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Important Visa Information

Payment Methods & Details

Collecting Your Passport and Issued U.S. Visa After Interview  

ALERT: Until April 20, 2022 visa applicants are responsible for payment of mail-in and return of visa related documents by courier service. This cost is not included in the visa fee. The Department of State assumes no legal responsibility for passport delivery in cases of delay or lost or stolen passports. After April 20, 2022 applicants will no longer be responsible for courier service costs.

Appointments & Locations

The U.S. Consulates General in Johannesburg, Durban, and Cape Town have non-immigrant visa appointments available.  Please continue to monitor the online appointment schedule, https://ais.usvisa-info.com/, for appointments as they become available.

New appointments are sporadically opened, but may get taken quickly.  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.  Third country nationals are eligible to apply for a U.S. visa if they are present in South Africa.

 The U.S. visa application process in South Africa is two-fold:  

  1. Complete visa application form (DS-160) at https://ceac.state.gov/genniv/.
  2. Pay and schedule your U.S. visa appointment at https://ais.usvisa-info.com/en-za/niv.

You won’t be able to pay until an appointment is available.  If available appointments do not suit your schedule, please consider submitting your U.S. visa application through the interview waiver program.  Third country nationals are not eligible.  You may be able to submit your U.S. visa application without needing to appear for an interview based on age (under age 14 or over age 80) or if you are renewing a visa of the same classification.  To qualify for the latter, your U.S. visa must have been issued in South Africa to a South African passport and expired no more than 48 months ago; you must have provided 10 fingerprints at your last interview; you must have been previously issued a full-validity U.S. visa; your visa has not been lost, stolen or revoked; your visa was not annotated with “Clearance Received,” and have the same SEVIS number (for student visas).  Please note that L-1 applicants are not eligible for interview waiver if they are renewing their applications with a Blanket L approval.  Eligibility is determined based on the answers provided to questions during the appointment scheduling process on https://ais.usvisa-info.com/en-za/niv.  However, consular officers reserve the right to request an interview for any visa applicant.  Applicants who qualify for mail-in visa renewals or interview waiver applications should note that processing takes about two weeks (about 7-10 working days, not including weekends and holidays) from the time the applicant drops off the application materials with DHL to the time we return the passport and printed visa to DHL for delivery to the applicant.

All expedited appointment requests must be made online at https://ais.usvisa-info.com/en-za/niv.  Applicants needing expedited appointments must first booking the next available appointment at any of the consulates general on the website and then request an expedited appointment at the consulate general of their choice through the website.

For more information on how to apply for a U.S. visa, please watch our informational video at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LbQxbqL1vhU or visit https://ais.usvisa-info.com/en-za/niv/information/niv.  For your U.S. visa application, you are only required to bring or submit the listed documents: https://ais.usvisa-info.com/en-za/niv/information/required_docs.

Contact Information

Customer service center agents are able to assist you via telephone, Skype or email.

  • For service in English: Open Monday – Friday, 9:00 to 17:00 local time.
  • Callers in South Africa: +27 87 550 2160
  • Callers in the United States: +1 703 988 7092
  • Skype: To use Skype to speak to a customer service agent, add a new contact to your Skype account with the Skype name skype-za_1.
  • Email: essa_contactus+za+info+en@visaops.net

Other Information

Collecting Your Passport and Issued U.S. Visa After Interview  

ALERT: Until April 20, 2022 visa applicants are responsible for payment of mail-in and return of visa related documents by courier service. This cost is not included in the visa fee. The Department of State assumes no legal responsibility for passport delivery in cases of delay or lost or stolen passports. After April 20, 2022 applicants will no longer be responsible for courier service costs.

To arrange for courier return of your documents to your home or business address: 

  • Log into your account at https://ais.usvisa-info.com/. Select “continue”, and then select “Request Premium Delivery” and follow the required steps. This step can be completed at the time of booking your appointment, or at any time until immediately after your visa interview. If you select this service and your visa application is refused, the U.S. Embassy is not able to assist in a refund. Please contact the help desk at https://ais.usvisa-info.com/en-za/niv/information/contact_us. 

To arrange for return of your documents by DHL to a South African DHL office near you: 

  • Email the below information to the email address corresponding with your location: 
  • Please include the below information on your e-mail: 
    • Applicant Name and Surname 
    • Passport Number 
    • E-mail address 
    • Phone contact details 
    • The Consulate that the passport needs to be collected from and DHL office where passport needs to be delivered to for collection by applicant (Example: US Consulate Cape Town to DHL Bloemfontein). 

A DHL consultant will provide instructions for waybill purchase and document pick up. This step can be completed at any time after booking your appointment until immediately after your visa interview. If you select this service and your visa application is refused, the U.S. Embassy is not able to assist in a refund. For questions regarding refunds, contact DHL at the email addresses above. 

Please Note: Payment for document delivery service is not included in the visa fee. If you do not complete this step, you will not receive your passport and U.S. visa.

Visa pickup from the U.S. Consulates will be granted only in emergency situations and for applicants from Lesotho. An “emergency” is defined as a situation when the applicant has little to no control over his/her time of application and travel plans. 

 

Non-Immigrant Visa – Interview Waiver  

 All applicants must begin their non-immigrant visa application process through the GSS appointment scheduling website at https://ais.usvisa-info.com/ 

 Only if the appointment scheduling system informs you of your eligibility to complete the visa process without an interview should you continue to the following step. 

  • Email the below information to the email address corresponding with your location: 
  • Please include the below information on your e-mail: 
    • Applicant Name and Surname 
    • Passport Number 
    • E-mail address 
    • Phone contact details 
    • DHL office where passport will be dropped off at, and Consulate where passport will be delivered to (Example: DHL Bloemfontein to U.S. Consulate Cape Town). 

The Consulate that the passport needs to be collected from and DHL office where passport needs to be delivered to for collection by applicant (Example: U.S. Consulate Cape Town to DHL Bloemfontein) if you have not purchased “Premium Delivery” at https://ais.usvisa-info.com/ 

A DHL consultant will provide instructions for waybill purchase, and how to mail in your completed application package at your DHL service point of choice, including your return waybill if you have not purchased “Premium Delivery” at https://ais.usvisa- info.com/. If you select this service and your visa application is refused, the U.S. Embassy is not able to assist in a refund.  For questions regarding refunds, contact DHL at the email addresses above. 

If any additional information is required to process your case, the U.S. Consulate will contact you directly. 

Electronics

To maintain social distancing applicants will be required to scan a QR code and generate a “ticket” for entrance into the Consulate on their appointment date. Applicants are advised to bring a QR-code enabled smartphone (e.g. iPhones can use the camera app; Android phones can install the Google Lens app or other QR reader prior to arrival at the Consulate). Once a “ticket” is called for an interview, applicants are not permitted to bring electronic devices (phones, tablets, laptops, cameras, etc.) into the Consulate. Applicants will be asked to leave phones at the Consulate entrance in provided lockers, at their own risk. Note that the lockers are small and large items such as tablets or laptops cannot be checked at the entrance.

Reasonable Accomodation

If you need reasonable accommodation for your appointment, we encourage you to request your accommodation immediately once you schedule your appointment. We make every effort to provide accommodations to persons with disabilities and medical conditions. Reasonable accommodations vary, depending on the situation and the person’s needs.
Examples of accommodations include, but are not limited to:

    • If you require a private appointment due to a medical condition or disability, we may schedule an alternative time for you to come in for your interview.
    • If you or your child has special needs that requires a private appointment in a quiet space without distractions, we may schedule an alternative time for you or your family to come in for your interview.
    • If you are unable to speak, you may be allowed to respond to questions in an agreed-upon nonverbal manner such as using pen and paper.
    • If you are deaf or hard of hearing, you may bring a sign language interpreter to translate during the interview if needed.
    • If you have low vision, we may provide you with communications in large print.

If you are unable to provide fingerprints because of a medical condition, including birth defects, physical deformities, skin conditions, you may qualify for a fingerprint waiver for certain fingers.

  • Interview waivers are only granted in extreme situations, such as having a medical condition that requires flying in an air ambulance.

The waiting room of the Consular Section and its restroom is wheelchair-accessible.