The information below provides answers to frequently asked questions that are specifically pertinent to visa applicants who are citizens of Cuba, Iran, Sudan and Syria, since these four countries are designated as State Sponsors of Terrorism.
Cuba, Iran, Sudan, and Syria are designated as State Sponsors of Terrorism.
All applicants who are citizens of designated State Sponsor of Terrorism countries must be interviewed by a consular officer. Interviews are required, and, therefore, cannot be waived. Applicants may apply for nonimmigrant visas.
An exception to the requirement for an interview may be made at the discretion of the consular officer in cases of A and G visa applicants (except for A-3 and G-5 applicants, who must be interviewed).
Nonimmigrant Visas – There are several steps to apply for a visa. The order of these steps and how you complete them may vary depending on the visa category for which you are applying and the embassy or consulate where you apply. Consult the instructions available on the embassy or consulate website where you plan to apply. Also, consult the “how to apply” instructions on this website for the nonimmigrant visa category for which you plan to apply.
All applicants are required to complete the Online Nonimmigrant Visa Application, Form DS-160, and pay the non-refundable visa application fee. Generally, you are required to schedule and attend a visa interview. During your interview, a consular officer will determine whether you are qualified to receive a visa. You will need to establish that you meet the requirements under U.S. law to receive the category of visa for which you apply. After the visa interview, some applications require administrative processing. If qualified, a visa will be issued and returned to you in your passport.
Immigrant Visas - Generally, all applicants for immigrant visas must first be beneficiaries of petitions approved by the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) before applicants can apply for immigrant visas. Petitions are most often filed by family members or employers in the United States, but can also be self-petitioned, for example by immigrant investors. After petition approval, USCIS forwards the petition to the State Department’s National Visa Center (NVC). The NVC provides applicants with further instructions for how to apply for an immigrant visa, including required forms, fees, and documents. The NVC then schedules the cases for interviews with consular officers at U.S. embassies and consulates. After the visa interview, some applications require administrative processing. If qualified, an immigrant visa will be issued and returned to you in your passport. See all immigrant visa categories and learn more about the immigrant visa process.
No. Although application procedures may vary, consular officers at all U.S. embassies and consulates adhere to the same standards under U.S. law and policy.
You may apply for a nonimmigrant visa at any U.S. embassy or consulate which is issuing nonimmigrant visas. Please review the website for your nearest U.S. embassy or consulate to determine where you may apply. Also review Countries with Limited or No U.S. Visa Services.
Generally, U.S. visa validity for an applicant who is a citizen of any given country is based on the length of visa validity a U.S. citizen would receive for the same travel purpose to that country. See Reciprocity by Country to learn more.
If you depart the United States during the course of your studies with a single entry visa or an expired visa, you will need to apply for, and be interviewed for, a new student visa at a U.S. embassy or consulate. Generally, continuing students who can show they are in good standing in their academic programs should qualify for new student visas to return and resume their studies. Continuing students should provide evidence of progress in their program, along with evidence of continuing ability to cover tuition and living expenses. The consular officer will determine whether you qualify for a visa.
You should schedule an appointment for your interview as early as possible, so any additional administrative processing, if required, can be completed before your next academic term begins.