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Frequently Asked Questions

What is the difference between a nonimmigrant visa and an immigrant visa?
Getting a nonimmigrant visa means that you will be able to travel to the United States and apply for admission as a temporary visitor. You cannot stay in the United States permanently on a nonimmigrant visa.  Getting an immigrant visa, on the other hand, usually means that you will be able to live and work in the United States for as long as you want.  Please see our immigrant visa page for more information on immigrant visas. 

How long am I allowed to stay in the United States with my nonimmigrant visa?
Applicants should be aware that a visa does not guarantee admission to the United States.  A nonimmigrant visa simply allows you to travel to the United States and apply for admission as a temporary visitor.  An immigration inspector from U.S. Customs and Border Protection of the Department of Homeland Security, not the consular officer who issued you the visa, makes the decision as to whether or not to admit you to the United States and decides how long you may stay.  If the immigration inspector decides to admit you, normally you will be admitted for a specific period of time (typically, up to six months).

Note that a nonimmigrant visa is not a substitute for an immigrant visa.  Persons wishing to remain permanently in the United States must apply for the appropriate immigrant visa abroad or apply for an adjustment of status in the United States.  

What do the expiration date of my visa and number of entries mean
The consular officer decides how long your visa will be valid (up to ten years for a Venezuelan) and how many entries will be printed on the visa (normally the visa will be a “multiple-entry” visa).  If you receive, for example, a multiple-entry, ten-year visa, it means that you may apply for admission to the United States as many times as you wish over the next ten years.  If you receive a one-entry, three-month visa, it means that you may apply for admission to the United States one time over the next three months.

The validity of your visa and the number of entries are completely separate from how long you are allowed to stay in the United States.  As explained in the answer to “How long am I allowed to stay in the United States with my nonimmigrant visa?”, an immigration inspector from U.S. Customs and Border Protection of the Department of Homeland Security makes the decision as to whether or not to admit you to the United States and decides how long you may stay.

My spouse and I live together as concubinos.  May we apply for a visa together
If you have a concubino/a recognized under Venezuelan law, you may attend your visa interview together as a family group and bring legalized documentation of your common and individual assets.  However if you have no legal union with your partner, each partner will have to make his/her own individual appointment. 

How long do I have to wait to receive a nonimmigrant visa appointment?
Please see the Department of State's Visa Wait Times page. Be aware that we do not have available appointments in the "First time B-1/B-2 Visa" category. For further information please read the notification on our main visa page.

My family needs to travel urgently.  Is there a way to get an appointment sooner
In cases of a true emergency, the Embassy will make every effort to expedite the appointment.  To qualify as a true emergency, the purpose of travel must be a medical emergency, to attend a funeral, an urgent business trip, or to start studies.  Please follow the instructions on our website to apply for an expedited appointment.

I am unable to attend my visa appointment.  How can I change the date of my appointment
You can reschedule your appointment by entering your biographic data in the Visa Information Service website.

I missed my appointment.  Can I reschedule
You can reschedule your appointment by entering your biographic data in the Visa Information Service website.  

How much do I have to pay to apply for visa and where do I pay?

The nonrefundable nonimmigrant visa application fee is US$160 for non-petition-based visas and must be paid in Venezuelan bolivares (Bs. 1,008 at the current exchange rate).   

The petition based visa application fee is $190 (Bs. 1,197 at the current exchange rate.)  

For further information on payment methods and fees, please visit the Visa Information Service website.

REMINDER:

Applicants from Aruba, Bonaire or Curacao must pay their visa application fee in cash at either the Embassy cashier (in Venezuelan bolivares or U.S. dollars) or a Banco Provincial branch (in Venezuelan bolivares).  

How do I apply for a visa for a minor? 
If your child is under the age of 14, and both parents have valid visas, please review our Personal Appearance Waiver Program page to see if you qualify to apply through the program.  If not, please applythrough the normal process.  

To qualify for a nonimmigrant visa, an applicant generally must demonstrate compelling ties to his/her country.  Children who are dependent on their parents may establish their ties through their parents or legal guardians.

Applicants should bring any proof that demonstrates their parents or legal guardians are well established in Venezuela and overcome Section 214b of the Immigration and Nationality Act.  This includes information about present employment and their ability to finance the costs of a trip. Additionally, if one or both parents have visas, the applicant should bring the passports with visas to the interview.  

Both parents should be present during the interview of a child.  If one parent cannot be present, we suggest that the parent who attends the interview bring a notarized document signed by the absent parent authorizing the minor to apply for a visa to visit the United States.

Please remember that children under the age of 14 do not need to come to the Embassy to be fingerprinted or interviewed.     

My trip is being sponsored by a family member or friend.  Can he/she send documents to the Embassy
The Embassy does not accept submissions of supporting documents by mail.  If your trip is being sponsored by a family member or friend, you may wish to bring documents to that effect to your interview.  Keep in mind, however, that you must qualify for the visa.

Does the Embassy accept applications by mail?  I live far away from Caracas. 
If and only if you qualify to apply through the Personal Appearance Waiver Program, the Embassy will accept your application through Grupo Zoom.  If not, you must come to the Embassy for an interview.

My visa arrived and it has a mistake.  Is it possible to correct my visa
If your visa was issued within the past year, you may visit the Embassy on any business day between 8:00 am and 10:00 am.  Inform our greeters (uniformed contract employees who circulate throughout the consular waiting area) of the mistake in your visa, and we will correct your visa as soon as possible.    

If your visa was issued more than a year ago, you must apply for a new one following all the steps.

My visa was damaged.  What should I do
If your visa was damaged in some way, you must apply for a new visa through the regular process.    

My visa is going to expire while I am in the United States.  Is that a problem
No.  At the port of entry, the immigration inspector from U.S. Customs and Border Protection of the Department of Homeland Security admitted you until a certain date.  You are permitted to remain in the United States until that date, even if your visa expires in the interim.

My old passport has expired.  My valid U.S. visa is still in the old passport. Do I need to apply for a new visa for my new passport?
No.  Your U.S. visa is still valid. Simply travel with both passports.  When you apply for admission at a U.S. port of entry, an immigration inspector from U.S. Customs and Border Protection of the Department of Homeland Security will inspect the visa in your old passport and, if he or she decides to admit you to the United States, will place an admission stamp in your new passport with the annotation "VIOPP" (Visa In Other Passport). DO NOT attempt to remove your visa from your old passport and glue it into your new passport.  If you do that, your visa will be automatically invalid.  

Should I get a lawyer to help me with my case
The decision as to whether or not to hire a lawyer or other representative is yours alone.  We cannot tell you whether or not to obtain representation, nor can we recommend any specific lawyers.  If you do hire an attorney or other representative, that person may help you to prepare your visa application but may not accompany you to the visa interview.  In all cases YOU are responsible for the information that you provide to the Nonimmigrant Visa Unit.  

Why was my visa refused?
Please see our page on visa refusals.

What is a waiver and how do I get one?
A waiver is a special authorization granted by U.S. Customs and Border Protection of the Department of Homeland Security to put aside certain ineligibilities temporarily and allow a visa to be issued. Some frequently seen grounds of refusals at the Nonimmigrant Visa Unit that require waivers are Sections 212(a)(6)(C)(i) (misrepresentation) and 212(a)(9)(B) (unlawful presence) of the Immigration and Nationality Act.

The consular officer will inform you if you are potentially eligible for a waiver, and you will then let the consular officer know whether you are interested in pursuing a waiver.  If so, the consular officer and/or the U.S. Department of State in Washington will recommend for or against the waiver, using the criteria in 9 FAM 40.301. CBP, which retains sole authority to approve or deny waivers, will make a decision concerning your case.  If CBP grants the waiver, the consular officer will inform you promptly.  Please remember that the Nonimmigrant Visa Unit cannot control how long a waiver decision may take.  A CPB office in the United States makes the decision.  There is no entitlement to a waiver; waivers are always discretionary.    

I do not live in Venezuela.  Am I allowed to apply for a visa at the U.S. Embassy in Caracas anyway
Yes.  If you are physically present in Venezuela, regardless of where you live, you may apply for a nonimmigrant visa at our Nonimmigrant Visa Unit.  However, it may be more difficult for the consular officer to evaluate your documentation or for you to qualify for the visa if you apply outside of the country where you live. 

How do I apply for a humanitarian visa
There is no such thing as a humanitarian visa.  Consular officers are often faced with difficult decisions on cases with a humanitarian component; however, most nonimmigrant visa applicants must overcome the intending immigrant presumption of Section 214(b) of the Immigration and Nationality Act, regardless of how compelling their case may be from a humanitarian standpoint. 

I still have my Form I-94.  What do I do?
Please visit our Form I-94 information page.

I have heard that if you visit some countries, you will be refused a U.S. visa?  Is this true?
No.  Consular officers adjudicate visa applications based on U.S. law.  While we may ask you questions about your travel history as part of the visa interview, having visited specific countries is not a ground for refusing a visa.

I have a passport from a Visa Waiver Program country in addition to my Venezuelan passport.  If my visa application is approved, in which passport will the Embassy put my visa?
The visa can be placed in either passport – the choice is yours.

I paid in Banco Provincial and couldn't schedule an appointment before October 25th, 2014. Now, how can I schedule a visa appointment? Do I need to pay again?
No. Just send us an email with an attached digital scan of your DS-160 with proof of payment made before October 25th, 2014.

I still have questions.  How can I get additional information
Please send us an e-mail, and we will respond as soon as we can.