Frequently Asked Questions
Where can I learn more information on the status of my visa? To check your visa status please click here.
I have a B1/B2 visa that I used for a business trip. May I use the same visa to take a second trip for tourism? Yes. All B1/B2 visas are valid for both tourism and business travel, regardless of the original purpose of travel. As long as the visa has not expired, you can travel to the U.S. for either business or pleasure without requiring a new visa.
My passport is going to expire soon. It contains a valid U.S. visa. Do I need to get a new visa for my new passport? No. As long as the passport authority does not punch holes through your U.S. visa, you may use it to travel to the U.S. You should carry both your new, valid passport as well as your old passport that contains your U.S. visa.
I need to travel a few days after my interview. Can I take my passport with me at the end of the interview? Yes. Please inform the Consul that you will need to take your passport. After you return from your travels, you should send your passport back to the embassy via Aramex. We will then continue to process and print your visa.
How long before my planned travel date should I apply for a visa? Please plan to apply at least three months before your intended travel date. The Consulate is not responsible for any travel, flight or hotel plans.
How long can I stay in the United States? If you are allowed to enter the U.S., the Customs and Border Protection (CBP) official will determine the length of your visit on the Arrival-Departure Record (Form I-94, pictured below). Since Form I-94 documents your authorized stay in the U.S., it's very important to keep it with your passport. It is important that you depart the U.S. on or before the last day you are authorized to be in the U.S. on any given trip. Failure to depart the U.S. could affect your eligibility to obtain visas in the future.
What is the impact of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) on immigrant and non-immigrant visa applications? For more information, please visit the Department of State's website.
Common Questions from Students:
What will happen once I arrive at the port of entry? Click here to see what procedures you need to go through upon arrival at the U.S. port of entry.
My academic program is starting very soon but there are no more appointments available this month. What should I do? Please make an appointment for the earliest available date. At the end of this process you will be able to request an emergency appointment. You must explain briefly what your emergency is, give your SEVIS number and I20 start date, and give two or three dates that would suit you for interview.
It is less than one week before the start date on my I-20 and my visa is still being processed. What should I do? Please contact your school and request an extension letter or a new I-20. Inform them that your visa is still being processed. When you receive your extension letter or new I-20, please send a copy to the embassy immediately. Please remember, visa processing cannot be expedited.
I am already in the U.S. studying but my spouse would like to apply for a visa and join me here. What do they need to bring to the interview?Your spouse should decide if they want a visa to visit you (B1/B2) or a visa to stay with you while you study in the U.S. (F2). If they are requesting an F2 visa, they will need to obtain a Dependent I-20 form from your school, and bring that with them to the interiew, in addition to the standard required documents, and a copy of your F1 visa.
I am an unmarried female student going to study in the U.S. Can my father (or my brother) receive a student visa to accompany me to the United States? For students studying in the U.S., only their children under the age of 21 and spouses qualify for accompanying F2 status. Other family members who wish to accompany the student must apply for a Business and Tourism (B1/B2) visa. This means that the family member will not be able to live in the United States for the full term of the visa, and must exit the country within the time given by the Customs and Border Protection officer. Most visitors on a B1/B2 visa are admitted for six months, after which they must depart or seek an extension. Another option is for the family member to enroll in an academic program full time to qualify for a student (F1) visa, allowing residence in the U.S. for the duration of their studies.
Personal or Domestic Servant Questions:
I would like to bring a personal domestic employee with me when I travel to the U.S. How does this work? Anyone accompanying their employer to the U.S. to perform work must have a contract written in English as well as their native language, if they do not read in English. Personal or domestic employees are not automatically entitled to a visa, even if their employer has already received one. It is also important to note that all employers must follow the Wilberforce guidelines, and be paid at U.S. salary levels.