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U.S. Visa Services
Visit the United States

Do I Need a Visa?

What is a Visa?

A citizen of a foreign country who seeks to enter the United States generally must first obtain a U.S. visa, which is placed in the traveler’s passport.

Do I need a Visa?

Visa Waiver Program:
Certain international travelers may be eligible to travel to the United States without a visa under the Visa Waiver Program, which is administered by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) – find out of you are eligible for a Visa Waiver here.

Non-Immigrant Visas:
The Visa section of this website has information about U.S. visas for foreign citizens and nationals to travel to the United States. For detailed information on Visas, FAQs, and how to apply, visit the Visa Application website here.

Note: U.S. citizens do not need a U.S. visa for travel to the United States. When planning travel abroad a U.S. citizen may need a visa issued by the embassy or consulate of the country they wish to visit.

What Type of Visa Do I Need?

For short-term visits to the United States (for tourism, business, education, and more), you can go directly to the online application (form DS-160).  For more information on Visa Types, visit the Visa Application Website. (Business/Tourist; Work; Student; Exchange; Transit/crew member; Religious worker; Domestic Employee; Journalist & Media; Treaty Traders & Treaty Investors; full list here).

For immigrant visas, which are issued to foreign nationals who intend to live and work permanently in the United States, you can visit the U.S. citizenship and Immigration Services site for the relevant forms.  Visit the Visa Application Website for more information.

Still Unsure?

If you are still unsure what type of visa you need, please use the Visa Wizard below.

Visit Travel.State.gov for any additional information.

Waiver of Interview Requirement for many Visa Applicants:

Consular encourages the submission of visa applications by mail for all applicants that do not require an interview or fingerprints. If qualified, this is the fastest process and usually takes around 4 weeks, from when we receive the passport. The program is available for applicants who meet one of the following criteria:

  • Applying for a diplomatic or official visa;
  • Renewing a visa in the same category for a visa that is either still valid or has expired in the last 48 months;
  • Applying for a student F or M visa, or academic-related J visa [first time or renewal] (see this page for more information);
  • Applying for an H, L, O, P, or Q petition-based worker visa (including dependents);
  • Over the age of 79;
  • Under the age of 14.

Find more information on our Visa Application website.

Visa Application Fee Announcement:

All nonimmigrant visa application fee (also known as the MRV fee) payments made on or after October 1, 2022, are valid for 365 days from the date a receipt is issued for payment of the MRV fee.  Applicants must schedule an interview appointment or submit an interview waiver application during this 365-day period.  Please note applicants must only schedule their interview or submit their waiver application within the 365-day period.  There is no requirement the interview must occur during the 365-day period.  All receipts for payment of MRV fees issued before October 1, 2022, were extended until September 30, 2023, and remain valid until this date.

Contact Details

Applicants are requested to schedule interviews following the instructions on our visa scheduling site. Should an applicant have an emergency request, they can submit that request by following these instructions. You may also contact our visa customer service agency should you wish to talk or chat with a visa representative.

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