The U.S. Department of State has announced that, as of November 12, 2014, the National Visa Center ceased collecting original civil documents – birth and marriage certificates, police clearance certificates, etc. – from applicants for immigrant visas.  From now on, applicants will submit only photocopies of these documents to the NVC and take the originals

If automatic spending cuts (“sequestration”) take place at midnight tonight, wait times for visa appointments at US embassies and consulates will likely increase.

At its Daily Press Briefing on February 27, 2013, the Department of State warned that it will have to reduce the numbers of officers who process visa applications worldwide, and said, “We

Beginning January 10, 2011, applicants for nonimmigrant visas at the U.S. embassy and consulates in Mexico must visit an Applicant Service Center (ASC) for biometrics (digital photos and fingerprints) before their visa interviews.  Applicants will no longer pay separate fees to schedule an appointment, apply for a visa, and have a courier service deliver their

Since 2009, the Department of State has been phasing in a new, online visa application form at embassies worldwide.  The new DS-160 combines all previously used forms (DS-156, DS-157 and DS-158) for all nonimmigrant visa applications except Ks and Es.  DOS’s goal is to use the DS-160 exclusively worldwide by April 30, 2010.


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Qualifying foreign nationals planning to visit the United States under the Visa Waiver Program (VWP) must now register under the Electronic System for Travel Authorization (ESTA) before traveling to the United States without a visa.  ESTA is designed to identify those individuals who may be a security or law enforcement risk.  The application takes only