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Non-Immigrant Visas FAQs

General Information

  • When will my visa be ready?

    When will my visa be ready?

    • Processing of applications normally takes 2 days from the date they are received. However, during the busy holidays and the summer season normal processing time may be as long as one week. Longer processing time may also be required in the following situations; (1) in cases where the applicant has failed to submit all the required elements of an application, (2) in cases where the embassy requires additional information from the applicant, and (3) in cases where the embassy has to conduct additional checks.

      We recommend prospective travelers apply well in advance.  Applicants should not call the embassy to inquire about the status of their application until the full processing time has expired. Applicants should not purchase airplane tickets or make nonrefundable travel arrangements until they have actually received their visa. Visa applicants should never assume their application will be automatically approved.
  • When should I buy my ticket?

    When should I buy my ticket?

    • You should buy your ticket when you receive your visa. Do not buy your ticket before you receive your visa.
  • My old visa says "Indefinite;" is it still valid?

    My old visa says "Indefinite;" is it still valid?

    • An "indefinite" validity visa is no longer valid for travel to the United States. If you wish to travel for business or pleasure you need to apply for a new B-1/B-2 visa.
  • The validity period of my visa does not cover my intended stay in the United States.

    The validity period of my visa does not cover my intended stay in the United States.

    • The validity period of a visa relates only to the period of time in which the holder may travel to the United States and apply for admission. It does not determine the length of stay. U.S. immigration will determine your authorized period of stay at the port of entry.
  • How long is a visa good for?

    How long is a visa good for?

    • Visa Validity: This generally means the visa is valid, or can be used to travel to a port of entry from the date it is issued until the date it expires, for travel for the same purpose for visas, when the visa is issued for multiple entries.  The visa expiration date is shown on the visa.  Depending on the alien’s nationality, visas can be issued for any number of entries, from as little as one entry to as many as multiple (unlimited) entries, for the same purpose of travel.  If you travel frequently as a tourist for example, with a multiple entry visa, you do not have to apply for a new visa each time you want to travel to the U.S. However, you may not use a tourist visa to enter at a later time to study in the U.S., for example, or seek employment.
  • Do I have to bring the originals of property deeds, bank documents etc, to the interview?

    Do I have to bring the originals of property deeds, bank documents etc, to the interview?

    • Any documentation that you can provide which demonstrates your social and economic ties to your home country or your reasons for travel will be helpful to your application.
  • How long can I stay in the United States?

    How long can I stay in the United States?

    • The authorized length of stay which is a matter decided by U.S. immigration at the port of entry. If, while you are in the United States, you find that you need to stay there longer than the period of time initially granted to you, you must contact the nearest office of the USCIS to apply for an extension of your stay. The USCIS has sole jurisdiction over such matters.
  • My visa is valid for 10 years. Does that mean I can stay in the United States for 10 years?

    My visa is valid for 10 years. Does that mean I can stay in the United States for 10 years?

    • No. DHS (Department of Homeland Security) will decide at the port of entry how long you may stay in the United States during any one visit. The visa's validity period represents the time period during which you may apply for admission to the United States as a visitor for business or pleasure.
  • My child, who is under the age of 18, is traveling to the U.S. and will be accompanied by only one parent/by an adult who is not his/her parent. Do I require the permission of the other parent/Am I required to give my permission for my child to travel?

    My child, who is under the age of 18, is traveling to the U.S. and will be accompanied by only one parent/by an adult who is not his/her parent. Do I require the permission of the other parent/Am I required to give my permission for my child to travel?

    • Due to the increasing incidents of child abductions in disputed custody cases and as possible victims of child pornography, the Department of Homeland Security/Customs and Border Protection (DHS/CBP) strongly recommends that unless the child is accompanied by both parents, the adult have a note from the child's other parent (or, in the case of a child traveling with grandparents, uncles or aunts, sisters or brothers, or friends, a note signed by both parents) stating "I acknowledge that my wife/husband/etc. is traveling to the USA with my son/daughter. He/She/They has/have my permission to do so."

      DHS/CBP also suggests that this note be notarized.

      More information can be found at: https://help.cbp.gov/app/answers/detail/a_id/268

  • What if I cannot provide an address at which I will stay in the U.S.?

    What if I cannot provide an address at which I will stay in the U.S.?

    • The requirement that a traveler provide a U.S. address applies to all visitors to the United States. We strongly recommend that you comply with this requirement and provide a U.S address. Should you arrive at the port of entry without any pre-booked accommodation, you will be required to pursue this matter with U.S. immigration.
  • I have experienced delays checking in for flights.

    I have experienced delays checking in for flights.

    • Any passenger who believes he/she has been delayed or denied boarding; delayed or denied entry into the U.S. at a port of entry; or been improperly subject to enhanced screening or inspection may seek redress through the DHS Traveler Redress Inquiry Program (DHS TRIP) at www.dhs.gov/trip. DHS TRIP provides a single portal for travelers to seek redress for adverse screening experiences and to resolve possible misidentification issues.
  • I am experiencing problems at the port of entry when I enter the United States as I believe that I have been mistakenly identified with someone with a similar name as that held by U.S. immigration/ due to incorrect arrival and departure information.

    I am experiencing problems at the port of entry when I enter the United States as I believe that I have been mistakenly identified with someone with a similar name as that held by U.S. immigration/ due to incorrect arrival and departure information.

    • If you believe that the U.S. government has incorrect information in your travel record, you may write a letter of explanation to the following address: Customs and Border Protection, Border Security and Facilitation, Room 5.4.D, 1300 Pennsylvania Ave, NW, Washington D.C. 22209. You may also write to this address if you are having problems entering the United States due to incorrect arrival and departure information.

      You will receive a reply, which you may present to the immigration official at the port of entry.

      You should note that such action does not guarantee that you will not be subject to further questioning.
  • I did not hand in the I-94 when I last left the United States

    I did not hand in the I-94 when I last left the United States

    • If you have left the United States and are still in possession of the I-94 it is in your best interest to forward it to the appropriate authorities so that your record is corrected and that you do not experience any problems on future travel to the United States as a result. If the card is no longer in your possession, it is still possible to amend your departure record. More details
  • I have a visa; do I also need a return ticket?

    I have a visa; do I also need a return ticket?

    • If you hold a visa of any classification, including a B-1/B-2 visa, you are not required to hold a return ticket; you may enter the United States on a one way ticket. All travelers should carry with them for presentation to U.S. officials, if required, evidence of funds sufficient for their visit and, with the exception of H and L visa holders, evidence that they have a residence abroad to which they intend returning at the end of their stay. Examples of such evidence include: traveler's checks; return tickets; copy of latest bank statement; letter from parents saying they will support you; evidence of current employment; evidence of enrollment at an academic institution.
  • Do I need any vaccinations?

    Do I need any vaccinations?

    • Vaccinations are no longer required for temporary travel to the United States. However, if you are intending to study or work, you should contact the school or prospective employer as they may have specific requirements.
  • What do I do about health insurance?

    What do I do about health insurance?

    • There is no equivalent of the National Health Service in the United States. Visitors and temporary residents are required to pay their own medical costs. As a result it is advisable to take out health insurance. Temporary visitors to the United States can obtain accident and sickness insurance before departing the United Kingdom. Most local insurance brokers as well as many travel agents can arrange such coverage with insurance firms in the United Kingdom. Those planning on remaining in the United States for any length of time or permanently may obtain health insurance after arrival there. Sometimes it is available through an employer, as many companies arrange group insurance for their employees.
  • Where can I find information on taking prescription medicine into the United States?

    Where can I find information on taking prescription medicine into the United States?

    • Information on taking prescription medicine into the United States is available on (General Info page – taking medication/drugs to the U.S.). You will also find information on what food products may be taken into the United States and the requirements for bring a cat or dog into the country.
  • Can I drive while in the United States?

    Can I drive while in the United States?

    • If you have a valid Turkish driver's license, before leaving Turkey you can obtain an International Driving Permit (IDP) from the Turkish Automobile Association (Türkiye Turing ve Otomobil Kurumu) which will allow you to drive in the U.S. for up to one year. Note, however, that your Turkish driver’s license must have the International permit, and its notarized English translation.

      For details please visit http://www.turing.org.tr/eng/belgeler.asp
  • I wish to undertake flight training in the United States. Can the Embassy perform fingerprinting for the TSA's Alien Flight School Program (AFSP)?

    I wish to undertake flight training in the United States. Can the Embassy perform fingerprinting for the TSA's Alien Flight School Program (AFSP)?

    • The Embassy is unable to capture fingerprints for the AFSP at this time. However, there are currently five locations outside the U.S. where pilots can complete the fingerprint process by trained and background checked fingerprint collectors that meet TSA AFSP requirements. The Transportation Clearing House website has further information. Please see www.tsc-csc.com for more information.

      For more information on the Alien Flight Student Program (AFSP), please visit the TSA website.
  • I filled out the form but did not receive any news about my visa appointment. When is my appointment?

    I filled out the form but did not receive any news about my visa appointment. When is my appointment?

    • You need to call the Visa Information Service in order to schedule your appointment. We do not have an automatic on-line appointment system.
  • I submitted my DS-160 to another post; do I need to fill another form for Ankara?

    I submitted my DS-160 to another post; do I need to fill another form for Ankara?

    • Yes. You need to submit the application form to the Embassy/Consulate where you will be interviewed.
  • May I choose the place & time of my appointment?

    May I choose the place & time of my appointment?

    • You
      may request any available appointment in either Ankara or Istanbul.
  • How can I cancel my visa appointment?

    How can I cancel my visa appointment?

    • If you are applying for a nonimmigrant visa, you are required to call the Live Operator Service on 90-212-340-4444 to cancel the appointment. If you call on the same day to reschedule, the Live Operator Service will offer you the first available date without further payment.
  • I require an earlier Visa appointment than the one allocated by the Visa Information Service

    I require an earlier Visa appointment than the one allocated by the Visa Information Service

    • Appointments are allocated on a first-call, first-serve basis. The Visa Unit receives many hundreds of requests for emergency appointments, as well as requests to expedite visa applications for business and personal reasons. Therefore we have set up and enforce criteria for what constitutes a genuine emergency or legitimate reason to expedite an application. We accommodate a large number of them. However, we can't accommodate all of them. If you have an emergency please send an e-mail to ca-ankara@state.gov with the subject line “NIV Emergency”.
  • I was informed on the day of my appointment that my visa application requires additional administrative processing. Please update me on the status of my case, as I need to travel to the United States.

    I was informed on the day of my appointment that my visa application requires additional administrative processing. Please update me on the status of my case, as I need to travel to the United States.

    • Applicants are given a rough estimate on the day of their appointment as to how long they should expect processing to take. However, please note that every application is dealt with on a case-by-case basis and some applications take significantly longer to process than others. We are aware that individual applicants may experience inconvenience and hardship if their application takes longer to process than they expected. If you were informed on the day of your interview that your application is subject to additional administrative processing, you should allow at least 60 days for this stage of the visa process to be completed. This office will not be able to respond to queries where the application required additional administrative processing and has been pending for less than two months. If you have previously corresponded with this office and have received e-mail that your administrative processing is still incomplete, please do not re-contact this address except to notify us of an address change.
  • Where is the Embassy located?

    Where is the Embassy located?

    • The Embassy is located on Ataturk Bulvari #110 Kavaklidere, Ankara.
  • Can I bring my laptop with me?

    Can I bring my laptop with me?

  • Can my U.S. citizen uncle assist me with my interview with the Consular officer?

    Can my U.S. citizen uncle assist me with my interview with the Consular officer?

    • No. The applicant will be interviewed alone by the consular officer.
  • If I am issued a visa can my spouse work?

    If I am issued a visa can my spouse work?

    • If you are applying for a nonimmigrant L or E visa, your spouse may be eligible to seek employment authorization on a derivative visa. Further information is available from the USCIS on your arrival in the United States.

      The spouse of a J-1 visa holder may not work in the United States on a derivative J-2 visa unless permission has been obtained in advance from the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services. An application for permission to work can only be made after the J-2 visa holder's arrival in the United States and will be considered in light of policies then in effect.

      Spouses deriving status in other nonimmigrant visa categories will be required to qualify for temporary work visas in their own right if they wish to seek employment.

      Detailed information could be found on USCIS website.

Business and Tourist Visas

  • When will my visa be ready?

    When will my visa be ready?

    • If approved, your visa will be delivered to you via UPS cargo within a week.
  • I have a visa in my old passport; can I just transfer it over?

    I have a visa in my old passport; can I just transfer it over?

    • It is not possible to transfer a visa from one passport to another without making a new visa application. Please note that the Embassy no longer issues visas valid "indefinitely". If you are issued a new visa it will have a maximum validity of ten years.
  • My passport containing a valid visa has expired. I've obtained a new passport; do I need a new visa?

    My passport containing a valid visa has expired. I've obtained a new passport; do I need a new visa?

    • If the passport in which your visa has been endorsed has expired, the visa in the old passport still can be used, provided that you also carry a valid passport of the same nationality. Note: If, when canceling your old passport, the passport authority has clipped the corners of the passport, and, in so doing, has damaged the visa in any way, that visa is no longer valid and cannot be used for travel to the United States.
  • My old visa says "Indefinite"; is it still valid?

    My old visa says "Indefinite"; is it still valid?

    • An
      "indefinite" validity visa is no longer valid for travel to the
      United States.
  • Why, when I've always held an indefinite visa, was I recently issued with a B-1/B-2 visa valid for only ten years?

    Why, when I've always held an indefinite visa, was I recently issued with a B-1/B-2 visa valid for only ten years?

    • The U.S. Government no longer issues "indefinite" validity visas. The maximum validity period of a B-1/B-2 visa is ten years. The ten-year validity period applies regardless of the fact that the applicant may have previously held an "indefinite" visa.
  • My visa is valid for 10 years. Does that mean I can stay in the United States for 10 years?

    My visa is valid for 10 years. Does that mean I can stay in the United States for 10 years?

    • A 10 year valid multiple entry visa enables you to enter the U.S. as many times as you wish for 10 years. The immigration officer at the port of entry decides how long you can stay on a single entry.
  • Do I need an invitation letter?

    Do I need an invitation letter?

    • If you are attending a scientific, educational, professional or business convention; a conference on specific date; participating in social events, short and part-time course of study, and performing as Amateur Entertainers and Athletes in the United States, provide information about who is inviting you, purpose of travel, and planned itinerary or schedule. No invitation letter is needed if you are only sightseeing in the United States.
  • I have a holiday home in the United States; how long can I remain there?

    I have a holiday home in the United States; how long can I remain there?

    • If you travel to the United States on a visitor (B-2) visa, the period of time you will be allowed will be determined by the an immigration officer at the port of entry.

Student (F, M) Visas

  • When Do I Need to Apply for My Student Visa?

    When Do I Need to Apply for My Student Visa?

    • Students are encouraged to apply for their visa early to provide ample time for visa processing. Students may apply for their visa as soon as they are prepared to do so.
  • What Is SEVIS and SEVP? What Should You Know about It?

    What Is SEVIS and SEVP? What Should You Know about It?

    • The Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP) is designed to help the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and Department of State better monitor school and exchange programs and F, M and J category visitors. Exchange visitor and student information is maintained in the Student and Exchange Visitor Information System (SEVIS). SEVIS is an Internet-based system that maintains accurate and current information on non-immigrant students (F and M visa), exchange visitors (J visa), and their dependents (F-2, M-2, and J-2). SEVIS enables schools and program sponsors to transmit mandatory information and event notifications via the Internet, to the DHS and Department of State (DOS) throughout a student or exchange visitor's stay in the United States. Select SEVIS to go to the DHS, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement Internet site and learn more.

      All student applicants must have a SEVIS generated I-20 issued by an educational institution approved by DHS, which they submit when they are applying for their student visa. Your school is responsible for entering your information for the I-20 student visa form into SEVIS. The consular officer will need to verify your I-20 record electronically through the SEVIS system in order to process your student visa application. Unless otherwise exempt, all F-1 or M-1 principal applicants must pay a SEVIS I-901 fee to the DHS for each individual program. See the SEVP Fact Sheet for a fee list. See SEVIS-901 Fee for further information on how to pay the fee.
  • Qualifying for a Student Visa

    Qualifying for a Student Visa

    • The consular officer will determine whether you qualify for the visa. Additionally, applicants must demonstrate that they properly meet student visa requirements including:

      • Have a residence abroad, with no immediate intention of abandoning that residence;
      • Intend to depart from the United States upon completion of the course of study; and
      • Possess sufficient funds to pursue the proposed course of study.
  • Do I need a student visa for a short course of study?

    Do I need a student visa for a short course of study?

    • If you are going to the U.S. primarily for tourism, but want to take a short course of study that is recreational, and the course is less than 18 hours per week, you may be able to do so on a visitor (B) visa. If your course of study is 18 hours or more a week, you will need a student visa. When traveling to the U.S. to attend a full-time program of study then you will need a student visa.
  • What are the Required Visa Fees?

    What are the Required Visa Fees?

    • Nonimmigrant visa application processing fee - For current fees for Department of State government services select Fees. You will need to provide a receipt showing the visa application processing fee has been paid, when you come for your visa interview.

      Visa issuance fee – Additionally, if the visa is issued, there will be an additional visa issuance reciprocity fee, if applicable. Please consult the Visa Reciprocity Tables to find out if you must pay a visa issuance reciprocity fee and what the fee amount is. If there is a fee for issuance for the visa, it is equal as nearly as possible to the fee charged to United States citizens by the applicant's country of nationality.

  • Spouses and Children

    Spouses and Children

    • Applicants with dependents must also provide:

      • Proof of the student’s relationship to his/her spouse and/or children (e.g., marriage and birth certificates.);

  • Can my spouse work in the U.S.?

    Can my spouse work in the U.S.?

    • No.
  • When can I enter the U.S. with my student visa?

    When can I enter the U.S. with my student visa?

    • Students are advised of the Department of Homeland Security regulation which requires that all initial or beginning students enter the U.S. 30 days or less in advance of the course of study start/report date as shown on the Form I-20. Please consider this date carefully when making travel plans to the U.S.
  • Entering the U.S. - Port of Entry

    Entering the U.S. - Port of Entry

    • A visa allows a foreign citizen coming from abroad to travel to the United States port-of entry and request permission to enter the U.S. Applicants should be aware that a visa does not guarantee entry into the United States. The Department of Homeland Security, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officials have authority to permit or deny admission to the United States. Student visitors must have a valid Form I-20 in their possession each time they enter the United States. In advance of travel, students should review important information about Admissions/Entry requirements, as well as information related to restrictions about bringing food, agricultural products or other restricted/prohibited goods explained on the Department of Homeland Security, Customs and Border Protection website. Upon arrival (at an international airport, seaport or land border crossing), you will be enrolled in the US-VISIT entry-exit program. If you are allowed to enter the U.S., the CBP official will determine the length of your visit on the Arrival-Departure Record (Form I-94). Since Form I-94 documents your authorized stay in the U.S., it’s very important to keep in your passport.
  • Staying Beyond Your Authorized Stay in the U.S. and Being Out of Status

    Staying Beyond Your Authorized Stay in the U.S. and Being Out of Status

    • It is important that you depart the U.S. on or before the last day you are authorized to be in the U.S. on any given trip, based on the specified end date on your Arrival-Departure Record, Form I-94. Information on successfully maintaining your immigration status while a student or exchange visitor can be found on the Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) website.

      Staying beyond the period of time authorized by the DHS causes you to be out-of-status in the United States, which is a violation of U.S. immigration laws. This may cause you to be ineligible for a visa in the future for return travel to the U.S. Please visit Classes of Aliens Ineligible to Receive Visas to learn more.

      Staying unlawfully in the United States beyond the date Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officials have authorized, even by one day, results in your visa being automatically voided, in accordance with immigration law, INA 222(g). In this situation, you are required to reapply for a new nonimmigrant visa, generally in your country of nationality.
  • What Items Do Returning Students Need?

    What Items Do Returning Students Need?

    • All applicants applying for renewals must submit:

      • All items listed in the Required Documentation section and;
      • A new I-20 or an I-20 that has been endorsed on the back by a school official within the past 12 months.
  • Students Away from Classes More Than Five Months

    Students Away from Classes More Than Five Months

    • Students in or outside the U.S., who have been away from classes for more than five months, will likely need a new visa to enter the U.S.
  • How long may I stay on my F-1 student visa?

    How long may I stay on my F-1 student visa?

    • When you enter the United States on a student visa, you will usually be admitted for the duration of your student status. That means you may stay as long as you are a full time student, even if the F-1 visa in your passport expires while you are in the United States. For a student who has completed the course of studies shown on the I-20, and any authorized practical training, the student is allowed the following additional time in the U.S. before departure:

      • F-1 student - An additional 60 days, to prepare for departure from the U.S. or to transfer to another school.
      • M-1 student - An additional 30 days to depart the U.S. (Fixed time period, in total not to exceed one year). The 30 days to prepare for departure is permitted as long as the student maintained a full course of study and maintained status. An M student may receive extensions up to three years for the total program.
  • Optional Practical Training

    Optional Practical Training

    • Students who are authorized for Optional Practical Training (OPT) must have an I-20 endorsed for OPT, and provide a USCIS-issued Employment Authorization Document (EAD). When authorized, Optional Practical Training (OPT) is temporary employment that is directly related to the eligible F-1 student’s area of study. To learn more about OPT, please visit the USCIS Website and the ICE international Students webpage.
  • Attending Public Secondary School

    Attending Public Secondary School

  • How Do I Extend My Stay?

    How Do I Extend My Stay?

    • Visitors who wish to stay beyond the date indicated on their Form I-94 are required to have approval by USCIS. See Extend Your Stay on the USCIS website.
  • How Do I Change My Status?

    How Do I Change My Status?

    • Some nonimmigrant visa holders, while present in the U.S., are able to file a request which must be approved by USCIS to change to another nonimmigrant category. See Change My Nonimmigrant Status on the USCIS website.

      Important Note: Filing a request with USCIS for approval of change of status before your authorized stay expires, while you remain in the U.S., does not by itself require the visa holder to apply for a new visa. However, if you cannot remain in the U.S. while USCIS processes your change of status request, you will need to apply for a nonimmigrant visa at a U.S. Embassy or Consulate abroad.
  • What if my F-1 student visa has expired?

    What if my F-1 student visa has expired?

    • You can stay in the United States on an expired F-1 visa as long as you maintain your student status. However, if you are returning home or traveling to a country where automatic revalidation does not apply, you must have a valid visa to return to the United States.

      Ensure that you have all the documentation you need for your visa application and allow sufficient time for processing a new visa.
  • As a continuing student, will I need to pay the SEVIS I-901 fee if I travel outside the United States?

    As a continuing student, will I need to pay the SEVIS I-901 fee if I travel outside the United States?

    • No. See the I-901 FAQ for detailed information on the SEVIS I-901 fee.
  • I wish to travel to Canada, Mexico, or one of the islands (other than Cuba) adjacent to the United States. Can I return if my visa is expired?

    I wish to travel to Canada, Mexico, or one of the islands (other than Cuba) adjacent to the United States. Can I return if my visa is expired?

    • Yes, in most cases. You can usually revalidate an expired visa automatically when returning from a visit of less than thirty days to Canada, Mexico, or one of the islands adjacent to the United States (other than Cuba) provided that you have a valid SEVIS Form I-20 and a valid unexpired Form I-94. This process is known as automatic visa revalidation.

      However, if you meet any one of following criteria, you will not be able to automatically revalidate your visa:

      • You applied for a new visa and it has not been issued
      • You applied for a new visa and were denied
      • You have a terminated SEVIS record indicating that you are out of status
      • You have been out the United States for more than thirty days
      • You are a citizen of one of the following countries:
          •Cuba
          •Iran
          •North Korea
          •Sudan
          •Syria

      [Reference 8 CFR 214.1(b)(3)]

  • Which islands are defined as “adjacent islands”?

    Which islands are defined as “adjacent islands”?

    • The adjacent islands are:

      • Saint Pierre
      • Miquelon
      • The Dominican Republic
      • Haiti
      • Bermuda
      • The Bahamas
      • Barbados
      • Jamaica
      • The Windward and Leeward Islands
      • Trinidad
      • Martinique
      • Other British, French, and Netherlands territory or possessions in or bordering on the Caribbean Sea

      [Reference INA, Section 101(b)(5)]

  • Do I need a valid visa to visit Puerto Rico or the U.S. Virgin Islands?

    Do I need a valid visa to visit Puerto Rico or the U.S. Virgin Islands?

    • No. You will need a valid SEVIS Form I-20 and a valid unexpired Form I-94. Be sure that you do not have a terminated SEVIS record indicating that you are out of status.
  • How do I know if I have a terminated record in SEVIS?

    How do I know if I have a terminated record in SEVIS?

    • Your Designated Student Official (DSO) can tell you what your SEVIS record status is and give you appropriate travel related advice.
  • I want to travel outside the United States, but my SEVIS record has been terminated. Can I return if I travel?

    I want to travel outside the United States, but my SEVIS record has been terminated. Can I return if I travel?

    • If you need to travel on a terminated record, you must visit your Designated Student Official (DSO). If your school has requested a data fix, the DSO will put your help desk ticket number on your Form I-20 and report your pending travel to SEVP.

      There is no guarantee you will be readmitted to the United States if you travel on a terminated record. In most cases, inspectors will allow you to reenter the United States if you are otherwise admissible and your DSO has properly annotated your Form I-20. It is likely, however, you will be sent to secondary inspection while CBP determines whether you are eligible to return to the United States.
  • Can I travel outside the United States if I have a Form I-485 adjustment of status application pending?

    Can I travel outside the United States if I have a Form I-485 adjustment of status application pending?

    • No, not without advance permission. If you depart the United States with a pending I-485, you have abandoned your application unless you receive permission in advance from USCIS to return to the United States. This permission is called Advance Parole.

      See the USCIS website for more information.

      You need to plan in advance. You can check the USCIS website at https://egov.uscis.gov/cris/processTimesDisplay.do to find out the processing time at the various Service Centers.

      You may also be considered ineligible to return to the United States as an F-1 student, because your application to change status to that of a permanent resident is evidence of intent to immigrate which is inconsistent with nonimmigrant student status.
  • Can I reestablish F-1 student status by obtaining a new initial Form I-20 and reentering the United States?

    Can I reestablish F-1 student status by obtaining a new initial Form I-20 and reentering the United States?

    • Yes. However, you will be considered an initial student for SEVIS purposes. You will have to pay the SEVIS I-901 fee and any time that you have accrued towards qualification for training or employment is lost.

      You must have the new SEVIS Form I-20 showing that you are entering on a new SEVIS ID number.

      You should be aware that the CBP inspecting officer will determine whether or not to admit you to the United States with the new SEVIS Form I-20. If you did not comply with the terms of your status during a prior stay in the United States, CBP may decide that you are not eligible to reenter.
  • Can I reenter during the 60-day grace period after finishing my program or after finishing OPT?

    Can I reenter during the 60-day grace period after finishing my program or after finishing OPT?

    • No.
  • Can I reenter if my request for OPT is pending?

    Can I reenter if my request for OPT is pending?

    • Yes, you may reenter to search for employment.
  • Can I reenter if I left while on OPT?

    Can I reenter if I left while on OPT?

    • If your OPT has been approved and you depart before you get a job, your OPT ends and you cannot reenter unless you have a written job offer.

      If you have a job, you may travel and reenter to resume work at the same job or you have a written offer for another job.
  • Are there any other requirements for travel outside the United States?

    Are there any other requirements for travel outside the United States?

    • The questions above outline the general requirements for reentry for F-1 students. However, because individual circumstances vary, consult your DSO, embassy, or legal advisor before traveling. If you discuss your travel plans as soon as possible, this will allow time to ensure you have proper documentation for travel.

      If you are not returning to your home country, you should check the requirements of the country you are visiting. Some countries will require a visa. You may also need an in-transit visa for countries where you are making a connecting flight. Be sure to check before you travel. Most countries have immigration websites that provide visa information.

J1 Visas

  • What is an exchange visitor program?

    What is an exchange visitor program?

    • The exchange visitor (J) nonimmigrant visa category is provided for persons who are approved to participate in exchange visitor programs in the U.S., under provisions of U.S. immigration law. This means that before you can apply at a U.S. Embassy or Consulate for a J visa, you must first apply, meet the requirements, and be accepted for one of the Exchange Visitor Program categories through a designated sponsoring organization. If you are accepted as a participant in an exchange program, the sponsor will provide you with information and documents necessary to apply for the J visa to enter the U.S.
  • What Is SEVIS and SEVP? What Should You Know about It?

    What Is SEVIS and SEVP? What Should You Know about It?

    • The SEVP monitors school and exchange programs and F, M and J category visitors. The Student and Exchange Visitor Information System (SEVIS) is an Internet-based system that maintains accurate and current information on nonimmigrant students (F and M visa), exchange visitors (J visa), and their dependents (F-2, M-2, and J-2). SEVIS enables schools and program sponsors to transmit mandatory information and event notifications via the Internet, to the DHS and DOS throughout a student or exchange visitor’s stay in the U.S. Select SEVIS to go to the DHS, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement website and learn more.
  • What are J1 Visa’s Eligibility Requirements?

    What are J1 Visa’s Eligibility Requirements?

    • Applicants must demonstrate that they properly meet requirements, including the following:

      • That they plan to remain in the U.S. for a temporary, specific, limited period;
      • Evidence of funds to cover expenses in the U.S.;
      • Evidence of compelling social and economic ties abroad; and other binding ties which will insure their return abroad at the end of the visit.
  • What is DS-2019?

    What is DS-2019?

    • SEVIS-generated Form, DS-2019, is provided to you by your program sponsor, after the sponsor enters your information in the SEVIS system. All exchange visitors, including their spouses and dependents must be registered in the Student and Exchange Visitor Information System (SEVIS)
  • How can I obtain a Form DS-2019?

    How can I obtain a Form DS-2019?

    • Designated sponsors are authorized to issue this form to prospective exchange visitors they have screened and selected for participation in the exchange visitor program. The information in this form is completed by the sponsor prior to being given to the participant, who once given the DS-2019, can apply at a U.S. embassy or consulate for the J-1 visa.
  • What is a Training/Internship Placement Plan, Form DS-7002?

    What is a Training/Internship Placement Plan, Form DS-7002?

    • All exchange visitor (J visa) trainee or intern visa applicants (based on Box 7 on form) must also present Training/Internship Placement Plan, Form DS-7002 when applying for a visa.
  • My Visa Has Been Issued - When Can I Travel to the U.S.?

    My Visa Has Been Issued - When Can I Travel to the U.S.?

    • DHS regulation requires that all beginning (initial) J exchange visitors, and J-2 spouse and dependents enter the U.S. 30 days or less in advance of the applicant's program start date as shown on the Form DS-2019. The 30-day limitation does not apply to current exchange participants who are returning to continue with their exchange program.

      If you want an earlier entry in the U.S. (more than 30 days prior to the course start date), you must qualify for, and obtain a visitor visa, as explained below; however, this is strongly discouraged.
  • I am a J1 visa holder dependent. What type of visa should I apply for?

    I am a J1 visa holder dependent. What type of visa should I apply for?

    • You need to apply for a J2 visa with your own DS-2019.
  • Can a J2 visa holder work in the U.S?

    Can a J2 visa holder work in the U.S?

    • The spouse and/or children of an exchange visitor in the U.S. may not work in J-2 status, unless they have filed Form I-765 Application for Employment Authorization and U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has approved permission to work.
  • Can a J2 visa holder study in the U.S?

    Can a J2 visa holder study in the U.S?

    • The spouse and/or children of an exchange visitor visa holder who are in the U.S. on an exchange visitor visa may study in the U.S. without also being required to apply for a student (F-1) visa or change to F-1 status.
  • Can a J2 visa holder enter to U.S before the principal applicant/J1 visa holder?

    Can a J2 visa holder enter to U.S before the principal applicant/J1 visa holder?

    • Spouses and children of exchange visitors may not enter the U.S. before the primary exchange visitor enters for the first time.
  • What are the Two-year Home-country Physical Presence Requirement Conditions?

    What are the Two-year Home-country Physical Presence Requirement Conditions?

    • An exchange visitor is subject to the two-year home country physical presence requirement if the following conditions exist:

      • Government funded exchange program - The program in which the exchange visitor was participating was financed in whole or in part directly or indirectly by the U.S. government or the government of the exchange visitor's nationality or last residence;
      • Graduate medical education or training - The exchange visitor entered the U.S. to receive graduate medical education or training;
      • Specialized knowledge or skill: Skills List - The exchange visitor is a national or permanent resident of a country which has deemed the sought field of knowledge or skill necessary to the development of the country.  A consular officer will determine if the field of knowledge or skill that you seek is considered specialized.
  • How Long Am I Permitted to Stay in the U.S. After My Program Has Ended?

    How Long Am I Permitted to Stay in the U.S. After My Program Has Ended?

    • The initial admission of an exchange visitor, spouse and children may not exceed the period specified on Form DS-2019, plus a period of 30 days only for domestic travel and/or to prepare for and depart from the U.S.
  • How do I know if I am subject to the two-year home-country foreign residency requirement?

    How do I know if I am subject to the two-year home-country foreign residency requirement?

    • When you agree to participate in an Exchange Visitor Program you will be subject to the two-year home-country foreign residency requirement if your exchange program is funded by either your government or the U.S. government, involves specialized knowledge or skills deemed necessary by your home country or you received graduate medical training. If this requirement applies, you must return to your home country for a cumulative total of two years at the end of your exchange visitor program.  You are not prohibited from traveling to the United States but may not benefit from certain employment-based or family-based visas until the foreign residency requirement is satisfied.
  • How can I apply for a waiver of the two-year home-country physical presence requirement?

    How can I apply for a waiver of the two-year home-country physical presence requirement?

  • Will I have to pay taxes on my salary if I am working and receiving wages while on a J-1 Visa?

    Will I have to pay taxes on my salary if I am working and receiving wages while on a J-1 Visa?

    • Check with your sponsor for detailed information about taxes.
  • How can I work for an employer other than the program sponsor?

    How can I work for an employer other than the program sponsor?

    • A J-1 holder may only perform the activity listed on his/her Form DS-2019, or as provided for in the regulations for the specific category for which entry was obtained and with the approval of the Sponsor’s Responsible or Alternate Responsible Officer.
  • As a J-1 Visa holder, am I allowed to work?

    As a J-1 Visa holder, am I allowed to work?

    • A J-1 holder is only allowed to perform the activity listed on his/her Form DS-2019 and as stated in the regulations for that category of exchange.

SWT J1 VISAS

  • What are SWT J1 Visa’s Eligibility Requirements?

    What are SWT J1 Visa’s Eligibility Requirements?

    • Applicants must demonstrate that they properly meet requirements, including the following:

      • Sufficiently proficient in English to successfully interact in an English speaking environment;
      • Post-secondary school students enrolled in and actively pursuing a degree or other full-time course of study at an accredited post-secondary educational institution outside the United States;
      • Have successfully completed at least one semester or equivalent of post-secondary academic study
      • Pre-placed prior to entry
  • What is DS-2019?

    What is DS-2019?

    • SEVIS-generated Form, DS-2019, is provided to you by your program sponsor, after the sponsor enters your information in the SEVIS system. All exchange visitors, including their spouses and dependents must be registered in the Student and Exchange Visitor Information System (SEVIS)
  • How can I obtain a Form DS-2019?

    How can I obtain a Form DS-2019?

    • Designated sponsors are authorized to issue this form to prospective exchange visitors. Your SWT agency is supposed to ask for it on behalf of you.
  • My Visa Has Been Issued - When Can I Travel to the U.S.?

    My Visa Has Been Issued - When Can I Travel to the U.S.?

    • DHS regulation requires that all beginning (initial) J exchange visitors, and J-2 spouse and dependents enter the U.S. 30 days or less in advance of the applicant's program start date as shown on the Form DS-2019. The 30-day limitation does not apply to current exchange participants who are returning to continue with their exchange program.
  • How Long Am I Permitted to Stay in the U.S. After My Program Has Ended?

    How Long Am I Permitted to Stay in the U.S. After My Program Has Ended?

    • The initial admission of an exchange visitor, spouse and children may not exceed the period specified on Form DS-2019, plus a period of 30 days only for domestic travel and/or to prepare for and depart from the U.S.
  • Am I subject to the two-year home-country foreign residency requirement?

    Am I subject to the two-year home-country foreign residency requirement?

    • No. Two year rule doesn’t apply to summer work and travel program.
  • Can I attend the SWT program more than once?

    Can I attend the SWT program more than once?

    • Participants can be admitted to the program more than once.
  • What is the maximum length of the SWT program?

    What is the maximum length of the SWT program?

    • The maximum length of the program is four months.
  • I am a “hazirlik” student. Am I eligible for SWT?

    I am a “hazirlik” student. Am I eligible for SWT?

    • Hazirlik applicants can apply if they speak sufficient English and provide official results of all tests and quizzes taken during the hazırlık year.
  • I am a 4th year student. Am I eligible for SWT?

    I am a 4th year student. Am I eligible for SWT?

    • 4th year students can apply if they show that they have clear plans following their SWT experience.
  • I am a masters/PhD student. Am I eligible for SWT?

    I am a masters/PhD student. Am I eligible for SWT?

    • Masters/PhD students can apply if they are currently enrolled in an academic program.
  • I am in a two-year university program. Am I eligible for SWT?

    I am in a two-year university program. Am I eligible for SWT?

    • Two-year program students may apply if they are currently enrolled in an academic program.
  • How can I learn about my rights in the U.S. as a J1/SWT visa holder?

    How can I learn about my rights in the U.S. as a J1/SWT visa holder?

  • What are the required fees for SWT/J1 visa application?

    What are the required fees for SWT/J1 visa application?

    • $160 Machine Readable Visa (MRV) application fee and $35 SEVIS fee for Turkish applicants. There might be additional fees for third country nationals.
  • How can I find a SWT agency?

    How can I find a SWT agency?

I Visas

  • What is a Media (I) Visa?

    What is a Media (I) Visa?

    • The media (I) visa is a nonimmigrant visa for representatives of the foreign media temporarily traveling to the United States (U.S.), to engage in their profession while having their home office in a foreign country.
  • What are the requirements for Media (I) Visa?

    What are the requirements for Media (I) Visa?

    • Media visas are for “representatives of the foreign media,” including members of the press, radio, film or print industries, whose activities are essential to the foreign media function, such as reporters, film crews, editors and persons in similar occupations, under U.S. immigration laws, traveling to the U.S. to engage in their profession.
  • What types of activities require a media (I) visa?

    What types of activities require a media (I) visa?

    • The activity must be essentially informational, and generally associated with the news gathering process, reporting on actual current events, to be eligible for the media visa.
  • I am a member of the media engaged in the production and distribution of a film. Am I eligible for Media (I) visa?

    I am a member of the media engaged in the production and distribution of a film. Am I eligible for Media (I) visa?

    • You are eligible only if the material being filmed will be used to disseminate information or news. Additionally, the primary source and distribution of funding must be outside the U.S.
  • I am a journalist working under contract. Am I eligible for Media (I) visa?

    I am a journalist working under contract. Am I eligible for Media (I) visa?

    • Persons holding a credential issued by a professional journalistic organization, if working under contract on a product to be used abroad by an information or cultural medium to disseminate information or news not primarily intended for commercial entertainment or advertising are eligible.
  • I am an employee of an independent production company. Am I eligible for Media (I) visa?

    I am an employee of an independent production company. Am I eligible for Media (I) visa?

    • If you hold a credential issued by a professional journalistic association you are eligible.
  • I am a foreign journalists working for an overseas branch office of a U.S. network. Am I eligible for Media (I) visa?

    I am a foreign journalists working for an overseas branch office of a U.S. network. Am I eligible for Media (I) visa?

    • If you are going to the U.S. to report on U.S. events solely for a foreign audience, you are eligible.
  • I am a Media (I) visa holder. My wife and children wish to accompany me in the U.S. for the duration of my stay. What type of visa should they apply for?

    I am a Media (I) visa holder. My wife and children wish to accompany me in the U.S. for the duration of my stay. What type of visa should they apply for?

    • Spouses and/or children under the age of 21 who wish to accompany or join the principal media visa holder in the U.S. for the duration of his/her stay require media visas.
  • I am a Media (I) visa holder. My wife and children wish to visit me in the U.S. What type of visa should they apply for?

    I am a Media (I) visa holder. My wife and children wish to visit me in the U.S. What type of visa should they apply for?

    • They may be eligible to apply for visitor (B-2) visa.
  • I am the spouse/child of a media visa (I) holder here in the U.S. Am I allowed to work on a media visa?

    I am the spouse/child of a media visa (I) holder here in the U.S. Am I allowed to work on a media visa?

    • The spouse and/or children of a media visa holder in the U.S. may not work without an appropriate temporary worker visa.
  • I am the spouse/child of a media visa (I) holder here in the U.S. Am I allowed to study on a media visa?

    I am the spouse/child of a media visa (I) holder here in the U.S. Am I allowed to study on a media visa?

    • The spouse and/or children of a media visa holder who are in the U.S. on a media visa may study in the U.S. without also being required to apply for a student (F-1) visa.
  • I am a representative of the foreign media and I am planning to attend a conference/meeting in the U.S. What type of visa should I apply for?

    I am a representative of the foreign media and I am planning to attend a conference/meeting in the U.S. What type of visa should I apply for?

    • If you will not report about the meeting, either while in the U.S. or upon their return, you can apply for a visitor visa. If you will report about the meeting you can apply for I visa.

C1/D Visas

  • Who is a Crewman?

    Who is a Crewman?

    • A crewman is an alien who is serving in a capacity that is required for normal operation and service on board a vessel.
  • How do you determine whether the services of an alien are required for normal operation and service on board a vessel?

    How do you determine whether the services of an alien are required for normal operation and service on board a vessel?

    • In determining whether the services of an alien are required for normal operation and service on board a vessel, the consular officer shall take into account the alien’s responsibilities and activities on the ship or aircraft.  For example, a beautician or a lifeguard employed on board a luxury liner, an electrician employed on board a cable ship, or a chemist employed on board a whaling boat is classifiable as a crewman.
  • I am a crewman traveling to the United States as a passenger to join a vessel/aircraft what type of visa should I apply for?

    I am a crewman traveling to the United States as a passenger to join a vessel/aircraft what type of visa should I apply for?

    • It depends on your situation. You might qualify for a C1/D visa.
  • I am a dependent of a crewman. Do I qualify for C1/D?

    I am a dependent of a crewman. Do I qualify for C1/D?

    • No. A spouse, child or other alien who wishes to accompany a crewman entering the United States as a nonimmigrant under INA 101(a)(15)(D) must independently be able to qualify for another visa classification, such as B1/B2.

Treaty Trader/Investor (E-1/E-2) Visa

  • Which countries have a treaty with the U.S.?

    Which countries have a treaty with the U.S.?

  • What are the requirements for Treaty Trader Visa?

    What are the requirements for Treaty Trader Visa?

    • Treaty trader applicants must meet specific requirements to qualify for a treaty trader (E-1) visa under immigration law. The consular officer will determine whether a treaty trader applicant qualifies for a visa.

      • The applicant must be a national of a treaty country.
      • The trading firm for which the applicant is coming to the U. S. must have the nationality of the treaty country.
      • The international trade must be "substantial" in the sense that there is a sizable and continuing volume of trade.
      • The trade must be principally between the U.S. and the treaty country, which is defined to mean that more than 50 percent of the international trade involved must be between the U.S. and the country of the applicant's nationality.
      • Trade means the international exchange of goods, services, and technology. Title of the trade items must pass from one party to the other.
      • The applicant must be employed in a supervisory or executive capacity, or possess highly specialized skills essential to the efficient operation of the firm. Ordinary skilled or unskilled workers do not qualify.
  • What are the requirements for Treaty Investor Visa?

    What are the requirements for Treaty Investor Visa?

    • Treaty investor applicants must meet specific requirements to qualify for a treaty investor (E-2) visa under immigration law. The consular officer will determine whether a treaty investor applicant qualifies for a visa.

      • The investor, either a real or corporate person, must be a national of a treaty country.
      • The investment must be substantial. It must be sufficient to ensure the successful operation of the enterprise. The percentage of investment for a low-cost business enterprise must be higher than the percentage of investment in a high-cost enterprise.
      • The investment must be a real operating enterprise. Speculative or idle investment does not qualify. Uncommitted funds in a bank account or similar security are not considered an investment.
      • The investment may not be marginal. It must generate significantly more income than just to provide a living to the investor and family, or it must have a significant economic impact in the U.S.
      • The investor must have control of the funds, and the investment must be at risk in the commercial sense. Loans secured with the assets of the investment enterprise are not allowed.
      • The investor must be coming to the U.S. to develop and direct the enterprise. If the applicant is not the principal investor, he or she must be employed in a supervisory, executive, or highly specialized skill capacity. Ordinary skilled and unskilled workers do not qualify.
  • What is the required documentation?

    What is the required documentation?

    • Each applicant for a treaty trader (E-1) visa must submit these forms and documentation, as explained below:

      Online Nonimmigrant Visa Electronic Application, Form DS-160. Visit our DS-160 webpage to learn more about the DS-160 online process.
      Nonimmigrant Treaty Trader/Treaty Investor Application, Form DS-156E, completed and signed.
      A passport valid for travel to the U.S. and with a validity date at least six months beyond the applicant's intended period of stay in the U.S. (unless country-specific agreements provide exemptions). If more than one person is included in the passport, each person must complete a Form DS-160 application.
      One (1) 2x2 photograph. See the required photo format explained in Photograph Requirements.

      Each applicant for a treaty investor (E-2) visa must submit these forms and documentation, as explained below:

      Online Nonimmigrant Visa Electronic Application, Form DS-160. Visit our DS-160 webpage to learn more about the DS-160 online process.
      Nonimmigrant Treaty Trader/Treaty Investor Application, Form DS-156E, completed and signed, if you are an Executive/Manager/Essential Employee.
      A passport valid for travel to the U.S. and with a validity date at least six months beyond the applicant's intended period of stay in the U.S. (unless country-specific agreements provide exemptions). If more than one person is included in the passport, each person must complete a Form DS-160 application.
      One (1) 2x2 photograph. See the required photo format explained in Photograph Requirements.

  • What are the Required Visa Fees?

    What are the Required Visa Fees?

    • Nonimmigrant visa application processing fee - For current fees for Department of State government services, select Fees. You will need to provide a receipt showing the visa application processing fee has been paid, when you come for your visa interview.

      Visa issuance fee – Additionally, if the visa is issued, there will be an additional visa issuance reciprocity fee, if applicable. Please consult the Visa Reciprocity Tables to find out if you must pay a visa issuance reciprocity fee and what the fee amount is.
  • What additional documentation do I need to provide?

    What additional documentation do I need to provide?

    • An applicant for a Treaty Trader (E-1) or Treaty Investor (E-2) visa must first establish that the trading enterprise or investment enterprise meets the requirements of the law, and complies with the many requirements for the E visa classification. The consular officer may provide the applicant with special forms for this purpose. The applicant can expect the consular officer to request additional documentation, to make a determination about eligibility for a treaty trader or treaty investor visa. It is impossible to specify the exact documentation required since circumstances vary greatly by applicant.
  • Family Members

    Family Members

    • Spouses and unmarried children under 21 years of age, regardless of nationality, may receive derivative E visas in order to accompany the principal visa holder. The spouse of an E visa holder may apply to DHS for employment authorization. Dependent children of an E visa holder are not authorized to work in the U.S.

Passports

  • I have an old type passport issued by the Turkish government. Is it valid for travel to the United States? Do I need to get a new machine readable passport?

    I have an old type passport issued by the Turkish government. Is it valid for travel to the United States? Do I need to get a new machine readable passport?

    • Yes, the old type passport is valid for travel to the United States before its expiration date.
  • Does my Turkish passport have to be valid for six months beyond my date of departure from the United States?

    Does my Turkish passport have to be valid for six months beyond my date of departure from the United States?

    • No, if your passport is not valid for at least six months beyond your date of departure from the United States, it will not affect your eligibility to travel. The United States has an agreement with Turkey automatically extending the validity of a passport for six months past the passport's expiration date. Therefore, your passport need remain valid only for the duration of your stay in the United States. For a list of countries exempt from the six month rule, see Six Month Club.
  • Can we travel on a collective passport?

    Can we travel on a collective passport?

    • Collective passports require the visa holders to travel together.
  • I hold a diplomatic passport, can I travel visa free?

    I hold a diplomatic passport, can I travel visa free?

    • Even If you are a diplomatic passport holder, you will require a visa to enter the United States.
  • I have a visa in my old passport; can I just transfer it over?

    I have a visa in my old passport; can I just transfer it over?

    • It is not possible to transfer a visa from one passport to another without making a new visa application. Please note that the Embassy no longer issues visas valid "indefinitely". If you are issued a new visa it will have a maximum validity of ten years.
  • My passport containing a valid visa has expired. I've obtained a new passport; do I need a new visa?

    My passport containing a valid visa has expired. I've obtained a new passport; do I need a new visa?

    • If the passport in which your visa has been endorsed has expired, the visa in the old passport still can be used, provided that you also carry a valid passport of the same nationality. Note: If, when canceling your old passport, the passport authority has clipped the corners of the passport, and, in so doing, has damaged the visa in any way, that visa is no longer valid and cannot be used for travel to the United States.
  • My last name has changed due to marriage. I have a visa with my maiden name in my old passport. Should I apply for a new visa?

    My last name has changed due to marriage. I have a visa with my maiden name in my old passport. Should I apply for a new visa?

    • No. You may travel to U.S by carrying your old and new passport along with your marriage certificate.
  • My child’s visa is in my passport. Can s/he travel with this visa alone?

    My child’s visa is in my passport. Can s/he travel with this visa alone?

    • No. Your child can use their visa in your passport as long as they travel with you. If they will be traveling without you, they will need their own visa in their passport.
  • My son/daughter is included on my passport; do they need to have a visa or is that OK?

    My son/daughter is included on my passport; do they need to have a visa or is that OK?

    • Every individual, even if they are registered on their parent’s passports, need to have their own visa. Please note that you will be required to complete a visa application form and pay MRV application fees for your children.

Diplomatic & Official Visas

  • How do you determine whether a person qualifies for an A or G visa?

    How do you determine whether a person qualifies for an A or G visa?

    • In general, G visas are issued to individuals employed directly by an international organization or representing a foreign government to international organizations. A visas are issued to representatives of a foreign government traveling to the United States to engage in official activities for that government.

      International Organization Employee Visas (G)

      To qualify for a G visa, the individual concerned must be entering the United States in pursuance of official duties. Members of a permanent mission of a recognized government to an international organization are eligible for G-1 visas; representatives of a recognized government traveling to the United States temporarily to attend meetings of a designated international organization are eligible for G-2 visa and representatives of non-recognized or non-member governments are eligible for G-3 visas; G-4 visas are issued to individual personnel who are proceeding to the United States to take up an appointment at a designated international organization, including the United Nations.

      A-1 & A-2 Visas

      With the exception of a Head of State or Government who qualifies for an A-1 visa regardless of the purpose of his or her visit to the United States, the type of visa required by a diplomat or other government official depends upon his or her reason for entering the United States.

      To qualify for an A-1 or A-2 visa, the individual concerned must be traveling to the United States on behalf of his or her national government to engage solely in official activities for that government. The fact that there may be government interest or control in a given organization is not, in itself, the defining factor in determining whether or not the applicant qualifies for an A visa; the particular duties or services to be performed must also be of an inherently governmental character or nature.  Local government officials representing their state, province, borough, or other local political entity do not qualify for "A" visa status; they require B-1 or B-2 visas.  Note:  Qualified “A” visa applicants traveling to the United States for assignments of less than 90 days will be issued visas annotated "TDY" (temporary duty).

      Government officials traveling to the United States to perform non-governmental functions of a commercial nature or traveling as tourists require the appropriate H, L or B visa, or if qualified, travel visa free under the Visa Waiver Program; they do not qualify for diplomatic visas.

      Important note: Foreign officials who intend traveling to the United States on official business must obtain an "A" visa prior to their entry. They cannot travel on tourist visas, or visa free under the Visa Waiver Program.
  • How can I apply for a G or A visa?

    How can I apply for a G or A visa?

    • Please review the following THREE STEPS below before beginning your visa application.

      Step 1:  Complete the online DS-160

      Step 2:  Gather additional required documents

      Step 3:  Applying for the visa

      Reminder: We always recommend that individuals apply for visas well in advance of their proposed date of travel. No assurances regarding the issuance of visas can be given in advance. Therefore, final travel plans or the purchase of non refundable ticket should not be made until a visa has been issued and you are in receipt of the passport.

  • I have a diplomatic note from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Do I qualify for an official visa?

    I have a diplomatic note from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Do I qualify for an official visa?

    • A diplomatic note alone is not enough to qualify for a visa. Your trip must be sponsored by either Turkish or the U.S. government, AND, you must be traveling to the United States on behalf of his or her national government to engage solely in official activities for that government.
  • I have a diplomatic note; can I apply for a tourist visa without getting an appointment?

    I have a diplomatic note; can I apply for a tourist visa without getting an appointment?

    • If you are a diplomatic passport holder, you may apply for a tourist visa without getting an appointment. You may come in to our Consular section on any business day during duty hours. If you are NOT a diplomatic passport holder, you must call our Visa Information Service and schedule an appointment in order to make a tourist visa application, even if you have a diplomatic note.
  • I have a diplomatic note and an I-20/DS-2019 form; my government is sending me to a training/course. Can I get an official visa?

    I have a diplomatic note and an I-20/DS-2019 form; my government is sending me to a training/course. Can I get an official visa?

    • If you will receive a training/course at an educational institution in the U.S., and if the length and/or nature of your training requires a DS-2019/I-20 form, you need to get a J (DS-2019) or F (I-20) visa. These visas are not official visas. You need to schedule an appointment and deposit the application fee to apply for these particular visas, even if you have a diplomatic note.
  • When and how can I submit my official visa application?

    When and how can I submit my official visa application?

    • You can submit your official visa application with an intermediary. Necessary documents should be brought to our Consular gate at Paris Caddesi from Monday through Friday between 11:00-11:30 a.m. or between 3:00-3:30 p.m. The person to bring the documents will be given a tracking number. You can collect your passport with that tracking number in 5 business days.
  • We have a group of 20 applying for official visa. Can we submit the first half of the group today, the other half tomorrow?

    We have a group of 20 applying for official visa. Can we submit the first half of the group today, the other half tomorrow?

    • No. You need to submit the applications of a group at once.
  • Can I come on any time during the day to collect my passport?

    Can I come on any time during the day to collect my passport?

    • We deliver passports only between 4:00-4:30 p.m.
  • I am a local government official; will I be accorded an official visa?

    I am a local government official; will I be accorded an official visa?

    • A visa status only pertains to officials traveling to the United States on behalf of their national government. Local government officials traveling on behalf of their state, province, borough, or other local political entity do not qualify for “A” visa status. The type of visa you require will depend on the reason for your visit. For details please see http://turkey.usembassy.gov/diplomatic_official_visas.html
  • My visa is annotated with the symbol "TDY"; what does this mean?

    My visa is annotated with the symbol "TDY"; what does this mean?

    • If an A visa applicant is going to the United States for an assignment which is to last less than 90 days, his or her visa will be annotated TDY.
  • Which family members qualify for derivative official, diplomatic and international organization visas?

    Which family members qualify for derivative official, diplomatic and international organization visas?

    • Immediate family members are defined as the principal applicant's spouse and unmarried sons and daughters of any age who are not members of some other household and who will reside regularly in the household of the principal alien. This includes children who are at boarding school. Immediate family also includes any other close relatives of the principal alien or spouse who are relatives by blood, marriage, or adoption; are not members of some other household; will reside regularly in the household of the principal alien and are recognized as dependents by the sending Government.

      The fact that your relative has been, even in the recent past, a member of some other household does not preclude him or her from being considered a member of the household of the principal alien. For example, a recently widowed, divorced, or aging parent may have closed a former household with the intention of becoming part of the principal alien's household. This could also occur because the parent, due to advanced age or infirmity, had ceased to be able to maintain his or her own household. In such cases, the principal applicant must be able to show that he/she is financially responsible for the new family member.
  • Can the dependent of an A, G or NATO visa holder work in the United States on a derivative visa?

    Can the dependent of an A, G or NATO visa holder work in the United States on a derivative visa?

    • Dependents of A-1, A-2, G-1, G-3, G-4 and NATO visa holders may be eligible to work in the United States on derivative A, G or NATO visas. An application for employment must be made on the form I-566 to the Department of State through the office, mission, or organization which employs the principal alien. If the Department's recommendation is favorable, the form I-566 will be forwarded to the Department of Homeland Security and the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) for action. If the application is approved, USCIS will transmit the employment authorization to the mission, or international organization. In the case of NATO dependents, USCIS employment authorization will be transmitted to NATOSACLANT. For further information you should either contact your mission, international organization or in the case of NATO visa holders, NATOSACLANT.
  • I have been offered an internship at the United Nations; do I qualify for a G-4 visa?

    I have been offered an internship at the United Nations; do I qualify for a G-4 visa?

    • G-4 visas are not appropriate in this case. A B-1 visa may be appropriate if you have attained a bachelor or higher degree (or equivalent) and the proposed duties are in a specialty occupation, related to your degree. If you believe that you may be eligible for a B-1 visa you are required to apply for a visa. At the time of application you should enclose a letter from the UN which discusses in detail the internship together with evidence of your academic qualifications.

      NOTE: Interns working at their country's mission to the UN or the EC Delegation require either official exchange (J-1) or temporary work (H-2) visas. However, if you meet the requirements for the B-1 visas as described above, you may also be eligible for the B-1 visa.
  • I have been offered an internship at an international organization other than the United Nations; do I qualify for a G-4 visa?

    I have been offered an internship at an international organization other than the United Nations; do I qualify for a G-4 visa?

    • If you will be paid directly by that international organization, you will qualify for the G-4 visa.
  • I have a UN Laissez-Passer; is this valid for travel to the United States?

    I have a UN Laissez-Passer; is this valid for travel to the United States?

    • The passport is valid for travel to the United States only if the holder is destined to the United Nations and is in possession of a valid G-4 visa. Note: the UN Laissez-Passer is an emergency travel document and should only be used in special circumstances.
  • I am a police officer traveling to the United States on official business; do I require an official visa?

    I am a police officer traveling to the United States on official business; do I require an official visa?

    • If you are traveling on official police business, for example, to interview witnesses, take a statement in connection with a police investigation, you will require an A-2 visa.
  • I have a diplomatic note from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Do I qualify for an official visa?

    I have a diplomatic note from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Do I qualify for an official visa?

    • Having a diplomatic note from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs is not enough to qualify for an official visa. In order to qualify for an official visa, you must be traveling to the United States on official business on behalf of your government.
  • Which official visa type is appropriate for me?

    Which official visa type is appropriate for me?

  • I submitted my DS-160 to another post, do I need to fill another form for Ankara?

    I submitted my DS-160 to another post, do I need to fill another form for Ankara?

    • You need to fill out
      another form for Ankara.

Work Visas

  • Labor Certifications

    Labor Certifications

    • In order to be considered for a nonimmigrant visa under the above classifications, some temporary worker categories require an applicant's prospective employer to obtain a labor certificate or other approval from the Department of Labor for the prospective employee (visa applicant). Once that is received, if required, the prospective employer or agent can file the Form I-129 to petition for a Nonimmigrant Worker with USCIS.
  • Petitions

    Petitions

    • Before applying for a temporary worker visa at the U.S. Embassy or Consulate abroad, applicants must obtain an approved Form I-129, Petition for Nonimmigrant Worker from USCIS. This form must be submitted by your prospective employer at USCIS’s Temporary Workers webpage no earlier than 6 months prior to the proposed employment start date. Employers should file the petition as soon as possible within the 6 month period to allow adequate time for processing. Should you need petition processing faster, see Premium Processing Service on USCIS website. Once approved, the employer will be sent Form I-797, Notice of Action.
  • Types of Visas

    Types of Visas

    • There are various categories (called classifications) of nonimmigrant visas for a person who wishes to work temporarily in the United States, which are based on U.S immigration laws, specifically the Immigration and Nationality Act. If you want to work in the U.S. temporarily, you need a specific visa based on the purpose of your travel and type of work you will be doing. To learn more, please see United States Citizenship and Immigration Service’s (USCIS) Working in the U.S. webpage.
      Review Temporary Workers on the USCIS website for more detailed information about each category, petition procedures and eligibility for each type of temporary worker below. See Employer Information  on the USCIS website for information about the numerical limit CAP count, e-Verify, and more. There are annual numerical limits on some visa types, which are shown in parentheses below.

      H-1B Persons in Specialty Occupation which requires the theoretical and practical application of a body of highly specialized knowledge and successful completion of a specific course of higher education. (65,000). This category also includes fashion models and Government-to-Government research and development, or co-production projects administered by the Department of Defense (100);

      H-2A Seasonal Agricultural Workers – Review USCIS H-2A program requirements and regulations, which apply to all petitions filed for this visa category. NOTE: USCIS may approve a petition for this visa category on your behalf if you are a citizen or national of a designated country. If you are a citizen or national from a non-designated country, USCIS may approve a petition on your behalf if it is determined to be in the United States’ interest. Learn more from USCIS;

      H-2B Temporary or Seasonal Nonagricultural Workers – Review USCIS H-2B program requirements and regulations, which apply to all petitions filed for this visa category. NOTE: USCIS may approve a petition for this visa category on your behalf if you are a citizen or national of a designated country. If you are a citizen or national from a non-designated country, USCIS may approve a petition on your behalf if it is determined to be in the United States’ interest. Learn more from USCIS. (66,000);

      H-3 Trainees (other than medical or academic) This visa type also applies to practical training in the education of handicapped children (50);

      L Intracompany Transferees who, within the three preceding years, have been employed abroad continuously for one year, and who will be employed by a branch, parent, affiliate, or subsidiary of that same employer in the U.S. to work in a managerial, executive, or specialized knowledge capacity;

      O-1 Individuals with Extraordinary Ability or Achievement in the sciences, arts, education, business, or athletics, or extraordinary achievements in the motion picture and television field;

      O-2 Persons Accompanying an O-1 to assist in an artistic or athletic performance for a specific event or performance;

      P-1 Individual or Team Athletes, or Members of an Entertainment group that are internationally recognized (25,000);

      P-2 Artists or Entertainers who will perform under a reciprocal exchange program;

      P-3 Artists or Entertainers who perform under a program that is culturally unique; and

      Q-1 Participants in an International Cultural Exchange Program for the purpose of providing practical training, employment, and the sharing of the history, culture, and traditions of the alien's home country.

  • What are the Required Visa Fees?

    What are the Required Visa Fees?

    • Nonimmigrant visa application processing fee: For current fees for Department of State government services select Fees. You will need to provide a receipt showing the visa application processing fee has been paid when you come for your visa interview.

      Visa issuance fee: Additionally, if the visa is issued, there will be an additional visa issuance reciprocity fee, if applicable. Please consult the Visa Reciprocity Tables to find out if you must pay a visa issuance reciprocity fee and what the fee amount is.

      Other Fees for Certain L Visa Applicants: Visa applicants included in L blanket petitions must also pay a fraud prevention and detection fee and may need to pay the Border Security Act Fee. Select Fees for more information under Other Fees.

  • Legal Rights and Protections for Employment (H1-B, H2-A and H2-B) or Education-based Nonimmigrants

    Legal Rights and Protections for Employment (H1-B, H2-A and H2-B) or Education-based Nonimmigrants

    • Recent changes to U.S. law relate to the legal rights of employment-based nonimmigrants under Federal immigration, labor, and employment laws, and the information to be provided about protections and available resources. As a temporary visitor to the U.S., it is important that you are aware of your rights, as well as protections and resources available when you come to work or study here. Before your interview, review the Nonimmigrant Rights, Protections and Resources pamphlet and learn about additional information on our webpage.

  • Spouses and Children

    Spouses and Children

    • With the exception of "Q-1 Cultural Exchange Visitors", the spouse and unmarried, minor children of an applicant under for any of the above types of visas may also apply for the same type of visa in order to accompany or join the principal applicant. The principal applicant must be able to show that he or she will be able to support his or her family in the U.S. A person who has received a visa as the spouse or child of a temporary worker may not accept employment in the U.S. with the exception of spouses of L-1 visa holders - L-2 spouses who may engage in employment with an "employment authorized" endorsement or appropriate work permit.

  • Entering the U.S. - Port of Entry

    Entering the U.S. - Port of Entry

    • A visa allows a foreign citizen coming from abroad, to travel to the United States port-of entry and request permission to enter the United States. Applicants should be aware that a visa does not guarantee entry into the United States. The Department of Homeland Security, along with the U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officials have authority to permit or deny admission to the United States. If you are allowed to enter the U.S., the CBP official will determine the length of your visit on the Arrival-Departure Record (Form I-94). Since Form I-94 documents your authorized stay in the United States, it is very important to keep in your passport. In advance of travel, prospective travelers should review important information about Admissions/Entry requirements, as well as information related to restrictions about bringing food, agricultural products or other restricted/prohibited goods explained on the Department of Homeland Security, and  Customs and Border Protection website. Upon arrival (at an international airport, seaport or land border crossing), you will be enrolled in the US-VISIT entry-exit program.

  • Staying Beyond Your Authorized Stay in the U.S. and Being Out of Status

    Staying Beyond Your Authorized Stay in the U.S. and Being Out of Status

    • • It is important you depart the U.S. on or before the last day you are authorized to be in the U.S. on any given trip, based on the specified end date on your Arrival-Departure Record, Form I-94. Failure to depart the U.S. will cause you to be out-of-status. Staying in the United States beyond the period of time authorized by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is a violation of U.S. immigration laws, and may cause you to be ineligible for a visa in the future for return travel to the U.S. Select Classes of Aliens Ineligible to Receive Visas to learn more.

      • Staying unlawfully in the United States beyond the date Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officials have authorized, even by one day, results in your visa being automatically voided, in accordance with INA 222(g). Under this provision of immigration law, if you overstay on your nonimmigrant authorized stay in the U.S., your visa will be automatically voided. In this situation, you are required to reapply for a new nonimmigrant visa, generally in your country of nationality.

  • How Do I Extend My Stay?

    How Do I Extend My Stay?

    • Visitors who wish to stay beyond the date indicated on their Form I-94 are required to have approval by USCIS. See Extend Your Stay on the USCIS website.

  • How Do I Change My Status?

    How Do I Change My Status?

    • Some nonimmigrant visa holders, while present in the U.S., are able to file a request which must be approved by USCIS to change to another nonimmigrant category. See Change My Nonimmigrant Status on the USCIS website.

      Important Note: Filing a request with USCIS for approval of change of status before your authorized stay expires, while you remain in the U.S., does not by itself require the visa holder to apply for a new visa. However, if you cannot remain in the U.S. while USCIS processes your change of status request, you will need to apply for a nonimmigrant visa at a U.S. Embassy or Consulate abroad.

Domestic Employee

  • My employer is holding an A1/A2/G4/B1/B2 visa. I am going to work for her/him in the U.S. S/he didn’t come to your embassy in person and interviewed. Do I need to come for an interview?

    My employer is holding an A1/A2/G4/B1/B2 visa. I am going to work for her/him in the U.S. S/he didn’t come to your embassy in person and interviewed. Do I need to come for an interview?

    • Yes, you must conduct a personal interview with the consular officer.  The consular officer will determine whether he or she wishes to speak with your employer as well.
  • What should my job contract include?

    What should my job contract include?

    • •Description of duties
       
      •Hours of work

      •Wage: the rate must conform with the municipal, state, and federal minimum wage laws applicable where you will work.  Overtime work:  overtime for hours in excess of 40 hours per week must be paid at the rate of time and a half

      •Method of payment

      •An employer commitment to provide the employee with free transportation to and from the United States.
  • Am I exempt from the application fee?

    Am I exempt from the application fee?

    • If your employer is in A1, A2 or G4 status, you are exempted. If your employer is in B1/B2 you must pay the application fee.
  • Should my employer write the job contract in English?

    Should my employer write the job contract in English?

    • The employer must provide the contract, in both English and a language understood by the employee.  This contract will be recorded in your case, and reviewed by immigration officers at the port of entry as well.

MRV Application Fee

  • What is an MRV Application Fee?

    What is an MRV Application Fee?

    • The MRV Fee Schedule is tiered as follows:

      • MRV Fee - $160:00;

      • Petition Based Applicants (H, L, O, P, Q, R) - $190.00;

      • E-1, E-2 & E-3 visa applicants - $270.00.

  • How do I pay the MRV Application fee?

    How do I pay the MRV Application fee?

    • The fee is paid to any branch of Turkish Economy Bank (TEB).

  • Can I get my MRV fee back if my application is refused?

    Can I get my MRV fee back if my application is refused?

    • No. The MRV application fee is non-refundable.

  • Can I pay the application fee at the Embassy?

    Can I pay the application fee at the Embassy?

    • No. You need to pay the application fee to T.E.B. before you come to our Embassy for your interview.

  • Can I bring the copy of the receipt?

    Can I bring the copy of the receipt?

    • No. You need to bring the original receipt.

  • I have an infant baby. Do I need to pay a separate application fee for him/her as well?

    I have an infant baby. Do I need to pay a separate application fee for him/her as well?

    • Yes. You should pay an MRV fee for each person applying for a visa.

  • I paid the MRV application fee twice. Can I get one of them back?

    I paid the MRV application fee twice. Can I get one of them back?

    • No. We do not reimburse any fees unless there is a mistake on our side.

  • There is not any TEB branch in the city that I live. How can I pay the fee?

    There is not any TEB branch in the city that I live. How can I pay the fee?

    • You can pay the fee to TEB when you come to Ankara or Istanbul for your visa interview.

Issuance/Reciprocity Fees

  • I paid a fee at the time I scheduled an appointment. Why am I being asked to pay an additional fee?

    I paid a fee at the time I scheduled an appointment. Why am I being asked to pay an additional fee?

    • All visa applicants are required to pay an application fee which is charged to cover the costs involved in the processing of a visa application. However, nationals of certain countries are required to pay an issuance fee in order for the visa to be issued. The fees are based on reciprocity and reflect the fees charged by the applicant's government for a similar service to a U.S. citizen.

  • How do I pay the fee?

    How do I pay the fee?

    • If you apply for a visa in person and are found eligible, the issuance fee is paid to the Embassy cashier on the day of the interview. The Embassy accepts Visa, MasterCard, Diners Club, Discover or American Express credit cards only.

  • How do I know how much to enter?

    How do I know how much to enter?

    • Check the issuance fee schedules on the Department of State's website. Go to the relevant section, find the category of visa for which you wish to apply and check under "fee." If there is an amount entered, this is the amount you should pay.

      Some fee schedules are tiered. In such cases, you should enter the amount which corresponds to the validity of visa you require.

  • Can I pay the application and issuance fee together?

    Can I pay the application and issuance fee together?

    • No. The application fee and issuance fee are separate fees.

  • Why is the issuance fee more/less than my friend’s?

    Why is the issuance fee more/less than my friend’s?

    • Issuance fees are based on reciprocity and reflect the fees charged by your government for a similar service to an American citizen. Different governments charge different fees and this is reflected in the issuance fee which we are asking you to pay.

  • The fee schedules indicate that the validity period of the visa is three months. However, I will not be traveling to the U.S. within the next three months. What should I do?

    The fee schedules indicate that the validity period of the visa is three months. However, I will not be traveling to the U.S. within the next three months. What should I do?

    • You should delay applying for the visa until closer to your intended date of departure.

  • What if the visa does not cover my entire stay in the United States?

    What if the visa does not cover my entire stay in the United States?

    • The period of validity of a visa relates only to the time in which you may travel to the United States and apply for admission; it does not determine how long you may remain in the country. This is a matter for the Department of Homeland Security, Customs and Border Protection at the port of entry.

  • What do you mean by single entry/one entry?

    What do you mean by single entry/one entry?

    • Some visas are valid for only one trip to the United States. If your visa is single entry and you are planning future visits, you will be required to apply for a new visa.

Appointment Fee: Visa Information Service

  • Where does this service work?

    Where does this service work?

    • The VIS is accessible throughout Turkey. Appointments will be scheduled in both Ankara and Istanbul.

  • How much does the PIN cost?

    How much does the PIN cost?

    • The PIN costs $20 USD. The PIN will be valid for one year from the date of purchase. In addition, one PIN can be used to schedule up to five (5) family members living at one residence. The fee may be paid in Turkish Lira based on the local exchange rate in effect at the time of the transaction.

  • When can I use the PIN?

    When can I use the PIN?

    • You can use your PIN immediately if bought from VIS or beginning the day after you have purchased it from Türkiye İş Bankası. The hours of operation of the VIS are 8:30 – 18:00, Monday through Friday, except for Turkish holidays.

  • May I use the PIN more than once?

    May I use the PIN more than once?

    • The PIN is valid for a second call to the VIS on the same day as the original call, but only to change or cancel an appointment. Additional calls with questions will require a new PIN number.

  • I need to schedule appointments for my whole family. Do I need a PIN for each person?

    I need to schedule appointments for my whole family. Do I need a PIN for each person?

    • No, you may use one PIN to schedule up to five (5) family members living in the same household. The PIN costs $20 USD. The five individuals may be family members, co-workers, professional teams, musical groups, etc. as long as the entire group is traveling together. Travel agent groups must have one PIN per person unless they fit the above criteria.

  • How can I purchase a PIN from outside of Turkey?

    How can I purchase a PIN from outside of Turkey?

    • You may call VIS from anywhere in the world.

  • Can I still call the Consulate General or Embassy for visa information?

    Can I still call the Consulate General or Embassy for visa information?

    • No. Please use the new service for all visa questions.

  • How will the VIS benefit me?

    How will the VIS benefit me?

    • The service provides access to a visa information specialist providing extensive information on visa requirements and application procedures for both non-immigrant and immigrant visas. If you need an interview to apply for a non-immigrant visa, you must schedule your appointment through this service. Listening carefully to the information provided will help you save time when applying for a visa. The biggest delay most applicants experience is applying for a visa without all the required information and the proper forms completed.

  • What kind of information does the VIS provide?

    What kind of information does the VIS provide?

    • This service provides current, accurate information for Turkish citizens, Iranian citizens, and other foreign nationals who wish to apply for a visa to enter the United States of America. Callers will be able to access information on both non-immigrant and immigrant visas, including guidelines for what an applicant is required to have in order to apply for a visa. All appointments for interviews are scheduled through the VIS.

  • Should I pay the visa application fee (MRV fee) to İş Bankası?

    Should I pay the visa application fee (MRV fee) to İş Bankası?

    • No. The visa information fee of $20 is paid at İş Bankası and allows you to receive information about applying for a visa and to schedule an appointment. The visa application fee (MRV fee) is paid at a different bank, TEB Bank (Türk Ekonomi Bankası). It is very important that nonimmigrant visa applicants classify themselves in the proper visa categories and pay the proper fees. The fee schedule and further information can be found at the following websites:

Visa Refusals

  • My application was refused under Section 214(b). I wish to appeal against the decision/ I would like my case reviewed?

    My application was refused under Section 214(b). I wish to appeal against the decision/ I would like my case reviewed?

    • A written explanation of the reasons why you were unable to establish your eligibility for a visa will have been handed to you on the day of the visa interview.  If a consular officer refused your application under Section 214(b), there is no review process or appeal. 

      Although the Consular Section attempts to be responsive to inquirers, please understand that our policy is to not respond to correspondence from an applicant regarding a finding of ineligibility under Section 214(b). Once a case is closed the Consular Section cannot take any further action. If you feel that you omitted evidence material to the visa decision, the proper course of action is to reapply for a visa and appear at the Embassy in person.

  • My application for a nonimmigrant visa has been refused under Section 221(g). I am required to submit additional documentation in order for my application to be processed. What documents are required and how long will the application take to process?

    My application for a nonimmigrant visa has been refused under Section 221(g). I am required to submit additional documentation in order for my application to be processed. What documents are required and how long will the application take to process?

    • You are required to furnish the missing document(s) indicated by the consular officer together with the Confirmation Sheet of the visa application form DS-160, your passport, and refusal letter. Applicants who are applying for student, exchange visitor or temporary work visas are also required to furnish either the I-20A-B or M-N, DS-2019 or I-797A or B. Applicants are required to use the Embassy's appointed courier service, UPS for the delivery of their documents to and from the Embassy. 

      Approximately 4-5 working days should be allowed for the processing of your application once it has been received from UPS.  An additional 2 days should be allowed for the return of the passport once it has been handed to the courier service by the Consular Section.

  • What does a consular officer look for when determining an applicant's entitlement to nonimmigrant status?

    What does a consular officer look for when determining an applicant's entitlement to nonimmigrant status?

    • In making that determination the officer considers the applicant's personal circumstances, travel plans, financial resources and ties outside of the United States that will ensure his/her departure after a temporary visit.

  • I'm a third-country national already in Turkey, why can't you issue me a visa here?

    I'm a third-country national already in Turkey, why can't you issue me a visa here?

    • Third country nationals resident in Turkey are welcome to apply for visas here.  However, theconsular officer who evaluates your application is accredited in Turkey and is only able to assess your ties to Turkey. It is not possible for consular officers here to be experts about all other countries, or to understand any social or economic ties you may have to another country. For this reason, it is sometimes difficult to qualify for a visa outside of your home country.  Consular officers there are often better able to assess your situation.

  • My visa application has been refused. Why can't I get my money back?

    My visa application has been refused. Why can't I get my money back?

    • The fee that you paid is an application fee. Everyone who applies for a U.S. visa anywhere in the world must pay this fee, which covers the cost of adjudicating your application. As the application form states, this fee is non-refundable regardless of whether you are issued a visa or not. If your application was refused under Section 214(b) and you choose to reapply for a visa, whether at this Embassy or elsewhere, you will be required to pay the application fee again.