US Travel Visa Information

(Full Information For Non US Citizens)

Confusion regarding the specific travel documents required to enter the United States have prompted us, as a travel insurance provider, to offer information regarding U.S. visas. The U.S. Department of State, Bureau of Consular Affairs and other public and private companies provided this information on their websites. We compiled this data in a centralized page in order to help world travelers quickly find the information they need regarding traveling into the United States.

Important Note: While hundreds of hours of research went into the making and updating of this comprehensive page, please check with the The U.S. Department of State, Bureau of Consular Affairs, United States Immigration Service, Department of Homeland Security, and State Department for the most up to date and correct information. Please alert us immediately to any updates or inaccuracies you find on this page. By using this page the user accepts full responsibility for verifying with the correct governmental agency the accuracy of this information.

Table of Contents

10/06/2017

Visa Application Forms

09/30/2017

Understanding a United States Visa – A Road Map to Reading Your Visa

Thank you to Shujenchang and Wikimedia Commons for use of this image.

Reading a nonimmigrant visa:

Issuing Post Name – This is where your visa was issued. It will be a U.S. embassy or U.S. consulate.

Surname – Your legal last name

Given Name – Your legal first name

Passport Number - Your unique passport identification number

Entries - If there is an “M” here it means that you can pursue entry into the United States multiple times. If a number appears under entries, you are limited to that number of entries into the U.S., with this one visa.

Annotation – This is a place to find additional information pertaining to one’s visa. It may be employer name, special circumstances, or a petitioner’s name. A school name or SEVIS number might be included here if it was a student visa.

Red Number – Your visa number

Issue Date - Date your visa was issued

Expiration Date - Date your visa will expire. This is the last day you may use your visa to enter the United States. It does not indicate how long you may remain in the United States.

Control Number - a number used to track visas

Sex - This will show an M or an F denoting whether the traveler is male or female.

Birth Date - The traveler’s date of birth

Visa Type/Class - R means this is a regular passport. This letter will change based on the type of passport classification.

Nationality – The traveler’s nationality

09/30/2017

Visit the United States: B 1 Visa and B 2 Visa, Visas for Tourists and Business Visitors

A visitor’s visa is a nonimmigrant visa. A visitor is someone entering the United States temporarily for business, tourism, pleasure, or to receive medical treatment. A business visa is considered a B-1 visa. A B-2 visa is used for tourism, pleasure, or to receive medical treatment.

U.S. B Class Visitor Visa

Attribution: Thank you to Wikimedia and Pmt7ar for the use of this image.

09/29/2017

What is the Visa Waiver Program (VWP)?

The United States Government created the Visa Waiver Program.

In the US, the Visa Waiver Program is administered by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and the State Department.

The Visa Waiver Program, abbreviated as VWP, allows citizens from specific countries to travel to the United States without visas. In return, United States citizens can travel to those specific countries without first obtaining a visa.

Foreign citizens requesting to enter the United States must have a valid Electronic System for Travel Authorization (ESTA) approval.

As of April 1, 2016, travelers traveling to the US under the Visa Waiver Program must have an ePassport or electronic passport.

Under the Visa Waiver program, if a traveler plans on staying for more than 90 days they are required to obtain a visa.

Under the Visa Waiver Program, acceptable reasons for travel without visa are for business, for tourism, or while in transit.

Thank you to gao.gov and Flickr for the use of this image.

The 38 countries currently participating in the Visa Waiver program with the United States are:

23 of the 28 European Union countries (Does not include citizens of Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Poland and Romania):

Austria

Italy

Belgium

Latvia

Lithuania

Luxembourg

Malta

Netherlands

Czech Republic

Denmark

Estonia

Portugal

Finland

France

Slovakia

Germany

Slovenia

Greece

Spain

Hungary

Sweden

Ireland

United Kingdom (set to leave the EU by April 2019)

Andorra

Australia

Brunei

Chile

Iceland

Japan

Liechtenstein

Monaco

New Zealand

Norway

San Marino

Singapore

South Korea

Switzerland

Taiwan

The countries chosen, by the United States government, to participate in the Visa Waiver Program can be generally referred to as being developed with high-income economies.



NAFTA Professional Workers from Canada and Mexico

The North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) is an agreement between Mexico, the US, and Canada for their economic and trade relationship. Some eligible NAFTA professionals need to obtain nonimmigrant NAFTA Professional (TN) visas. If an eligible NAFTA professional satisfies specific criteria they may not need a visa to enter the US. As a Canadian NAFTA professional gets to a port of entry to the United States, they may apply for TN, nonimmigrant status. NAFTA professionals that are citizens of Mexico must obtain TN visas prior to requesting entry into the United States.

Canada and Bermuda Citizens

Citizens of Canada:

A temporary, nonimmigrant visa is usually not needed to enter the United States if a citizen of Canada is traveling for reasons other than the reasons listed below.

If a Canadian is traveling for these reasons, they must obtain the listed nonimmigrant visa to enter the United States:

  • Canadian Fiancé(e)s must obtain K-1 visas
  • Citizens of Canada who are children of fiancé(e)s must obtain K-2 visas
  • Citizens of Canada who are spouses of a U.S. citizen traveling to the United States to complete the immigration processes must get K-3 visas
  • Children of a foreign citizen spouse must obtain K-4 visas
  • Canadian informants providing crucial data concerning a criminal organization need S-5 visas
  • Canadian informants providing crucial data concerning terrorism need S-6 visas
  • Qualified family members of informants providing crucial data concerning a criminal organization or informants providing crucial data concerning terrorism must obtain S-7 visas
  • Canadian government officials must obtain A visas
  • Canadian officials and employees of international organizations must obtain G visas
  • Canadian NATO officials, representatives, and employees assigned to the United States must obtain NATO visas
  • Canadian Treaty traders must obtain E-1 visas
  • Canadian Treaty investors must obtain E-2 visas

Permanent residents of Canada must also obtain nonimmigrant visas to enter the United States.

Citizens of Bermuda:

A temporary, nonimmigrant visa is usually not needed to enter the United States if a citizen of Bermuda is traveling for less than six months, for reasons other than the reasons listed below.

If a Bermudian is traveling for these reasons they must obtain the listed, nonimmigrant visa to enter the United States:

  • A Bermudian Fiancé(e)s must obtain a K-1 visa
  • Citizens of Bermuda who are children of fiancé(e)s must obtain K-2 visas
  • Citizens of Bermuda who are spouses of U.S. citizens traveling to the United States to complete the immigration processes must get K-3 visas
  • Children of a foreign citizen spouse must obtain K-4 visas
  • Bermudian informants providing crucial data concerning a criminal organization need S-5 visas
  • Bermudian informants providing crucial data concerning terrorism need S-6 visas
  • Qualified family members of informants providing crucial data concerning a criminal organization or informants providing crucial data concerning terrorism must obtain S-7 visas
  • Any travel where the Bermudian traveler will be in the United States for over 6 months.
  • Bermudian government officials must obtain A visas
  • Bermudian officials and employees of international organizations must obtain G visas
09/28/2017

Visa Categories for Temporary, Nonimmigrant Travel into the United States and Requirements

Foreign citizens who visit the United States have to follow U.S. Immigration law and certain procedures to apply for a U.S. visa.

09/28/2017

Immigrant Visas: Live Permanently in the US

Immigrant visas are for foreigners who wish to live permanently in the United States. Most of the time an immigration visa applicant must have a relative U.S. citizen, a prospective employer, or a U.S. lawful permanent resident sponsor them. The sponsors must file a petition with U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). If the petition is approved, they can then start the application process for their immigration visa. The next step to take would be the preliminary processing steps with the Department of State, National Visa Center.

Main Visa Immigration Categories

1. Immigration with a Relative Sponsor

a. Family Immigration

b. Marriage to a Foreign National

Fiancé(e) or Spouse of a United States Citizen

Spouse of Lawful Permanent Resident (LPR) in the United States.

c. Adopting a Child

Inter-country adoption visas

2. Employment-Based Immigration

a. Employment Visas

b. Investor Visas

3. Special Employment Immigration

a. Iraqi or Afghan Interpreters and/or Translators

b. Iraqi Nationals who worked on or for the behalf of the United States Government

c. Afghani Nationals who worked on or for the behalf of the United States Government

d. Religious Workers

4. Diversity Visa Program

See the “Immigrating to the United States” section for more information on US visas for immigrating to the United States.

09/28/2017

Study in the United States: Visas for Students or Exchanges

The student visa and the exchange program visa are both nonimmigrant visas. Before submitting a visa application, students and exchange visitors must be accepted into their program. After being accepted into a program, students and exchange visitors should receive applicable documentation to submit with their visa application. Students attending public school, grades 9-12, will receive an F-1 visa. Academic or vocational student visas are F or M class visas. Exchange visitors will receive J visas.

09/27/2017

Work in the United States: Visas for Workers Temporarily in the U.S

People who would like to temporarily work in the United States must obtain a specific work visa. The visa type will vary by the type of work that will be done.

Many temporary work visa categories demand the prospective employer file a petition with U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). Once approved by USCIS, an applicant may then submit a temporary work visa application.

Types of Temporary Work Visas

Below is a list of the different Temporary Worker Visa Categories:

Foreign nationals who have an extraordinary capability in one of the following: Science, Art, Education, Business, or Athletics need to obtain an O-1 visa. A visitor accompanying them needs to obtain an O-2 visa.

International cultural exchange visitors must acquire a Q-1 visa.

Intra-company transferees must obtain L visas.

Performing athletes, artists, and entertainers must get P visas.

Specialty occupations in fields that require highly specialized knowledge have to get H-1B visas.

Temporary agricultural workers have to acquire H-2A visas.

Temporary workers executing other services or labor of a seasonal or temporary nature must obtain H-2B visas.

Foreign citizens training in a program that is not primarily for employment must obtain H-3 visas.

Crewmembers must apply for and receive D visas

Foreign citizens who are of the Foreign Media, Press, and/or Radio must obtain I visas.

Religious Workers must obtain R visas to come to the United States on temporary work.

People who are Treaty Traders & Treaty Investors have to get E visas.

If the foreign citizen is an Australian in a “Specialty Occupation” they must obtain an E-3 visa.

If the foreign citizen is coming to the US as a Chile Free Trade Agreement Professional they have to first obtain an H-1B1 visa.

Foreign citizens who are Mexican or Canadian NAFTA Workers must obtain TN and TD visas.

Foreign citizens coming into the United States as a Singapore Free Trade Agreement Professional must obtain an H-1B1 visa.

See the “Temporary Visitors to the U.S.” section for more information on US visas for tourism, business, study, and work in the United States.

09/21/2017

Visa Denials

Visa Denials

After an application for a United States visa is received, it will be reviewed. The applicant’s request for visa will either be approved or denied. A denial may occur due to the applicant applying for a type of visa that the applicant was not eligible for. A denial may also occur because of an applicant’s history of crime or with drugs. When notified of a denial, most times, the applicant will also be given a reason as to why the denial occurred.

09/20/2017

Visa Photograph Requirements

Alert: As of November 1, 2016, eyeglasses are no longer allowed in visa photographs.

Applicants can use a professional visa photo service or take a photo themselves, however; photos can be rejected if they do not meet all requirements.

The U.S. Embassy or U.S. Consulate where a traveler’s visa application is submitted has the final say on whether or not a photo or digital image is acceptable.

Digital Image and Photograph Requirements

  • A visa applicant’s photo or digital image must meet these requirements:
  • The photo has to be recent/taken within the last 6 months.
  • The photo must reveal your present appearance.
  • The applicant must have a blank or neutral expression in the photo.
  • The photo or digital image must be in color.
  • The visa applicant must directly face the camera.
  • The photo or digital image must have a full view of the person’s face.
  • The photo or digital image must be photographed in front of an all white or off-white backdrop.
  • Both eyes must be open in the photo.
  • The photo must be 2 inches by 2 inches.
  • The photo or digital image must be sized so that the visa applicant’s head measures between 1 inch and 1-3/8ths inches. This means that their head will be between 50% and 69% of the photo or digital image’s height (from top of head to the end of their chin).
  • The applicant must wear clothing that is normal for them on an everyday basis.
  • Religious clothing that is worn daily may be worn in the photo as long as they do not defy other visa photograph requirements.
  • Uniforms should not be worn in the photo unless it is religious clothing that is worn daily.
  • The visa applicant may not wear head coverings or hats that obscure their hair or hairline. There is an exception to this for religious clothing that is worn daily, however; the applicant’s face must be in full view.
  • Shadows on the applicant’s from a religious headpiece are not allowed.
  • No electronic devices, earbuds, headphones, sunglasses, or comparable/related items are allowed in your visa photo.
    If the visa applicant usually wears hearing aids or other similar devices, they are allowed to wear them in their visa photo.
  • As of November 1, 2016, spectacles/eyeglasses are no longer acceptable in visa photos. Unexpired visa photos with eyeglasses present are still valid. In the rare case where an applicant’s eyeglasses cannot be taken off for medical reasons, eyeglasses will be allowed in the photo. In this instance, the applicant will need to provide a signed doctors letter from their medical practitioner/professional.

In cases where eyeglasses are allowed in the visa photo due to medical purposes, these rules must be followed:

The visa applicant’s eyes must still be visible. The frames cannot block the applicant’s eye or eyes in their photo.

The lenses cannot give a glare that covers the applicant’s eye or eyes.

There cannot be a shadow or shadows that cover the applicant’s eye or eyes.

There cannot be refraction that covers the applicant’s eye or eyes.

Photo Submission Requirements

Nonimmigrant visa applicants with form DS-160 or DS-1648 online have to submit a digital photo online that meets digital photo requirements. You may also be required to submit a physical photo. This is different per embassy. Check with your US Embassy or consulate to see what they require.

Immigrant visa applicants with form DS-260 must submit 2 identical photographs that meet the visa photo requirements while attending their visa interview.

Diversity Visa Program applicants must submit a digital image that meets digital visa photo requirements.

Immigrant visa applicants with the Diversity Visa Program must submit 2 identical photographs that meet the visa photo requirements while attending their visa interview.

Digital Image Requirements

  • File Format: The visa photo must be in a jpeg file format.
  • File Size: The visa photo file size must not exceed 240 kilobytes.
  • File Compression: If the file needs to be compressed to meet the file size guidelines, the file compression ratio must be 20 to 1 or less than 20 to 1.
  • Color: The color must be in sRGB color space. This is the most common color output for digital cameras. It must be 24 bits/pixel.
  • Dimensions:

Shape Dimensions: Square

Size Dimensions: 2 inches by 2 inches

Minimum Dimensions: 600 pixels by 600 pixels

Maximum Dimensions: 1200 pixels by 1200 pixels

  • If you scan an existing photograph it must be square, 2 inches by 2 inches and scanned at 300 pixels per inch resolution.

Photo Composition Template

Visa applicants can utilize the Department of State’sphotocomposition template for US visas.

Photo Composition Tool

US visa applicants can utilize the Department of State’s photocomposition tool.

Photograph Requirements Frequently Asked Questions:

How many photos must I submit with my visa application?

The answer depends on what kind of visa you are applying for.

Nonimmigrant visa with form DS-160 or DS-1648 online: When filling out the online application you may submit a digital image.

Immigrant visa with form DS-260: While at your immigration interview you should supply your photos. You must submit 2 identical photographs.

Diversity Visa Program: You have to submit a digital image.

Immigrant visa with the Diversity Visa Program: While at your immigration interview you should supply your photos. You must submit 2 identical photographs.

What sort of paper can my photograph be printed on?

You must use photograph quality paper. You may use glossy photo paper or matte photo paper.

Can my photo be in black and white?

No. All visa photographs must be in color.

How old can my photo be?

Your visa photograph must be recent. It must have been taken in the last 6 months.

What size must my visa photograph be?

The visa photo must be a 2-inch by 2-inch square.

(This converts to a 51 mm by 51 mm photo.)

How should I be posed for the photo?

The photo should be taken head on (no profile photos). You should have a neutral expression. Take your photo in front of a plain backdrop. The background must be white or off-white. Both of your eyes must be open.

How large should my head be in the final photo?

The photo or digital image must be sized so that your head measures somewhere between 1 inch and 1-3/8ths inches.

Can I wear my eyeglasses?

Eyeglasses: Potentially. You may only wear glasses if you have a signed medical notice from your doctor. If you have an acceptable excuse and proof to wear glasses for your photo your eyes must still be visible. The frames cannot block your eye or eyes. The lenses cannot give a glare that covers your eye or eyes. There cannot be shadows that cover your eye or eyes. There cannot be refraction that covers your eye or eyes.

Can I wear my tinted glasses or my sunglasses?

No.

Can I wear a hat?

No. Not unless it is a religious hat or head covering that you wear daily. If this is the case, you must be able to see your full face. No shadows can occur on your face from the hat or head covering.

Can I wear my uniform in my photo?

No. Not unless it is a religious uniform that you wear daily.

Can a parent or guardian be in the photo with a child?

No. No other person or part of another person (i.e. Hands, arms, etc.) can appear in the photo with a child.

What if my child closes their eyes?

You must retake the photo. Their eyes must be open and they must be looking forward at the camera.

How can I take a photo of my baby or infant?

Lay a white sheet on the floor. Lay the baby on top of the sheet. Ensure there are no shadows on the baby or their face.

Instead, you may lay the white sheet over their car seat and place your baby in the car seat. This way your baby’s head is supported during the photo.

Can I use a digital camera to take the photo?

Yes, definitely. You must adhere to digital photo requirements.

Can I remove red eyes from my photo?

You may utilize the red-eye reduction capability on your digital camera. You may not alter red eyes through photo editing.

Can I use a photocopy of my driver’s license photo?

No.

If I grow a beard do I need a new visa photo?

No. As long as you can still be identified from the current passport photo or visa photo you do not need to submit a new visa photograph.

If I dye my hair do I need a new visa photo?

No. As long as you can still be identified from the current passport photo or visa photo you do not need to submit a new visa photograph.

When should I submit a new visa photo because of a change in my appearance?

Submit a new visa photo for your application if:

You underwent substantial facial surgery

You have experienced significant facial trauma

You added a lot of, or a large facial piercing

You added a lot of, or a large facial tattoo

You gained a significant amount of weight

You lost a significant amount of weight

You obtained a new gender identity

09/20/2017

Visa Types for Immigrants looking to Permanently Stay in the US

Immigrating to the United States

Visa Types for Immigrants

If trying to immigrate to the United States to live here permanently, there are different immigrant visas one may qualify and apply for.

Thank you to Flickr for the use of this image.

Visa Categories for Immigrating into the United States:

There are multiple reasons for immigrating into the United States. Coinciding with the different reasons for immigration, there are multiple immigrant visa categories.

Note: The below information does not cover all immigrant U.S. visa categories. For a complete list of all immigrant U.S. visa categories, see 9 FAM 502.1 of the U.S. Department of State’s Foreign Affairs Manual.

Immediate Relative & Family Sponsored: Spouse of a U.S. Citizen

Visa Category: IR1, CR1

Immediate Relative & Family Sponsored: Spouse of a U.S. Citizen awaiting approval of an I-130 immigrant petition

Visa Category: K-3 (although this is not an immigration visa, the U.S. lumps it into the immigration visa category because it pertains to immigration)

Immediate Relative & Family Sponsored: Fiancé(e) to marry U.S. Citizen & live in U.S.

Visa Category: K-1 (although this is not an immigration visa, the U.S. lumps it into the immigration visa category because it pertains to immigration)

Immediate Relative & Family Sponsored: Inter-country Adoption of Orphan Children by U.S. Citizens

Visa Category: IR3, IH3, IR4, IH4

Immediate Relative & Family Sponsored: Certain Family Members of U.S. Citizens

Visa Category: IR2, CR2, IR5, F1, F3, F4

Immediate Relative & Family Sponsored: Certain Family Members of Lawful Permanent Residents

Visa Category: F2A, F2B

Employer Sponsored - Employment: Employment-Based Immigrants

Visa Category:

Priority workers (1st preference group) - E1

Professionals Holding Advanced Degrees and Persons of Exceptional Ability (2nd preference group) - E2

Professionals and Other Workers (3rd preference group) - E3, EW3

Employment Creation/Investors (5th preference group) - C5, T5, R5, I5

Employer Sponsored – Employment: Religious Workers

Visa Category: SD, SR

Employer Sponsored – Employment: Iraqi and Afghan Translators/Interpreters

Visa Category: SI

Employer Sponsored – Employment: Iraqis Who Worked for/on Behalf of the U.S. Government

Visa Category: SQ

Employer Sponsored – Employment: Afghans Who Worked for/on Behalf of the U.S. Government

Visa Category: SQ

Other Immigrants: Diversity Immigrant Visa

Visa Category: DV

Other Immigrants: Returning Resident

Visa Category: SB

09/20/2017

Visa Categories for Immigrating into the United States

Visa Types for Temporary Visitors

Visa Categories for Temporary, Non-Immigrant Travel into the United States and Requirements Prior to Applying for a U.S. Visa

Depending on the reason for travel, before applying for a visa at a U.S. embassy or consulate, different requirements may need to be met.

Below is a list of nonimmigrant, temporary travel reasons one may come to the U.S., the corresponding visa categories, and any extra requirements needed prior to applying for a U.S. visa.

Note: The below list does not encompass all nonimmigrant U.S. visa categories. For other nonimmigrant U.S. visa categories see 9 FAM 402.1 of the Foreign Affairs Manual.

Purpose of Travel: “Athlete, amateur or professional (competing for prize money only)”

Visa Category: B-1

Required before applying for visa: NA

NA: Not Applicable. Before applying for this type of visa, a traveler is not required to obtain supplementary approval from a different United States government agency.

Purpose of Travel: “Au pair (exchange visitor)”

Visa Category: J

Required before applying for visa: SEVIS

SEVIS: Prior to applying for a visa at a U.S. consulate or embassy, a traveler must have their program approval logged in the Student and Exchange Visitor Information System (SEVIS)

Purpose of Travel: “Australian professional specialty”

Visa Category: E-3

Required before applying for visa: DOL

DOL: Prior to applying for a visa at a U.S. embassy or consulate and before filing a petition with the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), the United States employer is required to take necessary steps with the United States Department of Labor to acquire foreign labor certification.

Purpose of Travel: “Border Crossing Card: Mexico”

Visa Category: BCC

Required before applying for visa: NA

NA: Not Applicable. Before applying for this type of visa, a traveler is not required to obtain supplementary approval from a different United States government agency.

Purpose of Travel: “Business visitor”

Visa Category: B-1

Required before applying for visa: NA

NA: Not Applicable. Before applying for this type of visa, a traveler is not required to obtain supplementary approval from a different United States government agency.

Purpose of Travel: “CNMI-only transitional worker”

Visa Category: CW-1

Required before applying for visa: USCIS

USCIS: Prior to applying for a visa with a U.S. embassy or consulate, the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) must approve the appropriate application or petition. The type of petition or application necessary will vary depending on the type of visa category a traveler is applying for.

Purpose of Travel: “Crewmember”

Visa Category: D

Required before applying for visa: NA

NA: Not Applicable. Before applying for this type of visa, a traveler is not required to obtain supplementary approval from a different United States government agency.

Purpose of Travel: “Diplomat or foreign government official”

Visa Category: A

Required before applying for visa: NA

NA: Not Applicable. Before applying for this type of visa, a traveler is not required to obtain supplementary approval from a different United States government agency.

Purpose of Travel: “Domestic employee or nanny - must be accompanying a foreign national employer”

Visa Category: B-1

Required before applying for visa: NA

NA: Not Applicable. Before applying for this type of visa, a traveler is not required to obtain supplementary approval from a different United States government agency.

Purpose of Travel: “Employee of a designated international organization or NATO”

Visa Category: G1-G5, NATO

Required before applying for visa: NA

NA: Not Applicable. Before applying for this type of visa, a traveler is not required to obtain supplementary approval from a different United States government agency.

Purpose of Travel: “Exchange visitor”

Purpose of Travel: “Foreign military personnel stationed in the United States”

Visa Category: A-2, NATO1-6

Required before applying for visa: NA

NA: Not Applicable. Before applying for this type of visa, a traveler is not required to obtain supplementary approval from a different United States government agency.

Purpose of Travel: “Foreign national with extraordinary ability in Sciences, Arts, Education, Business or Athletics”

Visa Category: O

Required before applying for visa: USCIS

USCIS: Prior to applying for a visa with a U.S. embassy or consulate, the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) must approve the appropriate application or petition. The type of petition or application necessary will vary depending on the type of visa category a traveler is applying for.

Purpose of Travel: “Free Trade Agreement (FTA) Professional: Chile, Singapore”

Visa Category:

H-1B1 - Chile

H-1B1 – Singapore

Required before applying for visa: DOL

DOL: Prior to applying for a visa at a U.S. embassy or consulate and before filing a petition with the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), the United States employer is required to take necessary steps with the United States Department of Labor to acquire foreign labor certification.

Purpose of Travel: “International cultural exchange visitor”

Visa Category: Q

Required before applying for visa: USCIS

USCIS: Prior to applying for a visa with a U.S. embassy or consulate, the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) must approve the appropriate application or petition. The type of petition or application necessary will vary depending on the type of visa category a traveler is applying for.

Purpose of Travel: “Intra-company transferee”

Visa Category: L

Required before applying for visa: USCIS

USCIS: Prior to applying for a visa with a U.S. embassy or consulate, the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) must approve the appropriate application or petition. The type of petition or application necessary will vary depending on the type of visa category a traveler is applying for.

Purpose of Travel: “Medical treatment, visitor for”

Visa Category: B-2

Required before applying for visa: NA

NA: Not Applicable. Before applying for this type of visa, a traveler is not required to obtain supplementary approval from a different United States government agency.

Purpose of Travel: “Media, journalist”

Visa Category: I

Required before applying for visa: NA

NA: Not Applicable. Before applying for this type of visa, a traveler is not required to obtain supplementary approval from a different United States government agency.

Purpose of Travel: “NAFTA professional worker: Mexico, Canada”

Visa Category: TN/TD

Required before applying for visa: NA

NA: Not Applicable. Before applying for this type of visa, a traveler is not required to obtain supplementary approval from a different United States government agency.

Note: No visa is required for Canadian NAFTA professional workers however; at the boarder port of entry, these workers must apply to the United States Customs and Border Protection.

Purpose of Travel: “Performing athlete, artist, entertainer”

Visa Category: P

Required before applying for visa: USCIS

USCIS: Prior to applying for a visa with a U.S. embassy or consulate, the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) must approve the appropriate application or petition. The type of petition or application necessary will vary depending on the type of visa category a traveler is applying for.

Purpose of Travel: “Physician”

Visa Categories:

J

H-1B

Required before applying for visa: SEVIS

SEVIS: Prior to applying for a visa at a U.S. consulate or embassy, a traveler must have their program approval logged in the Student and Exchange Visitor Information System (SEVIS)

Purpose of Travel: “Professor, scholar, teacher (exchange visitor)”

Visa Category: J

Required before applying for visa: SEVIS

SEVIS: Prior to applying for a visa at a U.S. consulate or embassy, a traveler must have their program approval logged in the Student and Exchange Visitor Information System (SEVIS)

Purpose of Travel: “Religious worker”

Visa Category: R

Required before applying for visa: USCIS

USCIS: Prior to applying for a visa with a U.S. embassy or consulate, the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) must approve the appropriate application or petition. The type of petition or application necessary will vary depending on the type of visa category a traveler is applying for.

Purpose of Travel: “Specialty occupations in fields requiring highly specialized knowledge”

Visa Category: H-1B

Required before applying for visa: DOL then USCIS

DOL: Prior to applying for a visa at a U.S. embassy or consulate and before filing a petition with the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), the United States employer is required to take necessary steps with the United States Department of Labor to acquire foreign labor certification.

USCIS: Prior to applying for a visa with a U.S. embassy or consulate, the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) must approve the appropriate application or petition. The type of petition or application necessary will vary depending on the type of visa category a traveler is applying for.

Purpose of Travel: “Student: academic, vocational”

Visa Category: F, M

Required before applying for visa: SEVIS

SEVIS: Prior to applying for a visa at a U.S. consulate or embassy, a traveler must have their program approval logged in the Student and Exchange Visitor Information System (SEVIS)

Purpose of Travel: “Temporary agricultural worker”

Visa Category: H-2A

Required before applying for visa: DOL then USCIS

DOL: Prior to applying for a visa at a U.S. embassy or consulate and before filing a petition with the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), the United States employer is required to take necessary steps with the United States Department of Labor to acquire foreign labor certification.

USCIS: Prior to applying for a visa with a U.S. embassy or consulate, the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) must approve the appropriate application or petition. The type of petition or application necessary will vary depending on the type of visa category a traveler is applying for.

Purpose of Travel: “Temporary worker performing other services or labor of a temporary or seasonal nature.”

Visa Category: H-2B

Required before applying for visa: DOL then USCIS

DOL: Prior to applying for a visa at a U.S. embassy or consulate and before filing a petition with the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), the United States employer is required to take necessary steps with the United States Department of Labor to acquire foreign labor certification.

USCIS: Prior to applying for a visa with a U.S. embassy or consulate, the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) must approve the appropriate application or petition. The type of petition or application necessary will vary depending on the type of visa category a traveler is applying for.

Purpose of Travel: “Tourism, vacation, pleasure visitor

Visa Category: B-2

Required before applying for visa: NA

NA: Not Applicable. Before applying for this type of visa, a traveler is not required to obtain supplementary approval from a different United States government agency.

Purpose of Travel: “Training in a program not primarily for employment”

Visa Category: H-3

Required before applying for visa: USCIS

USCIS: Prior to applying for a visa with a U.S. embassy or consulate, the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) must approve the appropriate application or petition. The type of petition or application necessary will vary depending on the type of visa category a traveler is applying for.

Purpose of Travel: Treaty trader/treaty investor

Visa Category: E

Required before applying for visa: NA

NA: Not Applicable. Before applying for this type of visa, a traveler is not required to obtain supplementary approval from a different United States government agency.

Purpose of Travel: Transiting through the United States

Visa Category: C

Required before applying for visa: NA

NA: Not Applicable. Before applying for this type of visa, a traveler is not required to obtain supplementary approval from a different United States government agency.

Purpose of Travel: Victim of Criminal Activity

Visa Category: U

Required before applying for visa: USCIS

USCIS: Prior to applying for a visa with a U.S. embassy or consulate, the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) must approve the appropriate application or petition. The type of petition or application necessary will vary depending on the type of visa category a traveler is applying for.

Purpose of Travel: Victim of Human Trafficking

Visa Category: T

Required before applying for visa: USCIS

USCIS: Prior to applying for a visa with a U.S. embassy or consulate, the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) must approve the appropriate application or petition. The type of petition or application necessary will vary depending on the type of visa category a traveler is applying for.

Purpose of Travel: Nonimmigrant (V) Visa for Spouse and Children of a Lawful Permanent Resident (LPR)

Visa Category: V

Required before applying for visa: NA

NA: Not Applicable. Before applying for this type of visa, a traveler is not required to obtain supplementary approval from a different United States government agency.

Purpose of Travel: Renewals in the U.S. - A, G, and NATO Visas

Required before applying for visa: NA

NA: Not Applicable. Before applying for this type of visa, a traveler is not required to obtain supplementary approval from a different United States government agency.

Visa Category: J

Required before applying for visa: SEVIS

SEVIS: Prior to applying for a visa at a U.S. consulate or embassy, a traveler must have their program approval logged in the Student and Exchange Visitor Information System (SEVIS)

09/20/2017

How do I Make Adjustments, Get Extensions, or Renew US Visas?

I. Renew:

Only travelers holding diplomatic visas (and dependents of travelers holding diplomatic visas) can renew their U.S. visas in the United States. Other travelers must renew their U.S. visas at abroad U.S. Consulates or Embassies.

II. Extend:

In order to extend the validity of their visa, therefore prolonging their stay in the United States, a traveler must file the correct form, Form I-539, with U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIM). This must be done prior to their current authorized stay expiring. The United States recommends that a traveler apply for an extension 45 days in advance of the currently authorized stay expiring.

Eligibility to apply to extend your stay in the United States

A. Travelers cannot apply for a stay extension if the below reasons are applicable to them:

1. If you were admitted into the U.S. as a traveler in transit through the U.S., with a nonimmigrant C visa, you may not apply for a stay extension.

2. If you were admitted into the U.S. under the Visa Waiver Program (VWP) you may not apply for a stay extension.

3. If you were admitted into the U.S. as a traveler in transit without obtaining a visa (TWOV – Transit Without Visa) you may not apply for a stay extension.

4. If you were admitted into the U.S. as an organized crime or terrorism informant (or family of an informant), with a nonimmigrant S visa, you may not apply for a stay extension.

5. If you were admitted into the U.S. as a fiancé of a U.S. citizen or a dependent of a fiancé, with a nonimmigrant K visa, you may not apply for a stay extension.

6. If you were admitted into the U.S. as a crewmember, with a nonimmigrant D visa, you may not apply for a stay extension.

B. Travelers can apply for a stay extension if they qualify for the below reasons:

1. If you were admitted into the U.S. and your passport is valid now (and for the whole time period you will remain in the U.S.) you may apply for a stay extension.

2. If you were admitted into the U.S. and your nonimmigrant visa and status is unexpired you may apply for a stay extension.

3. If you were admitted into the U.S. and you did not commit any crimes that render you ineligible for a visa, you may apply for a stay extension.

4. If you were admitted into the U.S. with a nonimmigrant visa and lawfully you may apply for a stay extension.

5. If you were admitted into the U.S. and you are not in violation of the conditions on which you were admitted you are able to apply for a stay extension.

III Adjust:

In order to adjust your visa, to change your stay in the United States, you must apply. Prior to applying, it is recommended that you contact U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services to verify you are eligible for an adjustment. If eligible, apply with U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services here: https://www.uscis.gov/file-online

09/20/2017

Fees Associated with US Travel Visa Processing

09/20/2017

The Immigration Visa Process

Visa Information for Immigrants: National Visa Center Immigrant Visa Processing

After U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) approve a visa petition, they will assign you a priority date and send you an approval letter. U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) then forwards your visa petition to the National Visa Center (NVC) in Portsmouth, New Hampshire.

The National Visa Center (NVC) will be in charge of visa preprocessing when your assigned time comes. Your petition will be handled when the qualifying date meets your priority date. At that time, the National Visa Center will send you an invoice in order to collect your visa fees. The National Visa Center will ask for your visa application and all supporting documents. The National Visa Center will hang on to your petition until your interview with a consular officer has been scheduled at a U.S. Embassy or U.S. Consulate abroad.

The Immigration Visa Process
The process to obtain a US Immigration Visa can differ for unique applicants. It can differ due to things such as a foreigner’s location of citizenship and the type of immigrant visa that is being applied for. Below is an outline of the potential immigration visa process.

Steps Needed:

Step 1: Petition

A) The applicant must submit a petition.

Step 2: Once a petition has been approved

B) Start processing with the National Visa Center, or NVC.

C) Select an agent

D) Pay your required visa fees

Step 3: Gather and submit required forms to the National Visa Center (NVC).

A) Turn in your visa application form

B) Gather required financial documents

C) Gather required supporting documents

D) Give the National Visa Center all of your required documents

Step 4: Interview

A) Get prepared for your visa applicant interview

B) Go to your visa applicant interview

C) After the interview steps

09/20/2017

Visa Wait Times: Non-immigrant Interviews and Visa Processing

It is important to plan your travel far enough in advance to obtain your necessary travel visa. Visa applications can take more time than expected to process. Visa application processing and interview wait times will vary by U.S. embassy or U.S. consulate location.

Reference the Department of State’s “Visa Appointment & Processing Wait Times” page for current visa interview and processing wait times in your city.

Additional time for administrative processing may be required. Administrative processing time is not estimated on the travel.state.gov’s page and instead based on an individual basis. Administrative processing time only affects a small number of visa applicants. The additional administrative processing time usually does not exceed 60 days.

Certain procedures may vary by the consulate or embassy location. It is important to obtain location specific information for instructions on how to schedule your interview.

09/20/2017

Am I eligible to travel without a visa?

Travel without a Visa

There are specific countries whose citizens do not need to obtain a visa prior to traveling to the United States. These citizens must meet specific requirements that are put forth by United States law.

If you qualify under the following circumstances, categories, or programs you may not need a visa to travel to the United States:

Visa Waiver Program (VWP)

NAFTA Professional Workers from Canada and Mexico

Canada and Bermuda Citizens

09/19/2017

What are the different types of visas available to come into the United States?

Under U.S. Immigration law, different visas are needed to enter the United States. The type of visa required is determined by the reason for travel to the United States.

Thank you to Anthony Chang, U.S. Customs and Border Protection, and Wikimedia Commons for the use of this visa image.

Image of a United States Non-Immigrant Visa

Visa categories can be divided into two groups: Non-Immigrant Visas and Immigrant Visas. Non-Immigrant Visas are used to travel to the United States for temporary reasons. Immigrant Visas are used to travel to the United States to live permanently.

Total Number of Non Immigrant Admissions Graph

09/01/2017

Ineligibilities and Waivers

Ineligibilities

The Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) is what created the kinds of visas there are and what qualifies someone to apply for one.

The conditions that make applicants ineligible for visas are called visa ineligibilities (or a visa ineligibility). The visa ineligibilities are also outlined in the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA).

The US Department of State provides the different sections of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) that deal with visa ineligibilities.

Waivers

If a visa applicant is not eligible for a U.S. visa due to U.S. law, they are eligible to apply for a visa waiver if there is a visa waiver for the type of visa they want to apply for.

The US Department of State provides the different sections of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) that deal with visa waivers.

09/01/2017

Frequently Asked Visa Questions

Where do I apply for a U.S. visa?

Visa applicants must go to a U.S. Embassy or U.S. Consulate abroad to apply for a visa.

How do I apply for a U.S. visa?

The steps to apply for a visa can greatly differ. The steps will depend on what type of U.S. visa is being applied for. Contact your U.S. Embassy or U.S. Consulate for up to date requirements and procedures.

Does having a U.S. visa mean I will be able to get into the United States?

Not necessarily.Once a foreign citizen obtains a US visa, they are able to travel to a port of entry (via land, plane, or ship) of the United States.

At a port of entry into the U.S., a traveler will be met by an inspector from Customs and Boarder Protection (CBP)/Department of Homeland Security (DHS).

Though the traveler requests entry, it may not be granted.

A visa does not guarantee entry into the U.S.

A visa does show that an overseas U.S. consulate or embassy decided that the traveler was qualified to enter the U.S. for the purpose the visa was applied for. It is however, up to the DHS/CBP agent to determine if a traveler is indeed allowed to enter.

A visa can be revoked at any point.

What is an Electronic Visa?

An electronic Visa is also known as an eVisa or e-Visa. Instead of receiving a sticker or stamp within a passport, an electronic visa is linked to a traveler’s passport number and stored within the computer system. An electronic Visa is applied for online.

Not all countries offer electronic visas. See the government website for the desired country of destination to see methods offered to obtain a travel visa to that country.

The United States does not issue electronic visas.

Does the U.S. issue electronic visas?

Electronic System for Travel Authorization (or ESTA)

The Electronic System for Travel Authorization, or ESTA, is an online system used in the United States. This is a screening method and, under US immigration law, does not qualify as a visa. The United States does not issue electronic visas. The ESTA screens potential travelers for security risks. It is only used to screen travelers trying to enter the U.S. without a visa, via the Visa Waiver Program. Even if a traveler passes the ESTA screening, the traveler might still be denied entry into the United States (by U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officers).

What if I've Lost my U.S. Visa?

What to do about Lost or Stolen Visas for Entering the United States: It is recommended that travelers make photocopies of their U.S. visa and the biographic page of their passport, as well as their admission stamp or I-94 arrival/departure paper form. This way the traveler has proof of their documents if they are lost or stolen during their stay in the United States.

If a traveler’s U.S. visa or form I-94 arrival/departure documents were lost or stolen they should immediately:

1. File a police report

Note the police officers name

Note the number of the police report

2. Request a replacement Form I-94 Arrival/Departure Record

3. Report the lost or stolen Visa and/or I-94 Arrival/Departure Record to your embassy

4. Report the lost or stolen visa to the U.S. Embassy or Consulate abroad

5. Contact the U.S. Embassy or Consulate abroad to apply for a replacement visa

What are the consequences of staying in the U.S. for longer than approved?

If a traveler stays in the United States beyond the time frame authorized by their visa, they could be deported. The traveler may also be banned from reentry into the United States.

How long can I stay in the United States?

There is a date on Form I-94, the Arrival/Departure document. The date in the lower right-hand corner of the form will reveal the date that a traveler’s authorized stay in the United States expires.

I changed my name; do I need a new visa?

Yes. If your name has been legally changed due to divorce, marriage, or via a court order, you will need to obtain a new passport and visa.

What if my visa expires while I am in the U.S.?

You are allowed to stay in the United States for the time period that was approved when you entered the United States. It is okay for you to stay in the U.S. with an expired visa, as long as you are still within your approved period of stay

What is a Visa?

The word “visa” originates from the Latin term charta visa. Charta visa means, “paper which has been seen.”

A visa is formal permission, authorized by a country, allowing a foreign citizen to enter, stay in, and leave that country.

A visa is temporary and normally provides limitations on the foreign travelers stay, such as time limits for their stay, dates they can enter the country, work rights, or the number of times they are permitted to enter the country with that visa.

A country’s immigration officials make the ultimate decision on whether or not a foreigner is entering the country, even if a valid visa is held. A visa can be revoked at anytime. For most countries, there are documents besides a visa that must also be presented.

Frequently, a visa is held as a certified sticker within a foreign applicant’s travel document, such as a passport. A visa may also be a stamp, a separate document, or a printable electronic record.

Some countries require people to apply for visas in advance of travel. Ways to apply in advance are via online, via mail, or in person at an embassy or consular office. Other countries allow foreign travelers to apply for a visa as they arrive in the country.

Some countries force its citizens to get “exit visas” to leave their own country.

What is a U.S. Visa?

A U.S. visa is a travel document where the United States grants foreign citizens permission to enter the U.S.

A U.S. visa is placed inside the foreign citizen’s passport, issued by the country they are citizens of.

Some foreign citizens may be eligible to travel into the United States without a visa. (See the “What is the Visa Waiver Program (VWP)?” section for more details on visa-free travel into the U.S.)

American's Traveling Abroad

U.S. Citizens should learn about their destination(s) prior to travel. Different countries require different travel documents, health screenings, birth certificates, etc.

Consult The U.S. Department of State’s “Country Specific Information” page to learn the travel requirements for (and the risks of) your travel destination.

Do U.S. citizens need a U.S. visa to exit or reenter the country?

Citizens of the United States do not need to acquire a U.S. visa. However, U.S. citizens do potentially need visas for entry into the foreign countries they are traveling to. These visas will be issued by the embassy of the country they are destined for.

Do U.S. permanent residents need a U.S. visa to exit or reenter the country?

A U.S. permanent resident is a U.S. permanent residence cardholder. This card is commonly referred to as a “green card.” To reenter the United States after temporarily traveling abroad, the U.S. permanent resident will not need to provide a visa however; they will need to provide their valid, unexpired U.S. permanent residence card (green card), and passport.

Thank you to the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) and Wikimedia Commons or the use of this image.

Will European countries require Americans to have visas?

Potentially.

Thank you to Google Maps for the use of their image.

To understand this topic, one must first understand the current visa agreement between the U.S. and the European Union (EU).

Currently the Visa Waiver Program is in place.

Thank you to Flickr for the use of this image.

The Visa Waiver Program is supposed to allow U.S. citizens to travel to all of the countries in the EU and let citizens of the countries within the EU travel to the United States without a visa. The purpose of the visa free travel should be business, pleasure, or transit when traveling elsewhere. (For a more in depth look into the Visa Waiver Program jump to the section on the Visa Waiver Program)

The EU’s Issue with the Visa Waiver Program

The EU allows United States citizens to travel to all EU countries without visa however; the United States does not allow citizens of Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Poland, or Romania (countries that are in the EU) to travel to the United States without first obtaining a visa.

Due to the exclusion of the citizens of Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Poland and Romania from the United States’ Visa Waiver Program, the European Union’s is not satisfied with the program.

On Thursday March 2, 2017, the European Parliament voted to suspend its Visa Waiver Program with the United States until it runs a fully reciprocal Visa Waiver Program with all EU citizens. This however, was a nonbinding vote. It does not actually change anything with the current Visa Waiver Program agreement. The European Parliament now needs the European Union Commission and the European Council to adopt legal measures to require American’s to obtain visas for travel to European Union countries. The European Commission has not yet acted on the Parliament vote but is in communication with the United States on the matter.

If the European Commission enforces the European Parliament’s vote, the end of the Visa Waiver Program would force Americans to obtain visas for all travel to EU countries.

The United States’ Department of Homeland Security told the EU that Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Poland, and Romania are not eligible to become members of the Visa Waiver Program because they do not meet the 3% visa refusal rate prerequisite, established in the U.S. law. The United States let the EU know that if it suspends the Visa Waiver Program it would be “counterproductive” in trying to create a fully reciprocal program. The U.S. Congress plays a central role in finding a solution. Now that the 2016 U.S. presidential election is over, the European Commission will work with the new U.S. administration towards a Visa Waiver Program resolution.

The Commission will continue to work closely with both the European Parliament and the Council to ensure that the European Union speaks with one voice on this important matter and will report on the further progress made before the end of June 2017.”

Find a U.S. Embassy or U.S. Consulate

To apply for a visa to enter the United States, you must apply in person at a U.S. Embassy or U.S. Consulate. Visit the U.S. Embassy Government website for a directory of the U.S. Embassies and U.S. Consulates found in countries around the globe.

Visa Application Forms

The U.S. requires different forms to be filed depending on the type of visa an applicant is seeking.

Refer to Department of State’s “Forms” page for the most recent form you need.

Nonimmigrant Visa Application Forms

  • DS-156E: Investor or Treaty Trader Nonimmigrant Application Form
  • DS-160: Nonimmigrant Visa Application Online Form

Thank you to ceac.state.gov for the use of this image.

  • DS-157: Nonimmigrant Supplemental Visa Application Form
  • DS-158: Nonimmigrant Visa Applicant Work History and Contact Information Form
  • DS-1648 A, G, or NATO Visa Online Application Form (Only if applying in the United States)
  • DS-2019: Exchange Visitor Status Certificate of Eligibility.
  • DS-3035: Recommendation Application Instructions for the J-1 Visa Waiver

Immigrant Visa Application Forms

  • DS-117: Determine Returning Resident Status Application
  • DS-230: Immigrant Visa and Alien Registration Application (Cuban Family Reunification Parole applications only)
  • DS-260: Immigrant Visa and Alien Registration Application (Immigrant Visa and Diversity Visa Program applications only)
  • DS-261: Choice of Address and Agent Form
  • DS-234: Special Immigrant Visa Bio-data Form
  • DS-1981: Affidavit Concerning Exemption from Immigration Requirements for a Foreign Adopted Child
  • DS-1884: Petition to Classify Special Immigrant Under INA 203(b)(4) as an Employee or Former Employee of the U.S. Government Abroad

Fees and Reciprocity Tables

Visa Fees:

https://web.archive.org/web/20171201112058/https://travel.state.gov/content/visas/en/fees/fees-visa-services.html

All visa fees are non-refundable.

Nonimmigrant Visa Fees

I. Visas Application and Processing Fees for nonimmigrant visas

1. Nonimmigrant, non-petition based visas:

$160 USD for nonimmigrant, non-petition based visas (does not include E visas)

The $160 USD fee covers these temporary visa categories:

  • B Visitor Visas for Business, Tourism, and Medical treatments
  • C-1 Visas for Travelers Transiting through the United States
  • D Visas for Crewmembers of Airlines and Ships
  • F Visas for Academic Students
  • I Visas for Media and Journalists
  • J Visas for Exchange Visitors. Note: there is no fee for J visa applicants that are participating in educational and cultural exchanges that are officially sponsored by the U.S. Government.
  • M Visa for Vocational Students
  • TN/TD Visas for Mexico and Canada NAFTA Professionals
  • T Visas for the Victims of Human Trafficking
  • U Visas for the Victims of Criminal Activities

2. Nonimmigrant, petition based visas:

$190 USD for nonimmigrant, petition based visas

The $190 USD fee covers these temporary visa categories:

  • H Visas for Temporary Workers/Employment or Trainees
  • L Visas for Intra-company Transferees
  • Visas for Persons with Extraordinary Abilities
  • P Visas for Athletes, Artists, and Entertainers
  • Q Visas for International Cultural Exchanges
  • R Visas for Religious Workers

3. E Visas for Investors and Treaty Traders and Australian Professional Specialty category visas:

$205 USD for nonimmigrant, Treaty Trader/Investor, Australian Professional Specialty category visas

4. K Visas for the Fiancé(e) or Spouse of a U.S. citizen category visas:

$265 USD for nonimmigrant, K Visas for the Fiancé(e) or Spouse of a U.S. citizen category visas

Other visa fees:

L visa categories (Intra-company Transferees) must pay a $500 USD fraud detection and prevention fee.

Situations where the visa application and processing fees for temporary, nonimmigrant visas are waived (No fee is required for the following visa types):

  • A visa applicants
  • G visa applicants
  • C-2 visa applicants
  • C-3 visa applicants
  • NATO visa applicants
  • Diplomatic visa applicants
  • J visa applicants who are trying to participate in educational and cultural exchanges that are officially sponsored by the U.S. Government.
  • Applicants whose visas are read by a machine and need to be replaced because the original visa was not affixed properly or it needs to be replaced for a reason when it was not the fault of the visa applicant.
  • Applicants who are exempt due to international agreement. This includes staff or members (and their immediate family members) of a UN General Assembly recognized “observer mission” to the UN headquarters.
  • Visa applicants who are traveling to give charitable assistance (as approved by Visa Services).
  • U.S. government employees who are on official business travel.
  • Parents, siblings, spouses, and children of United States government employees who were killed in the line-of-duty. They must be traveling to go to the family member’s funeral or burial.
  • Parents, siblings, spouses, and children of United States government employees who were critically injured in the line-of-duty. They must be traveling to go visit the family member while they are having emergency treatment or are being taken care of.

II. Nonimmigrant Visa Issuance Fee

Visit the US Department of State’s “Reciprocity and Civil Documents by Country” page to see if you have to pay a reciprocity fee for your country or area.

Situations where the nonimmigrant visa issuance fee for temporary, nonimmigrant visas is waived (No fee is required for the following visa types):

  • Applicants who are official representatives of a foreign government
  • Applicants who are official representatives of an international or regional organization of which the United States is a member
  • Applicants who are members and staff of an observer mission to United Nations Headquarters that is recognized by the UN General Assembly
  • Applicants for diplomatic visas as well as the applicant’s immediate family
  • An applicant that is transiting to the United Nations Headquarters
  • An applicant that is transiting from the United Nations Headquarters
  • An applicant that is participating in a U.S. government sponsored program
  • An applicant’s family where the applicant is participating in a U.S. government sponsored program
  • An applicant that is travelling to the U.S. to provide charitable services

Note: Travelers traveling under the Visa Waiver Program (VWP) may have to pay a nominal fee.

Immigrant Visa Fees

I. Fees for Filing an Immigrant Visa Petition

Immigrant petition for relative via petition form I-130: $535 USD fee

Inter-country adoption: Immediate relative petition for an orphan via petition form I-600 or I-800: $775 USD fee

II. Fees for Immigrant Visa Application Processing

Immediate family or relative preference application processed after an I-130 petition, I-600petition, or I-800 petition has been approved: $325 USD fee

Employment-based applications processed after the I-140 petition or I-526 petition has been approved: $345 USD fee

Other immigrant visa applications. This includes approved I-360 self-petitioners, special immigrant visa applicants, returning resident (SB-1) applicants, and all others, except DV program applicants): $205 USD fee

There is no fee for certain Iraqi and Afghan special immigrant visa applicants

III. Other Fees

There is a, per person applying, Diversity Visa Lottery fee: $330 USD fee

When a domestic review is involved, Affidavit of Support Review: $120 USD fee

IV. Fees for Special Visa Services

Application fee for Determining Returning Resident Status with a DS-117 Form: $180 USD fee

Legal Permanent Residents of the United States Transportation letter: $575 USD fee

J Waiver of two-year residency requirement application via DS-3035 form: $120 USD fee

Waiver of visa ineligibility application for I-601 form: $930 USD fee

There is no fee for significant public benefit or refugee parole case processing