Documents needed for nonimmigrant visa stamp

Non-immigrant visa stamps are issued by U.S. consular posts located in major cities outside the United States. We recommend that you review the particular requirements, hours of operation, and processing times of each consulate by visiting the Department of State website at Requirements vary for each Consulate, but typically include:

  • A Non-immigrant Visa Application. Depending on the procedures in effect at the consulate where you are applying, you may be required to submit Form DS-156, the paper nonimmigrant visa application, or Form DS-160, the online nonimmigrant visa application;
  • Form DS-157, Supplemental Nonimmigrant Visa Application, for all males ages 16-45, if required by the consulate; at its discretion, the consulate may require other applicants to complete this form. This form is not required at consulates using Form DS-160, the online nonimmigrant visa application;
  • Form DS-158, Contact Information and Work History for Nonimmigrant Visa Applicant, for all F, J and M visa applicants, if required by the consulate. This form is not required at consulates using Form DS-160, the online nonimmigrant visa application;
  • Passport size photo. If you are applying for a visa on Form DS-160, the online visa application, see government photo specifications at; if you are applying on Form DS-156, see government photo specifications at;
  • Valid passport;
  • Original Approval Notice, Form I-797 for H, L, O & P visa applicants;
  • Form I-20, Certificate of Eligibility for Nonimmigrant Student Status, for F-1 visa applicants; this form is issued by the applicant’s school;
  • Form DS-2019, Certificate of Eligibility for Exchange Visitor Status for J-1 visa applicants; this form is issued by the applicant’s exchange program sponsor;
  • Copy of the Nonimmigrant Visa Petition and supporting documents filed with USCIS;
  • Visa fee (; and
  • Application fee, if applicable (

Some consular posts also require that fees be paid in advance at a designated bank. Please refer to the consular websites for additional information.

Forms DS-156, DS-157 and DS-158 are available online at

Form DS-160, the online nonimmigrant visa application form in use at some consulates, is available at

Note on passport validity: Ordinarily, you and your family members must possess passports that are valid for six months beyond the date for which your visa is requested. However, the United States has agreements with a number of countries under which passports valid for less than six months beyond the visa date will be accepted. These countries are:

Algeria, Antigua & Barbuda, Argentina, Australia, Austria, Bahamas, Bangladesh, Barbados, Belgium, Bolivia, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Cote d’Ivoire, Croatia, Cuba, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Dominica, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Egypt, El Salvador, Ethiopia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Grenada, Guatemala, Guinea, Guyana, Hong Kong (certificates of identity & passports), Hungary, Iceland, India, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Jamaica, Japan, Jordan, Korea, Kuwait, Laos, Latvia, Lebanon, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, Macau, Madagascar, Malaysia, Malta, Mauritius, Mexico, Monaco, Netherlands, New Zealand, Nicaragua, Nigeria, Norway, Oman, Pakistan, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Philippines, Poland, Portugal, Qatar, Romania, Russia, Senegal, Singapore, Slovak Republic, Slovenia, South Africa, Spain, Sri Lanka, St. Kitts & Nevis, St. Lucia, St. Vincent & the Grenadines, Sudan, Suriname, Tunisia, Turkey, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom, Uruguay, Venezuela, and Zimbabwe


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