Contact us – Frequently Asked Questions

Please take the time to review the following frequently asked questions on immigrant visas, shown below. If, after reviewing the information, your question remains unanswered, submit your question by using our online inquiry form. Please note that if the answer to your inquiry is on our website, you will not receive a response.

The United States Immigration and Nationality Act provides for the issuance of immigrant visas in six general categories:

Please visit the Department of State’s website for more information about the available immigrant visa categories for those wishing to immigrate to the U.S. at the Department of State Travel Site. Most of these categories require that the applicant petition for an immigrant visa through the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) before applying for a visa at our embassy.

The National Visa Center (NVC) schedules most immigrant visa appointments. If you have an application that is currently pending with NVC and you have a question about your appointment date or another issue with your application, please contact the NVC directly. Please note that the Embassy will not have any information about your case until the consular section has received the case.  For NVC contact information, please visit the Department of State’s website.

The Consular Section schedules appointments for fiancé visa and follow-to-join applicants.  We schedule interviews as soon as cases are qualified and will contact applicants directly with instructions.  It is not necessary to contact the Consular Section to request an appointment.

Visa applicants are interviewed in the waiting room of the Consular Section of the U.S. Embassy.  The U.S. Embassy is located on the Great Massoud Road between Radio Afghanistan and the Ministry of Public Health (this road is also known as Bebe Mahro or Airport Road).  Visa applicants should use the main pedestrian entrance located opposite the Afghan National Radio and TV station.  Please arrive at least thirty minutes prior to your appointment to allow time for security screening.  Please note that large bags, electronic equipment including cell phones, food and other extra items will not be permitted into the Embassy.

If you are unable to attend your scheduled appointment, you do not need to contact our office to cancel the appointment. Once you are ready to come to our office, you may request for your appointment to be rescheduled by using our inquiry form and we will schedule you for an appointment at a later date.

Due to our current workload, rescheduling an appointment takes several weeks or even months. We appreciate your patience in this regard.

If your case is currently being processed in our office and you wish to transfer it to a different post, you will need to contact the consular office where you wish the case to be transferred.

However, if your case is being processed at a different post and you wish for the case to be transferred to our office, you need to submit your request to our office by using our inquiry form. You should include the details of the case in your request.

Many visa applications require administrative processing, which takes additional time after the interview with a Consular Officer. The timing required for administrative processing varies considerably from cases to case; therefore the Consular Officer will not be able to provide an estimate of how long it will take.

If the Consular Officer also advised you to submit additional documents to complete the application, it is likely that the case will continue under administrative processing even after the requested documents have been submitted.

While the case is undergoing administrative processing, you will not be contacted by the Consular Section. Therefore, please do not contact our office to request instructions on how to expedite this process.  Please be aware that this is an essential part of the visa application that can neither be waived nor expedited. Also, please do not submit unsolicited documents to our office as this will not have any effect in the current process. Processing unsolicited documents slows down processing for all applicants including your own. We appreciate your patience in this regard.

Our office will not be able to provide further information about the case until the administrative processing is completed.  Once this process is completed, we will contact you with further instructions.

Applicants are advised of any additional requirement at the conclusion of their interview.

Depending on the requested document and/or the type of case, you will need to submit the documents either directly to our office, by uploading them to the Department of State’s Consular Electronic Application Center (CEAC), or by using our online inquiry form.  Please note that if your visa application was also placed in administrative processing, it is likely that your case will continue under this necessary process even after you have submitted the requested documents.

Original document(s) must be dropped off at the Consular Dropbox located at Embassy Kabul. To drop documents at the Embassy, please place your documents in a sealed envelope, write your case number and name on the front of the envelope and bring it to the Consular Dropbox located at the main pedestrian entrance of U.S. Embassy Kabul, across from the Afghan National Radio and TV station.  The entrance to the U.S. Embassy is open from 7:30 AM to 14:30 PM, Sunday through Thursday, excluding U.S. and Afghan holidays.  You do not need an appointment to drop off documents.

Cases that have previously uploaded documents thru CEAC will need to upload the required documents in the same website.

Other documents should be submitted by using the “The consular section asked me to submit additional information/documents” option of the inquiry form.

In order to continue processing your visa application, additional information is required. First, download the Biodata Questionnaire (Word, 33 KB) file and save it in your computer in word format. Second, fill out the questionnaire in English.  Third, once completed, submit the completed document to our office in word format by using the “Submit Biodata Questionnaire” option of our online inquiry form. Once received, our office will continue the processing of your case.

Answer the questionnaire in full detail.  Missing or unclear responses may delay the processing of your case.

Note: If your visa application was placed in administrative processing, it will continue under this necessary process even after you have complied with this request.

You must bring your passport with you on the day of your interview, but it is not necessary to leave your passport with the Consular Section while your application is processed.  If you have upcoming travel plans, please mention it to the Consular Officer at the end of your interview.

In case our office has your passport and/or civil documents and you need to collect them, please submit your request to collect your documents by using our online inquiry form.

Note: If you wish to designate a third party to collect documents, please include in your request an statement that includes the person’s full name, ID number, contact number and telephone number.  Also, include a copy of the document the third party will present at the entrance.

If you wish to update information on your visa case (such as your passport, phone number or email), please do so by using our inquiry form.

To check the current status of your case, please visit the Consular Electronic Application Center.  Any updates will be reflected there.

Section 203(g) of the Immigration and Nationality Act requires that your registration be canceled and any petition approved on your behalf canceled, if you do not apply for your immigrant visa within one year of being advised to do so.  As a result, your application for a visa has been canceled and any petition approved on your behalf has also been canceled.

Your application may be reinstated and any petition revalidated if, within one year, you can establish that your failure to pursue your immigrant visa application was due to circumstances beyond your control. Please submit a statement to our office outlining the circumstances beyond your control and noting that you still wish to pursue this visa petition. The statement should be submitted by using our online inquiry form.

Please note that it takes an average of four to six weeks from the date of your medical examination for the clinic to process your medical exam results. Upon receipt of the medical report, a consular officer will conduct a review of the case. Once the case is ready, we will contact you with further instructions. We appreciate your patience in this regard.

There are many reasons why an individual can be found ineligible to receive a visa. For more information on visa ineligibilities, please visit the Department of State’s website.

If you are the principal applicant in a case that allows for the inclusion of derivative, the documents you need to submit to add a derivative applicant on the case will depend if your visa has been issued or not.

 

If you are the principal applicant and your visa has not yet been issued, to review your request to add a derivative you need to submit a copy of the passport’s bio data page of the family member(s) you wish to include in your case.

If you are the principal applicant and your visa has already been issued, to review your request to include your spouse as a derivative in your case, you need to submit the following documents:

  • Copy of the U.S. visa and entrance stamp in your passport or copy of your Lawful permanent resident card
  • Copy of your marriage certificate (Dari) and the English translation certified by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs
  • Copy of your spouse’s passport

Please submit your request with the mentioned documents (preferably in .pdf format) by using our inquiry form.  Partial submissions will not be accepted.

No.  No U.S. visa or U.S. travel document is required if the LPR mother was on a temporary visit abroad at the time of the child’s birth, provided that: you apply for admission to the United States before the child turns two and one parent is readmitted for the first time with the child.

You might consider printing a copy of this U.S. regulation to show to your airline and U.S. Customs and Border Protection upon arrival in the United States.

No.  No U.S. visa is required if the child was born after the issuance of a valid immigrant visa to a parent, provided that: you apply for admission to the United States before the child turns two and one parent is admitted for the first time with the child.

You might consider printing a copy of this U.S. regulation to show to your airline and U.S. Customs and Border Protection upon arrival in the United States.

A Lawful Permanent Resident (LPR) loses residence status due to a failure to maintain a residence in the United States after staying more than one year outside of the United States.  To regain LPR status, one has to appear in person to apply for a Returning Resident Application (SB-1) in the U.S. Embassy/Consulate.  The applicant will be required to submit, in writing, to the satisfaction of a consular officer that his/her failure to return to the United States within one year was due to the circumstances beyond the applicant’s control.  He/she may also be required to submit documentary evidence to support his/her statement.

Click here for more Returning Resident Visas (SB-1) visa information.

Schedule Returning Residents Appointment:

In order to apply a Returning Resident Application (SB-1), an applicant must submit an online inquiry through our website.

On the day of your appointment, please be prepared to present the following documents:

  • A completed Application to Determine Returning Resident Status, Form DS-117.
  • The Returning Resident Fee. (Please note that the fee is non-refundable, even if you are found ineligible for returning resident status.)
  • Your Permanent Resident Card (also known as Form I-551 or a Green Card).
  • Your Re-entry Permit, if available.
  • Documentation of the exact date that you last departed the United States (Examples: airline tickets, passport stamps, etc.)
  • Proof of your ties to the United States and your intention to return (Examples: tax returns, evidence of economic, family, and social ties to the U.S., etc.)
  • Proof that your protracted stay outside of the United States was for reasons beyond your control (Examples: medical incapacitation, etc.)
  • 1 passport photograph (see our photograph requirements.)
  • Appointment Confirmation letter

Please note: English translations of all foreign language documents are required.  Any foreign language document must be accompanied by a full English translation that the translator has certified as complete and correct.  The translator must certify that he/she is competent to translate the foreign language into English. It is not necessary to have the translation notarized.  A Consular Officer will interview you and review your application and supporting documents.

A Lawful Permanent Resident whose green card has been lost /stolen or expired while out of the U.S. for less than one year (or prior to the expiration of a re-entry permit) may apply for a boarding foil to return to the United States.  In order for the Embassy/Consulate to issue such a foil, the applicant must appear in person at the Embassy/Consulate to be interviewed by a Consular Officer.

The Form I-131A is the only application form used for this service.  Consular sections will no longer accept Form I-90 in conjunction with boarding foil applications, and will instead require boarding foil applicants to complete Form I-131A.  The service will incur a $575 fee, which applicants must pay through the USCIS online payment system (ELIS) before setting an appointment at the U.S. Embassy/ Consulate.  Applicants will need their A number in order to pay the fee, which they may obtain from the nearest USCIS office.

If you plan to file a Form I-131A to apply for a LPR boarding foil, please note that you must pay the filing fee on the USCIS website  before appearing in person at a consular section.  Information on the new form and fee is located here.  You must bring evidence of payment, in the form of a printed email receipt notice or confirmation page, when you appear in person to file Form I-131A.  As with all immigration fees, USCIS does not issue refunds, regardless of the decision on the application.

You may find additional information on and instructions for the I-131A on the I-131A Form and Instructions page.

Schedule Boarding Foil Appointment:

In order to apply for Boarding Foil , an applicant must submit an online inquiry through our website.

Please note: If you have been outside of the U.S. for more than one year, you are likely not eligible for a boarding foil.  Instead, you may apply for returning resident status.  Information on maintaining permanent resident status can be found on the USCIS website.

On the day of your Boarding Foil appointment, please be prepared to present the following documents:

  • Completed I-131A
  • USCIS fee receipt to confirm the payment
  • Evidence of your identity (your passport, photo ID card, etc.).  It is useful to have multiple forms of photo identification to show the Consular Officer.
  • Evidence of your U.S. lawful resident status (e.g. your passport showing admission to the United States as an immigrant.)
  • Evidence of the date that you last departed the United States (e.g. your airplane tickets or boarding passes showing your departure.)
  • Copy of your police report such as a First Incident Report (FIR) of the card’s loss/theft, if available.
  • 1 passport photograph (see our photograph requirements.)
  • Appointment Confirmation letter.

Please note: English translations of all foreign language documents are required.  Any foreign language document must be accompanied by a full English translation that the translator has certified as complete and correct.  The translator must certify that he/she is competent to translate the foreign language into English.  It is not necessary to have the translation notarized.  A Consular Officer will interview you and review your application and supporting documents.

For SIV cases, if you wish to cancel your case, you must submit a signed statement declaring your intention to cancel the case.

For regular IV cases and K1 cases, the petitioner needs to submit a signed statement declaring his/her intention to cancel the petition filed on behalf of the beneficiary (applicant).

The statement should be submitted by using the “The consular section asked me to submit additional information/documents” option of the inquiry form.

When the visa has been printed and placed in your passport, you will receive an email from our office with a date and time to pick up your visa.

I have applied for Chief of Mission (COM) approval for the Special Immigrant Visa (SIV) program but I have not yet received any notice about my application. What is the status of my application?

If you have applied for Chief of Mission (COM) approval, you will need to wait until COM makes a determination on your application. In the meantime, the application is considered to be under review. Please note that the COM Committee is separate from the Consular Section in the Embassy of the United States in Kabul.

Since your application is with COM, the Consular Section will not have any information regarding your application. Please note that the Consular Section will only answer questions regarding SIV cases that have been received and processed by the Immigrant Visa (IV) unit and will not respond to inquiries regarding SIV cases that have not yet received COM approval.

I had my consular interview but I have not yet received instructions for my medical examination. When will I be instructed to proceed with my medical exam?

If you had your consular interview at our office and your case was placed under necessary administrative processing, you will not receive instructions to proceed with your medical examination until the administrative processing is completed. Please be aware that the administrative processing varies considerably from cases to case; therefore, the Consular Section will not contact you until the administrative processing on your case is completed. At that time, we will contact you with follow up instructions.

The consular section instructed me to undergo my medical examination, which I have done.  However, as of today, I have not heard back from the consular section.

Please note that it takes an average of four to six weeks for the medical clinic to process your medical exam results. Upon receipt of the medical report, a consular officer will conduct a review of the case. Once the case is ready, we will contact you with further instructions.

Diversity Visa Program fraud prevention

The Embassy continues to hear from individuals who have received fraudulent e-mails from people claiming to be affiliated with the U.S. Department of State and its Diversity Visa (DV) program.  These messages usually congratulate the recipient for winning the DV lottery, and instruct him or her to send money via a company like Western Union.  These messages do not originate from the U.S. Government, and are part of a scam.  No organization or company outside of the U.S. Government is authorized to notify DV applicants of their winning entry, or of the next steps in the visa process.  Entrants will never be asked to send money by mail or Western Union at any point in the application process.  In addition, The Department of State notifies successful Diversity Visa applicants by letter, and not by e-mail.

For more information on the DV lottery and possible fraud, please see the Diversity Visa Page on the Department of State’s website.

My case was still in administrative after September 30th of this year.  Will my Diversity Visa be issued? 

Under the U.S. Immigration and Nationality Act, Diversity Visas (DV) cannot be issued after September 30th of the fiscal year in which the beneficiary was selected to apply for the DV program.  If you are a selectee under the DV program for the current fiscal year, you must apply and receive a visa prior to September 30th, regardless of any additional administrative processing required.

If a Diversity Visa case is still under administrative processing on, and consequently, was not issued by September 30th of the fiscal year in which you were selected to apply for a visa, yow will not be eligible to receive a Diversity Visa under the DV program for the fiscal year. Please note that having your case canceled for the DV program because it was not issued during the fiscal year in which you were selected will have no bearing on future entries in the DV program.

In order to improve our ability to respond quickly to inquiries and provide better customer service, the Immigrant Visa (IV) unit has implemented an online inquiry form, which allows us to modernize the way our office received and process inquiries from the public.  Please note that our office WILL ONLY RESPOND to inquiries submitted through the online inquiry form.

If your question was not covered by the previous information, please submit an inquiry to our office by using our online inquiry form.