Update on Visa Processing at U.S. Embassy Kabul
Last Updated: August 24, 2021
The consular section at the U.S. Embassy in Kabul is closed. Nonimmigrant visa appointments remain unavailable and all immigrant visa appointments, including Special Immigrant Visas (SIVs), at the Embassy have been cancelled.
The Department of State’s efforts are devoted to evacuations at Hamid Karzai International Airport (HKIA). Our first priority is U.S. citizens and lawful permanent residents (LPRs) of the United States, along with eligible family members. We are also prioritizing several other categories of people, including our locally employed staff; personnel from partner nations and international organizations with whom we have agreements; Afghan Special Immigrant Visa holders and applicants; certain immigrant visa applicants; Afghans who would be eligible for P1/P2 refugee programs; and certain Afghans at risk.
Immigrant visa applicants, including Special Immigrant Visa applicants, should continue monitoring official U.S. Government websites, including travel.state.gov, for updated information. Immigrant visa applicants outside of Afghanistan may request their case be transferred to the nearest U.S. Embassy or Consulate to complete processing. To request a case transfer, please submit a request to the National Visa Center via this form: https://nvc.state.gov/inquiry.
We are accelerating our efforts to process and relocate those Afghans who have worked with us or on our behalf over the years. Afghan nationals who are eligible for the SIV program who have not yet done so, are encouraged to submit one complete application package to the National Visa Center (AfghanSIVapplication@state.gov) to facilitate processing in an expeditious manner.
Please refer to Special Immigrant Visas for Afghans – Who Were Employed by/on Behalf of the U.S. Government (state.gov) for more information regarding the SIV process and who to contact with questions.
General inquiries about the Special Immigrant Visa (SIV) Program can be directed to +1-606-526-7594 or AfghanSIVApplication@state.gov. This contact information is for general SIV inquiries only. We cannot provide any evacuation or emergency assistance at this phone number or email.
The U.S. Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) provides several categories of nonimmigrant visas for those who want to visit or work temporarily in the United States.
You can find out more about each type of visa from the travel.state.gov website, or by clicking on the Visa Types below. To Apply for a Visa, follow the steps above.
Tourism & Visit Visa Type
Generally, a citizen of a foreign country who wishes to enter the United States must first obtain a visa, either a nonimmigrant visa for temporary stay, or an immigrant visa for permanent residence. Visitor visas are nonimmigrant visas for persons who want to enter the United States temporarily for business (visa category B-1), tourism, pleasure or visiting (visa category B-2), or a combination of both purposes (B-1/B-2).
Here are some examples of activities permitted with a visitor visa:
- vacation (holiday)
- visit with friends or relatives
- medical treatment
- participation in social events hosted by fraternal, social, or service organizations
- participation by amateurs in musical, sports, or similar events or contests, if not being paid for participating
- enrollment in a short recreational course of study, not for credit toward a degree (for example, a two-day cooking class while on vacation)
Travelers With Criminal Records
- Convictions for certain crimes may make you ineligible to travel to the U.S. The only way to know for sure if your criminal record makes you ineligible is to apply for a visa. Only a consular officer can determine your visa eligibility.
- You need to bring a copy of your Criminal History Report with you to the visa interview.
- Even if your conviction makes you ineligible to travel to the U.S., you may be able to obtain a temporary waiver of this ineligibility. You should discuss this with the consular officer at the time of the interview. Waiver processing can take 6 – 8 months, so if you think you may require a waiver, please apply early. We always recommend you do not make any financial commitments for travel until you have received a visa.
- A special note about applicants with DRINK DRIVING convictions: According to USCBP applicants with a single DIC/DUI conviction is NOT grounds to deny entry into the U.S; however, multiple DIC/DUI convictions or a DIC/DUI conviction in combination with other misdemeanor offenses can make a person inadmissible and require a waiver prior to entering the United States.
- If you have had any minor traffic offenses which did not result in an arrest or conviction, you may use the VWP, provided you are otherwise qualified. If the traffic offense occurred while you were in the United States, and you have an outstanding fine against you or you did not attend your court hearing, it is possible there may be a warrant out for your arrest. You should resolve these issues before traveling by contacting the court where you were to appear. If you do not know the address of the court, information is available on the U.S. Courts website.