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U.S. Visas

U.S. Visas

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Visit our Newsroom for information about the current status of visa services and visa restrictions related to the COVID-19 global pandemic


What is a U.S. Visa?

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. In this situation, when planning travel abroad, learn about visa requirements by country, see country information in the International Travel Section section of this website.)

More Information about Visas

Find out what visa type is appropriate for you

The type of visa you must obtain is defined by U.S. immigration law, and relates to the purpose of your travel.

Please visit our Visa Wizard to find out what visa type is appropriate for you.

You can also visit our Frequently Asked Questions or find out about the Visa Waiver Program.

Other useful links:  Visa Categories  |  Find a U.S. Embassy or Consulate  |  Glossary

Visa Appointment Wait Time

Check the estimated wait time for a nonimmigrant visa interview appointment at a U.S. Embassy or Consulate.

Note: Embassies and Consulates may have a separate process for visa cases where the in-person interview requirement is waived.  In general wait times for those cases are shorter, but they are not reflected in the table below.  Please check the individual Embassy or Consulate website to determine if your case is eligible for a waiver of the in-person interview.


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Visa Wait Times
Nonimmigrant Visa Type Appointment Wait Time
Visitor Visa -- days
Student/Exchange Visitor Visas -- days
All Other Nonimmigrant Visas -- days