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The United States welcomes visitors to its shores from around the world, with secure borders and open doors. International visitors and our lawful immigrants add greatly to our nation's cultural, education and economic life.

General Visa Information

Before traveling to the United States, a citizen of a foreign country must obtain a nonimmigrant visa for temporary stay or an immigrant visa for permanent residence to live in the United States. The type of visa you will need is based on the purpose of your travel. As part of the visa application process, applicants are required to demonstrate that they are qualified and eligible to receive the visa for which they are applying.

To learn more review:

What is a Visa?
U.S. Visa Policy


Important Announcements for 2013

-          New Appointment System for Non-Immigrant Visas

As of January 6, 2013, the U.S. Consular Sections in the UAE, Ankara, and Yerevan have a new appointment service for applicants applying for a non-immigrant visa to come to the United States.  If you would like information on this new service or on how to schedule an appointment, please visit

-          Legal Permanent Residents Who Remain Outside of the United States More Than One Year Must Obtain a Returning Resident Visa

As a reminder, if you are a legal permanent resident (LPR) of United States who has been outside of the country for longer than one year, you will need to apply for a returning resident visa (an SB-1 immigrant visa) to re-enter the United States. To be able to apply for SB-1 visa you must: 

  • Had the status of a lawful permanent resident at the time of departure from the United States;
  • Departed from the United States with the intention of returning and have not abandoned this intention; and
  • Are returning to the United States from a temporary visit abroad and, if the stay abroad was protracted, this was caused by reasons beyond your control and for which you were not responsible. 

You may apply for an SB-1 visa at any U.S. Embassy or Consulate however please note that if your application gets approved there is an administrative waiting period before your visa is issued.  We highly encourage you to not make travel plans until you have your visa. If you do not obtain an SB-1 visa, you risk being refused entry into the United States.  

  For more information on how to apply and qualify for an SB-1 visa, please visit here

If you are an LPR and know prior to leaving the United States you will be outside of the country for more than one year, you may apply for a re-rentry permit before you leave the United States.  For more information please visit Department of Homeland Security.

-          What to Expect When Visiting the United States

For information on what to expect when arriving and departing the United States, please visit the Department of Homeland Security’s website at

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