Nonimmigrant visas are visas for travelers who wish to visit the United States temporarily to visit family, to attend school, for work, or for tourism. There are several kinds of nonimmigrant visas. The type of visa needed is defined by immigration law, and relates to the principal purpose of your travel. For an overview of the types of nonimmigrant visas available, please see the Visa Types for Temporary Visitors webpage.
We recommend that applicants only purchase travel tickets after they have received their visa.
How to Apply for a Nonimmigrant Visa
Step 1. Check the Validity of Your Passport.
Your passport must be valid for at least six months after the date you intend to enter the U.S. If you try to enter the U.S. with a passport that is valid for less than six months, immigration officials may not let you enter when you arrive!
Step 2. Complete the Nonimmigrant Visa Application by completing the following forms:
- DS-160 (NIV application form) Your signature is not required on the DS-160. After submitting the DS-160 online, please print out the confirmation sheet.
Important! Many of our visa applicants are completing the DS-160 incorrectly, causing us to postpone their planned visa interview dates. Please see our link to Burmese Applicants' Frequently Asked Questions (English version) about filling out the DS- 160 online.
- Completed DS-157, DS-158 and Additional Form.
- Students, Exchange Visitors, and their dependents must also complete the Student Form.
Please note that you must answer EVERY question on the application forms. If the answer to a question is “none,” please write “none”(Do not leave it blank). Incomplete/incorrect forms will be returned and will require you to schedule a new interview appointment.
Step 3. Collect any Supporting Documentation.
Only a passport, DS-160 confirmation page, a 2 x 2 inch color photo not older than 6 months – with a light or white background, and the forms listed in Step 2 are required for the visa interview. You may, however, bring other supporting documentation if you wish.
Step 4. Schedule an Interview Appointment.
To schedule an appointment for a non-immigrant visa (NIV) interview, please consult the Embassy’s online NIV Appointment System. Please have your DS-160 Online Nonimmigrant Visa Application Form Confirmation Number handy. It is located on your DS-160 confirmation page, in bold print.
A Burmese translation of the instructions for the Embassy’s NIV Appointment System can be found here: http://photos.state.gov/libraries/burma/895/pdf/Onlineinstruction.pdf.
Applicants with questions about their interview appointments or applicants with pressing travel needs, particularly students, should direct their inquiries to NIVAppointmentRangoon@state.gov.
Step 5. Submit Your Passport and Visa Application Forms.
Submit the completed DS-160 confirmation sheet, forms listed in Step 2, a 2 x 2 inch color photo not older than 6 months, and a valid passport, to the Consular Office one week before your scheduled interview date.
Step 6. Pay the MRV Fee.
On the day of your interview, please pay the following nonrefundable application fees: $ 160 for B1(Business) and B2 (Visit) nonimmigrant visas; $ 190 for H, L, O, P, Q, and R visas; and $ 270 for E visas.
Step 7. Interview for your visa with the Consular Officer
Step 8. Pay the Visa Issuance Fee.
If your visa is issued, you may be required to pay an additional fee depending on the type of visa issued. If you are issued a tourist visa, you will need to pay an additional fee of $32.00.
Step 9. Return to Collect Your Passport and Visa.
If you are issued the visa, return the following workday at 3:30 pm to collect your passport and visa.
June 2011 Update to DS-160
The Department of State deployed an updated version of the DS-160 Online Nonimmigrant Visa Application on Saturday, June 25, 2011 with additional questions and improved translations in some languages. We understand some individuals are having difficulty retrieving applications started before the transition to the updated form and are working to resolve these issues as quickly as possible. We encourage you to be sure to record your Application ID number, which is required to retrieve your application, to save your application frequently, and to review all sections of the form to make sure every question is answered. Additional information that could be helpful in completing specific DS-160 sections is included below.
Purpose of Travel and Payer Relationship: If you started your DS-160s before June 25 but did not submit it, you must re-complete the “purpose of travel” and “payer relationship” sections of the form.
New Questions: If you started but did not submit your DS-160s before June 25, you may be prompted to answer new, additional questions, even if your form showed as “complete” previously.
Retrieving an Application without the Application ID (Barcode Number): You must have your Application ID number to retrieve and continue your application.
Retrieving an Application if Surname Contains Fewer than Five Characters: You can retrieve your DS-160 submission by entering up to the first five letters of your surname, even if your surname is less than five letters. You must have your Applicant IDs to do so.
Started an Application before June 25 and Cannot Retrieve It: If you cannot retrieve your DS-160, please start a new application.
Page Error Messages: Some errors are the result of special characters and formatting related to your computer settings. You should enter only numbers (no punctuation) in the salary and date fields before clicking “next” or “save.”
Last Updated: 09 Jul 2012
Apply Now and Avoid the Rush!
At certain times during the year, the Consular Section receives more inquiries for visa appointments. Wait times for an interview sometimes grow longer, and occasionally, the applicants consequently miss their dates of travel. Don’t let this happen to you! In order to ensure you realize your travel aspirations, please plan to apply for a visa well in advance of your date of travel.
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