header menu button
business or tourists eligibility

Visitor visas are reserved for nonimmigrant persons traveling to the U.S. temporarily for business (B-1) or for pleasure, tourism or medical treatment (B-2). Certain countries qualify for temporary visits to the U.S. without a visa.

If the purpose of travel is to consult with business associates, attend a scientific, educational, professional or business convention, settle an estate or negotiate a contract, then a B-1 visitor visa would be appropriate.

If the purpose of travel is recreational -- tourism, vacation, amusement, visit friends and family, visitors should obtain a B-2 visitor visa. Other qualifying purposes include medical treatment, service activities and amateur musical or sporting events.

Required Documentation:

  • Online Nonimmigrant Visa Electronic Application, Form DS-160. Visit the Bureau of Consular Affairs (BCA) site to access the application.
  • A passport valid for travel to the United States and with a validity date at least six months beyond the applicant's intended period of stay in the United States.
  • One (1) 2x2 photograph.
business or tourists how to apply

Applicants for visitor visas should generally apply at the U.S. Embassy or Consulate with jurisdiction over their place of permanent residence. Although visa applicants may apply at any U.S. consular office abroad, it may be more difficult to qualify for the visa outside the country of permanent residence. It is important to apply for your visa well in advance of your travel departure date.

An interview at the embassy consular section is required for visa applicants from age 14 through 79, with few exceptions. Persons age 13 and younger and age 80 and older generally do not require an interview, unless requested by the embassy or consulate. Making your appointment for an interview is the first step in the visa application process.

During the visa application process, usually at the interview, an ink-free, digital fingerprint scan will be quickly taken. Some visa appications require further administrative processing which takes additional time after the visa applicant's interview by a Consular Officer.

business or tourists cost
  • Nonimmigrant visa application processing fee: $160.00
  • Visa issuance fee: If the visa is granted, there will be a reciprocity fee that varies by country.

Using the Bureau of Consular Affairs' Reciprocity Table, locate your country and visa category. Here, you will find the issuance fee, number of applications and visa validity period of each visa classification.

  • Visa Classification: This is the type of visa for which you are applying. (Examples: nonimmigrant, student, visitor)
  • Fee - The amount charged for visa issuance (or reciprocity)
  • Number of Applicants - The maximum number of times the nonimmigrant visa holder can travel to the United States and apply for admission at the port of entry (usually an airport). This number will be printed on your visa.
  • Validity Period - The Maximum length of time (in months) for which the type of visa category can be issued.

Note: For more information regarding your issuance fee, visit the Bureau of Consular Affairs site and select your country of permanent residence.

Students or Exchange eligibility

Before applying for a student visa, nonimmigrant students must be accepted by a Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP) certified United States educational institution. The U.S. Government requires students attending a university, college, high school, private elementary school, seminary, conservatory or other academic institution to obtain an F visa. Students attending vocational or other recognized nonacademic institutions generally need an M visa.

Typically, student visas are only required for full-time students. For applicants primarily going to the United States for tourism, but who also wish to take a short course, a visitor (B) visa should be adequate. If the course exceeds 18 hours a week, a student visa will be required.

Required Documentation:

  • For academic and language students, Form I-20A-B, Certificate for Nonimmigrant (F-1) Student Status.
  • For vocational students, Form I-20M-N, Certificate of Eligibility for Nonimmigrant (M-1).
  • Online Nonimmigrant Visa Electronic Application, Form DS-160. Visit the Bureau of Consular Affairs (BCA) site to access the application.
  • A passport valid for travel to the United States and with a validity date at least six months beyond the applicant's intended period of stay in the United States.
  • One (1) 2x2 photograph.
  • A MRV fee receipt to show payment of the visa application fee.
  • Academic documentation:
    • Transcripts
    • Standardized test scores
Students or Exchange how to apply

Applicants for visitor visas should generally apply at the U.S. Embassy or Consulate with jurisdiction over their place of permanent residence. Although visa applicants may apply at any U.S. consular office abroad, it may be more difficult to qualify for the visa outside the country of permanent residence. It is important to apply for your visa well in advance of your travel departure date.

An interview at the embassy consular section is required for visa applicants from age 14 through 79, with few exceptions. Persons age 13 and younger and age 80 and older generally do not require an interview, unless requested by the embassy or consulate. Making your appointment for an interview is the first step in the visa application process.

During the visa application process, usually at the interview, an ink-free, digital fingerprint scan will be quickly taken. Some visa appications require further administrative processing which takes additional time after the visa applicant's interview by a Consular Officer.

Students or Exchange cost
  • Nonimmigrant visa application processing fee: $160.00
  • Visa issuance fee: If the visa is granted, there will be a reciprocity fee that varies by country.

Using the Bureau of Consular Affairs' Reciprocity Table, locate your country and visa category. Here, you will find the issuance fee, number of applications and visa validity period of each visa classification.

  • Visa Classification: This is the type of visa for which you are applying. (Examples: nonimmigrant, student, visitor)
  • Fee - The amount charged for visa issuance (or reciprocity)
  • Number of Applicants - The maximum number of times the nonimmigrant visa holder can travel to the United States and apply for admission at the port of entry (usually an airport). This number will be printed on your visa.
  • Validity Period - The Maximum length of time (in months) for which the type of visa category can be issued.

Note: For more information regarding your issuance fee, visit the Bureau of Consular Affairs site and select your country of permanent residence.

Students or Exchange eligibility

Before applying for an exchange visa, the prospective visitor must be accepted in an established program that is Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP) certified. Once accepted into an approved program, the student needs to apply for the exchange visitor (J) nonimmigrant visa. Information necessary to complete the J visa application will be provided by the sponsoring organization. Nonimmigrant visitors accepted to program categories of Au Pair and EduCare, Camp Counselor, Government Visitor, Department of State Visitor, Physician, Professor or Research Scholar, Short-term Scholar, Specialist, Student, Summer Work Travel, Teacher and Trainee are required to obtain an exchange visa before traveling to the United States.

Required Documentation:

  • DS 2019, Certificate of Eligibility for Exchange Visitor Status
  • A Training/Internship Placement Plan, Form DS-7002
  • Online Nonimmigrant Visa Electronic Application, Form DS-160. Visit the Bureau of Consular Affairs (BCA) site to access the application.
  • One (1) 2x2 photograph.
book
Students or Exchange how to apply

Applicants for visitor visas should generally apply at the U.S. Embassy or Consulate with jurisdiction over their place of permanent residence. Although visa applicants may apply at any U.S. consular office abroad, it may be more difficult to qualify for the visa outside the country of permanent residence. It is important to apply for your visa well in advance of your travel departure date.

An interview at the embassy consular section is required for visa applicants from age 14 through 79, with few exceptions. Persons age 13 and younger and age 80 and older generally do not require an interview, unless requested by the embassy or consulate. Making your appointment for an interview is the first step in the visa application process.

During the visa application process, usually at the interview, an ink-free, digital fingerprint scan will be quickly taken. Some visa appications require further administrative processing which takes additional time after the visa applicant's interview by a Consular Officer.

Students or Exchange cost
  • Nonimmigrant visa application processing fee: $160.00
  • Visa issuance fee: If the visa is granted, there will be a reciprocity fee that varies by country.

Using the Bureau of Consular Affairs' Reciprocity Table, locate your country and visa category. Here, you will find the issuance fee, number of applications and visa validity period of each visa classification.

  • Visa Classification: This is the type of visa for which you are applying. (Examples: nonimmigrant, student, visitor)
  • Fee - The amount charged for visa issuance (or reciprocity)
  • Number of Applicants - The maximum number of times the nonimmigrant visa holder can travel to the United States and apply for admission at the port of entry (usually an airport). This number will be printed on your visa.
  • Validity Period - The Maximum length of time (in months) for which the type of visa category can be issued.

Note: For more information regarding your issuance fee, visit the Bureau of Consular Affairs site and select your country of permanent residence.

Temporary workers in the U.S. eligibility

Based primarily on the Immigration and Nationality Act, temporary work visas are divided into a variety of categories. In order to be considered for any category of temporary work visa, the applicant's potential employer must obtain a labor certification as defined by the Department of Labor. Additionally, before applying for a temporary worker visa, applicants must obtain an approved Form I-129, Petition for Nonimmigrant Worker from USCIS.

Eligibility categories include:

  • H-1B Persons in Specialty Occupation
  • H-2A Seasonal Agricultural Workers
  • H-2B Temporary or Seasonal Nonagricultural Workers
  • H-3 Trainees (other than medical or academic)
  • L Intracompany Transferees

For further information regarding work eligibility, please reference the Bureau of Consular Affairs website.

Required Documentation

  • Online Nonimmigrant Visa Electronic Application, Form DS-160. Visit the Bureau of Consular Affairs (BCA) site to access the application.
  • One (1) 2x2 photograph.
  • Visa applicants included in L blanket petitions must provide Form I-19S, Nonimmigrant Petition Based on Blanked L Petition.
Temporary workers in the U.S. how to apply

Applicants for visitor visas should generally apply at the U.S. Embassy or Consulate with jurisdiction over their place of permanent residence. Although visa applicants may apply at any U.S. consular office abroad, it may be more difficult to qualify for the visa outside the country of permanent residence. It is important to apply for your visa well in advance of your travel departure date.

An interview at the embassy consular section is required for visa applicants from age 14 through 79, with few exceptions. Persons age 13 and younger and age 80 and older generally do not require an interview, unless requested by the embassy or consulate. Making your appointment for an interview is the first step in the visa application process.

During the visa application process, usually at the interview, an ink-free, digital fingerprint scan will be quickly taken. Some visa appications require further administrative processing which takes additional time after the visa applicant's interview by a Consular Officer.

Temporary workers in the U.S. cost
  • Nonimmigrant visa application processing fee: $190.00
  • Visa issuance fee: If the visa is granted, there will be a reciprocity fee that varies by country.
  • Other fees will be included for certain L visa applicants.

Using the Bureau of Consular Affairs' Reciprocity Table, locate your country and visa category. Here, you will find the issuance fee, number of applications and visa validity period of each visa classification.

  • Visa Classification: This is the type of visa for which you are applying. (Examples: nonimmigrant, student, visitor)
  • Fee - The amount charged for visa issuance (or reciprocity)
  • Number of Applicants - The maximum number of times the nonimmigrant visa holder can travel to the United States and apply for admission at the port of entry (usually an airport). This number will be printed on your visa.
  • Validity Period - The Maximum length of time (in months) for which the type of visa category can be issued.

Note: For more information regarding your issuance fee, visit the Bureau of Consular Affairs site and select your country of permanent residence.

Living permanently in the U.S. eligibility

In most cases, an applicant must be sponsored by a U.S. citizen relative, U.S. lawful permanent resident or by an employer. Additionally, potential immigrants must qualify for one of the following immigration categories to obtain an immigration visa:

  • Immediate Relative and Family Sponsored: This category is reserved for those marrying U.S. citizens, children being adopted by American citizens and non-citizens marrying U.S. lawful permanent residents.
  • Employer Sponsored: For immigrants being sponsored by a potential employer, an employment visa must be filed listing up to five employment options. The employer must also obtain labor certification approval to qualify as a sponsoring company.
  • Special immigrants: To qualify for this category, immigrants must meet one of four special criteria: 1) Employment as an Iraqi or Afghan Translator/Interpreter 2) Iraqis employed on behalf of the U.S. Government 3) Afghans employed on behalf of the U.S. Government 4) Employment as a religious worker.

Required Documentation: Documentation varies for each category. For more documentation information, please visit the Bureau of Consular Affairs website.

how to apply Living permanently in the U.S.

Applicants for visitor visas should generally apply at the U.S. Embassy or Consulate with jurisdiction over their place of permanent residence. Although visa applicants may apply at any U.S. consular office abroad, it may be more difficult to qualify for the visa outside the country of permanent residence. It is important to apply for your visa well in advance of your travel departure date.

An interview at the embassy consular section is required for visa applicants from age 14 through 79, with few exceptions. Persons age 13 and younger and age 80 and older generally do not require an interview, unless requested by the embassy or consulate. Making your appointment for an interview is the first step in the visa application process.

During the visa application process, usually at the interview, an ink-free, digital fingerprint scan will be quickly taken. Some visa appications require further administrative processing which takes additional time after the visa applicant's interview by a Consular Officer.

Living permanently in the U.S. cost
  • Immediate relative and family preference visa applications: $230 per applicant
  • Employment-based visa applications: $405 per applicant
  • Other immigrant visa applications (including I-360): $220 per applicant

Using the Bureau of Consular Affairs' Reciprocity Table, locate your country and visa category. Here, you will find the issuance fee, number of applications and visa validity period of each visa classification.

  • Visa Classification: This is the type of visa for which you are applying. (Examples: nonimmigrant, student, visitor)
  • Fee - The amount charged for visa issuance (or reciprocity)
  • Number of Applicants - The maximum number of times the nonimmigrant visa holder can travel to the United States and apply for admission at the port of entry (usually an airport). This number will be printed on your visa.
  • Validity Period - The Maximum length of time (in months) for which the type of visa category can be issued.

Note: For more information regarding your issuance fee, visit the Bureau of Consular Affairs site and select your country of permanent residence.

eligibility how to apply cost up arrow down arrow