Important Notice—June 25, 2015
Systems issues that have affected the Department of State’s ability to issue visas are being resolved. The Consulate is currently able to print some visas and we are working as quickly as possible to clear the backlog of pending visa cases. Visa applicants should, however, expect some continued delays receiving their visas. As always, we strongly recommend that you refrain from finalizing your travel arrangements, including purchasing your airline ticket, until you have received your visa in hand. We apologize to applicants and recognize that this may cause hardship to applicants waiting for visas.
All applicants can schedule appointments as normal. Nonimmigrant visa applicants can find step-by-step instructions on how to apply on www.ustraveldocs.com. Nonimmigrant visa applicants with urgent travel should follow the instructions for expedited appointments found on http://www.ustraveldocs.com/vn/vn-niv-expeditedappointment.asp.
Additional information can be found at: http://travel.state.gov/content/travel/english/news/technological-systems-issue.html.
Announcement: Mail-In Visa Renewal Program expanded
Have a current U.S. visa or one that expired in the last 48 months? Want to save time and money and avoid coming to the Embassy or Consulate for an interview? You may be able to take advantage of our expanded visa renewal program.
Applicants may now qualify to renew their visas by mail if their prior visa expired no more than 48 months ago, and the applicants meet all the other requirements for renewal without interview. For more information and step-by-step instructions, please visit http://www.ustraveldocs.com/vn/vn-niv-visarenew.asp.
Please note that to renew an E,H, L, P, or R visa, the prior visa must still be valid or must have expired no more than 12 months ago.
The Nonimmigrant Visa (NIV) Unit processes the visa applications of Vietnamese nationals and third-country nationals seeking to travel to the U.S. temporarily for business, pleasure, study, or work. Please click here for our customer service statement to all visa applicants.
Nonimmigrant visa applicants in Vietnam may schedule a visa appointment at either the U.S. Consulate General in Ho Chi Minh City or the U.S. Embassy in Hanoi. Please note that wait times for a nonimmigrant visa appointment may vary between the U.S. Consulate General and the U.S. Embassy. Please visit our website at http://travel.state.gov/content/visas/english/general/wait-times.html for information about visa appointment and visa processing wait times. Depending on the wait time, you may wish to consider scheduling your visa appointment in Hanoi. If you would like to schedule an appointment in Hanoi, simply select “Hanoi” instead of “Ho Chi Minh City” when scheduling your appointment online at www.ustraveldocs.com/vn.
NIV Visa Inquiries
If you have questions regarding the nonimmigrant visa process, scheduling appointments, or other routine services, please go to http://www.ustraveldocs.com/vn or contact our Call Center locally at 19006444 or from the U.S at (703)665-7350.
There are many kinds of nonimmigrant visas. Depending on your purpose of travel to the U.S, the interviewing officer will make a decision about your visa category. For more information about visa categories, please visit http://www.ustraveldocs.com/vn.
NOTE TO STUDENTS: we highly recommend you to visit the Education USA website before applying for a student visa to the United States.
Visa Processing Times
The average processing time is two business days. If approved for a visa, applicants usually receive their visas within 1-3 business days if located in metropolitan areas and 3-5 business days if located in provinces.
Some visa applications require further administrative processing, which takes additional time after the visa applicant’s interview by a Consular Officer. Applicants are advised of this requirement when they apply. Most administrative processing is resolved within 60 days of the visa interview. When administrative processing is required, the timing will vary based on individual circumstances of each case. Visa applicants are reminded to apply early for their visa, well in advance of the anticipated travel date.
Important Notice: Before making inquiries about status of administrative processing, applicants or their representatives will need to wait at least 60 days from the date of interview or submission of supplemental documents, whichever is later.
Please keep in mind that your electronic and/or biometric signature during the visa application process on any visa application form is your guarantee that all information you provide is true and correct. You are personally and legally responsible, even if a travel agent or someone else prepares documents for you. Any fraudulent documents or misleading statements may result in your permanent ineligibility for any future visa.
You are not allowed to bring electronic devices, including mobile telephones, into the Consulate General. We regret any inconvenience this may cause and appreciate your cooperation.
As is standard practice around the world, we do not permit third parties to attend nonimmigrant visa interviews. This rule also applies to third parties who are American Citizens or Lawful Permanent Residents. If a third party has an interest in your case, please have them write a letter stating their interest and bring it to your interview. Effective from May 23, 2011, minors under age of 17 MUST be accompanied by a parent or legal guardian to the interview. Your interview can be conducted in Vietnamese or in English, as you prefer.
No assurance regarding the issuance of visas can be given in advance. Please do not make any binding travel plans until you have received your visa.
Obtaining medical treatment and hospital care in the U.S. can be expensive, foreign medical insurance is generally not accepted inside the United States and visitors and temporary residents are required to pay their own medical costs. If your insurance policy does not cover you outside of your home country, it is a good idea to consider purchasing a short-term policy that does. There are health insurance policies designed specifically to cover travel. Many travel agents and private companies offer insurance plans that will cover health care expenses incurred in the U.S. If you have a recurring medical condition, or anticipate the need for medical care during your stay in the U.S., please plan accordingly by obtaining the appropriate coverage prior to your travel to the U.S.
Legal Rights and Protections for Certain Employment or Education-based Nonimmigrants – Notice: Informational Pamphlet is Now Available!
The William Wilberforce Trafficking Victims Protection Reauthorization Act (WWTVPRA) of 2008 was signed into law on December 23, 2008, by the President. The Act makes several changes to nonimmigrant visa classification criteria, visa processing requirements, and the grounds for inadmissibility under INA section 212(a)(2)(H).
The changes under this provision of this law, relate to the legal rights of certain employment or education-based nonimmigrants under Federal immigration, labor, and employment laws. Additionally, this law outlines the information to be provided to certain nonimmigrants about their rights, protections and available resources. When working or studying in the United States temporarily, we want to ensure each nonimmigrant is aware of his/her rights, as well as protections and resources available. To learn more, review the Nonimmigrant Rights, Protections and Resources pamphlet. Information on this topic is also available to nonimmigrant visa applicants in the employment and education-based visa webpages on this site.
Consular Officer Discusses Student Visas
If you’re planning to apply for a student visa, please watch our student visa video, in which one of our consular officers discusses the student visa process.
Watch video: Consular Officer Discusses Student Visas
Visa Application Processing Fees Changed on September 12, 2014
The State Department has adjusted visa application processing fees. The new fees went into effect on September 12, 2014. All visa applicants must pay the fee amounts in effect on the day of payment, with the exception of Immigrant Visa application processing fees paid domestically to the National Visa Center (NVC), which will be effective as of the date of billing. To view more information, please click here.
Defense of Marriage Act Notice
Starting immediately, same-sex spouses and their children are equally eligible for nonimmigrant derivative visas. Same-sex marriages are now valid as long as the marriage is recognized in the place where the marriage was registered. A same-sex marriage is valid for immigration purposes even if the couple intends ultimately to reside in one of the 37 states that do not recognize same-sex marriages. The same-sex marriage is valid even if the applicant is applying in a country in which same-sex marriage is illegal.
For frequently asked questions (FAQs) regarding same-sex marriage and immigration, see the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) site by clicking HERE or go to the State Department’s site at http://travel.state.gov/content/dam/visas/DOMA/DOMA%20FAQs.pdf
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