Apply for a Visa

On this page:


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.

Foreign National Applicants:

You may apply for a nonimmigrant visa in any country where you are present; you do not need to be a citizen or resident.  However, no matter where you apply you must demonstrate that you meet all requirements specific to the visa you are trying to obtain, including demonstrating sufficient ties outside of the United States.   

Please be aware that:

  • You must pay the nonimmigrant visa application fee in the country where you apply.
  • You may not be able to bring an interpreter if you do not speak English or the local language where you are applying.  
  • If your visa class requires the submission of documents, you may be asked to provide certified translations into English or the local language.
  • There is no guarantee that a visa will be issued.  If refused, there is no refund of the application fee.  
  • Following your visa appointment, your application will be either issued or refused.  If you do not establish eligibility for a visa, the consular officer may determine that the applicant should undergo further administrative processing to help establish your eligibility.  There is no guarantee of the length of time it will take to complete that processing and return your passport.  
  • Once submitted, the nonimmigrant visa application and the application fee cannot be transferred to another embassy or consulate.
  • Many embassies and consulates prioritize appointments for citizens and legal residents of the country in which they are located.
  • There may be a longer appointment wait time for non-residents.

How to Apply

Step 1:  DS-160 Application

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 of citizenship 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.

Complete the Non-immigrant Visa Electronic Application (DS-160) form.

Step 2:  Update Profile

Log-in to our online applicant system to create a profile and select courier service options (if available).  Please ensure all your personal and contact information on your profile is correct otherwise there will be delays in your visa application processing. 

Step 3:  Make Payment

You will be prompted to pay the visa application (MRV) fee using the payment options available in your country of application. 

Step 4:  Schedule Appointment

After you enter your MRV fee payment receipt on your profile you will have access to the appointment calendar.  Select a convenient appointment date and time.  Please note the number of appointments that may be made per MRV fee payment is limited. 

Step 5:  Attend Interview

Attend your interview. Take with your appointment conformation letter, DS-160 confirmation page, MRV fee receipt, current and previous passports, photo, and a letter explaining your travel purpose and itinerary. Depending on the visa category, you may require additional documentation and a reciprocity fee. Please refer to your specific visa category page for additional required documents.

Step 6:  Passport Retrieval

If your visa is issued, the U.S. Embassy will return your documents and your passport to you at the chosen document delivery address in your profile. You will receive an email and SMS once your documents are ready for pickup at the courier location you selected. 

Apply for a U.S. nonimmigrant visa