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.
What is a Visa?
A citizen of a foreign country who seeks to enter the United States generally must first obtain a U.S. visa, which is placed in the traveler’s passport, a travel document issued by the traveler’s country of citizenship.
Certain international travelers may be eligible to travel to the United States without a visa if they meet the requirements for visa-free travel. The Visa section of this website is all about U.S. visas for foreign citizens to travel to the United States.
(Note: U.S. citizens don’t need a U.S. visa for travel, but when planning travel abroad may need a visa issued by the embassy of the country they wish to visit.).
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:
Customer Service Statement
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.