Step 1. Check the Validity of Your Passport
Your passport must be valid for at least six months beyond your period of stay in the United States, unless exempt by country-specific agreements. If more than one person is included in your passport, each person who needs a visa must submit a separate application.
Step 2. Complete the Online Nonimmigrant Visa Application, Form DS-160
- Completed Online Non-immigrant Visa Application, Form DS-160
Please note that you must answer EVERY question on the application forms. If the answer to a question is “none,” please write “none” (do not leave it blank). We will return incomplete/incorrect forms will be returned and will require you to schedule a new interview appointment.
Important! Many of our visa applicants are completing incorrectly the DS-160 incorrectly, requiring us to postpone their planned visa interview dates.
Step 3. Collect any Supporting Documentation
Bring your passport, DS-160 confirmation page, a 2 x 2 inch color photo not older than 6 months – with a light or white background, the forms listed in Step 2, and the 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 – Bring Form I-129S, Nonimmigrant Petition Based on Blanket L Petition, to your interview.
Most visa applicants need to show proof of compelling ties to your home country to demonstrate your intent to return after your temporary stay in the United States. Examples of compelling ties include:
- A residence abroad that you do not intend to abandon
- Your family relationships
- Your economic situation
- Your long term plans
Step 4. Schedule an Interview Appointment
To schedule an appointment for a nonimmigrant visa interview, please consult the Embassy’s online NIV Appointment System. Please have your DS-160 Online Nonimmigrant Visa Application Form Confirmation Number handy. It is located on your DS-160 confirmation page, in bold print.
Step 5. Attend your Scheduled Interview
You may submit the completed DS-160 confirmation sheet, forms listed in Step 2, a 2 x 2 inch color photo not older than 6 months, and a valid passport, to the Consular Office immediatly prior to your visa interview.
Step 6. Pay the Application Fee
On the day of your interview, please pay the following nonrefundable visa application fees: $ 160 for B-1 (Business) and B-2 (Tourism & Visit) nonimmigrant visas; $ 190 for H, L, O, P, Q, and R visas; and $ 270 for E visas.
- L visa fraud prevention and detection fee – for visa applicant included in L blanket petition (principal applicant only): $500.00
- The Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2016 (Public Law 114-113) increases fees for certain H-1B and L-1 petitioners. Consular sections collect this fee for blanket L-1 visa applications (principal applicant only) filed by petitioners who employ 50 or more individuals in the United States if more than 50 percent of those individuals are in H-1B or L-1 nonimmigrant status: $4,500.00.
Step 7. Interview for your visa with the Consular Officer
During your visa interview, a consular officer will determine whether you are qualified to receive a visa, and if so, which visa category is appropriate based on your purpose of travel. You will need to establish that you meet the requirements under U.S. law to receive the category of visa for which you are applying.
Ink-free, digital fingerprint scans will be taken as part of your application process.
Step 8. Return to Collect Your Passport and Visa
If the Consular Officer approves your visa you will be informed of collection procedures during your interview. Under normal circumstances, a visa can be issued two business days after approval.