Nonimmigrant Visas: FAQs

U.S. travel restrictions remain in place for travel from the UK to the United States. Also, while we continue to provide emergency and mission-critical visa services, visa appointments remain extremely limited and routine visa services have not resumed. In addition to checking the information on this page, ensure you visit our Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) for important information about travel to the United States and visa services in the UK at this time, and keep checking that webpage for any updates.

Important: A valid visa or ESTA does not guarantee entry to the United States. Admission is a matter for CBP officials at the Port of Entry, and all travelers are subject to questioning. No assurances can be given in advance.

Please note, appointment availability is extremely limited and we cannot guarantee that an expedited appointment will be available for you. Expedite requests are generally approved only when there is a humanitarian need for travel, such as for critical medical treatment.

An expedite request relates only to the date of the visa interview. No expedited visa processing is available.

If you are applying for a nonimmigrant visa and you have urgent need of travel and you are unable to schedule an appointment that will accommodate travel, you may request an expedited appointment.

Please click here for step-by-step visa application instructions. Visa interview appointments are scheduled online at https://ais.usvisa-info.com/en-gb and not by email.

If no appointments are available when you first check the calendar on your Visa Appointment Service account, please check it regularly for newly released appointments, including any appointments made available due to cancelations. We do not operate a waiting list.

Once you have booked a visa interview appointment through the Visa Appointment Service website, follow the on-screen instructions in your account to request an expedited appointment.

You will be asked to briefly outline the reason that you must travel in an emergency. A Visa Unit manager will review your request and reply by email. This will be sent to the email address that your Visa Appointment Service account was registered with so please check that email address frequently, including any junk or spam folders.

If your passport containing a valid visa has been lost or stolen, click here to find out how to report the loss or theft to the Embassy before you apply for a new visa (unless you qualify to travel under the terms of the Visa Waiver Program and obtain an approved ESTA).

If the passport containing your visa has expired, you may continue to use the valid visa provided that your reason for travel is consistent with the classification of visa you hold, and you carry a valid passport of the same nationality as well as the passport containing the valid visa when you travel.

If, however, the passport authority clipped the corners of the passport when canceling it and, in so doing, damaged the visa in any way, that visa is no longer valid and cannot be used for travel to the United States.

A change of name will not affect the validity of the visa.  We recommend that when traveling, you carry a copy of the document showing the name change.

It is not possible to ‘transfer’ a visa. If your passport containing the U.S. visa was not returned to you when you received your new passport, or if you will be traveling with a passport of a different nationality than the passport in which your visa was issued, then you will be required to apply for a new visa (unless you qualify to travel under the terms of the Visa Waiver Program and obtain an approved ESTA).

If your visa is marked ‘indefinite’, it can no longer be used for travel to the United States. You are required to either apply for a new visa, or if eligible, travel visa free under the Visa Waiver Program.

If your name has changed since the visa was issued, we recommend that you carry a copy of the document showing the name change. Please also check FAQ 3) above for important information about traveling with an expired passport.

If your passport has been damaged by liquid, or if the text or photo on the visa or the biographical data page of your passport has been damaged, you should apply for a new visa (unless you qualify to travel under the terms of the Visa Waiver Program and obtain an approved ESTA).

If your visa was damaged when you applied for a new passport and your previous passport was canceled, please see FAQ 3) above for important information

The validity period of your visa relates only to the time in which you may travel to the United States and apply for admission; it does not indicate how long you may remain.

If you are admitted into the United States, the immigration official at the port of entry will advise you on how long you may stay and stamp your passport accordingly.

If, while you are there, you find that you need to stay longer than the period of time initially granted to you, you should contact the US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) and apply for an extension of your stay.

The USCIS has sole jurisdiction over such matters.

There is no set period of time you are required to remain outside the United States before reapplying for admission.

Each time you travel, the immigration authorities at the port of entry needs to be satisfied that the purpose of your trip is for a visit only and that you have a residence outside the United States which you have no intention of abandoning.

Be sure to carry with you evidence of your residence and commitments outside the United States for presentation to the immigration officer. There is no set form that this evidence should take.

However, if he or she is not convinced that you are a genuine visitor, you will be denied entry.

If your marriage is valid in the jurisdiction (U.S. state or foreign country) where it took place, it is valid for U.S. visa purposes. Therefore, if you are applying for a visa in a category where derivative visa status may be accorded to spouses, you may apply for a visa based on your marriage.

Information about spouses and children under the age of 21 who wish to accompany, or following to join, an E, F, H, I, J, L, M, O, P, or R visa holder may apply for derivative visas can be found by clicking here.

Information about spouses and children under the age of 21 who wish to accompany, or following to join, an E, F, H, I, J, L, M, O, P, or R visa holder may apply for derivative visas can be found by clicking here.

U.S. visa law does not recognize common-law relationships; therefore a partner or fiancée is not eligible to apply for derivative visa status. In such cases, the partner is required to qualify for a visa in his or her own right. Partners who are members of the household of the principal visa holder and whose primary purpose in traveling to the United States is to accompany that person, may apply for a B-2 visa. Partners who intend working or studying require the appropriate work or student visa.

U.S. immigration at the port of entry determines how long a person may remain in the United States. The holder of a B-2 visa may be admitted for an initial period of six months, which is extendable in six month increments. Those wishing to remain longer than six months will be required to apply for an extension of stay with the US Citizenship and Immigration Services having jurisdiction over their place of residence in the U.S.

As your application is based on your relationship to your partner, you are required to furnish evidence of the relationship, for example, a copy of the joint mortgage, rental agreement, bank account etc. We recommend that you apply for the visa at the same time as your partner; if not, you will be required to furnish a copy of the visa endorsed in your partner’s passport in addition to the documents listed above. Please follow this link for further information.

No.  If you have a valid visa you are not required to be in possession of a round-trip or onward ticket.