Last Updated August 14, 2023
Determining Visa Type
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.
The issuance of a visa is never guaranteed, and we urge applicants to not make any travel reservations until they have received a visa.
How to Apply for a Visa and Self-Schedule an Interview Appointment
Non-immigrant visa interviews are conducted by appointment only between 08:00am – 12:00pm every Monday and Wednesday (excluding public holidays).
Step-by-step instructions for applying for various visa types can be found on the pages below:
- Temporary Business or Tourism Visa (B1/B2)
- Petition-Based Temporary Employment Visas (H, L, O, P, Q, and R)
- Study and Exchange Program Visas (F, M, and J)
- Air and Sea Crewmember Visa (C1/D)
- Official and Diplomatic Visas (A and G)
Frequently asked questions about the DS-160, including troubleshooting tips, can be found here.
Every applicant needs to make their own appointment, including minors. All minors (≤13) who are not Namibians or Namibian permanent residents MUST appear in-person. No exceptions. A family of four should book four appointments, even if a minor in your party is exempt from the in-person interview requirement. Print the DS-160 confirmation page(s) for each applicant and bring them with you to your appointment. If you arrive more than thirty minutes late, you may be asked to reschedule.
Third-Country Nationals (i.e., non-Namibians) may apply for nonimmigrant visas in Namibia. Completion of a new DS-160 is not required if you wish to change your interview location from another U.S. embassy or consulate to the U.S. Embassy in Namibia. In most cases, we will be able to access your application using the barcode on your DS-160 confirmation page, which you must bring to the visa interview. However, please note that any MRV fees already paid to another U.S. embassy or consulate are non-transferrable and non-refundable.
Current visa wait times can be found here. The estimated wait time to self-schedule an interview appointment can change weekly and is based on actual incoming workload and staffing. These are estimates only and do not guarantee the availability of an appointment.
Interview Waiver Program
Namibians and Namibian permanent residents applying to renew a visa of the same category (e.g. B1/B2, C1/D, F, etc.) not more than 48 months after the date on which the prior visa expired may be eligible for the Interview Waiver Program. Interview waiver eligibility also extends to any Namibian or Namibian permanent resident (first-time or renewal) who is under 14 years of age or over 79 years of age. Non-Namibians who do not reside in Namibia are not eligible for the Interview Waiver Program regardless of their age.
To confirm eligibility, please email ConsularWindhoek@state.gov your DS-160 confirmation number and a scanned copy of your previous U.S. visa(s), if held, with the subject line “IWP Request.” First-time applicants under age 14 or over age 79 who have never held a U.S. visa should send a copy of their passport’s bio (photo) page to confirm their age. You should indicate your intended date of travel to the United States. Parents applying on behalf of minor children should include copies of their U.S. visas, if held, and a copy of the child’s birth certificate.
If eligible, applicants will receive an appointment to drop-off their passports for visa processing the first Wednesday morning of the following month (capacity permitting).
Visa Fees and Photo Requirements
Please bring two regulation-sized passport photos (5x5cm, no headwear or eyewear) to your appointment.
Payment of non-refundable visa fees must be made in cash on the day of your appointment. We accept U.S. Dollars, Namibian Dollars, and South African Rand. We do not accept credit card payments or allow payment with mixed currencies. The Embassy does not have an ATM on site.
The current consular exchange rate is NAD/ZAR $19.60 to USD $1.00. Please note that this rate is subject to fluctuation and may differ on the date of your appointment. We will email all applicants 2-4 business days before their interviews with the specific exchange rate information for their appointment.
The fee for most visa categories, including B1/B2s, is USD $185.00 per person. For visa classes – H, L, O, P, Q, and R – the fee is USD $205.00 per person. Namibian applicants approved for F visas will be required to pay an additional $95.00 USD per person visa issuance fee.
WARNING: Beware of websites offering fee-based assistance with the completion of your DS-160 visa application or scheduling your visa appointment. The United States Embassy does not charge any fees to complete a non-immigrant visa application (DS-160) or to schedule an appointment. Any visa fees due will be paid at the Embassy on the day of your appointment.
Passport and Visa Validity
Namibian visitors traveling to the United States are required to be in possession of passports that are valid for six months beyond the period of their intended stay in the United States. Citizens of the countries listed here are exempt the six-month rule and need only have a passport valid for their intended period of stay.
Your visa’s validity is determined by the reciprocity schedule for your nationality. In most cases, Namibians approved for B1/B2 visas will receive a multiple-entry visa valid for five years. However, please note that your visa’s validity has no relation to the length of time you may be authorized to remain in the United States. Your authorized period of admission will be determined by the U.S. Customs and Border Protection Officer who admits you into the United States and will be denoted on your admission stamp. Please ensure that you review your entry stamp carefully to ensure that you do not inadvertently overstay your authorized period of admission.
Although we are unable to make any guarantees about visa processing times, most approved cases are processed within two to four business days. Approved visas are available for collection between 9:00 – 10:00am on Fridays (excluding public holidays). Generally, if your visa is approved on a Monday or Wednesday it should be returned to you the Friday of that same week. The Consular Officer will confirm when you should return to collect your visa at the conclusion of your interview.
Expedited processing of your visa and/or alternative collection arrangements will only be considered in genuine emergencies. We will not approve any request for expedited processing made strictly for convenience, such as allowing you to return to your home country a few days early.
Cases requiring administrative processing often result in an additional two to six weeks wait time before a decision can be made. For this reason, we strongly encourage you to apply for your visa at least two to three months before your intended date of travel.
If you are Namibian or a Namibian resident and you are unable to find an open appointment and your purpose of travel falls under an emergency, as outlined under the “Emergency Appointments” drop-down menu below (scroll down to the bottom of this page), please request an emergency appointment by emailing ConsularWindhoek@state.gov.
Visa Waiver Program
Certain international travelers may be eligible to travel to the United States without a visa if they meet the requirements for the visa waiver program.
U.S. Embassies and Consulates will adjudicate visa applications that are based on a same-sex marriage in the same way that we adjudicate applications for opposite gender spouses.
Immigrant and Diversity Visas
The U.S. Embassy in Windhoek, Namibia, does not process immigrant visas or diversity visas. All immigrant visas, including those for Namibian citizens, are handled by the U.S. Consulate in Johannesburg, South Africa.
For more information on immigrant visa types and processing, please visit the websites of the U.S. Consulate in Johannesburg, United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), or the State Department’s Bureau of Consular Affairs.
- Family-Based Immigration
- Fiancé(e) Visa
- Employment-Based Immigration
- Diversity Visa Program
- Returning Resident Visa
Frequently Asked Questions
Am I eligible for an emergency appointment?
If you are Namibian or a Namibian resident and 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).
Can I apply for a non-immigrant visa while my immigrant visa application is pending?
If you intend to immigrate to the United States, you are required to wait until your immigrant or fiancé(e) visa has been issued. You are not allowed to reside in the United States on a non-immigrant visa or visa free under the Visa Waiver Program while waiting for the issuance of an immigrant or fiancé(e) visa.
If you wish to make a temporary visit to the United States while your immigrant visa application is pending, you may be able to travel on a B1/B2 visa, or visa free under the Visa Waiver Program. If applying for or traveling on a tourist visa, you must be prepared to furnish evidence of your residence outside the United States to which you intend to return at the end of your temporary stay.
Although a pending immigrant or fiancé(e) visa application is not necessarily conclusive evidence of your intent to abandon your residence in your home country, it is a factor considered by consular officers when reviewing a visa application. If the consular officer or U.S. immigration official at the port of entry is not satisfied that you are a bona fide temporary visitor for pleasure, or suspects that you may be seeking to circumvent delays in processing your immigrant visa application, you may be denied a visa and/or entry into the United States.
Can I get a visitor visa for birth tourism?
Birth tourism (travel for the primary purpose of giving birth in the United States to obtain U.S. citizenship for a child) is not a permissible basis for issuance of a visitor visa. For more information, please click here.
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.
Do I need a visa to transit the United States?
Transit (C) visas are nonimmigrant visas for persons traveling in immediate and continuous transit through the United States en route to another country, with few exceptions. Immediate and continuous transit is defined as a reasonably expeditious departure of the traveler in the normal course of travel as the elements permit and assumes a prearranged itinerary without any unreasonable layover privileges.
If the traveler seeks layover privileges for purposes other than for transit through the United States, such as to visit friends or engage in sightseeing, the traveler will have to qualify for the type of visa required for that purpose.
How can I find out how long I am authorized to stay in the United States?
A visa does not guarantee entry into the United States, but allows a foreign citizen coming from abroad, to travel to the United States port-of entry (generally an airport or land border) and request permission to enter the United States. The Department of Homeland Security, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officials have authority to permit or deny admission to the United States and determine how long a traveler may stay.
At the port of entry, upon granting entry to the United States, the Department of Homeland Security, U.S. immigration inspector, provides you an admission stamp or paper Form I-94, Arrival/Departure Record in your passport. On this admission stamp or paper Form I-94, the U.S. immigration inspector records either a date or “D/S” (duration of status). If your admission stamp or paper Form I-94 contains a specific date, then that is the date by which you must leave the United States. Your admission stamp or paper Form I-94 is very important to keep in your passport, since it shows your permission to be in the United States. Review information about Admission on the CBP Website. Also, see Duration of Stay.
I am not Namibian. Can I still apply for a visa in Namibia?
Yes. Third-Country Nationals (i.e., non-Namibians) may apply for non-immigrant visas in Namibia. Completion of a new DS-160 is not required if you wish to change your interview location from another U.S. embassy or consulate to the U.S. Embassy in Namibia. In most cases, we will be able to access your application using the barcode on your DS-160 confirmation page, which you must bring to the visa interview. However, please note that any MRV fees already paid to another U.S. embassy or consulate are non-transferrable and non-refundable.
I submitted my online DS-160 application, but lost my confirmation page. Can I print a new one?
Yes, you can reprint the confirmation page of an application that has already been submitted. In order to do so, go into the Consular Electronic Application Center website and select the Embassy or Consulate at which you are applying. Hit “Option C-Retrieve Application” on the Getting Started page and enter your application ID number. From there you will be able to view and print your confirmation page.
My visa expires in five years, what does this mean?
A visa must be valid at the time a traveler seeks admission to the United States, but the expiration date of the visa (validity period/length of time the visa can be used) has no relation to the length of time a temporary visitor may be authorized by the Department of Homeland Security to remain in the United States.
Travelers holding visas valid for multiple entries may make repeated trips to the United States for the same purpose of travel, so long as the visa has not expired and the traveler has done nothing to become ineligible to enter the United States.
My U.S. visa is still valid but in my expired passport. Do I need to apply for a new visa?
No. If your U.S. visa is still valid you can travel to the United States with your two passports (the new valid passport and the expired passport with your valid visa) so long as your U.S. visa is not damaged and is the appropriate type of visa required for your principal purpose of travel (Example: a tourist visa, when your principal purpose of travel is tourism). Both passports must be the same type (e.g. regular/official/diplomatic) and must be issued by the same country (Example: both Namibian regular passports, both official passports, etc.).
When you arrive at the U.S. port-of-entry (generally an airport or land border crossing) the Customs and Border Protection (CBP) Officer will check your visa in the old passport. If they decide to admit you into the United States, they will stamp your new passport with an admission stamp with the annotation “VIOPP” (visa in other passport). Do not try to remove the visa from your expired passport and stick it into the new valid passport. If you do so, your visa will no longer be valid.
My visa was damaged. What should I do?
If your visa has been damaged in any way, you will need to reapply for a new visa following the instructions at the top of this page.
My visa will expire while I am in the United States. Is that a problem?
No. If the Department of Homeland Security, Customs and Border Protection Immigration Officer at the port-of-entry admitted you into the United States for a specific period of time, s/he will note your authorized period of stay on your admission stamp or paper Form I-94, called an Arrival/Departure Record.
You will be able to remain in the United States during your authorized period of stay, even if your visa expires during the time you are in the United States.
What documents am I required to present during my visa interview?
Visa applicants are encouraged to review the Visa Applicant Checklist to ensure that they arrive prepared for their visa appointment. Applicants who arrive without the required documentation may be asked to reschedule.
Gather and prepare the following required documents before your visa interview:
- Passport valid for travel to the United States – Your passport must be valid for at least six months beyond your period of stay in the United States (unless exempt by country-specific agreements). Each individual who needs a visa must submit a separate application, including any family members listed in your passport.
- Nonimmigrant Visa Application, Form DS-160 confirmation page.
- Application fee payment of $185 USD or its Namibian equivalent.
- Photo – You must bring one printed photo in the format explained in the photograph requirements.
- (Optional) – Any additional documents (e.g., bank statements, pay slips, previous passports showing prior international travel, invitation letters, etc.) which you believe help establish your eligibility for the visa being sought.
- (For visa classes H, L, O, P, Q, and R) – A copy of your approved petition from United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS).
- (For visa classes F, M, or J) – A copy of your I-20 or DS-2019.
- (For visas class C1/D) – A copy of your Letter of Employment (LOE), contract, and/or crewmember identification card.
Note: Visa applicants must qualify on the basis of the applicant’s residence and ties abroad, rather than assurances from U.S. family and friends. A letter of invitation or Affidavit of Support is not needed to apply for a visitor visa. If you choose to bring a letter of invitation or Affidavit of Support to your interview, please remember it is not one of the factors used in determining whether to issue or deny the visa.
What should I do when my passport with a valid U.S. visa is lost or stolen?
Report the loss of your visa to the U.S. Embassy or Consulate which issued your visa. Include a copy of the police report if available. Once you report the loss of your passport and visa, the visa will be invalid for future travel to the United States.
Note that we cannot replace lost or stolen visas. In the event your visa is lost or stolen, you will be required to reapply and pay all applicable fees.