Department of State Visa Inquiries

July 24, 2017


The Department of State Consular Affairs Visa Office provides the following information for inquiries related to international students and scholars.

Expedited Appointments for F/M/J

DOS has committed to providing priority to F/M/J in requesting visa appointments. Consulates carve out specific blocks of appointments for different visa classifications, and can increase or decrease these blocks depending on when the busy season is for that category.

However, the online appointment system generally does not recognize the visa category nor automatically provide an expedited appointment time for an F/M/J. At consulates using the online appointment system, F/M/J applicants who cannot get an appointment that allows them to meet their start date should request an expedited appointment using the instructions on the specific consulate's web site.

Note: Consulates have different procedures for requesting expedited appointments, so check with the consulate web site to determine the appropriate procedure. Many consulates utilize call centers that may charge a fee for the phone call. Here is an example of the expedited appointment policy of the U.S. embassy in Manila, Philippines.

Nonimmigrant Visa Inquiries (F/M/J inquiries)

Students and exchange visitors may contact the Department of State’s National Visa Center’s Nonimmigrant Visa Phone Line with inquiries at (603) 334-0888, Monday to Friday, 7:00am to 12:00am Eastern time. The Nonimmigrant Visa Phone Line will answer questions about visa applications at U.S. consulates or embassies. They will also answer questions about specific visa applications, if the caller provides the visa applicant’s passport number, name, and date of birth. Callers other than the visa applicant (including P/DSOs and A/ROs) will have to describe their connection with the visa applicant. [Note: The Department of State discontinued in 2013. Inquiries must now be made by calling the Nonimmigrant Visa Phone Line telephone number.]

General Information