The purpose of your intended travel and other facts will determine what type of visa is required under U.S. immigration law. As a visa applicant, you will need to establish that you meet all requirements to receive the category of visa for which you are applying.

See our Directory of Visa Categories on to determine which visa category might be appropriate for your purpose of travel to the United States.

Nonimmigrant Visas

Travel to the United States on a temporary basis, including tourism, temporary employment, study and exchange.

Immigrant Visas

For foreign citizens who want to live permanently in the United States.

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, a travel document issued by the traveler’s country of citizenship.

Certain international travelers may be eligible to travel to the United States without a visa if they meet the requirements for visa-free travel. The Visa section of this website is all about U.S. visas for foreign citizens to travel to the United States.

(Note: U.S. citizens don’t need a U.S. visa for travel, but when planning travel abroad may need a visa issued by the embassy of the country they wish to visit.).

The Department of State manages the visa process strictly but fairly in order to best protect the United States.  We are committed to the essential openness for which the United States has always been known.  Travel to the United States is welcomed and encouraged.

We promise to you, the visa applicant, that:

  • We will treat you with dignity and respect, even if we are unable to grant you a visa.
  • We will treat you as an individual and your case as unique.
  • We will remember that, to you, a visa interview may be a new or intimidating experience and that you may be nervous.
  • We will use the limited time available for the interview to get as full a picture as possible of your travel plans and intentions.
  • We will use our available resources to fairly assist all applicants to get appointments to allow travel in time for business, study, and other important obligations.
  • We will post detailed and accurate information on visa requirements and application procedures on every Embassy and Consulate website.
  • We will provide information on non-immigrant appointment waiting times at every Embassy and Consulate posted on
  • We will explain the reason for any visa denial to you.

Furthermore, if you are a:

  • Student, we will make every effort to ensure that you get an appointment and, if qualified, a visa in time to start classes.
  • Medical and humanitarian emergency traveler, we will expedite processing for those dealing with life threatening emergencies.
  • Business traveler, we will establish appropriate mechanisms to facilitate business travel and expedite cases of particular concern to American business.

At the same time, we expect you, the visa applicant, to:

  • Plan your travel and visa application as far in advance as possible.
  • Complete your application fully and accurately.
  • Be forthcoming about your purpose and plans.
  • Prepare for your interview by being able to clearly and concisely describe your intentions.

If you want to contact a representative of the Visa Information Service, please visit the  Visa Information Service website or the nonimmigrant Visas or immigrant visa webpage for detailed contact information about each section. You may write in English or Spanish.

If you have a specific question about a nonimmigrant visa case, you may contact the Visa Section directly. Please note that under U.S. law, visa records are confidential and we will not respond to inquiries from third parties.  The Visa Section will only respond to visa inquiries from the applicant or from the applicant’s legal representative.

Please note that we do not accept unsolicited documents regarding a visa refusal.

You can check our Frequently Asked Questions and more FAQ for general information and visa process. Please visit those links because we will not respond to questions whose answers can be found in the site.

Interview request

During certain times of the year, you may experience a significant delay in obtaining an appointment. We recommend you schedule your appointment early in advance. Bear in mind that the wait times may vary daily depending on the appointments requested.

appointment scheduling

If you want to schedule, -re-schedule or modify information regarding your appointment, please sign in to your account on the Visa Information Service (To get into your account, you need to use the same information provided when you created it to avoid paying a new fee).

Scheduling issues

If you have any inconvenience while trying to schedule-re-schedule your appointment online, please contact the Visa Information Service.


  • I did not receive a confirmation email.
  • I cannot sign in to my account
  • I cannot add a relative
  • The appointment information on my account is incorrect.
  • The appointment calendar is not displayed.
  • I received I cancellation email but I did not cancelled my appointment.

Use of Agents, agencies, or not authorized parties:

We do not recommend under any circumstance the use of unauthorized third parties to schedule visa appointments. The Embassy of the United States suggests applicants to schedule their own visa appointments. If someone requested money to expedite your appointment, you may have suffered fraud.