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Sunday, November 17, 2013

Non-immigrant visas for temporary visitors to the U.S

You will find in this section everything you need to know about non-immigrant visa.

What is a visa?

A visa is an authorization to present yourself at the U.S. border and apply for entry on the U.S. territory. A Consular Officer grants a visa to an applicant, according to the U.S. Immigration Law, depending of the purpose of the travel. At the U.S. border, a Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Officer grants entry on the U.S. territory. This DHS Officer will decide how long you can stay in the U.S., according to the U.S. Immigration Law, depending of the purpose of the travel. He will write it on the I-94 form which will be attached to your passport. You are required to leave the U.S. before the expiration of that date.

What a visa is not?

A visa is not an authorization to stay in the U.S. Only the DHS Officer can authorize you to enter the U.S.

How long is a visa valid?


In Vietnam, U.S. Consular Officers currently deliver a maximum of 12 month with multi-entries visa to Vietnamese citizens. With this visa, you can present yourself to the border several times during a year. Each time you arrive at the border, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Officer will tell you how long you can stay in the U.S. Depending on your application, the Consular Officer may instead issue you a shorter validity visa.

In the future, the United States may start issuing only 3 month validity visas to Vietnamese tourists and other visitors to the United States because this is the length of visa validity that is typically issued to United States citizen visitors to Vietnam.

The duration of validity for U.S. nonimmigrant visas is based on reciprocity (what another country grants a United States citizen for a similar type of visa). Currently, we are issuing Vietnamese citizens 12 month visas.

We continue to hope the Vietnamese Government will begin issuing United States citizens 12 month validity visas so that reducing validity for Vietnamese citizens, which will negatively affect many, can be avoided.

The United States Mission in Vietnam hopes nonimmigrant visa applicants find this information useful when preparing for future travel to the United States.

Note: Other nationalities citizens receive a visa according to the reciprocity agreement with their country. Please refer to the Bureau of Consular Affairs website or to the U.S. Embassy website in your country to find more information.

How long does it take to process a visa?
The processing time for a visa in Vietnam depends on the period of the year. May to September is traditionally the “high season” when applicants’ demand is high. Plan your trip in advance and prepare your visa request as early as possible to avoid useless stress.

After your interview, there is an incompressible 24 hours of technical processing: no matter the emergency, we cannot process same-day visa. Between the date of your interview and the date you receive your passport with your visa, there are usually a few days. Occasionally, depending on your case, your application can require additional administrative processing. If that happens, the Consular Officer will notify you during the interview and keep your application open, up to 60 days.


Visa via our renewal program follows a different process. Qualified applications for visa renewal will be processed and returned within three to five business days. Do not use the renewal program if you need your passport in that interval.

Non-immigrant visas for temporary visitors to the U.S.


Applicants can view the status of their visa cases from the CEAC launch page. In order to use the CEAC Status Check, an applicant will need to enter their CEAC Barcode and the interview location. The check will return one of the following statuses with a message explaining the situation:

No Status
Application Receipt Pending
Ready
Administrative Processing
Issued
Refused

The Embassy is thrilled that this initiative will reduce the number of public inquiries sent to post while a case is being processed.

What happens if I present false information with my application or during my interview?

Please keep in mind that your signature, including the electronic signature on any visa application form is your guarantee that all information you provide is true and correct. You are personally and legally responsible, even if a travel agent or someone else prepares documents for you. Any fraudulent documents or misleading statements may result in your permanent ineligibility for any future visa.