidence of the termination of EVERY prior marriage you have had. Your evidence must be an original or certified copy of one of the following documents: FINAL legal divorce decree, death certificate, or annulment papers.
  • Birth Certificate
    • You and each family member immigrating with you must obtain an original birth certificate or certified copy
  • Court and Prison Records (Police Records)
    • If you were convicted of a crime, you MUST obtain a certified copy of each court and prison record, even if you were later granted amnesty, a pardon, or other act of clemency.
  • Military Records
    • If you served in the military of any country, you must obtain a photocopy of your military record
  • Proof of financial supports
    • Bank statements for the at least last 6 months, pay slips, bank extracts, etc.
  • Photocopies of flight ticket reservations and hotel bookings

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

 

The Interview for Visa for a Spouse of a U.S. Citizen

Interviews are by appointment only. Applicants between the ages of 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. 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 Visa for a Spouse of a U.S. Citizen

The average processing time for a Visa for a Spouse of a U.S. Citizen (IR1 or CR1) is 10-60 calendar days. It depends on your visa application country.

If your application has been refused 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 exceptional cases, it can take many months or years.

 

US Visa for a Spouse of a U.S. Citizen Fee

US Visa for a Spouse of a U.S. Citizen fee is 325 USD for all nationalities. You will pay this amount online when you schedule an interview. Filling an Immigrant petition for a relative (I-130) fee is 535 USD.

 

Where to Apply for Visa for a Spouse of a U.S. Citizen?

You will apply for a 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 Visa for a Fiance (K-1)

US Visa for a Fiance (K-1)

Overview: What Is a K-1 Visa?

The Non-immigrant Fiance visa is for a US citizen's foreign-citizen fiance. The K-1 visa allows the foreign citizen fiance to travel to the US and marry their U.S. citizen sponsor within 90 days of arrival. The foreign citizen would then apply with the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) for a change of status to a permanent resident (LPR), U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). Since a fiance visa allows the holder to immigrate to the U.S. and marry a U.S. citizen immediately after arriving in the U.S., the fiance needs to satisfy some of the immigrant visa requirements. Eligible children of K-1 visa applicants receive K-2 visas.

 

What Is a “Fiance”?

According to US immigration law, a US citizen's foreign citizen fiance is the holder of an authorized petition for Alien Fiance, Form I-129F, issued a non-immigrant K-1 visa to travel to the U.S. to marry his US citizen fiance. Both the U.S. citizen and the K-1 visa applicant must have been legally free to marry at the time the petition was filed and must have remained so thereafter. The marriage must be legally possible according to the laws of the US state in which the marriage will take place.

In general, the foreign-citizen fiance and US citizen sponsor must have met in person within the past two years. An exception to this requirement can be granted by USCIS, based on extreme hardship for the US citizen sponsor to meet the foreign citizen fiance directly, or, for example, whether it is contrary to the culture of the US citizen sponsor or foreign citizen fiance for a man and woman to meet before marriage.

 

How to Apply for Visa for a Fiance (K-1)?

The US citizen sponsor must file Form I-129F Petition for Alien Fiance with the USCIS office that serves the area where you live. Further information is available from the USCIS website. The instructions on filing a petition will vary with each visa category, it is important to read the information carefully.

Applicants between the ages of 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.

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

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 using it for the first time or press “Continue” if you already have an account.

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

 

Required Documents for Visa for a Fiance (K-1)

 

You are required to furnish the following forms and documents in support of your visa application:

  • Form DS-160, Immigrant Visa and Alien Registration Application
  • The appointment confirmation page (if relevant)
  • A passport or other travel document (At least one more blank page is available for your passport to be stamped. For certain nationalities, the passport or other travel document must be valid for at least six months beyond the proposed stay in the USA).
  • One 5 x 5 cm (2” by 2”) color photograph taken within the last six months
  • Evidence of your status in your country
  • Birth Certificate
    • You and each family member immigrating with you must obtain an original birth certificate or certified copy
  • Police Certificates
    • From your present country of residence and all countries where you have lived for six months or more since age 16 (Police certificates are also required for accompanying children age 16 or older)
  • Medical examination
  • Evidence of relationship with your U.S. citizen fiance
  • Divorce or death certificate(s) of any previous spouse(s) for both you and the U.S. citizen sponsor
  • Proof of financial supports
    • (Form I-134, Affidavit of Support, may be requested)
    • 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 visa-issuing authorities.

 

The Interview for Visa for a Fiance (K-1)

Interviews are by appointment only. Applicants between the ages of 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. 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 Visa for a Fiance (K-1)?

The average processing time for a Visa for a Fiance (K-1) is 10-60 calendar days. It depends on your visa application country.

If your application has been refused 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 embassy/consulate do not know how long administrative processing will take.  In exceptional cases, it can take many months or years.

 

US Visa for a Fiance (K-1) Fee

US Visa for a Spouse of a U.S. Citizen fee is 160 USD for all nationalities. You will pay this amount online when you schedule an interview. 

 

Where to Apply for Visa for a Fiance (K-1)?

You will apply for a 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 Employment-Based Immigrant Visas

US Employment-Based Immigrant Visas

Overview

Every fiscal year (October 1st – September 30th), approximately 140,000 employment-based immigrant visas are made available to qualified applicants under the provisions of U.S. immigration law. Employment-based immigrant visas are divided into five preference categories. Some spouses and children may accompany or follow-to-join employment-based immigrants.

 

Employment First Preference (E1): Priority Worker and Persons of Extraordinary Ability

There are three sub-groups within this category:

  • People with exceptional talent in the sciences, arts, education, business, or athletics. In this group, candidates must have detailed documents documenting continuous national or international acclaim and appreciation in their fields of expertise. Such candidates are not required to have unique employment opportunities as long as they are coming to the United States to begin working in their fields.
  • Outstanding scholars and academics with at least three years of teaching or research experience who are globally recognised. Applicants in this group must be coming to the United States to seek tenured, tenure track, or equivalent academic positions at a university or other institution of higher learning.
  • International administrators or executives who have worked for the U.S. employer's overseas partner, parent, division, or branch for at least one of the previous three years. The applicant's prior job must have been in a managerial or executive capacity outside of the United States, and the applicant is returning to serve in a managerial or executive capacity.

 

Employment Second Preference (E2): Professionals Holding Advanced Degrees and Persons of Exceptional Ability

In most cases, a Second Preference applicant must have a labor credential certified by the Department of Labor. An employment offer is required, and the applicant's U.S. employer must file an Immigrant Petition for Alien Worker, Form I-140, on his or her behalf. Applicants can qualify for a National Interest Waiver, which exempts them from the job offer and labor certification if the exemption is in the national interest. In this case, the applicant can self-petition by submitting Form I-140, Immigrant Petition for Alien Worker, along with proof of national interest. Professionals with Advanced Degrees and Persons with Exceptional Ability are eligible for 28.6 percent of the annual global quota of work-based immigrant visas, plus any unused visas from the Employment First Preference group.

There are two subgroups within this category:

  • Practitioners with an advanced degree (more than a baccalaureate degree) or a baccalaureate degree and at least five years progressive experience in the field.
  • Individuals with outstanding talent in the sciences, arts, or business. Having exceptional talent means having a level of skill that is far above what is normally found in the sciences, arts, or industry.

 

Employment Third Preference (E3): Skilled Workers, Professionals, and Unskilled Workers (Other Workers)

A prospective employer must file an authorised Immigrant Petition for Alien Worker, Form I-140, for a Third Preference applicant. Labor certification accredited by the Department of Labor is usually required for all such jobs. Skilled Workers, Professionals, and Unskilled Workers (Other Workers) earn 28.6 percent of the annual global quota of job-based immigrant visas, plus any unused visas from the Employment First and Second Preference groups.

There are three subgroups within this category:

  • Skilled employees are those whose occupations do not require a minimum of two years of training or work experience and are not temporary or seasonal in nature.
  • Professionals are members of the professions whose occupations require a baccalaureate degree from a U.S. university or college or its international counterpart.
  • Unskilled employees (Other workers) are people that can fill jobs that don't take more than two years of training or experience and aren't temporary or seasonal.

 

Employment Fourth Preference (E4): Certain Special Immigrants

With the exception of Those Employees or Former Employees of the United States Government Abroad, a Fourth Preference applicant must be the recipient of an authorized Petition for Amerasian, Widow(er), or Special Immigrant, Form I-360 (see number 3 below). Labor certification is not needed for any of the subgroups of Such Special Immigrants.

There are many subgroups within this category:

  • Broadcasters in the U.S. employed by the International Broadcasting Bureau of the Broadcasting Board of Governors or a grantee of such organization
  • Ministers of Religion
  • Certain Employees or Former Employees of the U.S. Government Abroad - Must use Form DS-1884, Petition to Classify Special Immigrant Under INA 203(b)(4) As an Employee or Former Employee of the U.S. Government Abroad
  • Certain Former Employees of the Panama Canal Company or Canal Zone Government
  • Certain Former Employees of the U.S. Government in the Panama Canal Zone
  • Certain Former Employees of the Panama Canal Company or Canal Zone Government on April 1st, 1979
  • Iraqi and Afghan interpreters/translators who have worked directly with the United States armed forces or under Chief of Mission authority as a translator/interpreter for a period of at least 12 months and meet requirements. This classification has an annual numeric limitation of 50 visas. See Special Immigrant Visas for Iraqi and Afghan Translators/Interpreters for more information.
  • Iraqi and Afghan nationals who have provided faithful and valuable service while employed by or on behalf of the U.S. government in Iraq for not less than one year on or after March 20th, 2003 and prior to September 30, 2013, or in Afghanistan for not less than one year after October 7th, 2001, and have experienced an ongoing serious threat as a consequence of that employment. See Special Immigrant Visas for Iraqis - Worked for/on behalf of the U.S. Government and Afghans - Worked for/on behalf of the U.S. Government for more information.
  • Certain Foreign Medical Graduates (Adjustments Only)
  • Certain Retired International Organization Employees
  • Certain Unmarried Sons and Daughters of International Organization Employees
  • Certain Surviving Spouses of deceased International Organization Employees
  • Special Immigrant Juveniles (no family member derivatives; Adjustments Only)
  • Persons Recruited Outside of the United States Who Have Served or are Enlisted to Serve in the U.S. Armed Forces
  • Certain retired NATO-6 civilians
  • Certain Unmarried Sons and Daughters of NATO-6 civilians
  • Certain Surviving Spouses of deceased NATO-6 civilian employees
  • Persons who are beneficiaries of petitions or labor certification applications filed prior to September 11th, 2001, if the petition or application was rendered void due to a terrorist act on September 11th, 2001
  • Certain Religious Workers

 

Employment Fifth Preference (E5): Immigrant Investors

Immigrant Investor visa categories are for international investors to invest money in new commercial ventures in the United States that generate jobs.

 

How to Apply for Employment-Based Immigrant Visas?

To be considered for an immigrant visa under some of the employment-based categories below, the applicant's prospective employer or agent must first obtain a labor certification approval from the Department of Labor. Once received (if required), the employer then files an Immigrant Petition for Alien Worker,  Form I-140, with the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) for the appropriate employment-based preference category.

Applicants between the ages of 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.

Then complete the online DS-260 form and print the confirmation page for each person applying for a visa, regardless of age. Answer the questions to the best of your ability and truthfully;

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 using it for the first time or “Continue” if you already have an account.

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

 

Required Documents for Employment-Based Immigrant Visas

 

You are required to furnish the following forms and documents in support of your visa application:

  • Form DS-260, Immigrant Visa and Alien Registration Application
  • The appointment confirmation page (if relevant)
  • A passport or other travel document (At least one more blank page is available for your passport to be stamped. For certain nationalities, the passport or other travel document must be valid for at least six months beyond the proposed stay in the USA).
  • One 5 x 5 cm (2” by 2”) color photograph taken within the last six months
  • Evidence of your status in your country
  • Birth Certificate
    • You and each family member immigrating with you must obtain an original birth certificate or certified copy
  • Police certificates
    • From your present country of residence and all countries where you have lived for six months or more since age 16 (Police certificates are also required for accompanying children age 16 or older)
  • Completed Medical Examination Forms
  • Proof of financial supports
    • At your immigrant visa interview, you must demonstrate to the consular officer that you will not become a public charge in the United States. (NOTE: For applicants where a U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident (LPR) relative filed the Form I-140 petition or where such a relative has a significant ownership interest in the entity that filed the petition, that relative must complete Form I-864, Affidavit of Support Under Section 213A of the Act, on behalf of the applicant.)
    • 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 visa-issuing authorities.

 

The Interview for Employment-Based Immigrant Visas

Interviews are by appointment only. Applicants between the ages of 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 Visa for an Employment-Based Immigrant Visas

The average processing time for a Visa for Employment-Based Immigrant Visas is 10-60 calendar days. It depends on your visa application country.

If your application has been refused 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 exceptional cases, it can take many months or years.

 

US Visa for an Employment-Based Immigrant Visas Fee

Employment-Based Immigrant Visas’ fee is 445 USD for all nationalities. You will pay this amount online when you schedule an interview. 

 

Where to Apply for Visa for Employment-Based Immigrant Visas?

You will apply for a 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 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):
  • Provides you with legal immigrant status in the United States.
  • You have some privileges and obligations as a result of this.
  • Is required if you want to become 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 Diversity Immigrant Visa (DV) Lottery program in the United States provides for up to 50,000 immigrant visas to be granted each year. It allows foreign nationals from countries with low immigration rates to the United States to enter a random drawing for the chance to obtain an immigration visa. Check the State Department’s DV lottery site to learn more about the program. 

 

Eligibility Requirements for US Green Card

The DV scheme, also known as the Green Card lottery, makes a limited number of immigrant visas available each year to people who meet certain eligibility requirements:

  • You must be a foreign resident of a nation with a low rate of immigration to the United States. Every year, the United States Department of State releases a list of qualifying and disqualified countries. Every year, the list of countries may be revised. The most recent list can be found in the 2021 DV lottery instructions
  • You must have a high school diploma or its equivalent, or qualifying job experience. 

 

If You are 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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