An official website of the United States government

March 1, 2020

How to Apply for a Nonimmigrant Visa

1. Determine Which Type Of Visa You Need

Use the visa wizard on travel.state.gov’s visa pages to determine which type of travel authorization is appropriate for your purpose of travel. U.S. law prohibits pre-application consultations. We cannot determine your qualification or eligibility for a visa until you have paid the non-refundable visa application fee, and you have submitted your application in person to the adjudicating officer.

2. Complete And Submit Form DS-160

Complete form DS-160 for the appropriate non-immigrant visa category. One DS-160 is required for each applicant, including children and babies. It is important to select the correct visa class and correct Embassy location (Luxembourg). The DS-160 MUST be completed online before an interview can be scheduled online, a ‘confirmation page’ will be generated if the form was completed successfully. You should print this confirmation page and bring it to the interview. The U.S. Embassy cannot provide or accept paper applications. Nor can the U.S. Embassy assist you in the completion of your application. Please note that submitting form DS-160 online does not mean that you completed the application process, you have to schedule an appointment at the Embassy.

3. Photo Requirements

Please review photo requirements and photo examples when completing the DS-160.

The following minimum requirements must be met or your application will not be accepted.

  • Eye glasses are no longer allowed.
  • The photograph must not be older than six months.
  • The photograph must measure roughly 2 inches square (roughly 5 cm x 5 cm) with the head centered in the frame.
  • The photograph of the applicant’s head should be between 2.5 cm and 3.5 cm when measured vertically.
  • The photograph must be in color and taken against a white background, printed without borders or shadows.
  • The applicant must face the camera directly, preferably with both ears visible.

The photograph must be an unmounted full face photo. A “full face“ photo is one in which the applicant is facing the camera directly. The applicant should not be looking down or to either side, and the face should cover about 50 percent of the area of the photo. Although variations in hair styles and in head coverings make it difficult to rigorously define the term “face,“ in general, the head of the applicant, including both face and hair, should be shown from crown of the head to tip of chin on top and bottom and from hair line side-to-side.

4. Make An Appointment For An Interview With A Consular Officer

Schedule an interview online (NIV Appointment System – Instructions) (using the barcode of form DS-160) and print a confirmation of your appointment. Because of space limitations in our public waiting area, only the person with an appointment for an interview will be admitted. Exceptions: Parents or guardian of a minor child who has an appointment, a caregiver for a disabled person, and young children accompanying the person with an appointment will be allowed to enter the waiting area inside the Embassy.

Visa interviews are generally scheduled on Thursdays except Luxembourg and U.S. holidays, or when the Consular Section is closed for administrative purposes.

Visa applicants who do not appear for their scheduled appointment must resubmit a new DS-160 before scheduling another appointment.

5. Application Fee

Each applicant must pay in CASH a non-refundable processing(MRV) fee of US$160. This fee is US$190 for petition based visa types and US$205 for an E visa application. The only way to pay this fee in Luxembourg is on the date of your appointment in cash at the Embassy just before the interview with the Consular Officer. It is possible to pay in Euros or US$, but not a combination of both. It is not possible to pay by V-PAY or credit card.

For some nationalities and visa types an additional issuance fee may be required. This fee can be paid cash or by credit card. Detailed information is available in fees and reciprocity tables.

Applicants for F1, M1 and J1 visas must pay the appropriate SEVIS fee online BEFORE they come to the interview at the Embassy. It is not possible to pay the SEVIS fee at the Embassy. The SEVIS fee does not replace the processing (MRV) or issuance fee.

6. Required Documents And Fees For Your Interview At The Embassy – Checklist

Before coming to the Embassy please make sure you’re able to provide all of items listed below. Visa applicants who are not able to present a complete file may not be admitted for an interview and will need to return to the Embassy at a later time. Processing of your visa will be postponed and you may face unnecessary delays.

* DS-160 confirmation page for each applicant (including family members) and correct photograph

* Visa application fee in CASH

* A passport valid for at least six months. The passport must be in good condition and have at least one blank visa page.

* A self-addressed and prepaid envelope

Applicants must bring a self-addressed envelope with a FollowMe label to the visa interview to allow return of their passport by mail. It is not possible to purchase envelopes, stamps or labels at the Embassy.

The best option is the prepaid padded envelope from the Post Luxembourg, size 162x229mm.

You must attach an online tracking label for FollowMe which allows you to track your passport. It can be purchased online at www.eservices.lu or at a local post office

Please make sure to write your name and address correctly on the envelope to avoid delays and misrouting, as explained here.

Supplemental documentation that may be needed

Depending on your NIV Type, additional documentation may be required:

Temporary Employment and Business

  • Receipt Number for your approved petition as it appears on your Petition for a Nonimmigrant Worker, Form I-129, or Notice of Action, Form I-797, from USCIS.
  • L Visa Applicants: If you are included in an L blanket petition, you must bring three copies of form I-129S, Nonimmigrant Petition Based on Blanket L Petition, to your interview.

Study & Exchange

All Student Visa (F-1/M-1) and Exchange Visitor Visa (J-1) applicants must present following supporting documents at the interview:

Student Visa Applicants:

Additional documents may be requested to establish if you are qualified. For example:

  • Transcripts, diplomas, degrees, or certificates from schools you attended;
  • Your intent to depart the United States upon completion of the course of study;
  • Your ability to pay all educational, living and travel costs.
Exchange Visitor Visa Applicants:

Additional documents may be requested to establish if you are qualified. For example:

  • Your intent to depart the United States after your trip;
  • Your ability to pay all educational, living and travel costs.