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 or are a national of a Visa Waiver Program participating country.

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

Please note that the National Interest Exception is valid for 12 months from the date of approval and is valid for multiple entries to the United States, as long as it is used for purpose under which it was granted.

Applicants requesting a National Interest Exception (NIE) or an appointment should send an e-mail to the e-mail address with the following information before paying the visa fee:

  • an explanation of the purpose of travel to the United States and the reason of the emergency preferably in English or a detailed letter from the United States (from a relative or a U.S. company) explaining the necessity of the trip
  • the data page of your passport
  • a copy of your valid visa or your ESTA approval (in case of NIE request)
  • other supporting documents proving the extraordinary circumstances (medical reports, employment letters)
  • a copy of your I-20, DS-2019, I-797 (whichever is applicable to you), depending on the visa category
  • include the intended travel date.

The subject line of your e-mail should include: „NIE request” and the full name of the applicant.  Appointment requests should state: „Appointment requestand the full name of the applicant.


The processing time of the NIE is minimum 21 days, please start your request according to that.

Please note that the National Interest Exception is valid for 12 months from the date of approval and is valid for multiple entries to the United States, as long as it is used for purpose under which it was granted.

Additional information on NIE criteria may be found at. If you have questions about entry and quarantine requirements we recommend the CDC and CBP websites for the most up-to-date information.

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.

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 U.S. dollars and local 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.

Step 4

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.
  • The receipt number from your CGI Reference number on 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.

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.

Step 5

Visit the U.S. Embassy or Consulate 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

If your visa is approved, the visa will be sent to your designated location selected when you scheduled your appointment.