New Students – Student (F and M) visas for new students can be issued up to 120 days in advance of the start date for a course of study. However, you will not be allowed to enter the United States on your student visa more than 30 days before the start date.
Continuing Students – Student (F and M) visas for continuing students may be issued at any time, as long as the student is currently enrolled at a SEVP-approved school or institution and in SEVIS. Continuing students may enter the United States at any time before classes start.
Exchange Visitors – Exchange Visitor (J) visas may be issued at any time prior to the program start date. However, an exchange visitor may not enter the United States earlier than 30 days before the program start date.
For more detailed information about F, M, and J visas click here.
Step 1. Check the Validity of Your Passport
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.
Step 2. Complete the Online Non-Immigrant Visa Application – Form DS-160
- Complete your DS-160 Application for a Nonimmigrant Visa here.Answers to Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about the DS-160 application form can be found here.You must answer EVERY question on the application. E.g., if the answer to a question is “none” or “not applicable” please enter “none” or “not applicable.” Do not leave any question blank. Incomplete or incorrect applications will be rejected and will require you to schedule a new interview appointment.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 at the time of your visa appointment.
Step 3. Collect Supporting Documentation
All Student Visa (F-1/M-1) and Exchange Visitor Visa (J-1) applicants should collect the following:
- A valid passport with sufficient empty pages for your intended travel.
- Print-out of your DS-160 application confirmation page.
- A 5cm x 5cm color passport-sized photo taken no more than six months before the date of your appointment. Full photo requirements can be found here.
Student (F-1/M-1) Visa Applicants
Your school will send you a Form I-20 once they have entered your information in the SEVIS database. You and your school official must sign the Form I-20. All students must be registered in the Student and Exchange Visitor System (SEVIS). Your spouse and/or minor children, if they intend live in the United States with you, will each receive an individual Form I-20.
A consular officer will interview you to determine your qualifications for a student visa, and may request additional documents, such as evidence of:
- Your academic preparation, such as:
- Transcripts, diplomas, degrees, or certificates from schools you attended; and
- Standardized test scores required by your U.S. school;
- Your intent to depart the United States upon completion of the course of study; and
- How you will pay all educational, living and travel costs.
Exchange Visitor (J-1) Visa Applicants
You should bring Form DS-2019, and Form DS-7002 if participating in the J-1 Trainee and Intern categories.
- Certificate of Eligibility for Exchange Visitor Status, Form DS-2019 – Your program sponsor will provide you a SEVIS-generated Form DS-2019 after the sponsor enters your information in the Student and Exchange Visitor Information System (SEVIS) database. All exchange visitors must be registered in SEVIS. Your spouse and/or minor children, if they intend to live in the United States with you, will each receive a separate Form DS-2019.
- Training/Internship Placement Plan, Form DS-7002 – In addition to the Form DS 2019, participants in the J-1 Trainee and Intern categories require Form DS-7002 (based on Box 7 on Form DS-2019). Learn more about the Trainee and Intern programs.
A consular officer will interview you to determine your qualifications for an exchange visitor visa, and may request additional documents, such as evidence of:
- The purpose of your travel;
- Your intent to depart the United States after your travel;
- Your ability to pay all travel costs.
Evidence of your employment and/or your family ties may be sufficient to show the purpose of your travel and your intent to return to your home country. If you cannot cover all the costs for your travel, you may show evidence that another person will cover some or all costs for your travel.
Step 4. Schedule Your Visa Interview Appointment
Current visa wait times can be found here. The estimated wait time to receive an interview appointment at a U.S. Embassy or Consulate 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.
To schedule an appointment for a non-immigrant visa (NIV) interview, please use the Embassy’s online NIV Appointment System. Every applicant needs to make their own visa appointment, including minors. A family of four should book four appointments.
To make an appointment you must have your DS-160 Online Non-immigrant Visa Application Confirmation Number, sometimes referred to as the barcode number. This can be found on your DS-160 confirmation page.
You can reprint the confirmation page of an application that has already been submitted. 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.
Step 5. Attend Your Interview Appointment at the U.S. Embassy
The Embassy is located at 14 Lossen Street in Windhoek. Each applicant needs their own appointment. If you arrive more than thirty minutes late for your appointment, you may be asked to reschedule.
The following documents are required for each applicant in your party:
- A valid passport with sufficient empty pages for the intended travel.
- Print-out(s) of your DS-160 application confirmation page(s).
- Students and their eligible family members must bring a valid I-20 (see step 3)
- Exchange visitors and their eligible family members must bring a valid DS-2019 (see step 3)
- One 5cm x 5cm color passport-sized photo of each applicant taken no more than six months before the date of your appointment. Full photo requirements can be found here.
- The appropriate visa fee in cash. For B1/B2 visas the fee is $160.00 USD.
- We do not accept credit card payments or allow payment with multiple, mixed currencies. The Embassy does not have an ATM on site.
Step 6. Pay the Machine Readable Visa (MRV) Fee
All visa applicants, including children, are required to pay a non-refundable nonimmigrant visa (MRV) application fee.
The fee is to be paid in cash on the day of your interview in U.S. Dollars or the equivalent amount in Namibian Dollars or South African Rand depending on our exchange rate. We do not accept credit card payments. Mixing currencies is not allowed. We do not have an ATM on site.
Visa Application Fee Terms and Conditions:
U.S visa application (MRV) fees are non-refundable. If the visa application is denied, a new visa application and fee will need to be completed to apply again.
Visa application fees are valid for use for 365 days from date of purchase. The visa application fee may be used to complete only one application.
U.S. visa fees paid to apply for a visa in a specific country cannot be transferred to another country.
Current Schedule of U.S Visa (MRV) Fees:
$160.00 USD for
(F) Academic Student*
(M) Vocational/Nonacademic Student
(J) Exchange Visitor
* Namibian applicants approved for F visas will be required to pay an additional $120 USD visa issuance fee. Issuance fees are payable in cash or by credit card.
Step 7. Interview for your Visa with the Consular Officer
A consular officer will interview you and any accompanying family members to determine whether you are eligible to receive a nonimmigrant visa. As part of the interview process, ink-free, digital fingerprint scans will be taken of every applicant between the ages of 14-79.
After the relevant information is reviewed, the application will be approved or denied based on standards established in U.S. law.
While the vast majority of visa applications are approved, U.S. law sets out many standards under which a visa application may be denied. An application may be denied because the consular officer does not have all the information required to determine if the applicant is eligible to receive a visa, because the applicant does not qualify for the visa category for which he or she applied, or because the information reviewed indicates the applicant falls within the scope of one of the inadmissibility or ineligibility grounds of the law. An applicant’s current and/or past actions, such as drug or criminal activities, as examples, may make the applicant ineligible for a visa.
Additional information on visa denials can be found here.
Step 8. Pay the Visa Issuance Fee (if applicable)
Depending on your nationality, type of passport you are holding, and the type of visa you were approved for, you may be required to pay a visa issuance fee (sometimes called a reciprocity fee).
Namibian applicants approved for F visas will be required to pay an additional $120 USD visa issuance fee. Issuance fees are payable in cash or by credit card.
There is currently no reciprocity for Namibians approved for M or J visas.
Step 9. Check your Case Status
You can check the status of your visa application on ceac.state.gov.
Some visa applications may require additional administrative processing. When administrative processing is required, the consular officer will inform the applicant at the end of the interview. The duration of the administrative processing will vary based on the individual circumstances of each case.
Most administrative processing is resolved within 60 days of the visa interview.
If your visa has been denied, you may find useful information about ineligibilities and waivers here. General FAQs about visa denials can be found here.
Step 10. Return to the Embassy to Collect Your Passport and Visa
Visas are typically ready for collection within five business days. Applicants approved for a visa will be instructed when to return to the Embassy to collect their documents.
You or someone collecting your documents on your behalf must present the receipt you received at the time of payment and a valid photo identification.
We do not courier passports.
Step 11. Traveling to the United States
Entering the United States
A visa allows a foreign citizen to travel to a U.S. port-of-entry (generally an airport or land border crossing) and request permission to enter the United States. A visa does not guarantee entry into the United States. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officials at the port-of-entry have the authority to permit or deny admission to the United States.
If you are allowed to enter the United States, the CBP official will note your authorized period of stay on your admission stamp or paper Form I-94, called an Arrival/Departure Record.
Learn more about admissions and entry requirements, restrictions about bringing food, agricultural products, and other restricted/prohibited goods, and more by reviewing the CBP website.
Extending Your Stay
See Extend Your Stay on the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) website to learn about requesting to extend your stay beyond the date indicated on your admission stamp or paper Form I-94.
You must depart the United States on or before the date indicated on your admission stamp or paper Form I-94, unless your request to extend your stay is approved by USCIS. Failure to depart the United States on time may also result in you being ineligible for visas you may apply for in the future. Review Visa Denials and Ineligibilities and Waivers: Laws to learn more.
Change of Status
While in the United States, you may be able to request that U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) change your nonimmigrant status to another nonimmigrant category. See Change My Nonimmigrant Status on the USCIS website to learn more.
Requesting a change of status from USCIS while you are in the United States and before your authorized stay expires does not require that you apply for a new visa. However, if you cannot remain in the United States while USCIS processes your change of status request, you must apply for a visa at a U.S. Embassy or Consulate.
Visitors are not permitted to accept employment or work in the United States.
Unless canceled or revoked, a visa is valid until its expiration date. Therefore, a valid U.S. visa in an expired passport is still valid. If you have a valid visa in your expired passport, do not remove it from your expired passport. You may use your valid visa in your expired passport along with a new valid passport for travel and admission to the United States.
U.S. Embassy Windhoek
14 Lossen Street