Nonimmigrant Visas – Frequently Asked Questions

U.S. Embassy Kabul has resumed immigrant visa interviews. The Consular Section is rescheduling applicants who had their interviews cancelled due to the U.S. Embassy’s Consular Section halting in person appearances because of COVID.  Once this phase is complete, the U.S. Embassy’s Consular Section, in coordination with the National Visa Center, will resume scheduling new immigrant visa appointments for applications that are documentarily complete.The Consular Section will schedule applicants in the order that they became documentarily qualified and will not have capacity for expedited appointments.

Due to ongoing COVID-mitigation measures, the Embassy will have a reduced appointment capacity. The health and safety of applicants and staff will be the first priority as the Consular Section resumes visa interviews and may require future cancellations or reductions in appointments. Applicants with a pending appointment or with a case that is ready for scheduling may still face significant delays.

Nonimmigrant visa interviews remain suspended due to COVID.

Please take the time to review the following frequently asked questions on Nonimmigrant Visas. 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 this page or in our website, your inquiry will not receive a response.

In order to apply for a Nonimmigrant Visa at the Embassy of the United States in Kabul, Afghanistan, applicants must first complete the online DS-160 form at the Consular Electronic Application Center. Afterwards, they should schedule an appointment through the NIV Appointment System.

On the day of the interview at the Embassy, all visa applicants must present:

  • Printed Appointment confirmation
  • Passport with at least six months validity
  • DS-160 form confirmation page printed with the barcode
  • Two recent 2×2 inch photos (good quality, white background, ears visible)
  • Documentation that demonstrates strong ties to your home country
  • Visa fee

Applicants should select the visa category for their application in accordance to the purpose of their trip to the United States. The Visa fee and other requirements are determined by the visa category. For more information on additional requirements, please visit the following links:

Tourism & Visit
Study & Exchange
Temporary Employment & Business

Some visa applications require further administrative processing, which takes additional time after the visa applicant’s interview with a Consular Officer. We encourage prospective travelers to apply early in the event your application needs additional processing.

In general, you must present a passport for travel to the United States with a validity of at least six months beyond your intended period of stay in the United States.

Due to our workload, our office is unable to accept letters of invitation or other supporting documentation prior to the interview. Therefore, you should provide the applicant with information or documents that may support his or her application. During the interview, applicants may present documentation or other information upon the consular officer’s request.

Visa applicants are interviewed in the waiting room of the Consular Section of the Embassy of the United States in Kabul.  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.

In order to review your request for an emergency Nonimmigrant Visa appointment you first need to schedule the earliest available appointment at the NIV Appointment System. Please be aware that prior to visit the NIV Appointment System, you must complete the online DS-160 form at the Consular Electronic Application Center.

Once you have scheduled your appointment through the NIV Appointment System, you may submit your request to expedite your appointment by using our online inquiry form. Please include the following information:

  • Your passport number
  • The date of your appointment
  • The reason why you are requesting an urgent appointment

We will review your request for an earlier date. Please bear in mind that while we try to accommodate rescheduling requests, we are not always able to do so.

In order to check the status of your case, please visit the Consular Electronic Application Center.

Many visa applications require administrative processing, which takes additional time after the interview with a Consular Officer. We will not be able to provide further information about the case until the administrative processing is completed.  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.

Please be assured that everything possible is being done to process your case, and we will contact you when that processing is complete.

In order to continue processing your visa application, additional information is required. First, download the Biodata Questionnaire (Word, 36 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.

If you did not attend your scheduled nonimmigrant visa appointment, or did come to our office but you were not interviewed because you did not pay the visa processing fee, you will need to restart the nonimmigrant visa process by completing a NEW online DS-160 form at the Consular Electronic Application Center and scheduling an new appointment through the NIV Appointment System.  If you attempt to utilize the same DS-160 form as your prior interview, we will not be able to continue with the new interview.  For more information, please refer to question #1 of our Frequently Asked Questions page.

There are many reasons why an individual can be found ineligible to receive a visa. If your visa has been denied, you may find useful information on Ineligibilities and Waivers on

How early should I apply for my student visa?

Applicants are encouraged to apply for your nonimmigrant student visa as soon as they have their I-20. To ensure you get an early and timely date you may apply at any time. However, a student visa may be issued no more than 120 days prior to the start date mentioned on your I-20.

What is an I-20 and how do I get it?

The Form I-20 is an official U.S. Government form, issued by a certified school, which a prospective nonimmigrant student must have in order to get an F-1 or M-1 visa. Form I-20 acts as proof-of-acceptance and contains the information necessary to pay the SEVIS I-901 fee, apply for a visa or change visa status, and be admitted into the United States. The Form I-20 has the student’s SEVIS identification number, which starts with the letter N and is followed by nine digits, on the upper right side directly above the barcode.

What is the SEVIS and how does it affect me?

The Student and Exchange Visitor Information System (SEVIS) program requires schools and exchange programs to verify the enrollment status of all new and continuing foreign students and exchange visitors. Student visa applicants are required to pay a SEVIS fee before a visa can be issued. The SEVIS website has more details.

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