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March 15, 2023

How to Apply for a Nonimmigrant Visa


 Select correct visa category

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 consular officer.

  1. Check your passport

Your passport must be valid for at least six months beyond your period of stay in the United States (unless exempt by country-specific agreements). Visas are often valid for several years depending on reciprocity. If your passport is due to expire soon, we suggest renewing it before applying for a visa. Your passport must be in good condition and have at least one blank visa page. Please inform us at your appointment if you are presenting a different passport than you used when making your application.

  1. Complete application form DS-160

Complete the online DS-160 and print the confirmation page for each person applying for a visa, regardless of age. Please ensure your name matches your passport exactly. In the application when asked for other names you have used, please include any middle names, married names, or maiden names you have ever used. Answer all questions to the best of your ability; you can explain at the interview. Most common questions about the application are answered in DS-160 FAQ. Please note that submitting form DS-160 online does not mean that your visa is being processed. Your application will only be reviewed after you have paid the applicable fee at the interview. 

Make sure to select the correct visa category and the correct Embassy location (Luxembourg). A ‘confirmation’ page with a barcode will be generated if the form was completed successfully. This barcode is necessary to schedule an appointment online. If you do not see this confirmation page, submission of the form was not finalized, and your data will not be available when you come for your visa interview. Print this DS-160 confirmation page and bring it to the interview.

Validity of DS-160: You should submit a new DS-160 if you do not book an interview within 90 days. Inactive cases are regularly deleted from the system and your interview may be postponed if your DS-160 was completed more than 90 days ago.

  1. Upload your photograph

Your photograph must:

  • be in color and taken against a white background, printed without borders or shadows
  • be without eyeglasses
  • be recent: that means not older than six months
  • measure 2 square inches (roughly 5 cm x 5 cm) with the head centered in the frame; the applicant’s head should be between 2.5 cm and 3.5 cm when measured vertically
  • show the applicant facing the camera directly; facial features, including ears and forehead, must be fully visible
  • be printed on photo quality paper

Please review detailed photo requirements and photo examples .

If you can upload a correct photograph, you do not need to bring a hard copy to your interview. Please note that the DS-160 may accept an uploaded photograph even if it is not correct. However, if it is not correct, it will not be accepted at the interview.

You should bring a hard copy photograph in the format above to your interview (no CD/USB key) if:

– you cannot upload a photograph

– you want to change the one you uploaded

– you are not sure it was done correctly

  1. Book your interview

Applicants for B, C, D, F, J and M visas: must book an appointment for a visa interview online at NIV Appointment System – Instructions, using the barcode of the DS-160 form. Regular appointments cannot be scheduled by email or phone.

The system will generate a page confirming your appointment, you will not receive an email. At the interview you will not need to show proof of your appointment, but you will need your confirmation ID to change or cancel your appointment online. The Embassy cannot retrieve it for you, so please make sure to print or save this information and take note of the time and date of your appointment.

Applicants for petition-based visas (H, L, O, P, Q, R) should send a scan of their DS-160 barcode page and approved petition (I-797 or I-129/I-129S) to LuxembourgConsular@state.gov to request an appointment. Please include all applying family members.

Applicants for treaty trader/investor visas (E) should email LuxembourgConsular@state.gov to request more information.

Families: Please book only one slot if you will apply with family members (spouse/partner and minor children). Children under the age of 14 do not have to be present, you need to submit their complete application and bring their passports and birth certificates. Children aged 14 and older must be present.

Minor applicants: A child under age 14 does not have to be present. Only one parent will need to submit the child’s application and bring the child’s birth certificate. To do so, an appointment must be booked online as explained above.

Non-residents must book an interview on the last Thursday of each month. These days book quickly, so your preferred date may be unavailable. Appointments booked by non-residents on any other date will be canceled.

If you previously began the process of applying at another embassy or consulate, please note that visa fees are not transferable. You will be required to complete a new application to reflect your new application location and pay the visa fees again.

  1. Payment of visa fees:

You must pay the Nonimmigrant visa application processing fee in cash at the Embassy, on the day of your interview.  You may pay in US Dollars or Euros. The applicable Euro exchange rate will be confirmed by email 1-2 days before your interview.

Please make sure you have the correct amount in cash. It is not possible to pay the visa application fee by V-PAY, credit or debit card. Please note that applicants (category F, M and J) who are required to pay a SEVIS fee online must still pay the visa application fee in cash at the Embassy. For more information, please refer to Fees and reciprocity tables.

For L-1 blanket petitions only: The $500 fraud prevention and detection fee must be paid cash (US Dollars or Euros) or by credit card at the interview. Please note that the applicant must be the holder of the credit card to sign the credit card receipt.

Reciprocity fee: After the visa is approved, you may need to pay a visa issuance (reciprocity) fee, if applicable to your nationality. Please check current reciprocity fees for your nationality. This fee can be paid cash (US Dollars or Euros) or by credit card (not V-PAY). The reciprocity fee is in addition to the nonimmigrant visa application fee above (MRV fee). As a reminder, the MRV fee is payable in cash only.

  1. Attend your interview

Due to limited capacity inside the embassy applicants will not be admitted more than 5 minutes prior to the time of their appointment.

Interviews may be cancelled or postponed at the last minute, due to unexpected circumstances. To receive these notifications, please make sure to provide a correct email address when you book your appointment.

Only the person with an appointment for an interview will be admitted. Exceptions: A translator if needed, a parent 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. Please inform us in advance of the names of those accompanying you, if you meet one of these exceptions.

  1. Return of passport and visa

If your visa application is approved during the visa interview, your passport and visa will be mailed to you. The average processing time is ten business days, but some cases may take longer. Should you need your passport to travel, or for other reasons, please inform the consular officer. It will be returned to you after the interview, and you can bring or send it in later for visa issuance. The same processing times will apply once we receive your passport. The consular officer will return your passport to you if your case requires additional administrative processing. It is not possible to collect the visa at the Embassy except in cases of imminent travel to the U.S. (less than a week).

You must provide a self-addressed and prepaid envelope so that we can return your passport to you. This applies to non-residents as well. A popular option is the prepaid padded envelope from the Post Luxembourg, size 162x229mm. This envelope is sufficient for one to four passports. If you use a different envelope, please make sure to add enough postage (a passport can weigh more than 50g). You may choose to attach a tracking label (FollowMe), which can be purchased online at www.eservices.lu or at a local post office.

Supplemental documentation that may be needed

Depending on your visa category, 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 two 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: