March 13, 2013
Non-immigrant visas are for international travelers temporarily visiting the United States for a wide variety of reasons, including tourism, business, medical treatment, cultural exchange, and certain types of temporary work. These visas allow you to travel to a United States port-of-entry and request permission from the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), Customs and Border Protection (CBP) Officer to enter the United States.
Warning: A visa does not guarantee entry into the United States!
WHAT TYPE OF VISA DO I NEED?
The type of visa needed depends on the purpose of the intended travel. If, after his/her visa interview, an applicant qualifies, the Consular Officer will decide what kind of visa best fits the request.
Please click on the “Visa Types” link on the left navigation bar for more information on the most common visa types and related requirements. You can also visit the State Department’s website at Visa Types for Visitors for information on application and documentation requirements by visa classification.
HOW DO I APPLY FOR A NIV?
It is very simple to apply for a non-immigrant visa to the United States as long as you follow these steps:
- Determine your purpose of travel and the appropriate visa: Visa classifications are very specific and often times require different supporting documentation. Please click on the “Visa Types” link on the left navigation bar for more information.
- Complete the CEAC online visa application (DS-160): Every NIV applicant, including children, must complete the CEAC online application form. For families applying together, each family member must complete a separate application form, but can schedule one appointment for the interview. The application can be accessed here: https://ceac.state.gov/genniv. You must print the confirmation page from the DS-160 and bring it to your appointment.
- Prepare supporting documents: Depending on the type of visa you are applying for, certain supporting documentation is required. You must have the appropriate supporting documentation on hand in order to complete your interview.
- Schedule appointment: Appointments are only available on Monday and Tuesday morning and must be scheduled online using the barcode appearing on the DS-160 confirmation page. Click here to schedule an appointment now.
- Attend interview: Please arrive 20 minutes early and bring your DS-160 confirmation page, visa interview fee ($160.00 or Nafka equivalent), and all required supporting documents.
For more in-depth detail on these steps, please click the “How to Apply” link on the left navigation bar for more information.
Note: - The Embassy is closed for Eritrean and American holidays.
HOW FAST CAN I GET AN INTERVIEW?
Please see Visa Wait Times link for complete information.
HOW FAST CAN I GET MY VISA PROCESSED?
Immediately after interview, you will know the decision of your visa application. Approved applicants should have the visa ready for collection the Thursday after the interview. However, in some cases, an application may require additional processing. If this happens, it may take anywhere from one week to six months to complete. For this reason, the Embassy requests applicants schedule their appointments well in advance of any proposed travel to the U.S.
I HAVE AN EMERGENCY: CAN I GET AN EXPEDITED APPOINTMENT?
Applicants facing emergencies can request an expedited appointment, using our official email address ConsularAsmara@state.gov or by calling the Consular section at (+291) 1-120-004. The following is a non-exhaustive list of such emergencies:
- Emergency medical treatment, as well as any persons traveling in support (such as parent caring for a child)
- Family emergency, such as death, severe or terminal illness
- Student and exchange visitor having a nearing reporting date for school and/or program
- Emergent business travel
- Other emergency (such as Appearance in a U.S. court)
CAN I TRAVEL WITHOUT A VISA?
Many citizens from Visa Waiver Program (VWP) countries can travel to the U.S. without a visa, if they meet certain requirements. Please read the information below:
- Visa Waiver Program (VWP) current biometric passport guidelines
- Electronic System for Travel Authorization (ESTA)
The Visa Office’s Public Inquiries Division (P/I) handles all public inquires on Nonimmigrant Visa matters. The public may reach P/I at (202) 485-7600 (8:00 a.m. to EST to 5:00 p.m. EST).