Visa Requirements - United States Department of State (2023)

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Visit the Consular Affairs’ website for specific information about obtaining or renewing an A or G visa, as well as the website for the U.S. embassy or consular post at which the individual will be applying for a visa:

https://travel.state.gov/content/travel/en/us-visas/other-visa-categories/visas-diplomats.html

https://travel.state.gov/content/travel/en/us-visas/other-visa-categories/visa-employees-nato.html

Visa required for employment with foreign mission or international organization

The following visas are required for accreditation as a member of the staff of a respective foreign mission or designated IO for all personnel,[1]other than U.S. citizens and LPRs:

• A-1, A-2: Foreign government officials and employees at an embassy or consulate

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• G-1: Foreign government officials and employees (regardless of rank) at a member state’s mission to a designated IO

• G-3: Generally includes foreign government officials and employees (regardless of rank) at a state’s mission to a designated IO where the government is not a member of the IO

• G-4: Officers and employees of a designated IO assigned to that IO

Personnel who are traveling on behalf of a foreign government or designated IO on official business of a temporary nature (less than 90 days) must also qualify for and obtain the appropriate A or G visa.

All members of the immediate family forming part of the household of the principal official or employee, unless they are U.S. citizens or LPRs, must generally hold a visa that matches the visa classification of the principal official or employee whom they are accompanying or following to join, though certain exceptions exist for dependents working for a foreign mission, mission to an IO or on the staff of an IO.

Such visas must be obtained prior to the newly hired or arrived principal’s performance of services. Under the INA, the commencement of employment before an individual is in the correct nonimmigrant visa status places the concerned individual in an unlawful status. Therefore, such individual is not permitted to take up his or her duties until the correct visa is obtained from a U.S. embassy or consular post or a change of status to the appropriate A or G nonimmigrant status in the United States has been approved by USCIS. NOAs will not be accepted, and no documents (e.g., ID card, tax exemption card, driver’s license) will be issued or privileges and immunities afforded for any newly hired or arrived principal not in A or G nonimmigrant visa status.

U.S. citizens and LPRs may be employed in any position except as a diplomatic agent or career consular officer. They do not require a visa for this employment and are otherwise not entitled to any nonimmigrant visa classification, though their family members may be entitled to a nonimmigrant visa classification if the family member does not have U.S. citizenship or lawful permanent resident status.

Note required for all A or G visa requests, except routine renewals in the United States

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Foreign government employees (A-1, A-2, G-1, G-2, G-3)

In accordance with circular note No. 16-855, dated June 3, 2016, available athttp://www.state.gov/documents/organization/227759.pdf, when an individual applies for a new A-1, A-2, G-1, G-2, or G-3 visa outside the United States, or requests a change into A-1, A-2, G-1, G-2, or G-3 nonimmigrant visa status within the United States, the sending government must provide a diplomatic note that contains the following information:

• the government official’s or employee’s name, date of birth, position and title, place of assignment or visit, purpose of travel, a brief description of his or her duties, travel date, and the anticipated length of the tour of duty or stay in the United States; and

• the names, relationships, and dates of birth of any dependents and other members of household who will be accompanying or joining the government official or employee.

For foreign government officials and employees who are assigned to an embassy, consulate, or miscellaneous foreign government office in the United States for 90 days or more and who will be accredited by the sending government, the “place of assignment or visit” must be the embassy, consulate, or miscellaneous foreign government office where the individual will be serving. The diplomatic note submitted on behalf of such accredited officials or employees must generally originate from the sending government’s foreign ministry, and not from an embassy, consulate, or miscellaneous foreign government office located in the United States.

In the case of a career official or employee currently assigned outside of the United States and outside of the sending State, the Department may accept a note from the embassy or consulate at which the individual is currently assigned, provided the note certifies that the sending government’s foreign ministry supports the visa application.

Where an official or employee is traveling to the United States for official activities for less than 90 days, the diplomatic note may be submitted by an appropriate foreign government office, such as the governmental office that employs the official or employee. All such notes should come from the relevant office of the sending government, and not from an embassy, consulate, or miscellaneous foreign government office located in the United States.

Consistent with immigration laws and regulations, the Department may require additional documentation to establish whether a particular applicant qualifies for an A-1 or A-2 visa.

(Video) “Update on U.S. Immigrant Visa Processing at Embassies and Consulates”

The aforementioned diplomatic note is generally not required for routine renewals of A-1, A-2, G-1, G-2, or G-3 visas in the United States.

IO employees (G-4)

In accordance with circular note No. 16-886, dated June 7, 2016, available athttp://www.state.gov/documents/organization/227761.pdf, when an individual applies for a new G-4 visa outside the United States, or requests a change into G-4 nonimmigrant visa status within the United States, the IO must provide a note that contains the following information:

• the IO officer’s or employee’s name, date of birth, position and title, place of assignment or visit, purpose of travel, a brief description of his or her duties, travel date, and the anticipated length of duty or stay in the United States, and

• the names, relationships, and dates of birth of any dependents and other members of household who will be accompanying or joining the officer or employee.

Consistent with immigration laws and regulations, the Department may require additional documentation to establish whether a particular applicant qualifies for a G-4 visa. The aforementioned note is generally not required for routine renewals of G-4 visas in the United States.

Individuals already in possession of an A or G nonimmigrant visa

Present in the United States in A or G nonimmigrant status

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If an individual holds an unexpired A or G visa from a prior assignment that is also the proper visa classification for his/her new assignment, and he/she is working for the same foreign government or designated IO for which the previous A or G visa was issued, then once accredited, he/she is recommended to request a new visa through the Visa Office’s Diplomatic Liaison Division to clearly associate his/her visa with the new assignment. Similarly, if an immediate family member holds an unexpired A or G visa that is the proper visa classification for his/her new assignment as a principal, then once accredited, he/she may request a new visa to clearly associate his/her visa with the new assignment as principal.

However, if an A or G visa holder will be employed by a foreign government other than the foreign government for which the previous A or G visa was issued or will be employed by a designated IO other than the IO for which the previous G-4 visa was issued, the individual may be required to depart the United States to request a new visa and/or seek a change of status.

If an individual holds an unexpired A visa from a prior assignment and the new assignment requires a G visa, the individual may be required to depart the United States to request a new visa and/or seek a change of status before employment may commence. The same applies to individuals holding an unexpired G visa from a prior assignment, who will now work in a position that requires an A visa. The individual will not be issued an ID card or tax exemption card until the change of nonimmigrant visa status is complete.

To request a new visa and/or seek a change of status in the United States, the sending government or IO must provide a diplomatic note as explained above in section II.C.

The Department reserves the right to determine on a case-by-case basis whether the individual must depart the United States and request the proper nonimmigrant visa at a U.S. embassy or consulate outside the United States. The Visa Office’s Diplomatic Liaison Division in Washington may be able to facilitate change of nonimmigrant visa status in the United States in some instances. However, it may be more efficient for an individual to leave the United States to obtain the correct visa and return to the United States under their new visa status rather than request the change of nonimmigrant visa status in the United States. For instructions about changes of status in the United States, visithttp://www.travel.state.gov/content/visas/en/other/employee-of-international-organization-nato/a-g-nato-change-of-status.html.

Not Present in the United States in A or G nonimmigrant status

If an individual holds an unexpired A or G visa from a prior assignment or official trip to the United States that is also the proper visa classification for his/her new assignment, he/she is recommended to request a new visa outside the United States to clearly associate his/her visas with the new assignment.

Individuals in possession of a U.S. nonimmigrant visa other than an A or G visa

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If an individual holds an unexpired nonimmigrant visa (other than an A or G visa), he/she should not use this visa to enter the United States for the purpose of taking up employment at a foreign mission or IO or accompanying the principal as a member of the immediate family forming part of the household of the principal. Such individuals must apply for the appropriate A or G visa at a U.S. embassy or consular post overseas.

If the individual is already in the United States, he/she must depart the United States and request the proper A or G visa at a U.S. embassy or consular post outside the United States or in limited circumstances determined by consultation with the Office of Visa Services seek a change of nonimmigrant visa status to an A or G status in the United States.

The proper visa or approved change of nonimmigrant visa status must be obtained prior to the performance of services. NOAs will not be accepted, and no documents (e.g., ID card, tax exemption card, driver’s license) will be issued or privileges and immunities afforded for any principal holding other than A or G nonimmigrant visa status.

FAQs

How to avoid 214B visa denial? ›

Here's how you can avoid 214b visa denial:
  1. Dress well for your visa interview. ...
  2. Try to establish a strong tie with your home country. ...
  3. Be confident while answering your questions.
  4. Make sure to be aligned with the profile that you have submitted to the university.

What are the requirements for US visa? ›

US Visa Requirements
  • An online nonimmigrant DS-160 application form. You can file the form DS-160 here.
  • Your valid passport. ...
  • One photograph. ...
  • Receipt proving payment of $160 for a nonimmigrant US visa application. ...
  • Social media details.

Have you ever been refused a US visa best answer? ›

As part of the ds-160 form filling, you should answer “NO” to the question “have you ever refused us a visa” as your H1B petition was denied and not a US H1B visa.

How do I prove sufficient funds for US visa? ›

To establish your financial resources, you should bring to the Consulate:
  1. Original tax returns for the past 3 years (specifically Form 16).
  2. Original bank records (bank statements or pass book or bank book) for the past 3 years, and/or fixed deposit statement of your parent or sponsor. ...
  3. Pay slips, employment letters.

How do you increase your chances of getting a US visa? ›

The tips below are intended to help you prepare for your visa interview at the U.S. Embassy or U.S. Consulate in your home country.
  1. Ties to Home Country. ...
  2. English. ...
  3. Speak for Yourself. ...
  4. Know the Program and How it Fits Your Career Plans. ...
  5. Be Concise. ...
  6. Supplemental Documentation. ...
  7. Not All Countries Are Equal. ...
  8. Employment.

Can I get US visa after 3 rejection? ›

Can I reapply for a visa? After being found ineligible for a visa, you may reapply in the future. If you reapply for a visa after being found ineligible, with the exception of 221(g) refusals, you must submit a new visa application and pay the visa application fee again.

What are the 4 types of US visa? ›

Types of Visas Offered by US
Visa TypePurpose
AForeign government officials and diplomats
A1, G-1, NATO1-6Visa renewals
A-2, NATO1-6Military personnel of a foreign country stationed in the U.S.
B-1Amateur and professional athletes who are competing for prize money Business visitors Nannies or domestic employees
31 more rows

What are the 4 types of visas? ›

Which type of visa do you need? Probably one of the four main types: tourist, immigration, student, or work. U.S. citizens can visit 174 countries without a pre-approved visa.

What are the 4 main steps to getting a visa? ›

The U.S. Department of State issues visas at U.S. Embassies and Consulates.
...
Four Steps to Help You Apply for a Visa
  1. Pay your visa fee,
  2. Obtain acceptable photographs,
  3. Complete your online DS-160 visa application,
  4. Get a list of all required documents you must bring, and.
  5. Schedule your visa interview appointment.
Aug 20, 2014

What is the main reason of visa rejection? ›

Visa rejection may happen when you fail to prove your eligibility to visit a particular country. It mostly takes place as the applicants fails to provide important information, or sometimes because of certain document missing.

How can I fail my US visa interview? ›

The most common reasons for US Visa Refusal are:
  1. You have not fully completed the Visa application.
  2. You have not provided all the supporting documents.
  3. You did not establish eligibility for the Visa category.
  4. You were convicted of a crime that involves moral turpitude.
  5. You were convicted of drug violation.

Why do visas get denied? ›

The most obvious reason for visa rejection is missing documents or information failing to prove your eligibility to visit the desired country. It will not only spoil your excitement but also sabotage your future visa approval possibilities.

How much bank balance should we show for US visa? ›

How Much Bank Balance is Required for US Visa? There is no fixed minimum bank balance for US student visa, but one should have 10,000 USD and above to get F-1 visa.

How much should be the bank balance for US visa? ›

The amount of bank balance you should have for applying to the US tourist visa depends on the duration. If it is a 15-day trip, you must have $ 5,000-10,000 in your bank. Is travel insurance compulsory for the US travel visa? No, travel insurance is not compulsory for the US travel visa.

How much money should I show for US visa? ›

It is usually said that your bank account must show at least 1.5 times the amount mentioned in your I-20 form or a minimum of 10,000 USD to be considered eligible for the F1 visa.

Which visa is the easiest to get in USA? ›

For many, a "B" visitor visa is the easiest and most appropriate one to get. (See 8 U.S. Code § 1101.)
...
In order to apply for this visa, you'll need to prepare or collect the following:
  • Form DS-160, Nonimmigrant Visa Application.
  • Visa application fee.
  • Visa issuance fee.

How can I impress a U.S. visa officer? ›

When your turn for the interview comes, enter the room with a smile, greet the officer with a warm hello or hi. S/he may ask you 'how are you doing'. Reply politely and thank them for asking. If your visa is granted, thank them politely and leave.

Which visa is hard to get? ›

Some of the top-ranking passports include Singapore, Greece, Germany, the United Kingdom, Sweden, and more… On the other hand, even German and Swedish citizens are required to submit an application to visit China and Russia, otherwise known as two of the most difficult countries to obtain a visa.

Can you fight a visa refusal? ›

If the Department of Home Affairs refuses an application for a visa, other than a protection visa, you can ask the tribunal to review the decision. This includes decisions about visitor, student, partner, family, business or skilled visas. This is called 'making an appeal'.

How many times can I re apply for a US visa after rejection? ›

While you can't appeal the consular officer's decision regarding your B-2 visa, the good news is that the decision is not permanent. You can reapply for a visa at any time after your refusal.

How many times I can apply for US visa? ›

You can reapply any time after 3 business days following the previous rejection. You don't have to wait for 6 months or longer. However, it is very unlikely that your circumstances would change significantly within 3 days.

Which U.S. visa is most powerful? ›

O-1 Visa: Individuals of Extraordinary Ability or Achievement.

Which visa is better B1 or B2? ›

B1 and B2 visas are generally referred to as “B visas”, and they are the most common types of visa issued for a wide range of uses in the United States. The B1 visa is issued mainly for short-term business trips, while the B2 visa is issued mainly traveling for tourism purposes.

How long can I stay in the U.S. without a visa? ›

The Visa Waiver Program (VWP), administered by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) in consultation with the State Department, permits citizens of 40 countries to travel to the United States for business or tourism for stays of up to 90 days without a visa.

Which is the easiest visa to get? ›

Iceland. With a rejection rate of just 12% if a visa is applied from the New Delhi consulate, chances are that you will get an Iceland tourist visa easily. This is also because since the country receives less visa applications, this country is also a good option to get a visa to the Schengen area.

What are the 5 steps to get a visa? ›

  1. Step 1 – File a Petition with USCIS. ...
  2. Step 2 – Case Preparation by the National Visa Center. ...
  3. Step 3 – Visa Interview Scheduling by the National Visa Center (NVC) ...
  4. Step 4 – Medical Exam. ...
  5. Step 5 – The day of the interview. ...
  6. Step 6 – Visa Approval. ...
  7. Step 7 – After you receive your visa.

What visa type is a green card? ›

Green cards are technically a type of visa that allows for permanent residence. Green cards are issued after arrival in the United States. To qualify for a green card, the applicant must have an immigrant visa already, and applications are made to U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS).

What stops you from getting a visa? ›

Arrest, Caution, Conviction

In cases where an arrest resulted in a conviction, you may be permanently ineligible to receive a visa and will require a waiver ineligibility to travel to the United States.

How long is the visa approval process? ›

The time required from visa application to visa issuance is 5 working days from the day following the date of receipt of the application, provided that there is no particular problem with the content of application.

How long is the visa process? ›

It takes from 3 to 5 weeks for a US visa application to get processed. After the processing, the applicant can get a positive reply on their application, and the consulate will deliver the document.

Why is US visa difficult to get? ›

It's fair to say that the U.S. visa application process is complex and requires specific information. If the applicant does not meet all requirements for the visa they are applying for, or if they failed to provide the consular with all the required information, it can lead to a visa denial.

What do visa officers check? ›

Such information can include photographs, fingerprints, information about family members and employers, criminal history, information about where they live, and information contained in physical and mental examinations.

Can we apply for visa again after rejection? ›

Re-apply in the Same Country

If your visa application was rejected the first time, you have the option of re-applying. Many students are granted a Student Visa the second time around whose visa applications were denied the first time. You must identify and rectify the reasons which may have caused the rejection.

What not to say in a visa interview? ›

Top Mistakes to Avoid During a Visa Interview
  • Lateness. ...
  • Inappropriate Answers. ...
  • Skipping Questions or False Answers. ...
  • Inappropriate Appearance. ...
  • Incomplete Supporting Documentation. ...
  • Unnecessary Information. ...
  • Nervousness. ...
  • Disagreeing With The Visa Official.

How hard is the US visa interview? ›

Clearing a visa interview is not difficult; however, if you didn't perform well, then you might have to face rejection, even if you have an excellent academic record. Here are some of the valuable points that you should keep in mind while attending your visa interview.

What happens if US visa is rejected? ›

You would receive news about the rejection from the embassy or consulate you applied to, and it is possible to ask the consular officer the exact reason for the denial. If the problem is something that can be fixed then you can start over and submit a new application.

How many people get denied for a visa? ›

The average denial rate abroad was 63 percent. The domestic statistics include the EB‑1 category, which includes some very prominent individuals, but these applicants are only a minority of the total and would not explain the difference.

Can I get US visa without travel history? ›

B-1 USA visit visa require NO Travel History

So if the person who doesn't have a travel history in past and wants to visit the USA can apply B-1 visit and there are maximum chances of obtaining the visa depending on the application.

Do visa officers check bank statements? ›

Get your bank statements attested

Select countries require applicants to submit their bank statements, duly attested. While it is common to submit bank statements, and most travellers are aware of this step, not having these bank statements attested is a common error.

How many months of bank statements do I need for a visa? ›

Your bank statements must be from the last three to six months, and they must be issued by the bank, signed, and stamped by the financial institution. You should obtain your bank statements at least three to four days before submitting your application.

Do they check your bank account for visa? ›

Originally Answered: do embassies confirm bank statements when you are applying for visa? Yes, Bank verify the bank balance and statement to find out whether the document is true copy or not.

What is the maximum amount of money you can have in a bank account USA? ›

How much money can you put in a checking account? Generally, there's no checking account maximum amount you can have. There is, however, a limit on how much of your checking account balance is covered by the FDIC (typically $250,000 per depositor, per account ownership type, per financial institution).

How much money can you have in a bank account USA? ›

Minimum balances aside, how much money can you have in a checking account? There is no maximum limit, but your checking account balance is only FDIC insured up to $250,000. However, as we'll cover shortly, it makes sense to put extra cash somewhere it will earn interest.

Can a US citizen sponsor a friend for a tourist visa? ›

Can a U.S. citizen sponsor a non-family member for immigration? Unfortunately, no, you can't petition for a foreign national's visa or green card if they aren't a family member.

What are documents required for US visa? ›

Visit the U.S. Embassy on the date and time of your visa interview. You must bring a printed copy of your appointment letter, your DS-160 confirmation page, one photograph taken within the last six months and your current and all old passports. Applications without all of these items will not be accepted.

How much money do you need to show for a b2 visa? ›

There is no minimum balance requirement for your bank account, however, based on the experience of others we recommend anywhere between $5,000 to $10,000 will be sufficient.

What is US visa rejection under 214 B? ›

What does 214(B) rejection mean? The rejection means the visa you applied for was not approved based on one facet of the immigration law outlined in 214(B). One common reason is indicating to immigration officials an intention to remain in the United States past the terms of the visa you are applying for.

Do I need to fill DS-160 again after rejection? ›

If you do reapply, you will have to fill out a new DS-160 form, pay a new visa application fee, and schedule a new appointment.

Can I reapply for visa if rejected? ›

Unfortunately it does seem to be the case that it is much harder to make a successful application for a visit visa following a refusal or, worse, several refusals, but it is possible. Fresh applications need to be very carefully prepared, and it may help to ask the following questions.

How do I get a US visa after rejection? ›

You can reapply any time after 3 business days following the previous rejection. You don't have to wait for 6 months or longer. However, it is very unlikely that your circumstances would change significantly within 3 days.

Why are US visas getting rejected? ›

Common ineligibilities leading to Visa Refusal

You have not fully completed the Visa application. You have not provided all the supporting documents. You did not establish eligibility for the Visa category. You were convicted of a crime that involves moral turpitude.

In what cases visa gets rejected? ›

Your application may be rejected if you have been denied a visa into the country (or other countries) previously, or if you have a history of having overstayed in a country, or if you have performed activities that are not allowed under a particular visa category in the past, etc.

How do I know if my US visa is rejected or approved? ›

You can check the status of your visa application on ceac.state.gov. If your visa has been denied, you may find useful information on Ineligibilities and Waivers on usvisas.state.gov.

How much does it cost to appeal a visa refusal? ›

In order to file an appeal against an immigration decision, you will need to pay a filing fee at did measure appeals tribunal if indeed you have an appeal right to the tribunal. In most cases that filing fee is about $1,800.

How long can you stay after visa refusal? ›

In some circumstances, you do not need to leave the country. Within 21 days from the day of Visa Application Rejection, you can appeal at MRT for review of DIAC decision. Sometimes even if your visa got refused, you will have chances to apply for another visa.

What happens if your US visa is refused? ›

You would receive news about the rejection from the embassy or consulate you applied to, and it is possible to ask the consular officer the exact reason for the denial. If the problem is something that can be fixed then you can start over and submit a new application.

How many days before visa interview DS 160 should be submitted? ›

Is there a limit on the number of days DS-160 must be completed? Once you begin your DS-160 application, you will be required to complete it within 30 days.

How many days DS 160 is valid without submission? ›

The DS-160 visa application validity is for 30 days.

Can I submit another DS 160 if I made a mistake? ›

If you made an error on the DS160 form and you realize it right after you submit, you can just complete a new DS160 with the correct information and use the new DS160 number for your visa application.

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