Visas for Children

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Questions and Answers

Q: Do children need a visa?
A: All travelers, including children, need a visa to travel to the United States or must qualify to travel without a visa through a special program, such as the Visa Waiver Program.

Q: Do children pay the same application fee as adults?
A: Yes, they do.

Q: Do children need to schedule an interview appointment?
A: Applicants under the age of 14 are not required to have fingerprints taken. They are often excused from attending an interview.

In addition to the standard application requirements, applications for children under the age of 14 submitted by post must include:

  • A letter outlining the purpose of travel, which should include an itinerary
  • Copy of parent's/parents' or guardian's/guardians' issued visa or ESTA approval
  • Proof of relationship between the parent and child, for instance a birth certificate or adoption papers
  • If one parent is not travelling, it is recommended that the second parent or guardian include a notarized letter from that parent or guardian authorizing the travel, along with copies of both parents' passports or identity documents. Alternatively, you may wish to bring court documents demonstrating that the applying parent has sole custody of the minor child.

Please note that a personal interview may be required at the discretion of the adjudicating consular officer.

Q: Do all children have to come in person for their appointment?
A: In general, children under the age of 14 are not required to appear for an interview. However, parent(s)/guardian(s) who do not have U.S. visas themselves must schedule an appointment through the profile of their child and attend an interview on behalf of their child. If both parents/guardians have visas, they must include a copy of the visas, permanent resident status (if not New Zealand passport holders), and birth certificate with the application.

Q: Does a parent(s) or guardian(s), applying for his/her/their visa the same time as his/her/their children needs to schedule appointments for the children as well?
A: An applicant under 14 years of age is not required to attend an in-person interview. If the parent(s) or guardian(s) is attending his/her/their own interview(s), the parent(s) or guardian(s) may bring the visa application of the child less than 14 with him/her/them to the interview. At Step 6 of the online visa application process, the parent(s) or guardian(s) should not add the child less than 14 to his/her own profile(s) created on this website. Instead, create the profile of the child separately on this website with the child’s own login credentials (please use a working email address that has not been used prior in our system) in order to obtain the Interview Waiver Confirmation letter.

How to Apply

 BEFORE APPLYING FOR A U.S. VISA, PLEASE DETERMINE WHICH TYPE OF VISA IS NEEDED AND IF THE APPLICANT CAN TRAVEL WITHOUT A VISA.

 

To apply for a visa for a child under 14 years of age via interview waiver, please see below:

Step 1:
Determine the visa type.

Step 2:
Complete the Nonimmigrant Visa Electronic Application (DS-160) form on the web-site https://ceac.state.gov/genniv/. The DS-160 is a mandatory document that must be completed and submitted online by all applicants, including children.

Step 3:
Pay the visa application fee (you can pay this online at Step 8 of the online visa application process, or you can pay at a Kiwibank located in a New Zealand Post shop. Please note that if you are paying the visa application fee at Kiwibank, you will need to print out the relevant deposit slip and bring it with you to Kiwibank.

Visa applicants, including children, are required to pay a non-refundable, non-transferable visa application fee, sometimes referred to as the MRV fee, before applying for a nonimmigrant visa. The visa application fee must be paid whether a visa is issued or not. The type of visa for which an applicant is applying for determines the fee amount. This link lists visa application fees associated with each nonimmigrant visa type.

Step 4:
Create a profile for the child with a working email address that has not been used prior in our system, if a profile has not been registered, on https://cgifederal.secure.force.com/?language=English&country=NewZealand.

Respond to the questions as prompted in the profile of the child.

At Step 6 in the online application process, if you have more than one child that is less than 14 and applying for the same visa type at the same time, you may add the remaining children as dependent(s) to the first child and proceed to enter the information of the remaining children. Once completed, click the “Continue” button.

At Step 7, there will be a series of questions ascertaining eligibility for a visa application via a mail-in. Please read and respond to the questions accordingly. If the applicant meets the criteria for interview waiver, you will be routed to the Interview Waiver Confirmation Letter page.

Please be advised that you are to print the Interview Waiver Confirmation Letter and insert the following documents into a package, and then seal the package:

  • Current passport.
  • One copy of the Interview Waiver Confirmation Letter.
  • Supporting documentation required for your child's visa type: (DS-160 confirmation page that has been completed and submitted online, photograph that meets the required specification if this has not been uploaded onto the DS-160, MRV fee receipt (if payment is made at a Kiwibank located in a New Zealand Post Shop) etc).
  • Copies of parents’/guardians’ valid U.S. visas, permanent resident status (if not New Zealand passport holders), and the birth certificate of the child.

Step 5:
You can send the sealed visa application to the U.S. Consulate General in Auckland, or you can drop the sealed package at the Consulate between the hours of 8.00am and 3.00 pm (Mondays to Fridays). Please note that the U.S. Consulate General in Auckland is closed during both U.S. holidays and New Zealand holidays observed in Auckland.

At the end of the scheduling an appointment process, you will receive a letter confirming that your child is free to waive the interview if you have read and responded accordingly to the questions at Step 7.

Note: Children under 14 may be eligible for interview waiver. However, the consular officer after having reviewed the documents may still require the child to schedule an interview.

Please do not pay for travel arrangements such as airfare without having a U.S. visa in your possession. The Embassy/Consulate bears no responsibility if you do so. The Embassy/Consulate is unable to guarantee the issuance of a visa before any fixed travel date.

Important reminder: Please ensure that the email address and New Zealand contact numbers provided in the profile are correct as correspondences and other notifications will be sent via email and/or mobile. In addition, please note that the passport/document will only be delivered/returned to an address located within New Zealand by Courier Post. Please provide a correct and deliverable document delivery address located within New Zealand when completing the online profile. Please check the address on New Zealand Post.