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Frequently Asked Questions
  • How do I apply for a visa?

    How do I apply for a visa?

    • Step One

      Obtain a visa photo. Click here for the specific photo requirements

      Step Two

      Complete the visa application (Form DS-160) online at http://ceac.state.gov/genniv/ and print the confirmation page. Please select Jerusalem as the location for your interview. 

      Step Three

      Create an account on-line at http://jerusalem.usvisa-info.com/ or by calling 02-5677833.  Indicate your preferred courier (Israeli Post or Wassel) and delivery address.  This information will be used if your visa is approved.

      Step Four

      Pay your non-refundable MRV application fee. You can pay this fee either in cash at any Israeli Postal Bank or Bank of Palestine location or by credit card online or through our call center. Please note that cash payments take approximately 24 hours to register in the online system. If you chose to pay the MRV payment by cash, you also will need to download a deposit slip via the on-line account you created at http://jerusalem.usvisa-info.com/ before going to the bank. Please make sure that your payment slip is for the correct location, Jerusalem.

      Step Five

      Schedule your appointment by entering the MRV fee receipt number into your online account or by providing the MRV fee receipt number to the call center.

      Step Six

      On the day of your interview, bring your passport, visa application confirmation page, one photograph, and any other relevant supporting materials. If your visa is approved, your passport will be returned at no cost to the address you designated in step three.

      Additional information about the scheduling process is available online at http://jerusalem.usvisa-info.com/ or by calling the call center.
      The call centers provide a wide range of visa-related services, including scheduling visa appointments, answering visa-related questions, and assisting applicants in choosing a ISRAELI POST or WASSEL delivery location.

      Applicants can also contact the call center via Skype using the following information:

      • SKYPE number: 753813
      • Name: USvisajerusalem
  • What are the hours of the call center?

    What are the hours of the call center?

    • The local call center (02-5677833) is available from 8:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. local time, Sunday to Thursday.

      U.S.-based call center (703-439-2344) is available from 8:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m., Monday to Friday.

  • Why is the new website a .com domain and not a .gov domain? Don’t all U.S. government websites use the .gov domain?

    Why is the new website a .com domain and not a .gov domain? Don’t all U.S. government websites use the .gov domain?

    • The new website, http://jerusalem.usvisa-info.com/, is being run by a private company on behalf of the U.S. government. Thus, the website uses the private .com domain.

  • How much does a visa cost?

    How much does a visa cost?

    • For most visa categories, the application fee is $160. Applications for petition-based visas in the H, L, O, P, Q, and R categories cost $190. Depending on the applicant’s nationality or visa category, there might be additional reciprocity fee payable at the time of visa issuance.

  • The consular officer denied my visa. Can I get a refund on my application fee?

    The consular officer denied my visa. Can I get a refund on my application fee?

    • The MRV application fee is nonrefundable.

  • What documents do I need to have in order to apply?

    What documents do I need to have in order to apply?

    • To make a visa appointment, you will need an online visa application (DS-160/CEAC) confirmation number, an MRV payment receipt, a photo that meets our requirements (see http://travel.state.gov/visa/visaphotoreq/visaphotoreq_5334.html), and a valid passport.

      Certain visa categories may require additional documentation. For example:

      • Student (F) and vocational training (M) visa applicants require a Form I-20 and a SEVIS fee payment receipt;
      • Cultural exchange visitors (J) visa applicants require a Form DS-2019 and a SEVIS fee payment receipt (depending on program sponsor); and,
      • Petition-based visas require a DHS approval Form I-797.  These include the work (H), intercompany transfer (L), foreign national with extraordinary abilities (O), performer (P), international cultural exchange visitor (Q), and religious worker (R) visa categories.
  • Where do I find the DS-160 online visa application?

    Where do I find the DS-160 online visa application?

  • How can I select an interview appointment time?

    How can I select an interview appointment time?

    • You must first create an account online at http://jerusalem.usvisa-info.com/ or through the call center (local: 02-5677833; U.S.-based: 703-439-2344) and follow the instructions given there. You will be able to select an interview appointment time after you pay the required MRV application fee and complete the DS-160 application form. The system automatically defaults to the next available appointment. Appointments are opened approximately six months in advance for scheduling.

  • How can I apply for an expedited interview appointment?

    How can I apply for an expedited interview appointment?

    • The Consulate General expedites visa appointments for:

      • Life-threatening medical emergencies that require treatment at a U.S. medical facility;
      • Visits to gravely ill/dying relatives in the United States or the death of an immediate relative;
      • Students and Exchange Visitors (F, M, and J visas) who could not otherwise travel to the United States in time for enrollment and class/program attendance;
      • Persons with approved employment-based visa petitions (visa categories H, L, P and O) who cannot otherwise arrive for their work start dates;
      • Unexpected urgent business purposes, including unexpected travel of significant cultural, political, journalistic or economic importance.

      Applicants must first schedule their appointment on-line or through the call center, then submit a request online for an expedited appointment. If your request is approved, you will receive confirmation with your new date and time.  If your request is denied, you will receive a response indicating that you should appear for your visa interview as previously scheduled.  

  • How do I submit additional documents to the Consulate after my interview?

    How do I submit additional documents to the Consulate after my interview?

    • As soon as you have obtained all of the missing documents that apply in your visa case, please send them to our office through the appropriate courier service (Israeli Post/Wassel) after you register with the official visa service (CSC). You may also drop the missing documents, including your passport, at the Consular Section reception desk on any of our working days between 12:00 – 15:00.  In either case you will need to present the refusal letter or CSC confirmation document. The reception desk can only accept documents for properly registered visa cases.

  • How will I receive my visa after it has been issued?

    How will I receive my visa after it has been issued?

    • Passports with visas are delivered to applicants within five to seven business days after the date of issuance. You can specify the delivery address online http://jerusalem.usvisa-info.com or through the call center (local: 02-5677833; U.S.-based: 703-439-2344). No additional courier fee payment is required, and you may receive direct home/office delivery service at no additional cost. You will receive a confirmation e-mail when the passport is ready for pick-up, if you chose that option instead of courier delivery.

  • Where can I find information on the current wait time for interviews?

    Where can I find information on the current wait time for interviews?

  • How can I track the status of my passport?

    How can I track the status of my passport?

    • You can track the status of your passport by the following methods:

      The online self-service website or contacting the call center at 02-5677833.

  • How are nonimmigrant visa applications handled for groups?

    How are nonimmigrant visa applications handled for groups?

    • Groups of ten or more applicants traveling to the same location for the same purpose can schedule a group appointment. The representative of the group should create an account via our scheduling website, following the instructions there.  

  • Where can I get more information about nonimmigrant visas?

    Where can I get more information about nonimmigrant visas?

    • A wide range of information about visas is available at the State Department’s Travel.State.Gov website.

  • My old passport has already expired. My visa to travel to the United States is still valid, but it is in my expired passport. Do I need to apply for a new visa with my new passport?

    My old passport has already expired. My visa to travel to the United States is still valid, but it is in my expired passport. Do I need to apply for a new visa with my new passport?

    • No. If your visa is still valid, undamaged, and of the appropriate category for your principal purpose of travel, you can travel to the United States with your two passports. Both the valid and the expired passport must be from the same country and of the same type. When you arrive at the United States port of entry, the immigration inspector will examine your visa in the old passport and, if he decides to admit you into the United States, he will stamp your new passport with the admission stamp along with the annotation "VIOPP" (visa in other passport). Do not attempt to remove the visa from your old passport and stick it into the new valid passport. If you do so, your visa will no longer be valid.

  • The consular officer indicated that my case requires further administrative processing. What does this mean and how long does it take?

    The consular officer indicated that my case requires further administrative processing. What does this mean and how long does it take?

    • Every visa application is unique and some cases require additional administrative processing. Typically, this process can take approximately 12 weeks to complete. As soon as we can proceed with your case, a member of the Nonimmigrant Visa Unit will contact you to inform you about the next steps. You can check the status of your case here.

  • I was issued a visa and have been waiting for more than seven business days for the delivery. What should I do?

    I was issued a visa and have been waiting for more than seven business days for the delivery. What should I do?

    • You should receive a confirmation e-mail when the passport is ready for pick-up. If you do not receive your passport within seven business days after the date of issuance, please contact the call center and request assistance. You can reach the call center at 02-5677833 (local) or 703-439-2344 (from the U.S.). Please note that most delays are a result of the applicant incorrectly registering on the courier service website.

  • The consular officer asked for proof of legal status while I was in the U.S. What does that mean?

    The consular officer asked for proof of legal status while I was in the U.S. What does that mean?

    • If the consular officer asked you to submit proof of your legal stay while in the U.S., you should submit any notice that you received from the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS) granting you permission to extend your stay in the U.S. or change your legal status. When a visitor arrives in the U.S., the immigration officer indicates on the form I-94 arrival /departure record, which is given to the traveler, the date before which the visitor must exit the U.S.

      If you were granted permission to stay beyond the date indicated on your I-94 or change your visa status, USCIS issued you a Form I-797 Notice of Action. This form may also be used to prove your legal stay. If your request to extend or change status was denied, USCIS generally allows you 30 days to depart the U.S. starting from the date on the letter notifying you that your application to extend or change your status was denied. Your rejection letter and proof of the date of your departure from the U.S., such as a boarding pass or passport stamps showing entry into another country, also can prove your lawful stay in the U.S.

       

  • My student visa is expired, how do I renew my visa?

    My student visa is expired, how do I renew my visa?

    • If your U.S. student visa has expired and you are not in the United States, you must obtain a new visa before you can return.   Once the visa expires, you will have to apply for a new visa following the steps outlined on our website at: http://jerusalem.usconsulate.gov/non-immigrant_visas.html. If you have any questions about the visa application process, please contact our call center at 02-5677833 (U.S.-based: 703-439-2344).

      Applying for a new visa usually requires several weeks, so please plan your travel accordingly.

  • My tourist visa expired. Is it possible to renew my visa by mail?

    My tourist visa expired. Is it possible to renew my visa by mail?

    • Under certain circumstances you may be able to renew your visa without scheduling an interview. The criteria are on online, or you can contact our call center at 02-5677833 (U.S.-based: 703-439-2344). Applying for a new visa usually requires several weeks, so please plan your travel accordingly.

  • The consular officer stated I was qualified for a visa but limited my visa to a year. Why?

    The consular officer stated I was qualified for a visa but limited my visa to a year. Why?

    • It's important to bear in mind that every visa case is unique. Under U.S. law, visa validity is determined based on a number of factors, including the visa category, standards of reciprocity between the United States and the applicant's home country, and each applicant's unique circumstances. Consular officers are trained to set visa validity according to the guidelines of U.S. law.

  • My friend applied for a visa and was refused a visa. Can you tell me why?

    My friend applied for a visa and was refused a visa. Can you tell me why?

    • Unfortunately, we cannot share any case-specific information with third parties. Information pertaining to the issuance and refusal of visas is confidential under Section 222(f) of the Immigration and Nationality Act of 1997, as amended. At the conclusion of the interview, your friend should have received a letter from the consular officer that explained the reason for the consular officer’s decision. Your friend should read it carefully.

      If your friend has questions about the status of the application, he or she can check online.

  • I applied for a visa, and the consular officer refused me under Section 214(b). What does this mean?

    I applied for a visa, and the consular officer refused me under Section 214(b). What does this mean?

    • Section 214(b) of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) states,

      "Every alien shall be presumed to be an immigrant until he establishes to the satisfaction of the consular officer, at the time of application for admission, that he is entitled to a nonimmigrant status."

      Furthermore, to qualify for a visitor or student visa, an applicant must meet the requirements of sections 101(a)(15)(B) or (F) of the INA, respectively. Failure to do so will result in a refusal of a visa under INA 214(b). The most frequent basis for such a refusal is the requirement that the prospective visitor or student possess a residence abroad he/she has no intention of abandoning. Applicants prove the existence of such residence by demonstrating that they have ties abroad that would compel them to leave the U.S. at the end of the temporary stay. The law places this burden of proof on the applicant.

      Applicants refused under Section 214(b) of the INA cannot appeal the refusal decision, but they may reapply.  At the conclusion of the visa interview, each applicant who is refused is given a letter explaining the section of the law under which his or her application was refused. For more information, please visit http://travel.state.gov/visa/frvi/denials/denials_1361.html.

  • If I was refused a visa under 214(b), can I appeal to a higher authority?

    If I was refused a visa under 214(b), can I appeal to a higher authority?

    • Immigration law delegates the responsibility for issuance or refusal of visas to consular officers overseas, who have the final say on all visa applications. By regulation, the U.S. Department of State has authority to review consular decisions, but this authority is limited to the interpretation of law, not determination of facts. Since determining whether an applicant possesses the required residence abroad is a factual issue, it falls exclusively within the authority of consular officers at Foreign Service posts.

      The only way to appeal a refusal under INA 214(b) is to apply once again and present new, convincing evidence of strong ties to a residence outside the U.S. The new application will be reviewed by a different consular officer. For more information, please visit http://travel.state.gov/visa/frvi/denials/denials_1361.html.

  • I want to change or extend my non-immigrant status. What should I do?

    I want to change or extend my non-immigrant status. What should I do?

  • I forgot to turn in my Form I-94 when I left the U.S. What should I do?

    I forgot to turn in my Form I-94 when I left the U.S. What should I do?

  • I am a dual national and understand that I can travel on the Visa Waiver Program. Can you provide me more details on this process?

    I am a dual national and understand that I can travel on the Visa Waiver Program. Can you provide me more details on this process?

  • What documents do I need to bring for a student visa interview?

    What documents do I need to bring for a student visa interview?

    • Student (F) visa applicants require a Form I-20 and a SEVIS fee payment receipt. Additional documents may be requested by the interviewing officer to establish that you are qualified. For example, additional requested documents may include evidence of:

      * Your academic preparation
      *Your intent to depart the U.S. upon completion of the course of study; and
      *How you will pay all educational, living and travel costs.