Nonimmigrant Visa FAQs
Nonimmigrant Visa Frequently Asked Questions
Before the Interview
1. How do I apply for a nonimmigrant visa to the United States?
Complete procedures for applying for a nonimmigrant visa are outlined on our website. You must submit the following required application documents and pay the associated fee through American Express, where you will receive a token with a time and date for your interview:
- The one-page confirmation form (with legible barcode) from the DS-160.
- A recent photo measuring 2" x 2" with white background (click for complete photo requirements).
- A photocopy of the applicant's passport, which must be valid for at least 6 months beyond the planned date of entry into the United States.
- Photocopies of the bio-pages of all previous passports for the last 15 years.
- A complete travel history for the past 10 years (a list of countries visited in the last 10 years with the year of travel).
- A list of sibling(s) and children names.
- Nonimmigrant Visa Categories
|Nonimmigrant Visa Categories||Fee USD||MRV Fee Rupees|
|Tourist (B-1/B-2), Student (F and M), Exchange Program (J), Crew Member (C1/D), Journalist (I)||$160||Rs. 17,280|
|Petition-based visa categories: H, L, O, P, Q, R||$190||Rs. 20,520|
|E -Treaty Trader/Investor||$270||Rs. 29,160|
|Fiancé Visas (K)||$240||Rs. 25,920|
Student (F-1) and exchange visitor (J-1) visa applications may require additional documents. Information regarding student documentation can be found here. Information regarding exchange visitor documentation can be found here.
All visa interview appointments are scheduled through American Express or one of its SpeedEx office partners (click here to find the location nearest you).
All visa applicants must appear in person for an interview (applicants applying for A or G diplomatic/international organization-type visas are exempted from this requirement).
If you require an attendant for your interview, you must inform American Express at the time of scheduling.
2. Arriving for Your Interview
All applicants should use the Diplomatic Shuttle Service from the G-5 Convention Center Parking Area to come for their interviews. For complete instructions, please contact your nearest American Express or SpeedEx office.
3. Visa Wait Times
Applicants should submit visa applications at least three months before they intend to travel to the United States. The average wait time for an interview is three to ten days from the date of application submission. In addition, administrative processing requirements following the interview may increase the amount of time a successful applicant will wait before receiving a visa.
4. What documents do I need to bring to the interview?
The most important part of the interview is the conversation between the applicant and the consular officer. In many cases, the consular officer will determine an applicant's qualification for a visa without extensive document review. However, this does not mean that applicants should not bring any documentation. Applicants are encouraged to bring documents they believe will demonstrate compelling reasons to depart the United States and an intention to abide by the terms of the visa.
5. I would like to provide information in support of the nonimmigrant visa application of my relative, friend, or colleague. What should I do?
You are welcome to provide the applicant with information or documents that may support his or her application. Please note that consular officers do not review most visa applications prior to the applicant's interview. Therefore, we are unable to accept letters of invitation or other supporting documentation prior to the interview. This regulation ensures that all applicants receive fair, unprejudiced consideration in accordance with U.S. law. During the interview, applicants may present documentation or other information upon the consular officer's request.
6. Medical Treatment or Illness/Death of a Family Member
Applicants who need to travel to the United States urgently for emergency medical treatment or the sudden illness or death of a family member may be eligible for an expedited interview appointment. In such cases, applicants should submit their request for an expedited appointment along with a letter from a physician explaining the medical circumstances through their local American Express or Speed-Ex office. The Embassy reserves the right to determine what constitutes an emergency. If the expedited appointment request is approved, American Express will collect the $160 application fee and schedule the appointment. In most cases, applicants with approved requests submitted before 11 AM will receive an interview appointment on the same day. Applicants who submit their requests after 11AM will be scheduled for the following business day. Any case that is determined not to be an emergency will be scheduled for a later date according to the Embassy's nonimmigrant visa appointment schedule.
After the Interview
1. The officer said administrative processing was required for my case. What does this mean? When will my visa be ready? Can you expedite this processing?"
After the interview, many visa applications necessitate further routine but required administrative processing, an integral part of the visa adjudication process that can be neither waived nor expedited. Individuals whose applications require this processing will be informed of that fact at the conclusion of their interview. Most administrative processing is completed within 60 to 90 days of the visa interview, but some cases do take longer. We cannot predict how long this processing will take for any particular case. Please remember to apply for your visa at least 3 months in advance of any travel plans in order to allow time for administrative processing.
2. What is the status of my application?
You can use our online visa status check tool to find out the status of any non-immigrant visa application filed within the last year. Click here - then select your application location and type in your application ID (listed as your "confirmation no:" on your barcoded DS-160 confirmation page) to retrieve your application status.
3. I have to travel soon, and my passport is at the Embassy. Can I have my passport returned?
Yes. Please submit your passport return request at Non-Immigrant Visa Inquiries | Embassy of the United States Islamabad, Pakistan and your passport will be returned via courier service. Please allow a minimum of one week to receive your passport.
4. The consular officer or Embassy staff member asked me to submit documents in order to continue administrative processing. How do I submit the documents?
Please send additional documents through our online portal, Non-Immigrant Visa Inquiries | Embassy of the United States Islamabad, Pakistan. You may also submit your documents through the American Express or SpeedEx office where you initially applied. If the consular officer asked you to reappear at the Embassy with new documents, you may come to the Embassy on any working day from 08:30 - 14:00. You do not need to pay an additional fee or request an appointment, but you will need to bring the letter from the consular officer requesting the documents.
5. How can I update my contact information?
Please send us updated information by Non-Immigrant Visa Inquiries | Embassy of the United States Islamabad, Pakistan. We will automatically update your information.
6. The consular officer refused my visa application. Why? Can I appeal the decision?
The United States is an open society. Unlike many other countries, the United States does not impose internal controls on most visitors, such as registration with local authorities. In order to enjoy the privilege of unencumbered travel in the United States, aliens have a responsibility to prove they are going to return abroad before a visitor or student visa is issued. U.S. immigration law requires consular officers to view every visa applicant as an intending immigrant until the applicant proves otherwise.
Section 214(b) is part of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA). It states:
Every alien shall be presumed to be an immigrant until he establishes to the satisfaction of the consular officer, at the time of application for admission, that he is entitled to a nonimmigrant status...
The most frequent basis for a refusal concerns the requirement that the prospective visitor possess a residence abroad he or she has no intention of abandoning. Applicants prove the existence of such residence by demonstrating that they have ties abroad that would compel them to leave the United States at the end of the temporary stay. The law places this burden of proof on the applicant.
Strong ties differ from country to country, city to city, individual to individual. Some examples of ties can be a job, a house, a family, a bank account. "Ties" are the various aspects of your life that bind you to your country of residence: your possessions, employment, social and family relationships.
You cannot appeal the decision. However, you may reapply for a visa. The decision as to whether or not you qualified for a visa was primarily based on an assessment of your personal situation. If your situation has not changed, the decision is unlikely to change. We recommend that you reapply only if your situation has changed significantly, and:
- You can provide new evidence demonstrating your ties to Pakistan.
- You have new, convincing reasons to depart the United States after your temporary stay.
- You are able to explain the significant change in your circumstances with information not presented during previous interview(s).
Applicants wishing to reapply must submit a new application form and photo and pay the application fee. Another officer not previously associated with your case will conduct an unprejudiced interview and make an independent decision after considering your case.
7. I forgot to turn in my I-94 when I left the United States, what should I do?
If you returned home with your Form I-94 (white), it is possible that your departure was not recorded properly. If you departed by a commercial air or sea carrier, your departure from the United States can be independently verified and it is not necessary to take any further action. Saving your outbound boarding pass, if you still have it, can however help facilitate your reentry the next time you come back to the United States. If you departed by land, private vessel, or private plane, you will need to take steps to correct the record. If you do not validate your timely departure from the United States, or, if you cannot reasonably prove you departed within the time frame given to you when you entered, the next time you apply for admission, Customs and Border Protection may conclude you remained in the United States beyond your authorized stay. If this happens, your visa may be subject to cancellation or you may be returned immediately to your foreign point of origin. Click here for additional information on recording your departure.
Effective 30 April 2013, the U.S. Customs and Border Patrol (CBP) agency is automating its record keeping system (Form I-94) for travelers to the United States arriving at air and sea ports of entry. As part of this program, CBP will no longer issue paper I-94 forms for most such travelers; instead arrivals will be tracked electronically. I-94 information will be available to the traveler via the stamp in his/her passport and via the internet at: www.CBP.gov/194