Visa Application & Interview

The information on this page is meant to help take some of the mystery out of the visa interview process. You may schedule your visa interview at any time. However, you must have the I-797 Approval Notice (H-1B or O-1 status) or DS-2019 (J-1 status) or certified Form ETA 9035 Labor Condition Application (E-3 status for Australian citizens only) before the visa appointment.  Plan for enough time for the document to arrive. Also, the actual visa cannot be issued more than 120 days before your authorization start date. To apply for your visa, you will need to submit Form DS-160 and then schedule your visa interview. Information and instructions are provided in the link.

We recommend you visit the "Helpful Links" below. The first one will take you to a website that lists U.S. Embassies and Consulates. You will want to find the one that has jurisdiction over your area of residence, as that is where you will go for your visa interview. Check the embassy or consulate website, as embassies and consulates can vary in their processes and requirements. The second link will direct you to wait times for your requested visa status at the nearest U.S. embassy or consulate.

Schedule Your Visa Interview

You will need to apply for the H-1B, J-1, O-1 or E-3 visa, unless you are a Canadian citizen. Canadians are not required to obtain U.S. visas before entering the U.S. in any U.S. immigration status.  Requirements for Canadian citizens in provided separately.  A listing of U.S. embassies and consulates is included in the "Helpful Links" section below.

  • You may schedule your visa appointment as soon as you have been notified that your documents are being shipped. Allow enough time for the documents to reach you before your appointment.
  • J-1 status:  You are required to pay the $220 SEVIS fee NO LATER than three days before your visa appointment. Link to J Scholar Pay Sevis fee document (PDF).

Please refer to the website of the embassy or consulate where you will apply for your visa for the application process and current visa application fees as these may vary from office to office.

  • Currently, all visa applicants are required to have a personal appointment and interview. Depending on the embassy or consulate where you apply, you may be able to schedule this appointment in advance. You will need to complete and submit Form DS-160, which should be available from the embassy or consulate and online.
  • During the application process, you may be digitally photographed and fingerprinted. 
  • References to Form DS-7002 (Training/Internship Placement Plan) apply only to J-1 Student Interns.

Note for Canadian Citizens: Canadians are NOT currently required to have a U.S. visa to enter the U.S.  You will need a valid passport.
If entering in:
J-1 status, you are required to pay the $220 SEVIS fee at least three days before you enter the U.S. You will need to present your DS-2019 and your Canadian passport to the immigration inspector when you enter the U.S. You may also be requested to present original funding documentation, evidence that you are able to pay for your living expenses while in the U.S.  For those in H-1B and O-1, the original I-797 approval notice will be needed
H-1B status:  You will be required to show the original I-797 approval notice.  You should also have the complete copy of the H-1B petition that was provided to you in case you are asked to document educational credentials.
O-1 status:  You will be required to show the original I-797 approval notice.
TN:  Your UAF hiring department will provide the documentary letters required.  There is a $56 processing fee to be paid at the time of U.S. entry.

Helpful Links

Visa Wait Times - for Interview Appointments and Processing

Department of State - Embassy and Consulate Locations