Step 1. Check the Validity of Your Passport
You must present a passport that is valid for at least six months beyond your period of stay in the United States.
Step 2. Complete the Online Nonimmigrant Visa Application Form (Form DS-160)
Each applicant must complete an online nonimmigrant visa application form known as the DS-160. Click here for the form or type the following address into your web browser: https://ceac.state.gov/genniv/. On your DS-160 confirmation form, you will see a barcode number. You will need the barcode number to schedule your interview.
Step 3. Schedule an Interview Appointment
To schedule an appointment for an interview, please consult the Embassy’s online NIV Appointment System. Please have your DS-160 Online Nonimmigrant Visa Application Form barcode number handy. It is located on your DS-160 confirmation page, in bold print.
Step 4. Collect any Supporting Documentation
For your interview, you will need the following items:
- A passport that is valid for at least six months beyond your period of travel.
- A 2 x 2 inch (5 x 5 cm.) color photo with a white or grey colored background. The photo must have been taken within the past six months. The applicant should not wear eyeglasses in the photo. For additional information on photo requirements, click here.
- Your DS-160 confirmation page
The consular officer may request additional documents concerning your employment, family ties, the purpose of your trip, prior travel, your intent to depart from the United States after your trip, or your ability to pay for the trip. You are welcome to bring such documents with you to the interview though there is no requirement that the consular officer review the documents that you bring.
Please note that applicants must qualify on the basis of the applicant’s residence and ties abroad, rather than assurances from U.S. family and friends. A letter of invitation or Affidavit of Support is not needed to apply for a visitor visa. If you choose to bring a letter of invitation or an Affidavit of Support to your interview, please remember it is not one of the factors used in determining whether to issue or deny the visa.
Step 5. Pay the Machine Readable Visa Fee
On the day of your interview, you will be required to pay a Machine Readable Visa (MRV) fee with local currency (CFA) or U.S. dollars. The Embassy does not accept credit cards for MRV fees.
The current MRV fee for a B1, B2, or B1/B2 visa is $160 or the CFA equivalent.
Step 6. Complete an Interview with a Consular Officer
After you pay the MRV fee, you will be asked to submit your fingerprints by placing your fingers and thumbs on an ink-free digital scanner. Applicants under 14 years of age or older than 80 years of age are not required to submit fingerprints.
A consular officer will then interview you to determine whether you are qualified to receive a visitor visa. You must establish that you meet the requirements under U.S. law to receive a visa.
After your visa interview, the consular officer may determine that your application requires further administrative processing. The consular officer will inform you if administrative processing is required.
Step 7. Pay Issuance Fees (if required)
Nonimmigrant visa applicants from certain countries may be required to pay a visa issuance fee if their application is approved. These fees are based on the principle of reciprocity. When a foreign government imposes fees on U.S. citizens for certain types of visas, the United States will impose a reciprocal fee on citizens of that country. Click here to find out whether an issuance fee is required for your country of nationality.
Step 8. Return to Collect Your Passport and Visa
If your visa is approved, you will be given a letter stating when your visa will be ready for pickup. It usually takes at least 24 hours to process a visa.