Disclaimer and Copyright | Updates
(1) An alien applying for a nonimmigrant visa shall make application at a consular office having jurisdiction over the alien's place of residence, or if the alien is a resident of Taiwan, at the American Institute in Taiwan, unless--
(ii) A consular office having jurisdiction over the area in which the alien is physically present but not resident has agreed, as a matter of discretion or at the direction of the Department, to accept the alien's application; or
(2) The Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Visa Services is authorized to designate the geographical area for which each consular office possesses jurisdiction to process nonimmigrant visa applications.
(b) Place of application for persons subject to INA 222(g). Notwithstanding the requirements of paragraph (a) of this section, an alien whose prior nonimmigrant visa has been voided pursuant to INA 222(g), who is applying for a new nonimmigrant visa, shall make application at a consular office which has jurisdiction in or for the country of the alien's nationality unless extraordinary circumstances have been determined to exist with respect to that alien as set forth in paragraph (c) of this section.
(1) An alien physician serving in underserved areas of the United States under the provisions of INA 214(l) for whom an application for a waiver of the 2-year foreign residence requirement and/or a petition to accord H-1B status was filed prior to the end of the alien's authorized period of stay and was subsequently approved, but whose authorized stay expired during the adjudication of such application(s), shall make application in accordance with paragraph (a) of this section.
(2) Any other individual or group whose circumstances are determined to be extraordinary, in accordance with paragraph (d)(1) of this section, by the Deputy Assistant Secretary for Visa Services upon the favorable recommendation of an immigration or consular officer, shall make application in accordance with paragraph (a) of this section.
(3) An alien who has, or immediately prior to the alien's last entry into the United States had, a residence in a country other than the country of the alien's nationality shall apply at a consular office with jurisdiction in or for the country of residence.
(4) An alien who is a national and resident of a country in which there is no United States consular office shall apply at a consular office designated by the Deputy Assistant Secretary for Visa Services to accept immigrant visa applications from persons of that nationality.
(5) An alien who possesses more than one nationality and who has, or immediately prior to the alien's last entry into the United States had, a residence in one of the countries of the alien's nationality shall apply at a consular office in the country of such residence.
(1) Extraordinary circumstances--Extraordinary circumstances may be found where compelling humanitarian or national interests exist or where necessary for the effective administration of the immigration laws. Extraordinary circumstances shall not be found upon the basis of convenience or financial burden to the alien, the alien's relative, or the alien's employer.
(e) Regular visa defined. "Regular visa" means a nonimmigrant visa of any classification which does not bear the title "Diplomatic" or "Official." A nonimmigrant visa is issued as a regular visa unless the alien falls within one of the classes entitled to a diplomatic or an official visa as described in §41.26(c) or §41.27(c).
(f) Q-2 nonimmigrant visas. The American Consulate General at Belfast is designated to accept applications for the Q-2 visa from residents of the geographic area of Northern Ireland. The American Embassy at Dublin is designated to accept applications for Q-2 visas from residents of the geographic area of the counties of Louth, Monaghan, Cavan, Leitrim, Sligo, and Donegal in the Republic of Ireland. Notwithstanding any other provision of this section, an applicant for a Q-2 visa may not apply at any other consular post. Consular officers at the Consulate General at Belfast and at the Embassy at Dublin have discretion to accept applications for Q-2 visas from aliens who are resident in a qualifying geographic area outside of their respective consular districts, but who are physically present in their consular district.
(a) Personal appearance before a consular officer is required except as otherwise provided in this section. Except when the requirement of personal appearance has been waived pursuant to paragraph (b) or (c) of this section, each applicant for a nonimmigrant visa must personally appear before and be interviewed by a consular officer, who shall determine on the basis of the applicant's representations, the visa application and other relevant documentation:
(b) Waivers of personal appearance by consular officers. Except as provided in paragraph (d) of this section or as otherwise instructed by the Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Visa Services, a consular officer may waive the requirement of personal appearance in the case of any alien who the consular officer concludes presents no national security concerns requiring an interview and who:
(3) Is within a class of nonimmigrants classifiable under the visa symbols A-1, A-2, C-2, C-3 (except attendants, servants, or personal employees of accredited officials), G-1, G-2, G-3, G-4, NATO-1, NATO-2, NATO-3, NATO-4, NATO-5, or NATO-6 and who is seeking a visa in such classification;
(5) Is an applicant who within 12 months of the expiration of the applicant's previously issued visa is seeking re-issuance of a nonimmigrant biometric visa in the same classification at the consular post of the applicant's usual residence, and for whom the consular officer has no indication of visa ineligibility or of noncompliance with U.S. immigration laws and regulations; or
(c) Waivers of personal appearance by the Deputy Assistant Secretary of State. Except as provided in paragraph (d) of this section, the Deputy Assistant Secretary for Visa Services may waive the personal appearance before a consular officer of an individual applicant or a class of applicants if the Deputy Assistant Secretary finds that the waiver of personal appearance is warranted in the national interest or because of unusual circumstances and that national security concerns do not require an interview.
(1) Any NIV applicant who is not a national or resident of the country in which he or she is applying, unless the applicant is eligible for a waiver of the interview under paragraphs (b)(3) or (b)(4) of this section.
(3) Any NIV applicant who is from a country designated by the Secretary of State as a state sponsor of terrorism, regardless of age, or in a group designated by the Secretary of State under section 222(h)(2)(F) of the Immigration and Nationality Act, unless the applicant is eligible for a waiver under paragraphs (b)(3) or (b)(4) of this section.
(1) Filing of application on Form DS-156 required unless waived. The consular officer may waive submission of an application, under paragraph (a)(3) of this section, for certain aliens for whom personal appearance has been waived under §41.102. Except for persons for whom such waivers have been granted, every alien seeking a nonimmigrant visa must make application therefor on Form DS-156, Nonimmigrant Visa Application, unless a prior Form DS-156 is readily available at the consular office which can be appropriately amended to bring the application up to date.
(2) Filing of Form DS-156 by alien under 16 or physically incapable. The application for an alien under 16 years of age or one physically incapable of completing an application may be completed and executed by the alien's parent or guardian, or, if the alien has no parent or guardian, by any person having legal custody of, or a legitimate interest in, the alien.
(ii) If the filing of a visa application is waived by the consular officer, the officer shall prepare a Form DS-156 on behalf of the applicant, using the data available in the passport or other documents which have been submitted.
(2) Additional information as part of application. The consular officer may require the submission of additional necessary information or question an alien on any relevant matter whenever the consular officer believes that the information provided in Form DS-156 is inadequate to permit a determination of the alien's eligibility to receive a nonimmigrant visa. Additional statements made by the alien become a part of the visa application. All documents required by the consular officer under the authority of §41.105(a) are considered papers submitted with the alien's application within the meaning of INA 221(g)(1).
(3) Signature. When personal appearance is required, Form DS-156 shall be signed and verified by, or on behalf of, the applicant in the presence of the consular officer. If personal appearance is waived, but the submission of an application form by the alien is not waived, the form shall be signed by the applicant. If the filing of an application form is also waived, the consular officer shall indicate that the application has been waived on the Form DS-156 prepared on behalf of the applicant, as provided in paragraph (b)(1)(ii) of this section. The consular officer, in every instance, shall initial the Form DS-156 over or adjacent to the officer's name and title stamp.
(a) Passports defined. "Passport" as defined in INA 101(a)(30) is not limited to a national passport or to a single document. A passport may consist of two or more documents which, when considered together, fulfill the requirements of a passport, provided that the documentary evidence of permission to enter a foreign country has been issued by a competent authority and clearly meets the requirements of INA 101(a)(30).
(b) Passport requirement. Except for certain persons in the A, C-3, G, and NATO classifications and persons for whom the passport requirement has been waived pursuant to the provisions of INA 212(d)(4), every applicant for a nonimmigrant visa is required to present a passport, as defined above and in INA 101(a)(30), which is valid for the period required by INA 212(a)(7)(B)(i)(I).
(c) A single passport including more than one person. The passport requirement for a nonimmigrant visa may be met by the presentation of a passport including more than one person, if such inclusion is authorized under the laws or regulations of the issuing authority and if a photograph of each visa applicant 16 years of age or over has been attached to the passport by the issuing authority.
(d) Applicants for diplomatic visas. Every applicant for a diplomatic visa must present a diplomatic passport, or the equivalent thereof, having the period of validity required by INA 212(a)(7)(B)(i)(I), unless such requirement has been waived pursuant to the authority contained in INA 212(d)(4) or unless the case falls within the provisions of §41.21(b).
(1) Authority to require documents. The consular officer is authorized to require documents considered necessary to establish the alien's eligibility to receive a nonimmigrant visa. All documents and other evidence presented by the alien, including briefs submitted by attorneys or other representatives, shall be considered by the consular officer.
(2) Unobtainable documents. If the consular officer is satisfied that a document or record required under the authority of this section is unobtainable, the consular officer may accept satisfactory alternative pertinent evidence. A document or other record shall be considered unobtainable if it cannot be procured without causing the applicant or a member of the applicant's family actual hardship as distinct from normal delay and inconvenience.
(3) Photographs required. Every applicant for a nonimmigrant visa must furnish a photograph in such numbers as the consular officer may require. Photographs must be a reasonable likeness, 1 1/2 by 1 1/2 inches in size, unmounted, and showing a full, front-face view of the applicant against a light background. At the discretion of the consular officer, head coverings may be permitted provided they do not interfere with the full, front-face view of the applicant. The applicant must sign (full name) on the reverse side of the photographs. The consular officer may use a previously submitted photograph, if he is satisfied that it bears a reasonable likeness to the applicant.
(4) Police certificates. A police certificate is a certification by the police or other appropriate authorities stating what, if anything, their records show concerning the alien. An applicant for a nonimmigrant visa is required to present a police certificate if the consular officer has reason to believe that a police or criminal record exists, except that no police certificate is required in the case of an alien who is within a class of nonimmigrants classifiable under visa symbols A-1, A-2, C-3, G-1 through G-4, NATO-1 through NATO-4 or NATO-6.
(a) Fees based on reciprocity. The fees for the issuance of visas, including official visas, to nonimmigrant nationals or stateless residents of each foreign country shall be collected in the amounts prescribed by the Secretary of State unless, on the basis of reciprocity, no fee is chargeable. If practicable, fees will correspond to the total amount of all visa, entry, residence, or other similar fees, taxes or charges assessed or levied against nationals of the United States by the foreign countries of which such nonimmigrants are nationals or stateless residents.
(b) Fees when more than one alien included in visa. A single nonimmigrant visa may be issued to include all eligible family members if the spouse and unmarried minor children of a principal alien are included in one passport. Each alien must execute a separate application. The name of each family member shall be inserted in the space provided in the visa stamp. The visa fee to be collected shall equal the total of the fees prescribed by the Secretary of State for each alien included in the visa, unless upon a basis of reciprocity a lesser fee is chargeable.
(1) Upon a basis of reciprocity, or as provided in section 13(a) of the Headquarters Agreement with the United Nations (61 Stat. 716; 22 U.S.C. 287, Note), no fee shall be collected for the application for or issuance of a nonimmigrant visa to an alien who is within a class of nonimmigrants classifiable under the visa symbols A, G, C-2, C-3, or NATO, or B-1 issued for participation in an official observer mission to the United Nations, or who is issued a diplomatic visa as defined in §41.26.
(2) The consular officer shall waive the nonimmigrant visa application and issuance fees for an alien who will be engaging in charitable activities for a charitable organization upon the written request of the charitable organization claiming that it will find the fees a financial burden, if the consular officer is satisfied that:
(i) The organization seeking relief from the fees is, if based in the United States, tax-exempt as a charitable organization under the provisions of section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code (26 U.S.C. 501(c)(3)); if a foreign organization based outside the United States in a country having laws according recognition to charitable institutions, that it establishes that it is recognized as a charitable institution by that government; and if a foreign organization based in a country without such laws, that it is engaged in activities substantially similar to those underlying section 501(c)(3), and
(ii) The charitable activities in which the alien will engage are specified and will be a part of, or will be related to and in support of, the organization's provision of services, including but not limited to health care, food and housing, job training, and similar direct services and assistance to the poor and needy, and
(d) Refund of fees. A fee collected for the issuance of a nonimmigrant visa is refundable only if the principal officer at a post or the officer in charge of a consular section determines that the visa was issued in error or could not be used as a result of action taken by the U.S. Government for which the alien was not responsible and over which the alien had no control.
(e)(1) Visa processing surcharge. In addition to the collection of the fee prescribed in paragraph (a) of this section, a consular officer shall collect or ensure the collection of a surcharge for the processing of applications for machine readable nonimmigrant visas and for machine readable combined border crossing cards in the amount specified by the Secretary of State from such applicants as the Secretary of State shall designate. Such surcharge is refundable only if, as a result of action taken by the U.S. Goverment for which the alien was not responsible and over which the alien had no control, the alien's application is not processed.
(2) Notwithstanding paragraph (e)(1) of this section, a consular officer shall collect or insure the collection of a processing fee for a machine-readable combined border crossing card and nonimmigrant visa in an amount determined by the Secretary and set forth in 22 CFR 22.1 to be sufficient only to cover the cost for manufacturing the combined card and visa if:
(b) Examination by panel physician. The required examination, which must be carried out in accordance with United States Public Health Service regulations, shall be conducted by a physician selected by the alien from a panel of physicians approved by the consular officer or, if the alien is in the United States, by a medical officer of the United States Public Health Service or by a contract physician from a list of physicians approved by the DHS for the examination of INA 245 adjustment of status applicants.
(c) Panel physician facility requirements. A consular officer may not include the name of a physician on the panel of physicians referred to in paragraph (b) of this section unless the physician has facilities to perform required serological and X-ray tests or is in a position to refer applicants to a qualified laboratory for such tests.
(2) A consular officer assigned to a consular office under the jurisdiction of a diplomatic mission, if so authorized by the Department or the Chief, Deputy Chief, or Counselor for Consular Affairs of that mission, or, if assigned to a consular post not under the jurisdiction of a diplomatic mission, by the principal officer of that post.
(b) Issuance in the United States in certain cases. The Deputy Assistant Secretary for Visa Services and such officers of the Department as the former may designate are authorized, in their discretion, to issue nonimmigrant visas, including diplomatic visas, to:
(1) Qualified aliens who are currently maintaining status and are properly classifiable in the A, C-2, C-3, G or NATO category and intend to reenter the United States in that status after a temporary absence abroad and who also present evidence that:
(a) Significance of period of validity of visa. The period of validity of a nonimmigrant visa is the period during which the alien may use it in making application for admission. The period of visa validity has no relation to the period of time the immigration authorities at a port of entry may authorize the alien to stay in the United States.
(1) Except as provided in paragraphs (c) and (d) of this section, a nonimmigrant visa shall have the validity prescribed in schedules provided to consular officers by the Department, reflecting insofar as practicable the reciprocal treatment accorded U.S. nationals, U.S. permanent residents, or aliens granted refugee status in the U.S. by the government of the country of which the alien is a national, permanent resident, refugee or stateless resident.
(3) An unexpired visa is valid for application for admission even if the passport in which the visa is stamped has expired, provided the alien is also in possession of a valid passport issued by the authorities of the country of which the alien is a national.
(ii) In cases where the original nonimmigrant classification of an alien has been changed by DHS to another nonimmigrant classification, the validity of an expired or unexpired nonimmigrant visa may be considered to be automatically extended to the date of application for readmission, and the visa may be converted as necessary to that changed classification.
(i) Is in possession of a Form I-94, Arrival-Departure Record, endorsed by DHS to show an unexpired period of initial admission or extension of stay, or, in the case of a qualified F or J student or exchange visitor or the accompanying spouse or child of such an alien, is in possession of a current Form I-20, Certificate of Eligibility for Nonimmigrant Student Status, or Form IAP-66, Certificate of Eligibility for Exchange Visitor Status, issued by the school the student has been authorized to attend by DHS, or by the sponsor of the exchange program in which the alien has been authorized to participate by DHS, and endorsed by the issuing school official or program sponsor to indicate the period of initial admission or extension of stay authorized by DHS;
(ii) Is applying for readmission after an absence not exceeding 30 days solely in contiguous territory, or, in the case of a student or exchange visitor or accompanying spouse or child meeting the stipulations of paragraph (d)(2)(i) of this section, after an absence not exceeding 30 days in contiguous territory or adjacent islands other than Cuba;
(3) The provisions in paragraphs (d)(1) and (d)(2) of this section shall not apply to the nationals of countries identified as supporting terrorism in the Department's annual report to Congress entitled Patterns of Global Terrorism . [NAFSA ed. note: This report is now called Country Reports on Terrorism . This new title replaced the previously published title Patterns of Global Terrorism beginning with the report for 2004.]
(a) Visa evidenced by stamp placed in passport. Except as provided in paragraphs (b) of this section, a nonimmigrant visa shall be evidenced by a visa stamp placed in the alien's passport. The appropriate symbol as prescribed in 41.12 , showing the classification of the alien, shall be entered on the visa.
(b) Cases in which visa not placed in passport. In the following cases the visa shall be placed on the prescribed Form DS-232. In issuing such a visa, a notation shall be made on the Form DS-232 on which the visa is placed specifying the pertinent subparagraph of this paragraph under which the action is taken.
(1) The alien's passport was issued by a government with which the United States does not have formal diplomatic relations, unless the Department has specifically authorized the placing of the visa in such passport;
(c) Visa stamp. A machine-readable nonimmigrant visa foil, or other indicia as directed by the Department, shall constitute a visa "stamp," and shall be in a format designated by the Department, and contain, at a minimum, the following data:
(2) If the visa is being issued upon the basis of a petition approved by the Secretary of Homeland Security, the number of the petition, if any, the period for which the alien's admission has been authorized, and the name of the petitioner shall be reflected in the annotation field on the visa.
(e) Period of validity. If a nonimmigrant visa is issued for an unlimited number of applications for admission within the period of validity, the letter "M" shall be shown under the word "entries". Otherwise the number of permitted applications for admission shall be identified numerically. The date of issuance and the date of expiration of the visa shall be shown at the appropriate places in the visa by day, month and year in that order. The standard three letter abbreviation for the month shall be used in all cases.
(f) Restriction to specified port of entry. If a nonimmigrant visa is valid for admission only at one or more specified ports of entry, the names of those ports shall be entered in the annotation field. In cases where there is insufficient room to list the ports of entry, they shall be listed by hand on a clean passport page. Reference shall be made in the visa's annotation field citing the passport page upon which the ports are listed.
(g) Delivery of visa and disposition of Form DS-156. In issuing a nonimmigrant visa, the consular officer shall deliver the visaed passport, or the prescribed Form DS-232, which bears the visa, to the alien or, if personal appearance has been waived, to the authorized representative. The executed Form DS-156, Nonimmigrant Visa Application, and any additional evidence furnished by the alien in accordance with 41.103(b) shall be retained in the consular files.
(h) Disposition of supporting documents. Original supporting documents furnished by the alien shall be returned for presentation, if necessary, to the immigration authorities at the port of entry, and a notation to that effect shall be made on the Form DS-156. Duplicate copies may be retained in the consular files.
(i) Nonimmigrant visa issuances must be reviewed, in accordance with guidance by the Secretary of State, by consular supervisors, or a designated alternate, to ensure compliance with applicable laws and procedures. Visa issuances must be reviewed without delay; that is, on the day of issuance or as soon as is administratively possible. If the reviewing officer disagrees with the decision and he or she has a consular commission and title, the reviewing officer may assume responsibility and readjudicate the case. If the reviewing officer does not have a consular commission and title, he or she must consult with the adjudicating officer, or with the Visa Office, to resolve any disagreement.
(a) Grounds for refusal. Nonimmigrant visa refusals must be based on legal grounds, such as one or more provisions of INA 212(a), INA 212(e), INA 214(b), (f) or (l) (as added by Section 625 of Pub. L. 104-208), INA 221(g), or INA 222(g) or other applicable law. Certain classes of nonimmigrant aliens are exempted from specific provisions of INA 212(a) under INA 102 and, upon a basis of reciprocity, under INA 212(d)(8). When a visa application has been properly completed and executed in accordance with the provisions of INA and the implementing regulations, the consular officer must either issue or refuse the visa.
(1) When a consular officer knows or has reason to believe a visa applicant is ineligible and refuses the issuance of a visa, he or she must inform the alien of the ground(s) of ineligibility (unless disclosure is barred under INA 212(b)(2) or (3)) and whether there is, in law or regulations, a mechanism (such as a waiver) to overcome the refusal. The officer shall note the reason for the refusal on the application. Upon refusing the nonimmigrant visa, the consular officer shall retain the original of each document upon which the refusal was based, as well as each document indicating a possible ground of ineligibility, and should return all other supporting documents supplied by the applicant.
(2) If an alien, who has not yet filed a visa application, seeks advice from a consular officer, who knows or has reason to believe that the alien is ineligible to receive a visa on grounds which cannot be overcome by the presentation of additional evidence, the officer shall so inform the alien. The consular officer shall inform the applicant of the provision of law or regulations upon which a refusal of a visa, if applied for, would be based (subject to the exception in paragraph (b)(1) of this section). If practicable, the consular officer should request the alien to execute a nonimmigrant visa application in order to make a formal refusal. If the individual fails to execute a visa application in these circumstances, the consular officer shall treat the matter as if a visa had been refused and create a record of the presumed ineligibility which shall be filed in the consular office.
(c) Nonimmigrant refusals must be reviewed, in accordance with guidance by the Secretary of State, by consular supervisors, or a designated alternate, to ensure compliance with laws and procedures. If the ground(s) of ineligibility upon which the visa was refused cannot be overcome by the presentation of additional evidence, the refusal must be reviewed without delay; that is, on the day of the refusal or as soon as it is administratively possible. If the ground(s) of ineligibility may be overcome by the presentation of additional evidence, and the applicant has indicated the intention to submit such evidence, a review of the refusal may be deferred for not more than 120 days. If the reviewing officer disagrees with the decision and he or she has a consular commission and title, the reviewing officer can assume responsibility and readjudicate the case. If the reviewing officer does not have a consular commission and title, he or she must consult with the adjudicating officer, or with the Visa Office, to resolve any disagreement.
(d) Review of refusal by Department. The Department may request a consular officer in a specific case or in specified classes of cases to submit a report if a visa has been refused. The Department will review each report and may furnish an advisory opinion to the consular officer for assistance in considering the case further. If the officer believes that action contrary to an advisory opinion should be taken, the case shall be resubmitted to the Department with an explanation of the proposed action. Rulings of the Department concerning an interpretation of law, as distinguished from an application of the law to the facts, shall be binding upon consular officers.
(a) Grounds for revocation by consular officers. A consular officer, the Secretary, or a Department official to whom the Secretary has delegated this authority is authorized to revoke a nonimmigrant visa at any time, in his or her discretion.
(b) Provisional revocation. A consular officer, the Secretary, or any Department official to whom the Secretary has delegated this authority may provisionally revoke a nonimmigrant visa while considering information related to whether a visa holder is eligible for the visa. Provisional revocation shall have the same force and effect as any other visa revocation under INA 221(i).
(c) Notice of revocation. Unless otherwise instructed by the Department, a consular officer shall, if practicable, notify the alien to whom the visa was issued that the visa was revoked or provisionally revoked. Regardless of delivery of such notice, once the revocation has been entered into the Department's Consular Lookout and Support System (CLASS), the visa is no longer to be considered valid for travel to the United States. The date of the revocation shall be indicated in CLASS and on any notice sent to the alien to whom the visa was issued.
(d) Procedure for physically canceling visas. A nonimmigrant visa that is revoked shall be canceled by writing or stamping the word ``REVOKED'' plainly across the face of the visa, if the visa is available to the consular officer. The failure or inability to physically cancel the visa does not affect the validity of the revocation.
(e) Revocation of visa by immigration officer. An immigration officer is authorized to revoke a valid visa by physically canceling it in accordance with the procedure prescribed in paragraph (c) of this section if:
(3) The alien is notified pursuant to INA 235 by an immigration officer at a port of entry that the alien appears to be inadmissible to the United States, and the alien requests and is granted permission to withdraw the application for admission;
(9) The visa has been issued in a combined Mexican or Canadian B-1/B- 2 visa and border crossing identification card, and the immigration officer makes the determination specified in § 41.32(c) with respect to the alien's Mexican citizenship and/or residence or the determination specified in § 41.33(b) with respect to the alien's status as a permanent resident of Canada.
76 Fed.Reg. 23477 (April 27, 2011), effective April 27, 2011, amending 22 CFR 41.122 to remove the conditions on consular officer use of discretion to revoke nonimmigrant visas.