The purpose of your intended travel and other facts will determine what type of visa is required under U.S. immigration law. As a visa applicant, you will need to establish that you meet all requirements to receive the category of visa for which you are applying.
See our Directory of Visa Categories on usvisas.state.gov to determine which visa category might be appropriate for your purpose of travel to the United States.
What is a Visa?
A citizen of a foreign country who seeks to enter the United States generally must first obtain a U.S. visa, which is placed in the traveler’s passport, a travel document issued by the traveler’s country of citizenship.
Certain international travelers may be eligible to travel to the United States without a visa if they meet the requirements for visa-free travel. The Visa section of this website is all about U.S. visas for foreign citizens to travel to the United States.
(Note: U.S. citizens don’t need a U.S. visa for travel, but when planning travel abroad may need a visa issued by the embassy of the country they wish to visit.).
The Consular Section accepts applications by appointment only, on Monday and Wednesday mornings, scheduled online at the US Department of State’s NIV Appointment System.
The Consular Section is closed during both American and Namibian holidays. The Consular Section may also close for visa services during emergencies involving American citizens.
If you have questions, please send us an e-mail ConsularWindhoek@state.gov and we will reply as soon as possible.
Customer Service Statement
The Department of State manages the visa process strictly but fairly in order to best protect the United States. We are committed to the essential openness for which the United States has always been known. Travel to the United States is welcomed and encouraged.
We promise to you, the visa applicant, that:
- We will treat you with dignity and respect, even if we are unable to grant you a visa.
- We will treat you as an individual and your case as unique.
- We will remember that, to you, a visa interview may be a new or intimidating experience and that you may be nervous.
- We will use the limited time available for the interview to get as full a picture as possible of your travel plans and intentions.
- We will use our available resources to fairly assist all applicants to get appointments to allow travel in time for business, study, and other important obligations.
- We will post detailed and accurate information on visa requirements and application procedures on every Embassy and Consulate website.
- We will provide information on non-immigrant appointment waiting times at every Embassy and Consulate posted on http://travel.state.gov.
- We will explain the reason for any visa denial to you.
Furthermore, if you are a:
- Student, we will make every effort to ensure that you get an appointment and, if qualified, a visa in time to start classes.
- Medical and humanitarian emergency traveler, we will expedite processing for those dealing with life threatening emergencies.
- Business traveler, we will establish appropriate mechanisms to facilitate business travel and expedite cases of particular concern to American business.
At the same time, we expect you, the visa applicant, to:
- Plan your travel and visa application as far in advance as possible.
- Complete your application fully and accurately.
- Be forthcoming about your purpose and plans.
- Prepare for your interview by being able to clearly and concisely describe your intentions.
If you have an unforeseen travel need as per one of the criteria listed below, you may qualify for an expedited appointment depending on availability at the U.S. Embassy. Please make sure that you meet all of the criteria listed before emailing ConsularWindhoek@state.gov with your request.
Before you apply for an expedited appointment, you must ensure that you have documentary evidence to prove the urgency of your situation. If it appears during your visa interview that you misrepresented the reasons for expedited travel, such facts will be noted on your case file and may adversely influence the outcome of your visa application. Applicants who are granted an expedited appointment but are subsequently refused a visa or who or missed their interview at the U.S. Embassy will not be allowed to request another expedited appointment.
Please note that if your request for an expedited appointment is denied, you won’t be able to make a second request during the course of your visa application. You must take the first available appointment in our online scheduling system.
Note: Travel for the purpose of attending weddings and graduation ceremonies, assisting pregnant relatives, participating in an annual business/academic/professional conference, or enjoying last-minute tourism does not qualify for expedited appointments. For such travel, please schedule a regular visa appointment well in advance.
Purpose of travel is to obtain urgent medical care, or to accompany a relative or employer for urgent medical care, or to visit a relative suffering from an immediate, life-threatening medical condition.
- A letter from your doctor describing the medical condition and why you are seeking medical care in the United States.
- A letter from the physician or hospital in the United States indicating that they are prepared to treat your case and providing the approximate cost of the treatment.
- Evidence of how you will pay for the cost of the treatment.
Purpose of travel is to attend the funeral of or make arrangements for repatriating the body of an immediate family member (mother, father, brother, sister, child, grandparent, or grandchild) in the United States.
- A letter from the funeral director stating the contact information, the details of the deceased, and the date of the funeral.
- You must also present evidence that the deceased is an immediate relative.
Students or exchange visitors
Purpose of travel is to begin or resume a valid program of study in the United States within 60 days when no regular visa appointments are available. This option is limited only to students and exchange visitors who are within 60 days of their start date. It is also limited only to applicants who have not been refused a visa within the last six months at the U.S. Embassy.
- Original Form I-20 or DS-2019 indicating start date of program within 60 days.
- Evidence that you have paid the SEVIS fee (when applicable).