Frequently Asked Questions

General Questions

  1. What is the purpose of this site?
  2. Is it true that another company, website or individual can get a U.S. visa appointment faster than through this service?
  3. Is it true that another company, website or individual can guarantee the issuance of a U.S. visa?
  4. How do I know if I qualify for the Visa Waiver Program?
  5. Can you help me with the DS-160? I do not know what to put for a certain field. I cannot upload my picture properly. I cannot get a confirmation email. I cannot print out my confirmation page.
  6. What is my email address used for on this website?
  7. What happens to my online Form DS-160 if I select a U.S. Consular Section where I will be applying for my visa, but end up making an interview appointment instead to another U.S. Consular Section?
  8. Is there a requirement to provide social media identifiers when applying for a U.S. Visa?
  9. What should I do if there is a service outage affecting this website or any of the associated services? (Examples: unable to complete visa fee payment at a bank or online, unable to reach the call center number, unable to download the courier receipt, etc.)
  10. How can I edit my applicant information if I make a mistake?
  11. Are there any measures being taken at the Service Centers to ensure my health and safety during my visit?
  1. What is a visa?
  2. What types of visas are available?
  3. I wish to apply for C1/D and B1/B2 dual visa. What should I do?
  4. Who decides if I will get a visa?
  5. How long does it take to process my visa application?
  6. What is "administrative processing"?
  7. How long am I authorized to stay in the United States?
  8. Can I apply for two different visa types at the same time?
  9. After I have my visa, will I be able to enter the U.S.?
  10. I changed my name. Is my U.S. visa with my old name still valid?
  11. Should I book my travel before the interview?

Visa Renewals and Extensions Questions

  1. How can I extend my visa?
  2. I have a nonimmigrant visa that will expire soon. Do I need to go through the whole visa application process again?

Passport Questions

  1. Why do I need a blank page in my passport?
  2. I have dual citizenship. Which passport should I use to travel to the United States?
  3. My passport with the valid visa was stolen. What should I do?
  4. How long does my passport have to be valid in order to apply for a U.S. visa?
  5. I had to replace my passport before the scheduled appointment date. What do I need to do?
  6. My passport has expired but my U.S. visa is still active. What do I need to do?

MRV Fee Questions

  1. My application was denied. Can I get a refund of the visa fee?
  2. I got a system error when I was making my MRV fee payment online. Did my payment go through? How do I get my MRV fee receipt number?
  3. Can I sell or give my MRV fee to someone else?
  4. I paid the wrong MRV fee amount, what should I do?
  5. I paid the MRV amount after the expiration date, what should I do?
  6. I overpaid my MRV fee, what should I do?
  7. Where do I find the terms and conditions of the visa application (MRV) fee payment?

Visa Appointment Questions

  1. I need an earlier appointment and there are no available appointments, what should I do?
  2. How can I reschedule or cancel an appointment?
  3. What should I do if I missed my interview?
  4. Where should the applicant lodge any complaints?
  5. How do I add or change members for a scheduled group appointment?
  6. Who can accompany me to the visa interview?
  7. Are all visa applicants required to appear in person for a consular interview?

Visa Processing Under Covid-19 Restrictions Questions

Entering the United States

  1. Where can I see the latest travel restrictions for foreigners entering the United States?
  2. Do I need to apply for National Interest Exception (NIE) before the interview or I can do that at the time of the interview? How do I apply for NIE?
  3. What is the cost of a NIE and is it issued automatically with a visa or is it a separate document?
  4. I am vaccinated, should I still provide a negative test at the port of entry or is the proof of vaccination enough?

Appointment Availability

  1. Why is the next available appointment to apply for a visa so far in the future?
  2. I already have a scheduled appointment in the future, but how can I check if there is an earlier appointment available?
  3. I am willing to travel to apply for a visa. Which U.S. Embassies or Consulates are accepting appointments from applicants who are not citizens or legal permanent residents?
  4. Since there are no interview appointments available, should I try to apply in another country?
  5. Is there a limit to the number of times I can access my account to check appointment availability?
  6. I created my account some time ago, but I am still unable to pay the visa fee and schedule a visa interview appointment, nor can I request an emergency appointment as there are no appointments available. What should I do?

Appointment Cancellation

  1. Why was my visa appointment canceled again?
  2. Should I attend my appointment if I received an appointment cancellation notice?
  3. My appointment was canceled. Why didn’t I receive a notification email?
  4. How can I find out if my appointment will be canceled, and how long in advance will I receive an email if it is canceled?
  5. How does the Consular Section prioritize rescheduling of canceled immigrant visa appointments? Other people are receiving appointments before me, even though I had an earlier appointment. How long do I have to wait to get an appointment?

Visa Renewal

  1. I am renewing a visa but instead of receiving instructions to apply without having to appear in person, I am being directed to schedule a consular interview appointment. Why do I have to attend an appointment if I am renewing my visa?
  2. What is the wait time to issue a visa for visa renewal cases?
  3. I need to renew my visa, but I don’t see the renewal interview waiver qualifying statements. Where can I find the qualifying statements so I don’t have to attend a visa interview?

Emergency Appointments

  1. I have an urgent need to travel to the United States, but there are no visa appointments available. How can I request an urgent visa appointment?
  2. I submitted an emergency appointment request, but I am still waiting for an answer.
  3. My emergency appointment request was denied. Can I send another emergency request?
  4. My emergency appointment request was approved, but I cannot attend the appointment on the new date.

Visa Fees

  1. For how long is my visa fee valid to schedule an appointment?
  2. I paid my visa fee, but I do not wish to move forward with my visa application because my travel needs have changed, my appointment has been canceled several times, or because of the long wait time to obtain an appointment. Can I get a refund?

Status of Submitted Visa Applications

  1. I submitted my visa renewal application many weeks/months ago and I want to know the status of my application.
  2. How long will it take to process my visa and to be informed about the status of my visa application?

Other

  1. I received an email that my account was deactivated, what can I do?
  2. If I filled out my DS-160 form in 2020, do I need to fill out a new form for my appointment in 2021?

General Questions

  1. What is the purpose of this site?

    The U.S. Department of State has contracted CSRA to provide all or some of the following nonimmigrant visa services for Trinidad and Tobago:

    1. Visa service information (web, IVR and call center)
    2. Visa fee collection
    3. Scheduling of visa application review/interview

    CSRA is the only entity authorized to provide these services in this country on behalf of the U.S Department of State. If you use another company to provide these services that company must still use the services on this website.

  2. Is it true that another company, website or individual can get a U.S. visa appointment faster than through this service?

    No. All companies and individuals must use this service in order to schedule a visa appointment. No individual or company is given higher preferences. Any claims made by third parties stating that they can guarantee faster access to U.S. Department of State visa services are fraudulent.

    What if I pay more money?
    No individual or company is given higher preferences. Any and all such claims are fraudulent.

  3. Is it true that another company, website or individual can guarantee the issuance of a U.S. visa?

    No. Any and all such claims are fraudulent.

  4. How do I know if I qualify for the Visa Waiver Program?

    To determine if you qualify for the Visa Waiver Program, please visit https://travel.state.gov/content/travel/en/us-visas/tourism-visit/visa-waiver-program.html. You may also visit the Electronic System for Travel Authorization (ESTA) website at https://esta.cbp.dhs.gov/esta.

    Some travelers who are citizens of a Visa Waiver Program partner country may still be unable to travel to the United States under this program. If you have traveled to the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Iran, Iraq, Libya, Sudan, Syria, Somalia, or Yemen after March 2011, you are not eligible to travel under the Visa Waiver Program. Similarly, if you are a dual national of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Iran, Iraq, Sudan, or Syria, you are also not eligible to travel under the Visa Waiver Program. These travelers should apply for a nonimmigrant visa well in advance of the desired travel date to avoid any unnecessary delays.

    Travelers with imminent travel may request an expedited visa appointment. To request an expedited visa appointment, first schedule a regular visa appointment on the closest available date. Then sign-in to your account, click ‘Continue’, select ‘Request Expedite’ and follow the instructions. The traveler should include in the request the date and purpose of the travel as well as a copy of any U.S. Customs and Border Protection message he/she received regarding their ESTA status and, if applicable, why the ESTA application was denied.

    More information about restrictions to travel under the Visa Waiver Program, including the requirement for an electronic passport, is available at https://travel.state.gov/content/travel/en/us-visas/tourism-visit/visa-waiver-program.html.

  5. Can you help me with the DS-160? I do not know what to put for a certain field. I cannot upload my picture properly. I cannot get a confirmation email. I cannot print out my confirmation page.

    This is a visa information and appointment scheduling service only. Any advice to assist you or give you information or assistance on the form DS-160 can be found on the U.S. Department of State's website. You may find FAQs for the DS-160 application form at https://travel.state.gov/content/travel/en/us-visas/visa-information-resources/forms/ds-160-online-nonimmigrant-visa-application/ds-160-faqs.html.

  6. What is my email address used for on this website?

    Your email address will be your account login ID. All email notifications sent from this website will be sent to the email address you provide. If you do not receive any emails from usvisa-info.com, please check your SPAM and junk folders.

  7. What happens to my online Form DS-160 if I select a U.S. Consular Section where I will be applying for my visa, but end up making an interview appointment instead to another U.S. Consular Section?

    For information on this specific situation, please visit DS-160 Frequently Asked Questions at https://travel.state.gov/content/travel/en/us-visas/visa-information-resources/forms/ds-160-online-nonimmigrant-visa-application/ds-160-faqs.html.

  8. Is there a requirement to provide social media identifiers when applying for a U.S. Visa?

    On May 31, 2019, the Department of State updated its immigrant and nonimmigrant visa application forms to request additional information, including social media identifiers, from most U.S. visa applicants worldwide. For more information, please see the Department of State’s responses to Frequently Asked Questions.

  9. What should I do if there is a service outage affecting this website or any of the associated services? (Examples: unable to complete visa fee payment at a bank or online, unable to reach the call center number, unable to download the courier receipt, etc.)

    If you cannot complete one of the required actions described on this website because of a power failure, internet or telephone outage, or similar circumstances affecting your community, please try again when the outage is resolved. If you are still unsuccessful in completing the required action, please Contact Us using the information at the link https://ais.usvisa-info.com/en-tt/niv/information/contact_us. In your correspondence, please explain the type outage experienced, the service that was interrupted, and request guidance on what to do next.

    If you were in the process of paying your visa fee online (examples: using a debit card, credit card, or electronic funds transfer) and you are not certain if your fee payment was completed before the outage occurred, DO NOT attempt to make your payment again. Please Contact Us using the information at the link https://ais.usvisa-info.com/en-tt/niv/information/contact_us. In your correspondence, please explain the type of outage experienced, the service that was interrupted, and ask if your payment was completed. Please note that visa fee payments are non-refundable, and it may take a long time to obtain a refund for a duplicate payment.

  10. How can I edit my applicant information if I make a mistake?

    The U.S. Department of State places limits on the information you can change after you create an account in this system:

    • You may update your email address and phone number at any time.
    • You may change your passport number only one (1) time after a payment has been made.
    • You may NOT change the given name, surname, country that issued passport, country of birth, date of birth, or gender associated to your applicant profile after paying your visa fee.
    • For editing other information, if you already have an appointment scheduled, you must cancel your appointment to edit your information. If you do not have an appointment scheduled, you must sign-in to your account, click on the gear icon dropdown to the far right of the applicant name and select "Edit".
  11. Are there any measures being taken at the Service Centers to ensure my health and safety during my visit?

    Security measures at Service Centers that assist U.S. visa applicants have changed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Service Centers follow local and state laws, regulations, and civil protection guidance regarding use of personal protective equipment, handwashing, facility sanitization, etc. Applicants should check local regulations and plan their Service Center visit accordingly.

    By entering the Service Center, you agree to the following:

    1. You are not experiencing any flu-like symptoms.
    2. You do not have a fever. We recommend that you take your temperature before you visit the Service Center.
    3. You have not been in close contact in the last 14 days with anyone who, to the best of your knowledge, is being evaluated for, or has been diagnosed with, COVID-19.
    4. You will wear a face mask at all times when you are in the Service Center. You will only remove your mask when instructed to do so during biometric collection (where applicable).
    5. You will maintain the indicated amount of distance from other applicants and adhere to all distancing signs, floor markings, and seating restrictions.
    6. You will make use of the available hand washing / sanitizing facilities.
    7. You will follow the instructions of the Service Center staff members as they direct you through the facility.

Visa Renewals and Extensions Questions

  1. How can I extend my visa?

    If you want to extend your temporary stay in the United States, you must file a request with U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) before your authorized stay expires. If you remain in the United States longer than authorized, you may be barred from returning and/or you may be removed (deported) from the United States. Check the period of stay that was stamped on your passport by Customs and Border protection officials to determine the date your authorized stay expires. To learn more how to extend your visa, please visit USCIS website at https://www.uscis.gov/visit-united-states/extend-your-stay.

  2. I have a nonimmigrant visa that will expire soon. Do I need to go through the whole visa application process again?

    Yes, you will need to go through the entire visa application process each time you apply for a visa, even if your visa is still valid. However, those who are renewing a previous U.S. visa or who meet certain other age-related criteria may qualify for a waiver of the visa interview. Eligibility is determined based on the answers provided to questions during the appointment scheduling process. However, consular officers reserve the right to require an interview for any visa applicant.

Passport Questions

  1. Why do I need a blank page in my passport?

    U.S. nonimmigrant visas require an entire passport page to be printed. Please assure that your passport contains at least 1-2 blank visa/stamp pages for the printing of the visa and the associated entry stamps.

  2. I have dual citizenship. Which passport should I use to travel to the United States?

    If you have dual citizenship and are not a U.S. Citizen, you must select whichever nationality you prefer to enter the United States. You must enter and depart the United States using one passport.

  3. My passport with the valid visa was stolen. What should I do?

    If your passport with your paper Form I-94 is lost or stolen, you must get them replaced immediately. There are a number of steps you need to take. To learn more, see Lost and Stolen Passports, Visas, and Form I-94s at https://travel.state.gov/content/travel/en/us-visas/visa-information-resources/lost-stolen-visas.html.

  4. How long does my passport have to be valid in order to apply for a U.S. visa?

    The passport should be valid for at least 6 months beyond the applicant's intended period of stay in the United States unless country specific agreements provide exceptions. Consult https://www.cbp.gov/document/bulletins/six-month-club-update for exemptions. You may also visit https://travel.state.gov/content/visas/en.html for more information.

  5. I had to replace my passport before the scheduled appointment date. What do I need to do?

    The applicant can attend the scheduled appointment and present the new passport. If the applicant is not able to obtain a new passport before the scheduled appointment date, the applicant must cancel or reschedule the appointment. An applicant will not be able to apply for a visa without a valid passport. Please provide a copy of the police report if the passport was stolen.

  6. My passport has expired but my U.S. visa is still active. What do I need to do?

    Unless canceled or revoked, a visa is valid until its expiration date. If your visa is still valid you can travel to the United States with your two passports, as long as the visa is valid, not damaged, and is the appropriate type of visa required for your primary purpose of travel. Both passports (the valid and the expired one with the visa) should be from the same country and type. Please note: A valid visa is not guarantee of entry into the United States. Final determination of entry is at the sole discretion of the CBP Officer reviewing the documentation.

MRV Fee Questions

  1. My application was denied. Can I get a refund of the visa fee?

    No. The fee that you paid is an application fee. Everyone who applies for a U.S. visa anywhere in the world must pay this fee, which covers the cost of processing your application.

  2. I got a system error when I was making my MRV fee payment online. Did my payment go through? How do I get my MRV fee receipt number?

    MRV fee payments are non-refundable. If you got a system error when making your MRV fee payment online, do not attempt to make another payment. Sign-in with your user account and go to your "My Account" home page, click on the "Continue" link and follow the instructions.

  3. Can I sell or give my MRV fee to someone else?

    MRV fee payments are non-refundable and non-transferrable. You cannot sell or trade and MRV fee with someone else.

  4. I overpaid my MRV fee, what should I do?

    If you have questions or concerns about your payment, please use the "Contact Us" feature of this website.

  5. Where do I find the terms and conditions of the visa application (MRV) fee payment?

    All information concerning the visa application (MRV) fee can be found here.

Visa Appointment Questions

  1. I need an earlier appointment and there are no available appointments, what should I do?

    You can request an expedited appointment. To request an expedited appointment, first schedule a regular appointment on the closest available date. Then, sign-in to your account, click “Continue”, select "Request Expedite" and follow the instructions. Expedited Appointments will only be granted at the Consular Section’s discretion. Circumstances that may be considered for expedited appointments include:

    1. An immediate relative's death, grave illness or life threatening accident taking place in the United States.
    2. Urgent medical treatment for the applicant or their minor child.
    3. An applicant for a student or exchange visitor (F/M/J) visa whose I-20 or DS-2019 has a start date that is earlier than the first available visa appointment.
    4. An unexpected need to travel to the United States for urgent business purposes that is occurring within 10 days after the first available visa appointment.
    5. An unexpected visit that is of significant cultural, political, journalistic, sporting or economic importance that is occurring within 10 days after the first available visa appointment.

    Circumstances considered for expedited appointments may vary. When you request an expedited appointment, you will see the list of acceptable circumstances in the country where you are applying for a visa.

  2. How can I reschedule or cancel an appointment?

    You can cancel or reschedule an appointment only if the appointment date is in the future. To cancel or reschedule an appointment, you must sign-in to the system, and click "Continue", select the option to "Cancel Appointment" or "Reschedule Appointment" and then follow the provided instructions.

  3. What should I do if I missed my interview?

    If you missed your interview appointment, you must sign-in to your account, click “Continue”, select the "Missed My Appointment" link and follow the instructions. Please note that applicants must wait 24 hours before they will be able to request approval to reschedule a missed appointment.

  4. Where should the applicant lodge any complaints?

    Select the "Contact Us" link at the bottom of the website and follow the instructions.

  5. How do I add or change members for a scheduled group appointment?

    If you want to add or modify the members of the group after you have scheduled an appointment, you need to cancel your group appointment, add or change the members of the group and then reschedule the group appointment.

    Please note, depending on the calendar availability, there is no guarantee that you will be able to schedule the same date and time as originally scheduled.

  6. Who can accompany me to the visa interview?

    In general, only visa applicants with scheduled appointments are allowed to enter the Consular Section. Parents or legal guardians are allowed to accompany minor children. For special instructions concerning translators or caregivers or to contact the Consular Section for more information, visit the Consular Section website.

  7. Are all visa applicants required to appear in person for a consular interview?

    Those who are renewing a previous U.S. visa, or who meet certain other age-related criteria, may qualify for a waiver of the visa interview. Eligibility is determined based on the answers provided to questions during the appointment scheduling process. However, consular officers reserve the right to require an interview for any visa applicant.

Visa Processing Under Covid-19 Restrictions Questions

Entering the United States

  1. Where can I see the latest travel restrictions for foreigners entering the United States?

    During the global Covid-19 pandemic, the U.S. Government has imposed restrictions and requirements that might affect travel to the United States. For the latest information from the U.S. Department of State regarding visa issues and travel, please visit: https://travel.state.gov/content/travel/en/News/visas-news.html.

  2. Do I need to apply for National Interest Exception (NIE) before the interview or I can do that at the time of the interview? How do I apply for NIE?

    For information about National Interest Exceptions (NIE), please refer to this website: https://travel.state.gov/content/travel/en/us-visas/visa-information-resources/covid-19-travel-restrictions-and-exceptions.html. If you believe your travel is within one of the listed categories, please consult the website of the nearest U.S. Embassy or Consulate for instructions on applying for a NIE.

  3. What is the cost of a NIE and is it issued automatically with a visa or is it a separate document?

    There is no cost associated with a National Interest Exception. Such exceptions are granted at the discretion of a consular officer and based on the guidelines provided on the U.S. Embassy’s website.

  4. I am vaccinated, should I still provide a negative test at the port of entry or is the proof of vaccination enough?

    U.S. entry requirements change frequently. It is the responsibility of each traveler to be familiar with current entry requirements. Please refer to the entry requirements specified at the Center for Disease Control and Prevention website: https://wwwnc.cdc.gov/travel.

Appointment Availability

  1. Why is the next available appointment to apply for a visa so far in the future?

    The U.S. Embassies and Consulates are operating with reduced capacity and currently have only limited resources available to process visa applications. While they plan on increasing the number of applications processed and visa interview appointments as soon as possible, there is likely to be a significant wait time for these services due to a substantial backlog. For the latest information from the U.S. Department of State regarding Visa Services Operating Status, please visit: https://travel.state.gov/content/travel/en/News/visas-news/visa-services-operating-status-update.html.

  2. I already have a scheduled appointment in the future, but how can I check if there is an earlier appointment available?

    You cannot see appointment availability unless you are actively scheduling an appointment. If you have a scheduled appointment and you want to see if an earlier appointment is available, you must log in to your account on this website (https://ais.usvisa-info.com/), click the Continue button, and select the "Reschedule Appointment" option. The displayed appointment calendar includes available appointments based on your visa class and other criteria. Select the appointment date and time that you prefer and click the Reschedule button. The system will ask you to confirm the change and then present an updated Confirmation and Instructions page. If you choose to retain your current appointment, click the Close button.

  3. I am willing to travel to apply for a visa. Which U.S. Embassies or Consulates are accepting appointments from applicants who are not citizens or legal permanent residents?

    Currently, most U.S. Embassies and Consulates have limited resources available for processing visa applications; consequently, they are prioritizing the applications of citizens and legal permanent residents. We recommend that you visit the website of the U.S. Embassy where you will be applying to determine if they are accepting visa applications from third country nationals.

  4. Since there are no interview appointments available, should I try to apply in another country?

    We recommend applying in the country where you are a citizen or a legal permanent resident. Currently, most U.S. Embassies and Consulates have limited resources available for processing visa applications; consequently, they are prioritizing the applications of citizens and legal permanent residents.

  5. Is there a limit to the number of times I can access my account to check appointment availability?

    There is no limit on the number of times you can access your account; however, repeatedly refreshing a page inside the system over an extended period of time can lead to the deactivation of your account. Additionally, accessing this website through multiple computers at the same time or using automated or non-human means, such as with bots or scripts, is prohibited by the Terms of Use of the site.

  6. I created my account some time ago, but I am still unable to pay the visa fee and schedule a visa interview appointment, nor can I request an emergency appointment as there are no appointments available. What should I do?

    The U.S. Embassies and Consulates are operating at reduced capacity and currently have only limited resources available to process visa applications. While they plan on increasing the number of applications processed and visa interview appointments as soon as possible, there is likely to be a significant wait time for these services due to a substantial backlog.

    Please check this website (https://ais.usvisa-info.com/) to see if new appointments are available. Once you schedule a visa appointment, you will be able to submit an expedited appointment request.

Appointment Cancellation

  1. Why was my visa appointment canceled again?

    Due to local Covid-19 health restrictions and safety protocols, Consular Sections continue to cancel visa appointments. Consular Sections plan on increasing capacity as the local conditions improve. Please follow the instructions you received via email when your appointment was canceled.

  2. Should I attend my appointment if I received an appointment cancellation notice?

    You should not attend your consular appointment if you received an appointment cancellation notification. To reschedule your appointment, please sign into your user account on this website (https://ais.usvisa-info.com/), select the "Continue" option, and follow the system instructions under the "Reschedule Appointment" option. If you require further assistance, please refer to the Help section at the bottom of the page.

  3. My appointment was canceled. Why didn’t I receive a notification email?

    When an appointment is canceled, the system automatically sends an email to the email address provided in the appointment scheduling system. In some cases, the provided email address is incorrect, the applicant does not have access to the email address of the user who created the account, or the notification goes to the spam or junk email folder (based on the email account’s configuration). For these reasons, we recommend that applicants check the status of their appointment a day or two before the appointment by logging into this website (https://ais.usvisa-info.com/).

  4. How can I find out if my appointment will be canceled, and how long in advance will I receive an email if it is canceled?

    In general, Consular Sections attempt to cancel appointments at least three weeks in advance; however, given the current changing environment, cancellations can occur less than three weeks before the appointment. We recommend that applicants check the status of their appointment a day or two before the appointment by logging into this website (https://ais.usvisa-info.com/).

  5. How does the Consular Section prioritize rescheduling of canceled immigrant visa appointments? Other people are receiving appointments before me, even though I had an earlier appointment. How long do I have to wait to get an appointment?

    Consular Sections that process both immigrant and nonimmigrant visas are prioritizing immigrant visa applications, while still providing some nonimmigrant visa services. In addition, consistent with U.S. Government guidance on safety in the federal workplace, U.S. Embassies and Consulates have implemented social distancing and other safety measures, which have reduced the number of applicants Consular Sections are able to process in a single day.

    The guiding principle on which the Consular Sections have based immigrant visa prioritization is that family reunification is a clear priority of the U.S. Government’s immigration policy, as expressed in the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA). Specifically, the Department’s prioritization relies on clear direction from Congress that the Department must adopt a policy of prioritizing immediate relative and K-1 (fiancé(e) of a U.S. citizens) visa applicants, followed by family preference immigrant visa applicants.

    While the Consular Sections, where possible, are scheduling some appointments within all four priority tiers every month, the following lists the main categories of immigrant visas in priority order:

    • Tier One: Immediate relative intercountry adoption visas, age-out cases (cases where the applicant will soon no longer qualify due to their age), and certain Special Immigrant Visas (SQ and SI for Afghan and Iraqi nationals working with the U.S. Government)
    • Tier Two: Immediate relative visas, fiancé(e) visas, and returning resident visas
    • Tier Three: Family preference immigrant visas and SE Special Immigrant Visas for certain employees of the U.S. Government abroad
    • Tier Four: All other immigrant visas, including employment preference and diversity visas

    For additional information on Immigrant Visa Prioritization, please visit https://travel.state.gov/content/travel/en/News/visas-news/immigrant-visa-prioritization.html.

Visa Renewal

  1. I am renewing a visa but instead of receiving instructions to apply without having to appear in person, I am being directed to schedule a consular interview appointment. Why do I have to attend an appointment if I am renewing my visa?

    Due to the Covid-19 health restrictions and safety protocols, Consular Sections are operating at reduced capacity and currently have only limited resources available to process visa applications. As a result, some Consular Sections have either temporarily suspended or restricted the interview waiver process.

    If the Consular Section has an active process to renew visas without an interview, eligibility will be determined as the applicant goes through the process on this website (https://ais.usvisa-info.com/). An eligibility determination will be made based on the answers provided to the qualifying criteria.

    Do not call or send an email to Contact Us to ask about qualifying for an interview waiver, because agents only have access to the information provided above.

  2. What is the wait time to issue a visa for visa renewal cases?

    Every visa application is unique and processing time varies based on each case. Additionally, due to the Covid-19 pandemic, U.S. Embassies and Consulates are operating at reduced capacity and currently have only limited resources available to process visa applications, which may delay issuance of your visa. You may track the status of your visa application at https://ceac.state.gov/CEAC.

  3. I need to renew my visa, but I don’t see the renewal interview waiver qualifying statements. Where can I find the qualifying statements so I don’t have to attend a visa interview?

    Applicants qualify for interview waiver based on the information they provide as they proceed through the steps on this website (https://ais.usvisa-info.com/). If no qualifying statements were presented, either you did not qualify for interview waiver, or the interview waiver option is not currently available in the Consular Section where you are applying.

Emergency Appointments

  1. I have an urgent need to travel to the United States, but there are no visa appointments available. How can I request an urgent visa appointment?

    You can request an expedited appointment. To request an expedited appointment, first schedule a regular appointment on the closest available date. Then, sign-in to your account, click “Continue”, select "Request Expedite" and follow the instructions. Expedited Appointments will only be granted at the Consular Section’s discretion. Circumstances that may be considered for expedited appointments include:

    1. An immediate relative's death, grave illness or life threatening accident taking place in the United States.
    2. Urgent medical treatment for the applicant or their minor child.
    3. An applicant for a student or exchange visitor (F/M/J) visa whose I-20 or DS-2019 has a start date that is earlier than the first available visa appointment.
    4. An unexpected need to travel to the United States for urgent business purposes that is occurring within 10 days after the first available visa appointment.
    5. An unexpected visit that is of significant cultural, political, journalistic, sporting or economic importance that is occurring within 10 days after the first available visa appointment.

    Circumstances considered for expedited appointments may vary. When you request an expedited appointment, you will see the list of acceptable circumstances in the country where you are applying for a visa.

  2. I submitted an emergency appointment request, but I am still waiting for an answer.

    Consular Sections are receiving a high number of emergency appointment requests. These requests are reviewed and granted based on the availability of consular officers to process visa applications. If you have not yet received a response to your emergency appointment request, please wait for an answer from the Consular Section as they are working diligently through the backlog of requests. If you do not receive a response, plan on attending your consular interview appointment at the originally scheduled date and time.

  3. My emergency appointment request was denied. Can I send another emergency request?

    Due to the high number of emergency appointment requests, and the reduced capacity that Consular Sections have in responding to them, consular officers cannot approve all the emergency requests they receive. If your emergency request was denied, the appointment system will not allow you to submit a new request and you should plan on attending your consular interview appointment at the originally scheduled date and time.

    In very limited cases, the Consular Section may allow applicants to submit an additional emergency appointment request. Eligible applicants will receive instructions on how to proceed in the emergency request denial notification message. The best way to check if you are authorized to send another emergency request is to log in to your account on this website (https://ais.usvisa-info.com/). If you do not have the option to submit a new expedite request, you should plan on attending your consular interview appointment at the scheduled date.

  4. My emergency appointment request was approved, but I cannot attend the appointment on the new date.

    Due to Covid-19 restrictions, Consular Sections are approving only a limited number of emergency appointment requests. If your emergency appointment request was approved and you received a new appointment, we recommend that you make every effort to attend, as appointment capacity is extremely limited.

    If you cannot attend your emergency appointment, you may cancel the appointment and schedule a new appointment based on available appointment capacity.

Visa Fees

  1. For how long is my visa fee valid to schedule an appointment?

    Based on Department of State guidance, validity has been extended until September 30, 2022 for visa fees that meet the following criteria:

    • For any visa fee purchased after March 19, 2020, and until routine visa services resume.
    • For any visa fee that has expired, or will expire, between March 20, 2020, and the date when routine visa services resume.

    To check the expiry date of your visa fee, log into your account on this website (https://ais.usvisa-info.com/), click the Continue button, and select the Payment Receipt option. The visa fee expiry date for each applicant is listed on the Payment Receipt.

  2. I paid my visa fee, but I do not wish to move forward with my visa application because my travel needs have changed, my appointment has been canceled several times, or because of the long wait time to obtain an appointment. Can I get a refund?

    Visa fees are non-refundable and non-transferrable. All nonimmigrant visa applicants must pay the visa application fee prior to scheduling an appointment. Before paying the visa fee, applicants are required to acknowledge, by checking a box, that they understand that the visa fee is going to be assigned to the visa applicant and that the fee is non-refundable and non-transferrable (either to another person or for use in another country).

    This visa application fee is normally valid for one year from the date of purchase; however, the U.S. Department of State understands that many visa applicants have paid the visa application processing fee and are still waiting to attend or schedule a visa appointment. For this reason, the visa fee validity has been extended until September 30, 2022 in line with Department of State guidance.

    To check the expiry date of your visa fee, log in to your account on this website (https://ais.usvisa-info.com/), click the Continue button, and select the Payment Receipt option. The visa fee expiry date for each applicant is listed on the Payment Receipt.

Status of Submitted Visa Applications

  1. I submitted my visa renewal application many weeks/months ago and I want to know the status of my application.

    U.S. Embassies and Consulates are operating at reduced capacity and currently have only limited resources available to process visa applications; therefore, the time required to process a visa application and printing an approved U.S. visa is taking longer than normal (in some cases several months).

    After submitting your visa renewal documents or attending a visa interview appointment, you can track the status of your visa application at: https://ceac.state.gov/CEAC.

    Do not call or send an email to Contact Us to ask about the status of your application as they do not have access to this information.

  2. How long will it take to process my visa and to be informed about the status of my visa application?

    Every visa application is unique and processing time varies based on each case. Additionally, due to the Covid-19 pandemic, U.S. Embassies and Consulates are operating at reduced capacity and currently have only limited resources available to process visa applications, which may delay issuance of your visa. You can track the status of your visa application at https://ceac.state.gov/CEAC.

Other

  1. I received an email that my account was deactivated, what can I do?

    Login to your account on this website (https://ais.usvisa-info.com/) and follow the instructions provided regarding account reactivation.

  2. If I filled out my DS-160 form in 2020, do I need to fill out a new form for my appointment in 2021?

    Submitted DS-160 forms do not expire. They can be used to apply for a visa many months later, if the information entered on the form is still valid. The same is true for the uploaded photos. Consular Sections will determine at the time the visa application is processed if you need to resubmit a more recent photo.