Step 1. Check the Validity of Your Passport
Your passport must be valid for at least six months beyond your period of stay in the United States, unless exempt by country-specific agreements. If more than one person is included in your passport, each person who needs a visa must submit a separate application.
Step 2. Complete the Online Nonimmigrant Visa Application, Form DS-160
- Completed Online Nonimmigrant Visa Application, Form DS-160
Please note that you must answer EVERY question on the application form. If the answer to a question is “none,” please write “none”(Do not leave it blank). Incomplete/incorrect forms will be returned and will require you to schedule a new interview appointment.
Step 3. Collect any Supporting Documentation
A valid passport with one clear page to put the visa onto, the DS-160 confirmation page with the uploaded a 2 x 2 inch color photo not older than 6 months – with a light or white background, and the DS-160 form listed in Step 2 are required for the visa interview.
In addition, one week before their interview, applicants or crew agents should submit the following:
- Applications for crew visas must be accompanied by the passport containing the previously issued visa
- Continuous Discharge Certificate
- Join Ship letter
- Equasis check
- Letter of Employment or Letter from Local Agent containing
- Applicant Info:
- Job Title/Rank
- Passport #
- CDC #
- Vessel Info:
- Joining Date
- Joining Port
- For D visa (city and country name)
- For C1 or C1/D visa (port and state name in the U.S.)
Additional documents may be requested to establish if you are qualified. If transiting the United States to meet a vessel, be prepared to provide evidence you are transiting to meet the vessel, for example, a letter from your employer or your employer’s agent. Additional requested documents may include evidence of:
- The purpose of your trip;
- Your intent to depart the United States after your trip; and/or
- Your ability to pay all costs of the trip.
Step 4. Schedule an Interview Appointment
To schedule an appointment for a non-immigrant visa (NIV) interview, please consult the Consulates’s online NIV Appointment System. Please have your DS-160 Online Nonimmigrant Visa Application Form Confirmation Number handy. It is located on your DS-160 confirmation page, in bold print.
Step 5. Submit Your Passport and Visa Application Forms
Bring the completed DS-160 confirmation sheet with the uploaded 2 x 2 inch color photo not older than 6 months, and a valid passport, to the Consulate on your scheduled interview date.
Step 6. Pay the MRV Fee
On the day of your interview, please pay the following nonrefundable visa application fees: $ 160 for B-1 (Business) and B-2 (Tourism & Visit) nonimmigrant visas; $ 190 for H, L, O, P, Q, and R visas; and $ 270 for E visas.
Step 7. Interview for your visa with the Consular Officer
During your visa interview, a consular officer will determine whether you are qualified to receive a visa, and if so, which visa category is appropriate based on your purpose of travel. You will need to establish that you meet the requirements under U.S. law to receive the category of visa for which you are applying.
Ink-free, digital fingerprint scans will be taken as part of your application process. They are usually taken during your interview, but this varies based on location.
Step 8. Pay the Visa Issuance Fee
If your visa is approved, you may also have to pay a reciprocity fee, depending on what country you are from.
Step 9. Return to Collect Your Passport and Visa
If you are issued the visa, you will be given a date and time to pick up your passport, typically within 5-7 business days.