Please visit our Global Support Services (GSS) website for complete information on applying for a nonimmigrant U.S. visa, including a directory of nonimmigrant visa categories.
How to Apply for a Visa
Please read through the procedure below carefully and note that all visa fees are non-refundable.
All visa applicants, must apply for their visa by visiting this website.
For further questions regarding nonimmigrant visas, you may email us at PraiaConsular@state.gov.
How to apply and schedule an interview:
- Step 1 – Complete the DS-160 online (https://ceac.state.gov/genniv/).
- Step 2 – Submit the application electronically.
- Step 3 – Go online and print out the confirmation page with bar code at: https://ais.usvisa-info.com/
- Step 4 – Pay the fee at BCA.
- Step 5 – Wait 48 hours for the data to replicate. Note, if you pay on a Friday, a holiday, or a weekend, you must wait 72 hours for the data to replicate.
- Step 6- Go back online (https://ais.usvisa-info.com/pt-cv/niv) to schedule an appointment.
- Step 7- Input the MRV ID number from the MRV fee receipt.
- Step 8 – Select an appointment that is convenient for you.
Diplomats, Officials, and other travelers traveling to the U.S. on official business for their Government, United Nations and its agencies, or the World Bank – Most applicants in these categories will be required to show a Diplomatic Note or Letter of Appointment at the time of your interview. Certain diplomatic passport holders are exempt from paying the MRV fee. To request a visa appointment and inquire about fee exemption you may email the Embassy directly at PraiaConsular@state.gov.
Diplomatic passport-holders traveling to the U.S. for personal business/tourism travel – You may be asked to present a Diplomatic Note at the time of your visa interview. To request a visa appointment and inquire about fee exemption you may email the Embassy directly at PraiaConsular@state.gov.
Exchange Visitors officially sponsored by the U.S. Government – To find out if you are exempt from paying the MRV fee, scan a copy of your DS-2019 and send it to PraiaConsular@state.gov. If you are exempt, consular staff will assist you by making a visa appointment. All others must pay the MRV fee and schedule an appointment online.
If you have an urgent need to travel, you may use the online system to request an expedited appointment. First, schedule a regular appointment on the closest available date. Then, sign-in to your account, click “Continue”, select “Request Expedite” and follow the instructions. Expedited Appointments will only be granted at the Consular Section’s discretion. Circumstances that may be considered for expedited appointments include:
- An immediate relative’s death, grave illness or life threatening accident taking place in the United States.
- Urgent medical treatment for the applicant or their minor child.
- An applicant for a student or exchange visitor (F/M/J) visa whose I-20 or DS-2019 has a start date that is earlier than the first available visa appointment.
- An unexpected need to travel to the United States for urgent business purposes that is occurring within 10 days after the first available visa appointment.
- An unexpected visit that is of significant cultural, political, journalistic, sporting or economic importance that is occurring within 10 days after the first available visa appointment.
Rescheduling an Appointment
If you need to change or cancel your appointment, you must use the online system. The Embassy cannot change appointment dates for you.
All Embassy visitors are subject to airport-style screening. All items are subject to inspection and your lead time depends on the items you and other visitors bring. We have no means to store your items.
The following items are not allowed:
- Cell phones
- Electronic devices
- Large bags
Visitors are allowed to bring a small bag, backpack or briefcase and items to care for young children.
When planning your visit here, bring only what you need for your business with the consular section to expedite security screening. Embassy staff do not have the means to store items for you.
For Applicants Only: Only persons seeking consular services and who have made an appointment will be admitted to the Embassy or Consulate. All requests to add people’s names to appointments must be submitted prior to your visit.
We appreciate your cooperation in making your visit as smooth as possible.
On the day of your scheduled interview, please arrive at the Embassy at the time designated on your appointment confirmation.
The Consular Section makes every effort to minimize wait times on the day of an applicant’s interview. However, given the volume of visa applicants seen on a typical interview day, you can expect to wait before you are called up for an interview with the Consul. The Embassy recommends you do not schedule other important business on the morning of your visa interview.
At the time of your interview the Consul will ask you a series of questions about your travel plans, employment, family situation, and past travel. These questions are designed to assess your eligibility for the particular class of visa for which you are applying. It is critical that you answer questions truthfully. If you are found to lie during your interview or provide fraudulent documentation, you will jeopardize your ability to receive a visa in the future.
At the end of your interview the Consul will tell you whether or not you are eligible to receive a visa. Given the volume of visa applicants on an interview day there will not be time for a full discussion of the Consul’s decision. If you are refused a visa you will be given a letter detailing the section of law concerned.
Picking up a visa
An issued visa is typically available for pick-up the Thursday following a scheduled interview. For example, if you are interviewed Tuesday morning and are to be issued a visa, you can expect to pick-up your passport and visa on Thursday morning at 10 AM-12:00 PM. The specific pick-up date and time will be communicated to you at your interview.
The Consular Section is not able to accommodate requests for same-day visa issuance and will only provide expedited visa service in truly exigent circumstances. Please plan ahead and apply for your visa with sufficient time before your anticipated travel.
Parking at the Embassy
The U.S. Embassy in Praia does not provide parking facilities to members of the public seeking consular services. The Embassy strongly recommends that those seeking consular services plan to utilize public parking or arrive by taxi.
For inquiries about applying for a nonimmigrant, scheduling, or emergency services please send an email to PraiaConsular@state.gov. Emails will be answered by the Consular Section within 48 hours.