Step by Step: U.S. Visa Application

From the voodoo mystique of New Orleans and honky-tonk rhythms of Nashville to the glittering lights of New York City and Las Vegas, the United States beckons to be explored. And to make your journey less stressful, we’ve decided to make things a little easier by breaking down the U.S. Visa application process. This step-by-step guide covers everything from what documents you will need to what questions will be asked during the interview. Now all that’s left to do is book your flights!

South African passport holders require a visa for the United States of America. Fortunately, it is a relatively straightforward process. You will need to apply at the U.S. Consulate General in one of the major cities (Cape Town, Johannesburg, Durban) and apply at least 15 days before you travel to allow for ample processing time.

Please note this process is applicable to South African passport holders.

us visa south africa

Types of Visas

Although there are multiple types of U.S. Visas, the two main visas are the B-2 Visitor Visa and B-1 Business Visa.

Validity of U.S. visa

A B-2 Visitor Visa allows the holder to stay within the U.S. for up to six months. The validity of the visa itself is usually anything between 1 to 10 years.

Find out more about the B-1 Business Visa.

Note: Your passport should be valid for at least six months beyond the date of return. 

How long does it take to get a U.S. Visa?

The estimated processing time for a U.S. Visa is between 5 to 15 working days. However, it can take longer if additional documents are required. You will be able to track your visa application online.

If you did not opt for the courier service when applying, you will be able to collect your passport and visa from your nearest DHL office.

U.S. visa

Visa Costs

The U.S. Visa cost in South Africa is $160 USD (approximately R 2200.00 depending on exchange rate). Visa courier services are an additional R 90.00 or R 400.00 depending on the type of delivery.

Application fees can be paid in cash or by credit card.

For credit card payments, you can call the Visa Information Service Center (VISC) on 021 300 9700 (Cape Town), 031 100 3000 (Durban), or 010 500 8800 (Johannesburg) during business hours, or visit the U.S. Department of State Visa Appointment Service website to make payment and to schedule your appointment.

For cash payments, you can create an account on the U.S. Department of State Visa Appointment Service website, follow the steps until you reach the payment page, and then download, print, and follow the payment instructions page.

us visa cost

U.S. Visa Requirements

  • Barcoded DS-160 confirmation page
  • Appointment confirmation page (which you should have received via email after booking your interview at the consulate).
  • An original South African passport that is valid for at least six months beyond your date of return. It will need at least two empty pages for the visa and entry stamps.
  • One colour photo that meets the U.S. Visa photo requirements.
  • All passports that show previously issued visas to the United States or international trips.
  • Any supporting documents, such as bank statements, invitation letters, letter of employment etc.
  • A marriage certificate for an accompanying spouse.
  • An unabridged birth certificate for accompanying minors.

passport and boarding pass

How to apply for a U.S. visa

  1. Get photographs that meet the U.S. Visa photo requirements before beginning the application process. You will need to upload a digital copy with your online application.
  2. Complete the online application and pay the non-refundable visa processing fee of $160 USD (the amount in Rand varies according to the exchange rate, but is currently about R 2200.00). It can be paid in cash or by credit card.
  3. Print out the barcoded confirmation form and schedule your visa interview at the nearest U.S. Consulate General.
  4. Gather your documents and any supporting documents that may be required.
  5. Attend your interview.
  • You will need to appear in person at one of the U.S. Consulate Generals.
  • Some of the questions you may be asked during the interview include: What is the purpose of your trip? How long do you plan to remain in the U.S.? How do you plan to cover the costs of the trip?

visa stamps in passport

Where to Apply for a U.S. Visa?

You will begin your U.S. Visa application online, but will be required to attend the visa interview and provide biometrics in person at the U.S. Consulate General.

There are U.S. Consulate Generals in three of the main cities in South Africa:

U.S. Embassy Pretoria U.S. Consulate General Cape Town
Address: 877 Pretorius Street,

Arcadia, 0083

Address: 2 Reddam Avenue,

Westlake, 7945

Telephone: (+27) 012 431 4000 Telephone: (+27) 021 702 7300
Business hours: Monday to Friday

8:00 – 16:45

Business hours: Monday to Friday

8:00 – 16:45

Email: Email: consularcapetown@state.gov
Website: za.usembassy.gov Website: za.usembassy.gov
U.S. Consulate General Johannesburg U.S. Consulate General Durban
Address: 1 Sandton Drive,

Sandhurst, 2196

Address: 303 Dr Pixley Kaseme St,

Durban Central, 4001

Telephone: (+27) 011 290 3000 Telephone: (+27) 031 305 7600
Business hours: Monday to Friday

8:00 – 16:45

Business hours: Monday to Friday

8:00 – 16:45

Email: consularjohannesburg@state.gov Email: consulardurban@state.gov
Website: za.usembassy.gov Website: za.usembassy.gov

Note: The Consulate General of Cape Town and Durban are closed to the public every Friday, while the Consulate General of Johannesburg is closed every last Friday of the month. The U.S. Embassy in Pretoria does not provide any visa services.

Getting to the embassy / parking options

Public parking is not available at the U.S. Consulates.

For Cape Town, parking is available at Steenberg Village shopping centre for applicants and visitors to the U.S. Consulate General. It is a 7-minute walk from the consulate.

For Johannesburg, secure, paid parking is available at Sandton City Shopping Mall for applicants and visitors to the U.S. Consulate General. It is a 10-minute walk from the consulate.

For Durban, paid parking is available at the Royal Hotel, Workshop Shopping Centre, and Pine Parkade for applicants and visitors to the U.S. Consulate General. The walk to the consulate is approximately 7 minutes.

Public transport options include: Gautrain (for Johannesburg), Uber, public buses, metered taxis, and minibus taxis. Options may vary according to city.

Courier service

If your application is successful, there are three options for getting your passport back:

  • Free delivery to your local DHL office within 3 to 5 business days.
  • Standard delivery to your home or office within 3 to 5 business days.
  • Priority delivery to one of the DHL offices within 24 hours of the interview.

You will be notified when your passport is ready for collection.

DHL courier

Printing and Visa Photographs

For printing and photographs, the following businesses can be found in the surrounding area:

Cape Town

Creative Photo Lab at Reddam Pharmacy

Address: Shop G5, Steenberg Village,

Reddam Avenue, Tokai, 7945

Telephone: (+27) 021 701 4001

PostNet

Address: Shop 7a Tokai on Main,

Main Road, Tokai, 7945

Telephone: (+27) 021 715 5681/0

Johannesburg

Kodak Express

Address: Shop L65, Sandton City,

Corner Alice Lane and Sandton Drive, Sandhurst, 2196

Telephone: (+27) 011 884 7754

PostNet

Address: Shop L38B, Sandton City,

Rivonia Road and 5th Street, Sandhurst, 2196

Telephone: (+27) 011 783 6810

Durban

Kodak Express

Address: Shop 13, Mountanne House,

Soldiers Way, Durban Central, 4001

Telephone: (+27) 031 301 0624

Copyshop Printers

Address: Shop 8, West Tower,

331 Dr Pixley Kaseme Street, Durban Central, 4001

Telephone: (+27) 031 301 4168

us visa photos

All information on this blog page was correct at the time of publishing and may change at any time without prior notice. Travelstart is not affiliated with immigration authorities or their application centres and will not be liable for loss or inconvenience arising from the use of this volatile information

Our Readers Comments

  1. Good day

    My year 10 year Visa has expired. Do I start a new application or do I reapply?

    Thanks

    • Hi there,

      Thanks for getting in touch.

      You will have to do a new application when applying for your next visa.

    • Hi,

      Just realized after I paid and gotten and interview, that I applied for the C1 visa, when in actual fact I need a B2 visa. Do I have to fill out a new application form, or is there a way around this?

      Please advise.

    • Hi there,

      For this you would need to contact the Embassy direct. As they are the ones who accept the documents and grant the visa they will be able to provide you with the correct information.

  2. Good day

    My year Visa has expired. Do I start a new application or do I reapply?

    Thanks

    • Hi there,

      Thanks for getting in touch.

      You will have to do a new application when applying for your next visa.

  3. Hi
    How many month bankstatement should you have when applying for Visa

    Thank you

    • Hi Michelle,

      Thanks for getting in touch.

      The Embassy usually needs a 3 months bank statement.

      We do recommend you contact them direct, as visa requirements could change at anytime.

  4. Hi there, my husband and I both have US visas. We would like to now apply for our kids (ages 10yrs and 14yrs). HOW do I start the actual process of applying for them. Is there an online form just for minors? Or do I fill in the normal online application form? I read that children above 14yrs need to go in person to the interview which is fine. What about the 10yr old? Do I need to book an appointment for her? Thanks very much Fiona

    • HI Fiona,

      Thanks for the interesting question.

      I would suggest contacting the Embassy direct.

      As they are the ones granting the visa’s they will be able to provide you with the most up to date information on how they would like you to apply and the correct procedures to follow.

      US Consulate: Johannesburg
      Telephone No : +27 011 290 3000
      Visa call centre : +27 087 550 2160

      US Consulate: Durban
      Telephone No : +27 031 305 7600
      Call Centre : +27 087 550 2160

      US Consulate: Cape Town
      Telephone No : +27 021 702 7300 between 11:00 – 12:00
      Call centre : +27 087 550 2160

  5. hi there,

    how do i apply for the priority delivery service? Is it done in the actual interview or was i meant to apply elsewhere? my flights are 2 days after my appointment date, is there anything else i can do to get my visa within 48 hours?

    • Hi Jacques,

      For this you would need to contact the Embassy direct.

      They will be able to provide you with the most up to date information with regards to prioroty service and the correct procedure to follow.

      Their contact details are below.

      US Consulate: Johannesburg
      Telephone No : +27 011 290 3000
      Visa call centre : +27 087 550 2160

      US Consulate: Durban
      Telephone No : +27 031 305 7600
      Call Centre : +27 087 550 2160

      US Consulate: Cape Town
      Telephone No : +27 021 702 7300 between 11:00 – 12:00
      Call centre : +27 087 550 2160

  6. Hi, I have applied for and was granted a Visa (USA) that expires in 2023- I am about to travel to the USA again and wanted to know if there was anything I needed to do prior to leaving (obtain approval/ permit etc) or do I just arrive at the airport with my passport and board the flight?

    • Hi Dries,

      Thanks for the interesting question.

      I know there has to be 3 consecutive blank pages and the passport must be valid for 6 months from date of return.

      However any other information which you might need to have I would suggest contacting the Embassy direct just to make double sure there is nothing you need to do.

      You don’t want any unwated surprised when arriving at the airport.

      US Consulate: Cape Town
      Telephone No : +27 021 702 7300 between 11:00 – 12:00
      Call centre : +27 087 550 2160

      US Consulate: Johannesburg
      Telephone No : +27 011 290 3000
      Visa call centre : +27 087 550 2160

      US Consulate: Durban
      Telephone No : +27 031 305 7600
      Call Centre : +27 087 550 2160

  7. Hi there,

    My daughter is applying for a B2 visa as we are transiting in Altlanta on route to Cancun as her US has expired. The application form requires an address in the US but we are transiting only. Also she is a student but has a bank account. How will she show sufficient funds?
    Many thanks

    • Hi Jay,

      If she can provide a letter from the Univercity or colleague where she is studying confirming she is a full time student. Maybe the Embassy will need to see a copy of your bank statement showing you will fund her trip. For this you would need to contact the Embassy direct. As they are the ones receiving the documents and granting the visa’s they will advise on what documents they would require, correct procedures to follow as well as the cost involved.

      US Consulate: Johannesburg
      Telephone No : +27 011 290 3000
      Visa call centre : +27 087 550 2160

      US Consulate: Durban
      Telephone No : +27 031 305 7600
      Call Centre : +27 087 550 2160

      US Consulate: Cape Town
      Telephone No : +27 021 702 7300 between 11:00 – 12:00
      Call centre : +27 087 550 2160

  8. Hi.

    Firstly, thank you for the article. It really cleared up a few things I was confused about. I just have a few questions regarding which visa I should be applying for. So I am looking to moving to LA, California sometime next year and work as a realtor. Before all that happens, I need to write my real state exam. I was wondering which visa I should I apply for? With this visa, I would like to write my exam and also stay in LA for a couple more weeks to look for a job.

    Thank you in advance.

    • Hi there,

      Thanks for getting in touch.

      Please contact the Embassy direct. As they are granting visa’s for someone wanting to immigrate to the States they will be able to advise on what visa to apply for, the correct procedures to follow, what documents are required and the cost involved.

      US Consulate: Johannesburg
      Telephone No : +27 011 290 3000
      Visa call centre : +27 087 550 2160

      US Consulate: Durban
      Telephone No : +27 031 305 7600
      Call Centre : +27 087 550 2160

      US Consulate: Cape Town
      Telephone No : +27 021 702 7300 between 11:00 – 12:00
      Call centre : +27 087 550 2160

  9. My current address is different what is mentioned in passport. Will it be a problem to get the Visa?

    • Hi Mahima,

      For this you will need to ask the Embassy as they are granting the visa.

      They will be able to advise and answer any questions you might have.

  10. Hi, I have applied for my daughter for a visa to the States. She is underage, 13 years old and will be travelling with members from her school as they are competing in a function at Yale. I have done the online application and when I submitted that, it indicated that I have to courier the documents to the consulate which I have done. Nowhere though was I asked to schedule an interview. I am concerned that I am missing a step by not having done that.

    • Hi Hazel,

      Thanks for getting in touch.

      I would suggest contacting the Embassy direct, as they are the ones who will be granting the visa’s and will be able to advise you with the most up to date information.

      In the blog under: “How to apply for a U.S. visa” we do provide a link highlighted in blue: schedule your visa interview

      If you click on this it will take you through to Official U.S. Department of State Visa Appointment Service

      https://ais.usvisa-info.com/en-za/niv

      If you have any other questions we do recommend you contact the Embassy

  11. Hi
    Hope you can help. A friend in the US has invited me to visit him there. As I am not employed he is paying for my stay there and also my airfare etc. Does he need to complete a I 134 form or is a invitation letter, his 3months bank statement, proof of address and a copy of his passport sufficient? Can he send me this on email or do they require hard copies? Thank you.

    • Hi Astria,

      Thanks for getting in touch.

      As the Embassy is granting the visa we would recommend you contact them direct and they will be able to advise what documents they would require from you when applying for the visa.

  12. I went to an interview yesterday for Business visa (For academic conference). It was a pretty much straight forward interview and I was informed by the interview officer that my application was approved with the concluding remarks: ‘enjoy the conference’!
    What was intriguing though is none of the full set of documents including invitation letter for the conference, proof of employment, bank statementd etc. that I had carried with for the interview was requested for confirmation. My passport was retained and I was told I would receive an email confirmation. Is this normal? I was granted an Australian, UK and a couple of Schengen visas in past and solid documentation was integral in those visa application processes. The American experience yesterday left me a bit bewildered. Is a normal process?

    • Hi Danny,

      Thanks for getting in touch.

      Sometimes the process is very straight forward. They could have already done the relevant back ground checks on you.

  13. Hello,
    can anybody tell me how to apply for visa??

    • Hi there,

      Thanks for getting in touch.

      You welcome to read our blog you have commented on: Step by Step: U.S. Visa Application here we provide information on the visa process.

      Here is the link: https://goo.gl/VAvThf

      However we do advise you contact the Embassy direct as a visa process could change at anytime.

  14. I have a new passport but my US visa that only expires in 2025 is in my old passport. This passport is full. Will visa still be valid?

    • Hi Annemi,

      To my knowledge it would still be valid, you will be travelling with both your old passport with your US visa and your new passport.

      However I do recommend you contact the Embassy direct as they will be able to provide you with the most up to date information.

  15. Gooday. I have an existing US visa in my current passport. However, upon my return from Europe in Jan 2018, the customs officer stamped my passport on entry back into SA. The officers stamp was still wet when it was closed and returned to me. The problem is that there is now a black circle on my US visa fro the re-entry stamp. Will this be a problem for future travel to the US? The circle coincidently fits around my head in the photo on the visa.

    • Hi Craig,

      Thanks for the interesting question.

      If all the details are still legible you should not have a problem.

      However I would strongly advise to please contact the US Embassy to see what information they give on this.

      US Consulate: Johannesburg
      Telephone No : +27 011 290 3000
      Visa call centre : +27 087 550 2160

  16. Hi,

    Attended US Visa interview on 26/09/2018 . The process was put on hold and the lady took away my passport and said i needed to send supporting documentation (Payslip).

    I have sent the documentation required and was wanting to know if there is any way to expedite the process as my trip is on November 1.

    Thanks

    • Hi Ivam,

      I’m not sure there is any way to expedite the visa process. The Embassy has certain procedures they follow in doing checks on all applicants coming through. You welcome to contact them direct, as they are the ones granting the visa they will be able to answer any questions you might have.

      I’ve had a look on Visa Info website to see if they gave an estimate processing time but they have not provided this information. The only thing mentioned is:

      Delay: Based on individual circumstances of each case.

      US Consulate: Johannesburg
      Telephone No : +27 011 290 3000
      Visa call centre : +27 087 550 2160

  17. Hi,

    Attended the US Visa interview (26/09/2018) and was told my visa application will be on hold , the lady took my passport in and said i needed to send supporting document , in this case it was a payslip (This is weird as i had a letter of employment from my company stating i work there and they would be paying for the trip and i would resume work on my return). I have emailed the document to consulardurban@state.gov, is there anything i can do to expedite the process ? My trip is in a month.

    Thanks

    • Hi Lee,

      All Embassies require certain documents when applying for a visa to enter their country.

      A salary slip shows all the relevant information the Embassy official needs to see. To avoid disappointment, it is always best to provide all documents the Embassy has requested.

  18. My Names are Ajuru Kelechi Anthony ,

    Am a Nigerian resident in South Africa want to visit USA with my spouse for holiday may i know visa requirement .

    • Hi there,

      Thanks for getting in touch.

      I’m afraid we do not specialise in visa related queries for foreign passport holders. Please contact the Embassy direct or official visa handling agency. They will be able to advise on the correct procedures to follow and what documentation will be required and the cost.

  19. Hi
    my daughter needs to apply for a B1/B2 visa in as this is a requirement to apply for a job as a Stewardess on a yacht during the USA summer period. The jobs she is applying for are all on foreign flagged vessels currently in Europe departing for the USA during October 2018. Would the Embassy have a problem with her going to work in the USA as it will not be on their vessels and are you apply to apply for both B1 and B2 visa?

    • Hi Anne,

      I’m afraid we are not able to answer this. You would need to contact the Embassy direct and they will be able to advise accordingly.

      They will also be able to provide you with the most up to date information on what visa’s she would need to apply, the correct procedure to follow and the cost.

  20. If one is a retiree, and lives with a family member, and visiting a family member in the USA, does one need to produce a bank certificate.
    Or a letter of invitation and bank or civic proof that the the invitee can provide for me.
    Kogs

    • Hi Kogie,

      Thanks for contacting us.

      I’ve found the following information however we do recommend you contact the Embassy direct as these visa requirements could have since changed.

      Requirements:
      Passport valid for travel to the USA. Your passport must be valid for at least six months beyond the period of stay in the USA (unless exempt by country-specific agreements).
      Passport containing the most recently issued US Visa (if applicable).
      Non-immigrant Visa Application, Form DS-160 confirmation page.
      Confirmation and instructions page printed from above website.
      One 5x5cm colour photo taken within the last 6 months. See website for further guidelines.
      Accompanying family members, unless entering the United States for another purpose, should present an original marriage certificate (spouse) and/or birth certification (for unmarried children under 21), as applicable.
      Many visa types require additional documents.
      Intention to depart the United States upon completion of your travel.
      Sufficient funds to cover all expenses while in the USA.
      Any supporting documents, such as bank statements, invitation letters, letter of employment etc.
      A marriage certificate for an accompanying spouse.
      An unabridged birth certificate for accompanying minors.
      All passports that show previously issued visas to the United States or international trips.
      Evidence to show that the applicant has a residence abroad to which he/she intends to return at the end of the stay in the USA. This is generally established by evidence of family, professional, property, employment or other ties and commitments to some country other than the USA sufficient to cause the applicant to return there at the conclusion of his/her stay.

  21. Hi there
    Thanks for efforts given in this platform. I have submitted (via embassy Dropbox) my passport on Thursday Sept., 6th as per the officer call request,. How long usually it take to stamp it.

    Regards

    • Hi there,

      Thanks for getting in touch.

      For this you would need to check with the Embassy direct.

      As they are the ones granting the visa’s they will be able to provide you with the most up to date information.

  22. Hi Marcelle

    I would like to travel from South Africa to the USA and then on to Mexico. Would I need a return ticket or would a one way ticket to the USA and then an onward ticket to Mexico suffice? I need to know for immigration /border control purposes.

    I have a valid South African passport and a valid B1/B2 US visa.

    Thanks
    Donnavan

    • Hi Donnavan,

      Thanks for contacting us.

      I’m afraid we do not specialise in that area.

      You would need to contact the Embassy and airline you will be travelling with. They will be able to provide you with the most up to date information.

  23. Hi there… Do I need to do the English and Civics test to get a visa to work in USA? Currently a proud South African. Kind regards, Chantelle

    • Hi Chantelle,

      Thanks for getting in touch.

      I’m afraid we do not specialise in work visa’s. For this you will need to contact the Embassy direct.

      They will be able to advise on the correct procedures to follow when applying for a visa, what documents are required and the cost.

  24. Hi,
    I completed the DS160 for a tourist visa for Johannesburg but couldnt get an appointment in time so I called the call center and they said id i cant change it to Cape Town which has sooner interview appointments to do a new DS160. I did this and booked it for Cape Town. I am now worried as I have 2 submitted DS160’s.
    Also I am meeting my boyfriend there who lives in South africa but his brother lives in the US and we will be staying with him.
    What proof can I give that i will be returning besides a letter of invitation from his brother and a letter from my company here in South Africa?
    My entire family lives in SA but how do I prove that?

    Many thanks for all the info

    • Hi there,

      Thanks for getting in touch. Please see below requirements when applying for a US visa. However this information could change at anytime and we do advise you contact the Embassy direct as they are the ones granting the visa.

      With regards to holding two appoints, when calling the Embassy ask if holding two appoints will be a problem and see if they are able to cancel one for you. They should be able to advise on the correct procedures to follow and what to do.

      Requirements:
      Passport valid for travel to the USA. Your passport must be valid for at least six months beyond the period of stay in the USA (unless exempt by country-specific agreements).
      Passport containing the most recently issued US Visa (if applicable).
      Non-immigrant Visa Application, Form DS-160 confirmation page.
      Confirmation and instructions page printed from above website.
      One 5x5cm colour photo taken within the last 6 months. See website for further guidelines.
      Accompanying family members, unless entering the United States for another purpose, should present an original marriage certificate (spouse) and/or birth certification (for unmarried children under 21), as applicable.
      Many visa types require additional documents.
      Intention to depart the United States upon completion of your travel.
      Sufficient funds to cover all expenses while in the USA.
      Evidence to show that the applicant has a residence abroad to which he/she intends to return at the end of the stay in the USA. This is generally established by evidence of family, professional, property, employment or other ties and commitments to some country other than the USA sufficient to cause the applicant to return there at the conclusion of his/her stay.

  25. Hi Marcelle,
    I applied for a US visa as I intend to go on holiday with my friend and all went well till I got to the interview. The woman at the counter asked me why I was going, what I did and then declined my application. She just handed me a letter and refused to explain and told me to go away and read the letter. I am not able to appeal either. I didn’t even get the opportunity to show any of my supporting documents. She was just so rude. What do I do now?

    • Hi Amanda,

      Sorry to hear this about your visa being denied.

      It is up to the discretion of the Embassy official if they grant the visa or not however when it comes to giving a reason why the visa was denied depending on which country, some Embassy’s will give a reason why others may not. For this you would need to follow up with them direct.

      Usually there is a time frame example: 6 months before one would be able to re-apply but for this the embassy official would be able to advise.

    • Hi Amanda

      This happened to me last week (21/08/2018) as well. Exactly the same. I have mailed the embassy for answers and they just said “their decision is final”. I am still trying to get over this and I will not stop till my application is reviewed again and the officer (lady) are investigated. Wish we can find someone who can take this further because no one at the embassy are prepared to investigate this. Look like they do not want to admit they made a mistake.

  26. Just a question regarding family travel, do children 13 years and younger need to appear in person for a USA Visa?

    • Hi Johan,

      Children who are age 14 and older are required to appear in person for fingerprint scanning. Also, children of any age applying for F1 or M1 visas are required to appear in person for an interview.

      I do recommend you contact the Embassy direct as this information could have since changed.

      You can reach them on:

      US Consulate: Johannesburg
      Telephone No : +27 011 290 3000
      Visa call centre : +27 087 550 2160

      US Consulate: Durban
      Telephone No : +27 031 305 7600
      Call Centre : +27 087 550 2160

      US Consulate: Cape Town
      Telephone No : +27 021 702 7300 between 11:00 – 12:00
      Call centre : +27 087 550 2160

  27. Hope you can help. We are visiting the US in order for my husband to receive medical treatment.
    We have to take a letter,from the physician who will be treating him, to the interview. Will the embassy accept a letter that was e mailed to us??

    • Hi Heili,

      They should accept an e-mailed version if it’s on a letter head and been scanned. However we recommend you contact the Embassy direct as they will advise what documents they will and will not accept.

      You can contact them direct on:

      US Consulate: Johannesburg
      Telephone No : +27 011 290 3000
      Visa call centre : +27 087 550 2160

      or

      US Consulate: Durban
      Telephone No : +27 031 305 7600
      Call Centre : +27 087 550 2160

      or

      US Consulate: Cape Town
      Telephone No : +27 021 702 7300 between 11:00 – 12:00
      Fax No : +27 021 702 7493

      Hope all goes well with surgery.

  28. Hi, just need some more information. My daughter is Au-pairing in the USA for two years and I really want to go and visit her next year for about 3 weeks. What type of visa must I apply for and what documents will I need? Must I have a “invitation letter” from her host family that stated that I will living with them for the period?

    • Hi Ann,

      Great to hear from you.

      You welcome to read our: Step by Step: U.S. Visa Application

      http://www.travelstart.co.za/blog/step-by-step-us-visa-application/

      Here we advise on the procedures to follow, what documents would be required and the cost involved.

      All information on this blog page was correct at the time of publishing and may change at any time without prior notice. Travelstart is not affiliated with immigration authorities or their application centres so we do recommend you contact the Embassy direct in case any information has since changed.

  29. Thanks for you excellent blog. So useful and practical for me. Thanks so much for sharing.

  30. Hello!

    I just need info in acquiring a Visa in terms of the chances that one has in getting a Visa.

    • Hi there,

      This is up to the Embassy’s discretion as they are granting the visa’s.

      If you have provided all the relevant documents required within the required time, have sufficient funds, never been denied a visa, no criminal record along with a few other cafeterias this does stand in your favour. However at the end of the day the decision is up to the Embassy officials.

  31. Hi there
    Please can someone assist me with how to apply for a visa? Where do I start? All the sites are confusing….

    • Hi Melanie,

      Sorry to hear you struggling to apply for a visa.

      You welcome to read through our blog: http://www.travelstart.co.za/blog/step-by-step-us-visa-application/

      Here we give a step by step on applying for a U.S Visa.

      Should you still need assistance please contact the Embassy direct they will be able to answer any other questions you might have.

  32. Hi, my US visa interview was this morning in the Durban consulate. The interviewer was so impatient and did even ask me for all the documents which I had with me that proof that I’m not going to the US to stay but just attending a conference for a week and a couple of days. I’ve already booked my tickets with TravelStart, my trip is in August 23-September 03. What is the best way forward?

    • Hi Thapelo,

      Sorry to hear you did not have a great experience when applying for your US visa.

      The Embassy officials will only ask for the relevant documents they need when processing visa’s from their side.

      It is up to the discretion of the Embassy official when granting visa’s.

      The American Embassy to advise the following when applying for a US visa:

      “”Plane tickets: Applicants should obtain a visa BEFORE purchasing tickets or making irrevocable travel plans.””

      However this information could have since changed.

      Hope you hear soon from the US Embassy. Their turn around time is pretty quick in coming back to the applicant.

  33. Hello, thanks so much for this info. I am South African living in Ireland now, but I’m here only on my married passport. I left my others in sa somewhere, as I didn’t need it. And it’s in my maiden name. Now I want to apply for a us visa for a week holiday, i went to Thailand on my old passport on honeymoon which I dont have. Will this be a problem?

    • HI Angie,

      Very good question. I would recommend contacting the Embassy direct. As they are the ones granting the visa’s they will be able to confirm if it’s ok to apply for a visa on your married passport. They will probably ask for your marriage certificate.

  34. Hi Marcelle

    i have to travel to US on the 24th July for business purpose (award ceremony), when i received the email inviting me i was not in the country and i could only book an appointment last week (13th July) in Johannesburg. i got the interview date for the 30th and it is far as i need to travel on the 24.
    I requested an emergency appointment and they declined it, but when i check on the Cape Town Website i can get an earlier interview.
    Is it possible to change my appointment to Cape Town rather instead of Johannesburg? as they are not really helpful

    • Hi Neo,

      This will be up to the discretion of the US Embassy. I would give them a call to see if they are able to assist.

      Their contact details are:

      US Consulate: Cape Town
      Telephone No : +27 021 702 7300 between 11:00 – 12:00

  35. Hi Marcelle,

    If one wants to apply for a 6 month US tourist visa, is it possible that the visa will be granted if this person has no employment history or higher education (formal campus experience only) but has more than enough sufficient finances as proof they can afford it and well planned out ?

    Also upon applying for the US tourist visa realistically how long does it take?

    • Hi Mike,

      I’m afraid I am not able to advise on this as Travelstart it not the one granting the visa. This is up to the discretion of the US Embassy.

      The estimated processing time for a U.S. Visa is between 5 to 15 working days. However, it can take longer depending if there is a backlog or if additional documents are required. You will be able to track your visa application online.

  36. Hi there guys,

    Thank you for having such a comprehensive guide to getting a US Visa! One question – I am going with my girlfriend in November. Do we have to apply separately as we aren’t married?

    • Hi Max,

      If several members of a family or group apply for a U.S. visa, a separate DS-160 form is required for each applicant, independent of age. Applicants have two options:

      Fill out a new DS-160 form for each applicant; or
      Fill out an initial DS-160 form and follow the instructions on the “thank you” page at the end of the form for creating a family or group application.

  37. Hi
    I am a South African citizen and have had two 10 year visas business visas in the past. I would like to leave for the UK in 2 weeks time, spend 6 weeks in London, fly to the USA for 4 weeks before returning to JNB. Can I apply for online here in SA and schedule an interview in London?

    • Hi Bruce,

      Thanks for the interesting question.

      I don’t think this is possible however you welcome to contact the Embassy direct to see if they would permit this.

  38. Thanks for this steps listed above. It was really helpful

  39. Hi
    I have completed the DS-160 and have booked an appointment for the non-immigrant C1/D visa.However I realized that there’s a mistake I made on the DS-160.How do I fix that as its already submitted?

    • Hi Lorraine,

      You would need to contact the Embassy direct. They will have your details on record after you submitted your application and will be able to advise if they will correct it from their side or if they re-open your application giving you access to correct it from you side.

      Their contact details:

      US Consulate: Johannesburg
      Telephone No : +27 011 290 3000

      US Consulate: Durban
      Telephone No : +27 031 305 7600

      US Consulate: Cape Town
      Telephone No : +27 021 702 7300 between 11:00 – 12:00

  40. Dear Travelstart
    I have completed the Nonimmigrant DS-160 form and received the confirmation email. I am not sure now how to pay the fee and how to make the interview application. My previous USA visa has expired now after 10 years. The application process does not seem to be the same a 10 years ago.
    Can you please tell me how to pay the application fee and how to make the interview appointment.
    Thanks.

    • Hi Belinda,

      Thanks for contacting us.

      If you have already uploaded your digital copy photograph with you online application you will then need to pay the non-refundable visa processing fee of $160 USD (the amount in Rand varies according to the exchange rate). It can be paid in cash or by credit card.

      Print out the barcoded confirmation form and schedule your visa interview at the nearest U.S. Consulate General.

      https://ais.usvisa-info.com/en-za/niv

      Gather your documents and any supporting documents that may be required.

      This information could have since changed so we do ask they you contact the Embassy direct as they would be able to provide you with the most up to date information.

  41. Oh thank you

  42. Good day
    Thanks for all the helpful comments.
    I am flying to the USA on the 12th July for a friends wedding (all tickets are bought already).
    I didn’t realize that there was such a long wait for the interview process as the first available interview is only 3rd July, which I have booked. (I am kicking myself for not booking the interview earlier)

    1) Is there any way to expedite the interview for an earlier date for a wedding? (online it only says a family death, medical procedure etc qualifies)
    2) I have been told that there could be cancellations for an earlier interview, would it be helpful to go to the Sandton Embassy in person to try get an earlier interview date?
    3) Are there extra documents which are helpful to take to the interview as I will have to make sure I make it through the interview first time round (Note that I am self employed)?

    And assistance would be greatly appreciated.
    Kind regards
    Luke

    • Hi Luke,

      Sorry to hear you have not been able to get an appointment sooner.

      That is correct if there is a death in the family or medical procedure they Embassy would be able to assist in these unfortunate situations.

      What I would suggest is you contacting the Embassy as they are the ones dealing with the appointments and granting visa’s they will be able to advise accordingly.

      We hope you come right and get an appointment soon.

  43. Hi. If one has a valid US visa in a passport that is expiring within the 6 month period and a new passport without the visa in it, will one still be allowed entry?
    Regards
    D

    • Hi Derek,

      Thanks for getting in touch.

      If your US visa is valid at the time of travelling. You will then travel with both passports. Your expired passport with your valid US visa and your new passport.

      However we do recommend you contact the Embassy direct or the airline you travelling with as this information could have changed at anytime.

  44. Do you need to provide your travel insurance document when u apply for USA visa.

    • Hi there,

      I’ve checked under visa requirements and it only states the following. However this information could change at anytime. Please contact the Embassy direct as they will provide you with the most up to date information.

      Requirements:
      Passport valid for travel to the USA. Your passport must be valid for at least six months beyond the period of stay in the USA (unless exempt by country-specific agreements).
      Passport containing the most recently issued US Visa (if applicable).
      Non-immigrant Visa Application, Form DS-160 confirmation page.
      Confirmation and instructions page printed from above website.
      One 5x5cm colour photo taken within the last 6 months. See website for further guidelines.
      Accompanying family members, unless entering the United States for another purpose, should present an original marriage certificate (spouse) and/or birth certification (for unmarried children under 21), as applicable.
      Many visa types require additional documents.
      Intention to depart the United States upon completion of your travel.
      Sufficient funds to cover all expenses while in the USA.
      Evidence to show that the applicant has a residence abroad to which he/she intends to return at the end of the stay in the USA. This is generally established by evidence of family, professional, property, employment or other ties and commitments to some country other than the USA sufficient to cause the applicant to return there at the conclusion of his/her stay.

  45. Is there a cut of time for when your visa expire? Ex… not allowed to travel to USA if visa expires within 6/12 months after return.

    • Hi Danel,

      Thanks for getting in touch and for the interesting question.

      I know a passport needs to be valid for 6 months from date of return but a visa I am not sure.

      I would suggest contacting the Embassy direct, they will be able to provide you with the most up to date information.

  46. I’m travelling to USA in August and have my visa in my old passport (valid until 2020). I know I can travel with both passports (with my visa), but the old passport is in my maiden name. Will it be sufficient to fly with both passports and my original marriage certificate? Is there anything else I might need? Who is the best to confirm with – airline or embassy (can you even got hold of the embassy…?_

    • Hi Lee-Anne,

      Thanks for getting in touch.

      Travelling with your original married certificate and both passports should be suffice.

      However it is best to contact the airline you are travelling with direct. They will be able to provide you with the most up to date information on what all documents would be required.

  47. Hello there,
    We are travelling to the usa in june (havent booked tickets yet)
    Myself and my daughter are both on dual citizenship and hold dutch passports, however my wife is on south african passport.

    Will we require any other special documentation in terms of our daughter.
    my wife flies up to jhb on thursday for her interview…
    what is the best proof of intent to come back home?
    also what questions do they ask in the interview 🙂

  48. Hi

    I have applied for US visa and went for interview on 26 April 2018, the officer who interviewed me said it was successful and the visa will be out in couple of days, However my passport was to expire in June 2018, therefore she requested me to submit a new passport as soon it was available, she told me to send it by courier DHL, this I did attaching the form she provided. The courier service emailed me proof of delivery at the Embassy (03 May 2018), however I have not heard anything from the Embassy. The people at the embassy do not take take calls, when emailing I received an automated response which does not address my concerns
    I am going to US on a business trip and my flight is scheduled on 12 May 2018.
    When I check the status online it says administration processing- what does this mean? What should I do? The time running out very fast

    • Hi Meriam,

      Sorry to hear of the struggle. Usually it is a very simple process.

      If they do not take calls, best to go to the Embassy direct as time is running out and speak to one of their agents they will be able to provide you with detailed feedback.

  49. HI
    I am travelling to the USA for a workshop for orthopaedic surgeons. I have a visa in my old passport which the embassy said is still valid even though its in the old passport.
    I am travelling by myself.
    What else do i need to take with to show at the airport?
    Thanks

    • Hi Ziyaad

      Thanks for getting in touch.

      You will need to travel with both your passports (old with the valid visa and your new valid passport) and maybe some documents like proof of accommodation, travel insurance and proof of sufficient funds – just in case they ask at immigration. However I recommend to please contact the airline you are travelling on as they will be able to provide you with the most up to date information.

  50. I am traveling to the USA for 2 conferences in two different cities. There is only one space to fill in where I will be staying on the application. How does it work if you are traveling around within the US? Also under USA contact – do I list the organisation holding the conference?

    • Hi Karen,

      There should be a box where one is able to list additional information.

      However as the visa application forms can be updated at anytime from the Embassy’s side you would need to contact them direct.

      They will be able to provide you with the most up to date information on the correct procedures to follow and how to complete their application forms. As they are the ones granting the visa’s it would be best to contact the Embassy direct.

  51. Hi

    I am currently studying in St Vincent in the Caribbean. I came though US so I have US transit visa valid till 2022. I should do 2 years of my studies in St Vincent and the other 2 years in US.

    My question now is, when I apply for study visa do I really need to come to South Africa or is there a way I can apply in nearby embassies in the Caribbean?

    Regards
    Doris

    • Hi Doris,

      Thanks for contacting us.

      I’m afraid we do not specilise in study visa’s.

      For this you would need to contact The Embassy or official visa handling agency direct.

      They will be able to assist in advising on the correct procedures to follow, what documents would be required and the cost.

  52. Hi everyone,

    I applied for a B2 Tourism visa to visit friends in Houston for 3 weeks, but I was found ineligible for a nonimmigrant visa under section 214(b).

    Your job;​ (I had a letter from my employer with me but the officer didn’t even look at it)
    Your relationships with family and friends.​ (My whole family lives in SA and I have no intent in living in the US, I am however single without any children or dependents)​

    Any tips or advise on why they would refuse the visa?

    • Hi Cecilia,

      Sorry to hear this.

      This is up to the Embassies discretion if they deny a visa. They don’t have to provide the information as to why this decision was made but you can ask and see if they would give feedback on their decision made.

      There could be numerous factors, if you did not supply all the relevant documents, did not have sufficient funds for your stay, have a criminal record or been denied a visa previously. They also do extensive back ground checks.

      However we are not able to say as to why they have made this decision.

  53. Hi Marcelle

    We plan a holiday to the USA for December 2018.

    Should we buy the flight tickets before we do the tourist visa. Also i live my sister in her house and dont own property but i have been working for more than 13 years at the same company. Will the fact that i dont have a property mean that i dont qualify for a visum?

    • Hi Linda,

      Thanks for the interesting question.

      Most embassies do require one to purchase a ticket and present it as part of the documentation when applying for their visa.

      However reading up on the requirments when applying for a US visa they advise the following:

      Requirements:
      Passport valid for travel to the USA. Your passport must be valid for at least six months beyond the period of stay in the USA (unless exempt by country-specific agreements).
      Passport containing the most recently issued US Visa (if applicable).
      Non-immigrant Visa Application, Form DS-160 confirmation page.
      Confirmation and instructions page printed from above website.
      One 5x5cm colour photo taken within the last 6 months. See website for further guidelines.
      Accompanying family members, unless entering the United States for another purpose, should present an original marriage certificate (spouse) and/or birth certification (for unmarried children under 21), as applicable.
      Many visa types require additional documents.
      Intention to depart the United States upon completion of your travel.
      Sufficient funds to cover all expenses while in the USA.
      Evidence to show that the applicant has a residence abroad to which he/she intends to return at the end of the stay in the USA. This is generally established by evidence of family, professional, property, employment or other ties and commitments to some country other than the USA sufficient to cause the applicant to return there at the conclusion of his/her stay.

      Please note:
      Plane tickets: Applicants should obtain a visa BEFORE purchasing tickets or making irrevocable travel plans.

      With regards to owning property this should not be a problem as long as you have sufficient funds. However as we are not the ones granting the visa’s it is totally up to the Embassy discretion. We also recommend you contact the Embassy as visa requirements could change at anytime.

  54. Hi there. I am in the U.S. and looking to fly 2 friends over from CPT. They have not yet gone into their interview. My concern is this: I do not wish to purchase the tickets (flights) without knowing if they are going to approved, as I am charged a hefty fee for “refunded” flight miles (which is what I’d be using for their flights). Will they need to show actual proof of a return ticket, even though it may cost me a substantial amount, should they not be approved for their visas? It’s rather a Catch-22. Please advise on that, as well as any extra info as to what might help their chances of getting a visa. Thanks much.

    • Hi Susan,

      Thanks for contacting us.

      Most Embassy’s need to see a flight ticket. It is unfortuante and a chance one needs to take when applying for a visa. However if one follows the correct procedures and applies within the required time with all the correct documentation and has no criminal records there usually should not have a problem.

      However, with the US Embassy it’s great as looking at the visa requirements they advise the following:

      Requirements:
      Passport valid for travel to the USA. Your passport must be valid for at least six months beyond the period of stay in the USA (unless exempt by country-specific agreements).
      Passport containing the most recently issued US Visa (if applicable).
      Non-immigrant Visa Application, Form DS-160 confirmation page.
      Confirmation and instructions page printed from above website.
      One 5x5cm colour photo taken within the last 6 months. See website for further guidelines.
      Accompanying family members, unless entering the United States for another purpose, should present an original marriage certificate (spouse) and/or birth certification (for unmarried children under 21), as applicable.
      Many visa types require additional documents.
      Intention to depart the United States upon completion of your travel.
      Sufficient funds to cover all expenses while in the USA.
      Evidence to show that the applicant has a residence abroad to which he/she intends to return at the end of the stay in the USA. This is generally established by evidence of family, professional, property, employment or other ties and commitments to some country other than the USA sufficient to cause the applicant to return there at the conclusion of his/her stay.

      Please note:
      Plane tickets: Applicants should obtain a visa BEFORE purchasing tickets or making irrevocable travel plans.

      As we are not the Embassy you will need to contact them direct as this information could change at anytime. They will provide you with the most up to date information on what documents would be required at the time of applying for a visa.

  55. On the Canadian Visa Update: I applied on line & Submitted all the paperwork on line. This process took good full 4 days. My online application was approved. I received an Approved printout letter from them on line and took it to the VFS Office is Pretoria, I went in at 08h00 and was out of VFS Offices at 08h50, it was quick and efficient and not too busy that time of the morning. My passport was submitted to the Embassy and I am happy to say its on the way to my office today. So in total it took 4 days for processing and 3 days to stamp our passports. That was good Service! I guess we were fortunate also,

    • Hi Colette,

      This sounds fantastic! That is a very good start to a trip 🙂

      Enjoy your travels in Canada.

  56. I am from Nigeria, i would like to know how easy it is to get a us visa.. i know it wont be easy but c’mon anything is possible thats what i have come to learn overtime, thanks for your anticipated reply

    • Hi there,

      Thanks for getting in touch.

      I’m afraid we do not specialise in visa related queries for foreign passport holders. Please contact the Embassy direct or official visa handling agency. They will be able to advise on the correct procedures to follow and what documentation will be required when applying for a visa and the cost.

  57. i love this article, i probably learnt a thing or two here

  58. Another Question : Canadian Visa: I have applied online and waiting approval (what is the process time)? I guess i still have to submit our passports once approved to the embassy via agent? How long does this particular process take to stamp the passport and get the passports back. (very nervous) . I basically just want more or less time frames if all is approved and no outstanding documents needed by the embassy?

    • Hi Colette,

      Please see info below when applying for a Canadian visa:

      NB: There are major delays in the issuing of visas, due to a backlog at the High Commission SA offices.
      10 to 15 working days for Business visas
      20 to 30 working days for Tourist visas

      Some applicants may be required to appear for an interview at the High Commission – processing times for such applications may be significantly longer.

      For the most up to date info would recommend contacting the Embassy direct.

  59. Very useful site: Can anybody out there tell me if you visited the embassy in the past month – march 2018 in Johannesburg, Sandton. I am interested in the processing time. Our appointment is 09th May 2018 i just want to be sure that we get our Visa before 04th June 2018 (that is when we fly out) to USA).
    How soon after your interview did you get your passports back?

    • Hi Colette,

      I am not able to say for the Johannesburg US Embassy. But if it’s the same in Cape Town it is pretty quick then.

      After you have had your interview a couple days later your passport / visa is ready for collection.

      Again this does depend from Embassy to Embassy depending if there is a back log and the processing time etc.

      Best to call them they will be able to give more accurate information.

    • Hi Colette. I went for my interview in Sandton on Monday, 23 April. The lady told me at the interview that my visa has been approved and that I will receive my passport back within one week. Yesterday afternoon (one day after the interview) I checked the status online and it showed that the visa has been issued (it showed “administrative processing” on Monday). So now I am basically just waiting for the delivery to the DHL branch. If all goes well during your interview, I think you will have more than enough time.

    • What do they ask you during your interview????? :0

    • Hi there,

      Thanks for contacting us.

      There is no set questions they have. They can ask all sorts of questions from your previous travels, to family members if you have any living in the States, your travel plans, your work, if you have been denied a visa, any criminal records, overstayed a visa. They can ask anything they feel they need to know further information on.

      Sometimes a few questions are asked if they already have the relevant information they need after doing back ground checks, other times they could ask a few more questions.

      It depends on the person who is applying.

  60. I am flying to Cancun via Atlanta, I’m in transit. I didn’t realize that we needed a US visa for being in transit. We were only made aware of this at the Mexican embassy. Do you think the US embassy will expedite our applications if it’s not a medical emergency or death of a family member. No where on the site did it state anywhere about having a visa even if in transit . The earliest appointment we can get is 2 weeks away and we fly in 3 weeks time. We will pay any expedition fees,

    • Hi there,

      Thanks for getting in touch.

      For this you would need to contact the US Embassy direct. As they are the ones who grant the visa’s they would be the only ones to advise if theye will expedite your applications for none medical reasons.

      I am not sure when you are departing, maybe they will receive a cancellation so you can also keep checking their calendar for last minute cancellation.

      We do recommend when booking a trip to always contact the Embassy or official handling agency direct to ask any questions over the phone and get the person’s name. As looking it up, sometimes the website might not be updated or you might have missed some important information.

      Hope you manage to come right.

  61. Do you need return airline tickets if before you go for your visa interview or can you book it there after?

    • Hi Adine

      Please see requirements below for a South African passport holder applying for a US Visa.
      We do recommend you contact the Embassy direct to get the most up to date information as this could have changed at anytime.

      Requirements:
      Passport valid for travel to the USA. Your passport must be valid for at least six months beyond the period of stay in the USA (unless exempt by country-specific agreements).
      Passport containing the most recently issued US Visa (if applicable).
      Non-immigrant Visa Application, Form DS-160 confirmation page.
      Confirmation and instructions page printed from above website.
      One 5x5cm colour photo taken within the last 6 months. See website for further guidelines.
      Accompanying family members, unless entering the United States for another purpose, should present an original marriage certificate (spouse) and/or birth certification (for unmarried children under 21), as applicable.
      Many visa types require additional documents.
      Intention to depart the United States upon completion of your travel. Valid return air ticket
      Sufficient funds to cover all expenses while in the USA.
      Evidence to show that the applicant has a residence abroad to which he/she intends to return at the end of the stay in the USA. This is generally established by evidence of family, professional, property, employment or other ties and commitments to some country other than the USA sufficient to cause the applicant to return there at the conclusion of his/her stay.

  62. Hi All

    My husband and I had our interview together on 26th March 2018 @ Durban, at first the interviewer was really intimidating.
    My husband has his own company and she requested for the bank statements of that business which we did not carry, she did give us momentary grieve for not having those bank statements.
    She went on to ask if we had left the country in the last 6 months and in our case we had and I think this helped with our Visa approval.
    She then asked how much our accommodation costs, no further information was requested.
    3 minutes into the interview and Visa’s were granted.
    Today is 27th March and are passports are already with DHL.

  63. My fiance and I went for our Visa Interviews at the US Consulate in Durban on 13 February 2018, which I thought was more than enough time as we were due to fly on 20 March. I received my visa within 3 days however my fiance to date has not received hers. Checking the status update on the Consular website says that the visa is in “Administrative Processing”. It has been over 4 weeks now and it’s looking increasingly likely that we won’t receive her visa in time to travel. What is most frustrating is that it is impossible to speak to anyone or email anyone who can actually provide any information as to the progress of the application. To date we have not received any communication regarding the reason why the process has taken so long or about when we can expect to receive her passport back. I have tried phoning the Consulate and no one can help, I have emailed them and they say they are unable to assist. I have no idea how long this process will drag on, but I can tell you that it has been one of the most frustrating visa application processes I have ever experienced, and I have done my fair share of travelling. Hardly the service I would expect from the Consulate of a 1st World Country.

  64. I have just paid for the visa appointment, only to see that the calendar for Cape Town consulate isn’t open for bookings – at all! Does anyone know what is happing or how to get an appointment? The calendar is block-booked for everyday going forward until infinity…
    Do I need to go to JHB?

    • Hi Kirsten,

      Sorry to hear you are struggling with applying for your UK visa.

      I’ve gone onto Travelinfo and cant see any update that one is not able to make an appointment.

      My only suggestion would be is to contact the Embassy or official visa handling agency direct and see what feedback they are able to give.

      Best of luck and hope you come right.

  65. Thank you for the information. Is it necessary to purchase a ticket prior to the interview or can it be purchased after the visa has been issued.

    • Hi there,

      Thanks for getting in touch.

      I’ve gone onto Travelinfo under the visa sections and found the following: – Under additional info it does state: “Intention to depart the United States upon completion of your travel.” This would mean a return ticket.

      Requirements:
      Passport valid for travel to the USA. Your passport must be valid for at least six months beyond the period of stay in the USA (unless exempt by country-specific agreements).
      Passport containing the most recently issued US Visa (if applicable).
      Non-immigrant Visa Application, Form DS-160 confirmation page.
      Confirmation and instructions page printed from above website.
      One 5x5cm colour photo taken within the last 6 months. See website for further guidelines.
      Accompanying family members, unless entering the United States for another purpose, should present an original marriage certificate (spouse) and/or birth certification (for unmarried children under 21), as applicable.
      Many visa types require additional documents.
      Intention to depart the United States upon completion of your travel.
      Sufficient funds to cover all expenses while in the USA.
      Evidence to show that the applicant has a residence abroad to which he/she intends to return at the end of the stay in the USA. This is generally established by evidence of family, professional, property, employment or other ties and commitments to some country other than the USA sufficient to cause the applicant to return there at the conclusion of his/her stay.

  66. much needed info for me. Thanks

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