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U.S. Visa Services
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Notice

The U.S. Consulates General in South Africa have resumed visa processing. Please follow the instructions on the link to the right, to schedule an appointment or to submit your visa application via courier.

Important Information Regarding Visas

Non-Immigrant Visa Operating Status: The U.S. Consulates General in South Africa are accepting and processing non-immigrant visa applications from individuals physically present in South Africa, including third country nationals.  To protect the health and safety of our applicants and staff we have limited appointments available.  Applicants should expect a longer-than-normal wait time for scheduling an appointment and visa processing, and plan accordingly.

Please follow the instructions at https://ais.usvisa-info.com to schedule an appointment or to submit your visa application via courier.  Approximate wait times for appointments can be found by visiting https://travel.state.gov/content/travel/en/us-visas/visa-information-resources/wait-times.html. For questions regarding scheduling an appointment online, requesting an expedited appointment, or renewing your U.S. visa via courier, please call +27 87 550 2160.  Customer service center agents are available Monday to Friday, from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm local time.

Non-Immigrant Interview Waivers:  Applicants renewing a B, C, D, F, H, I, J, M, O, P, Q or R visa in the same visa class whose previous visa expired within the last 48 months may be eligible for an interview waiver. Eligibility is determined based on the answers provided by the applicant to questions during the online appointment scheduling process. Criteria include:

  • Your most recent visa was issued in South Africa in a South African passport and is still valid or expired no more than 48 months ago;
  • You provided 10 fingerprints at your last visa interview;
  • Your previously issued U.S. visa was a full-validity visa;
  • Your last visa has not been lost, stolen, or revoked;
  • Your visa was not annotated with “Clearance Received;” and
  • You have the same SEVIS number (for student visas).

Applicants may also qualify to apply for their U.S. visas without appearing for an interview if the applicants are under the age of 14 (with at least one parent holding a valid visa in the same category), are over the age of 80.

Additional interview waiver possibilities exist through the end of 2022 for first time H2A and other visa categories.  Visit https://travel.state.gov/content/travel/en/News/visas-news/important-announcement-on-waivers-of-the-interview-requirement-for-certain-nonimmigrant-visas.html to see if you qualify.

If you believe you are eligible to apply for or renew your visa under the interview waiver program, we strongly encourage you to call +27 87 550 2160.  Customer service center agents are available Monday to Friday, from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm local time to assist you in making your first time application, or changing your existing appointment to an interview waiver.

COVID Vaccination Requirement:  Effective November 8, 2021, President Biden introduced a global vaccination requirement that all adult foreign nationals (age 18 and older) traveling to the United States be required to demonstrate proof of full vaccination against COVID-19 to their airline prior to boarding a flight.  The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) website explains that, for purposes of entry into the United States, the accepted vaccines will include FDA approved or authorized and WHO Emergency Use Listing vaccines.  Please see https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/travelers/testing-international-air-travelers.html for more information.  Please also visit FAQs on COVID-19 Vaccinations and Testing for International Travel.

COVID Testing Requirements: On December 2, 2021, President Biden announced new actions to protect Americans against the Delta and Omicron variants of COVID-19, including strengthening global pre-departure testing protocols. Starting the week of December 6, the United States will require all inbound international travellers over the age of 2 years old, including U.S. citizens and Legal Permanent Residents, to take a COVID test within one day of departure globally, regardless of nationality or vaccination status. This tighter testing timeline provides an added degree of public health protection as scientists continue to assess the Omicron variant.  Airlines must confirm the negative test result for all passengers before boarding and deny boarding of passengers if they do not provide documentation of a negative test or recovery.  Visit the CDC’s interactive Travel Assessment tool and CDC’s international travel guide for details of testing requirements.

Immigrant and Fiancé(e) Visas: All U.S. immigrant and fiancé(e) visas for citizens and residents of South Africa, Botswana, Namibia, Mozambique, Mauritius, Lesotho and Swaziland are processed through the U.S. Consulate General in Johannesburg.  If your petition is still pending with USCIS, please contact USCIS Customer Service at https://www.uscis.gov/contactcenter.  After USCIS approves the petition, you can contact the Department of State’s National Visa Center (https://travel.state.gov/content/travel/en/us-visas/immigrate/national-visa-center.html) regarding scheduling.  If your case has been scheduled and forwarded to the U.S. Consulate General in Johannesburg, you may direct all inquiries to JohannesburgIV@state.gov.

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 or nationality.

Certain international travelers may be eligible to travel to the United States without a visa if they meet the requirements for visa-free travel under the Visa Waiver Program.  The Visa section of this website is all about U.S. visas for foreign citizens to travel to the United States.  If you cannot find what you are looking for here, please visit Travel.State.gov for additional information.

Note: U.S. citizens do not need a U.S. visa for travel to the United States, but when planning travel abroad a U.S. citizen may need a visa issued by the embassy or consulate of the country they wish to visit.

Do You Already Know What Type of Visa You Need?

For nonimmigrant visas, you can go directly to the online application for the DS-160; or for immigrant visas, directly to the USCIS site for the relevant forms.  If you are unsure, please use the Visa Wizard below to help you determine your visa type.

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