Visas

Nonimmigrant Interview Waiver Visa Services Have Resumed: As of September 15, 2020, the U.S. Embassy in Bogota is accepting some interview waiver visa applications. Eligibility is determined based on the answers provided during the appointment scheduling process. Generally, if you already have a full-validity B1/B2 or C1/D visa, which is still valid or which expired less than 24 months ago, you may be eligible to renew your visa without an interview. Start the application process here: https://ceac.state.gov/CEAC/. If you do not qualify for Interview Waiver, you will need to appear for an in-person interview once routine visa operations resume.

Nonimmigrant Visa Fees Have Been Extended: The State Department will extend the validity of nonimmigrant visa payments (known as MRV fees) until December 31, 2021, to allow all applicants who were unable to schedule a visa appointment as a result of the suspension of routine consular operations an opportunity to schedule and/or attend a visa appointment with the already paid fee.

Important Information for Visa Applicants Regarding Novel Coronavirus:  As of March 17, the United States Embassy in Bogota canceled routine immigrant and nonimmigrant visa appointments. We will resume routine visa services as soon as possible but are unable to provide a specific date at this time. As of September 15, the U.S. Embassy in Bogota is accepting some applications though Interview Waiver or Renewal by Mail. If you have an urgent matter and need to travel immediately, please follow the guidance provided at https://ais.usvisa-info.com/en-co/niv/information/faqs#need_earlier_appt to request an emergency appointment. If you are approved for an emergency consular appointment but are experiencing flu-like symptoms, or believe you may have been exposed to the novel coronavirus, you are strongly encouraged to postpone your appointment by at least 14 days.

Student and Exchange Visitor Visas: Starting August 14, 2020, the U.S. Embassy in Bogota began conducting a limited number of nonimmigrant visa interviews in the student and exchange visitor categories for Colombian citizens and residents. We schedule interviews for certain applicants in the F, M, and J visa categories with an approved I-20 or DS-2019 form, including immediate family members who qualify for F-2, M-2, or J-2 visas. However, we will not yet schedule interviews for students of English as a Second Language studies (ESL) . Under extremely limited circumstances, the we may conduct interviews for exchange visitors in the J visa category with approved DS-2019 forms for cases deemed to be emergencies or mission critical. Please read the Department of State notice on the court order regarding Presidential Proclamation 10052 (https://travel.state.gov/content/travel/en/News/visas-news/court-order-regarding-presidential-proclamation-10052.html). For any questions, please review our information page at https://co.usembassy.gov/visas/nonimmigrant-visas/fmj-visa-information-during-covid-19/  or contact us at https://co.usembassy.gov/visas/nonimmigrant-visas/non-immigrant-visa-contact-form/.

Presidential Proclamation 10052: Applicants for H1B, H2B, H4, L and certain J categories should carefully read the Department of State notice on the court order regarding Presidential Proclamation 10052 (https://travel.state.gov/content/travel/en/News/visas-news/court-order-regarding-presidential-proclamation-10052.html).

Information for Travelers in the United States Concerned about Their Nonimmigrant Status: Note that the expiration date on a U.S. visa does not determine how long one can remain in the United States. U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) determines the authorized period of admission at the time of a traveler’s entry. Travelers may check their required departure date on the CBP website.

Travelers who need to extend their stay or change their nonimmigrant status may apply to do so through U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). See USCIS’s alert on COVID-19 and delays in extension and change of status filings.

The purpose of your intended travel and other facts will determine what type of visa is required under U.S. immigration law. As a visa applicant, you will need to establish that you meet all requirements to receive the category of visa for which you are applying.

See our Directory of Visa Categories on usvisas.state.gov to determine which visa category might be appropriate for your purpose of travel to the United States.

A citizen of a foreign country who seeks to enter the United States generally must first obtain a U.S. visa, which is placed in the traveler’s passport, a travel document issued by the traveler’s country of citizenship.

Certain international travelers may be eligible to travel to the United States without a visa if they meet the requirements for visa-free travel. The Visa section of this website is all about U.S. visas for foreign citizens to travel to the United States.

(Note: U.S. citizens don’t need a U.S. visa for travel, but when planning travel abroad may need a visa issued by the embassy of the country they wish to visit.).

To contact a customer service representative, please visit the GSS Contact Us page for full information or use contact information below:

If you have a specific question about a pending nonimmigrant or immigrant visa case, you may contact the Visa Section directly. Please note that under U.S. law, visa records are confidential and we will not respond to inquiries from third parties.  The Visa Section will only respond to visa inquiries from the applicant or from the applicant’s legal representative.

Please note that due to the volume of inquiries, the Visa Section’s Correspondence Unit will respond in a timely manner to all written inquiries.  To serve you better, we encourage you to contact us by email.  Once you e-mail us, please read our initial response carefully.  While we read every e-mail we receive, individualized responses are sent only to those inquiries that are not addressed elsewhere. In most cases, our initial e-mail will be the only response you will receive.

You may write in English or Spanish. Please indicate the subject of your inquiry on the subject line (e.g., student visa, visitor visa, medical emergency, request for expedited appointment, etc.), and provide the full name, date of birth, and case number of the subject of your inquiry. Please note that we do not accept unsolicited documents regarding a visa refusal.  Please use the following email addresses when contacting us:

The Department of State manages the visa process strictly but fairly in order to best protect the United States.  We are committed to the essential openness for which the United States has always been known.  Travel to the United States is welcomed and encouraged.

We promise to you, the visa applicant, that:

  • We will treat you with dignity and respect, even if we are unable to grant you a visa.
  • We will treat you as an individual and your case as unique.
  • We will remember that, to you, a visa interview may be a new or intimidating experience and that you may be nervous.
  • We will use the limited time available for the interview to get as full a picture as possible of your travel plans and intentions.
  • We will use our available resources to fairly assist all applicants to get appointments to allow travel in time for business, study, and other important obligations.
  • We will post detailed and accurate information on visa requirements and application procedures on every Embassy and Consulate website.
  • We will provide information on non-immigrant appointment waiting times at every Embassy and Consulate posted on http://travel.state.gov.
  • We will explain the reason for any visa denial to you.

Furthermore, if you are a:

  • Student, we will make every effort to ensure that you get an appointment and, if qualified, a visa in time to start classes.
  • Medical and humanitarian emergency traveler, we will expedite processing for those dealing with life threatening emergencies.
  • Business traveler, we will establish appropriate mechanisms to facilitate business travel and expedite cases of particular concern to American business.

At the same time, we expect you, the visa applicant, to:

  • Plan your travel and visa application as far in advance as possible.
  • Complete your application fully and accurately.
  • Be forthcoming about your purpose and plans.
  • Prepare for your interview by being able to clearly and concisely describe your intentions.