Applying Abroad

Many U.S. visitors are required to apply for visas from their own countries before arriving in the States. To apply, you must locate the nearest consulate that is authorized to issue the type of visa you desire. The U.S. Department of State’s website,, can help you locate a consulate near you. Make sure you search your local consulate’s own website for hours and application procedures. Usually, you have to do all or part of the visa application process in the country where you reside. U.S. embassies and consulates will normally refuse to accept your visa application unless you can prove there was some reason you could not apply in your country.

Visitor visas usually require filling out a few forms and attending an interview at a consulate or embassy. To obtain a student visa, you must first find a school to accept you and send you a form. This form, along with an application, will be taken to the U.S. consulate.

For many work visas, you must find a U.S. employer to sponsor you. Then, the employer must file paperwork with the U.S. Department of Labor and a U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services office. After approval, you need to file an application for a visa at the U.S. embassy or consulate in your country.