Frequently Asked Questions
For Visa Applicants:
Do I really have to come to the Embassy in Port Louis to apply for a US visa?
Yes, applicants are required appear in person before a consular officer for an interview and fingerprints.
For applicants living in Seychelles and Reunion: Can the fingerprints be done by the local police so that I do not have to travel to Mauritius?
No, the fingerprints must be taken by the Consular Officer at the Embassy in Port Louis at the time of your interview.
I am a French/Italian/Austrian passport holder, do I need to apply for a tourist/business visa for the US?
If your passport was issued before October 26, 2005 and is a machine readable passport, you do not need a visa for a stay of less than 90 days for tourism/business purposes, please mention to your travel agency that you wish to go on the visa waiver program, so that you fly on a signatory visa waiver carrier.
If your passport was issued before October 26, 2005 and is NOT a machine readable passport, you need to apply for a visa.
If your passport was issued after October 26, 2005, you need to apply for a visa, because your passport does not meet biometric standards for the visa waiver program.
I hold a passport from a visa waiver program (vwp) country, can I still travel without a visa?
Other than French, Italian, Austrian passport holders, all other passport holders from VWP countries going for less than 90 days on business/tourism on a signatory visa waiver carrier, may enter the US without a visa if :
The passport is machine readable and was issued before October 26, 2005;
The passport is biometric and was issued on or after October 26, 2005.
Can you screen my documents and check that everything is fine before I pay the $160 application fee ?
No, the application fee must accompany the application and all supporting documents. The $160 application fee is an application fee which covers the costs of administering visa interviews. It is not refundable.
I have a valid visa in a passport that has expired. The page containing the visa has not been canceled. I now have a new passport, how do I transfer my visa?
Although we cannot transfer the existing visa into your new passport, you do not need to apply for a new visa in your new passport. You may enter the U.S. as long as you are in possession of both passports and your valid visa. However the initial visa in your passport must be valid for the purpose of your current trip. E.g. If you were issued a tourist visa in the past which is still valid, and you intend to go for studies in the US, you will need to apply for a new US visa.
Can I have my visa issued on the same day?
No. If you qualify for a visa, the Consular section will issue your visa within 72 hours, assuming there is no further administrative processing. Remember, the instruction sheet encourages applicants to submit their applications at least one month prior to their travel date.
Why does the Officer ask so many personal questions? Isn’t my complete application enough?
Under the US Immigration law, every visa applicant is considered to be an intending immigrant until he/she proves otherwise. The burden of proof is on the applicant. Therefore the officer must rely upon the interview questions to establish each applicant’s ties to their country of residence.
Is all my information kept confidential?
Yes, all papers related to your application are kept in the Visa section and treated confidentially.
When can I reapply for a visa after having been refused a visa?
You may reapply for a visa at any time. However, in order to qualify for a visa, you must demonstrate that your situation has changed since your refusal. In order to reapply, you must pay another non-refundable application fee of $160.
I lost my passport which contained a US visa, what should I do?
You must reapply and pay the application fee again. You should contact the Visa section at 202 4432 for more information regarding supporting documents for your new visa.
My children are on my passport, do I need to pay the $160 for them as well?
Each individual requesting a visa must submit an application and application fee regardless of age.
I am going to study in the US, but I’d like to be there two months before my registration for holidays, can I do so on the student visa?
No, on a student visa you are allowed to enter the US no earlier than 30 days before the registration date. FYI, a student visa cannot be issued more than 120 days before the registration date.
I am going to study in the US, and have forgotten to pay the SEVIS fees, what should I do?
You can either pay on line at http://www.ice.gov/sevis or at a local Western Union Money Transfer office. Remember you need to have a receipt of your SEVIS payment prior to submitting your visa application. The SEVIS fee is different from the visa application fee.
I have been given a 10 year visa, does it mean I can stay in the US for 10 years?
No, it means you may enter for short stays during 10 years. The Department of Homeland Security at the port of entry in the US has control over the authorized length of stay in the US.