Apply for a Visa

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Please confirm whether or not you need to apply for a visa. You may not need to apply for a new U.S. visa if you already hold a valid U.S. visa of the classification appropriate to your purpose of travel or hold a passport eligible for travel under the Visa Waiver Program.  If you hold a Canadian passport, please visit the following website at and for more information.

If you do need to apply for a nonimmigrant visa, please follow the steps below.

Note: If you are under 14 or age 80 and over, or if you previously received a U.S. visa that expired within the last 12 months and you are returning to the United States for the same purpose of travel, you may be able to obtain a visa without coming to the consulate for an interview. Click here to learn how to apply using the Consulate’s Drop-off Service.

How to Apply

Step 1

For Nonimmigrant Visa applicants:

Determine your visa type by reading Common Nonimmigrant Visas. Each visa type explains the qualifications and application items. Choose the visa type that applies to your situation.

Be sure to also review the Visa Waiver Program. If your country participates in the Visa Waiver Program, you do not need to apply for a visa if you are traveling for business or pleasure and will only be staying in the Unites States for 90 days or less.

Step 2

The next step is to complete the DS-160 Form. Be sure to read the Guidelines for Completing the DS-160 Form carefully. All information must be correct and accurate. Once the form is submitted, you cannot make any changes. If you need assistance, please consult an immigration lawyer or translator. The call center cannot help you complete your DS-160. You will need your DS-160 number to book your appointment. Please note: for applicants who have a name in Chinese characters, you must complete the four-digit telecode in your DS-160 application.  The telecode question can be found at “Personal Information 1” on the DS-160, which asks “Do you have a telecode that represents your name?” Please click “yes,” then there will be space provided for you to fill in your telecode.  If you do not know your telecode, you may wish to visit this website for details.

For E-1/E-2 visa applicants: All E-1/E-2 visa applicants must submit completed Form DS-160.  All E-1/ E-2 non-derivative visa applicants must also submit the form DS-156-E, except the E-2 principal investor (DS-156-E questions for E-2 investor principals are integrated into their DS-160).  Derivatives do not need to submit Form DS-156-E

Please mail in (regular or express mail) your DS-156-E form and supporting documents to us to the address below six weeks prior to your travel. Please also include your full name as appears on your passport, the DS-160 nonimmigrant visa application barcode page, and your email address. Upon receipt of your documents, we will provide you with an appointment date by email. 

Our address is:

Nonimmigrant Visa Unit
(E1/E2 Visa Application)
U.S. Consulate General
26 Garden Road
Hong Kong

Step 3

Once you have determined the correct visa type and completed the DS-160, you must pay the visa fee. The visa fee page lists the visa types and correlating visa fee in US dollars and native currency.

To pay your visa fee, read the Bank and Payment Options page. This page explains how to make your visa fee payment. You will create a profile and must keep your receipt number to book your visa appointment. When you register as an applicant in our system, you cannot use the profile and credentials of a previous applicant. You must create your own profile for your own application.

Step 4

You are almost ready to schedule your visa appointment!

Now you will need to login to your profile with the same credentials you used to pay your visa fee. Once you are in the system, you will see your dashboard.

Click on Schedule Appointment on the left-hand side menu.

This will start the process for scheduling your appointment. You will need:

  • Your passport number: please make sure the passport number you filled in your profile is exactly the same as showed on your passport and must be preceded by alphabetical letters if applicable. 
  • The receipt number from your Visa Fee receipt. (Click here if you need help finding this number.)
  • The ten (10) digit barcode number from your DS-160 confirmation page. 
    Please note: When you enter your personal data, we suggest you copy and paste the DS-160 confirmation number to the “DS-160 confirmation number” field from the electronic PDF confirmation letter that you received from the CEAC website by email, in order to avoid typing mistakes. Pay attention to similar numbers such as 0 vs. O, 1 vs. I, l vs. I, S vs. 8, S vs. 5, B vs. 8, etc.

As you go through the process you will be able to select your visa type, enter personal data, add dependents, select your document delivery location, confirm visa payment and schedule your appointment. Dependents added here must apply for the same visa as the main applicant. If a dependent wants to apply for another visa, he or she will need to apply separately.

Step 5

Visit the U.S. Embassy on the date and time of your visa interview. Be sure to check the Schedule My Appointment page for the necessary documentation needed for your appointment.

Step 6

At the end of the visa adjudication process, if your application is approved, we are required to keep the passport for processing.  The Consulate General in Hong Kong will return your passport with U.S. visa to you according to the document delivery option you have chosen (Pick-up or Delivery Service).  

Visas are usually issued four to five full business days after the visa interview.   Your passport and visa will be delivered by S.F. Express. If you need your passport and visa quickly, please choose the S.F. Express Wan Chai or Tsim Sha Tsui location. Generally, passport pick up in Wan Chai or Tsim Sha Tsui can take as little as two to three business days and our staff will do what they can to help you get the passport back as quickly as possible.

Note: All passports must be left at the Consulate on the day of the interview for visa processing.  If you have immediate travel planned, please reschedule your visa appointment to another day when you can leave your passport at the Consulate.  If you choose to take your passport back after your interview, you will be required to reschedule your appointment for another day.