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. 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 Nonimmigrant 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). Incomplete/incorrect forms will be returned and will require you to schedule a new interview appointment.
Important! Many of our visa applicants are completing the DS-160 incorrectly, causing us to postpone their planned visa interview dates.
Step 3. Collect any Supporting Documentation
Only a passport, DS-160 confirmation page, a 2 x 2 inch color photo not older than 6 months – with a light or white background, and the forms listed in Step 2 are required for the visa interview. Additional documents may be requested to establish if you are qualified. For example, additional requested documents may include evidence of:
- The purpose of your trip;
- Your intent to depart the United States after your trip; and/or
- Your ability to pay all costs of the trip.
Note: Visa applicants must qualify on the basis of the applicant’s residence and ties abroad, rather than assurances from U.S. family and friends. A letter of invitation or Affidavit of Support is not needed to apply for a nonimmigrant tourist visa. If you do choose to bring a letter of invitation or Affidavit of Support to your interview, please remember that it is not one of the factors that we use in determining whether to issue or deny a nonimmigrant tourist visa.
Step 4. Schedule an Interview Appointment
To schedule an appointment for a non-immigrant visa (NIV) 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.
Emergency appointments will only be granted for students, medical emergencies, and urgent business in the United States.
If you have been refused a visa within the last six months, you will not be eligible for an emergency appointment.
Step 5. Pay the MRV Fee
On the day of your interview, please pay the following nonrefundable visa application fees: $160 for visitors for business, visitors for pleasure, student (F,M,J), transit (C1), crew (D), and journalist (I) nonimmigrant visas; $190 for work visas (H, L, O, P, Q, and R); and $270 for treaty trader/investor (E) visas.
Cash in USD or US Dollars, Lesotho Maloti, or South African Rands is accepted. Personal checks and credit cards are not accepted.
NOTE: If you have already paid your visa application fee at another embassy or consulate, you will still be required to pay at the time of your interview.
You will not be entitled to a refund for the previously paid fee.
Step 6. 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. They are usually taken during your interview, but this varies based on location.
Step 7. Return to Collect Your Passport and Visa
If you are issued the visa, the Consular Officer will instruct your when to return to collect your passport and visa.