Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

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FAQ - General Visa Information

  1. How long does my passport have to be valid in order to apply for a U. S. visa?
  2. Do I qualify for the Visa Waiver Program?
  3. If I am a third-country national living in Bangladesh, can I apply for a nonimmigrant visa in Bangladesh?
  4. Do all nonimmigrant visa applicants have to come to the U.S. Embassy or Consulate for an interview?
  5. I have a nonimmigrant visa that will expire soon and I would like a new visa. Do I need to go through the whole visa application process again?
  6. My passport has expired, but the U.S. visa in it is still valid. Do I need to apply for a new visa?
  7. I have dual citizenship. Which passport should I use to travel to the United States?
  8. How can I extend my visa?
  9. Must I submit my visa application form electronically?
  10. What is “administrative processing?”
  11. What should I do after I receive my visa?
  12. My visa will expire while I am in the United States. Is there a problem with that?
  13. What will happen when I enter the United States?
  14. I did not turn in my I-94 when I left the United States. What should I do?
  15. I have questions on submitting my DS-160 and printing the confirmation page. Where can I go for more information?

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Q.1 How long does my passport have to be valid in order to apply for a U. S. visa?

You must possess a passport valid for travel to the United States with a validity date at least six months beyond your intended period of stay in the United States (unless country-specific agreements provide exemptions).

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Q.2 Do I qualify for the Visa Waiver Program?

Bangladesh is not currently a Visa Waiver Program country.

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Q.3 If I am a third-country national living in Bangladesh, can I apply for a nonimmigrant visa in Bangladesh?

Applicants are generally advised to apply in their country of nationality or residence. Any person who is legally present in Bangladesh may apply for a visa in Bangladesh. However, applicants should decide where to apply based on more than just convenience or delay in getting an appointment in their home district. One thing to consider, for example, is in which consular district the applicant can demonstrate the strongest ties.

Applicants are responsible for demonstrating that they have strong ties to a country other than the U.S. Those ties must be strong enough to ensure an applicant’s return to that country. If your strongest ties are to a country outside of Bangladesh, you must demonstrate to a consular officer unfamiliar with the norms of that country that your ties to that country are strong.

There is no guarantee that a visa will be issued, nor is there a guarantee of processing time. If refused, there is no refund of the application fee.

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Q.4 Do all nonimmigrant visa applicants have to come to the U.S. Embassy or Consulate for an interview?

Yes, for most applicants. There are only a few exceptions to the interview requirement. The following applicants generally do not have to appear in person:

  • Applicants for A-1, A-2 (official travelers on central government business), C-2, C-3 (central government officials in transit on central government business) or G-1, G-2, G-3, G-4 (central government officials traveling in connection with an international organization, or employees of an international organization)
  • Applicants eligible for the Nonimmigrant Visa Waiver Program

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Q.5 I have a nonimmigrant visa that will expire soon and I would like a new visa. Do I need to go through the whole visa application process again?

You may qualify for the interview waiver program. If you do not meet the criteria for the interview waiver program, you must apply in the normal manner.

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Q.6 My passport has expired, but the U.S. visa in it is still valid. Do I need to apply for a new visa?

No. If your visa is still valid you can travel to the United States with your two passports (old and new), as long as the visa is valid, not damaged, and is the appropriate type of visa required for your principal purpose of travel, i.e., a tourist visa when your principal purpose of travel is tourism. Also, the name and other personal data should be the same in both passports. Your nationality, as indicated in the new passport, must be the same as that shown in the passport bearing the visa.

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Q.7 I have dual citizenship. Which passport should I use to travel to the United States?

If one of your nationalities is not a U.S. citizen, you can apply using whichever nationality you prefer, but you must disclose all nationalities to the U.S. Embassy or Consulate on your application form. U.S. citizens, even dual citizens/nationals, must enter and depart the United States using a U.S. passport.

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Q.8 How can I extend my visa?

The validity of a visa cannot be extended regardless of its type. You must apply for a new visa.

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Q.9 Must I submit my visa application form electronically?

Yes, you must complete the DS-160 and bring a printed copy of the DS-160 confirmation page with you when you go for your interview at the U.S. Embassy or Consulate.

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Q.10 What is “administrative processing?”

Some visa applications require further administrative processing, which takes additional time after your interview with a consular officer. You are advised of this possibility at the conclusion of your visa interview. We realize that applicants have time sensitive travel plans; therefore, we try to complete the administrative processing as quickly as possible. The consular officer may require further information to continue your administrative processing and will give you a questionnaire to fill out and submit via e-mail. The sooner you submit the questionnaire, the sooner the officer can make a decision on your application. For further information regarding administrative processing, please click here.

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Q.11 What should I do after I receive my visa?

As soon as you receive your visa, check to make sure all your personal information printed on the visa is correct. If any of the information on your visa does not match the information in your passport or is otherwise incorrect, please contact the Consular Section immediately.

Further information about interpreting your visa can be found at the Department of State’s Consular Affairs website.

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Q.12 My visa will expire while I am in the United States. Is there a problem with that?

No. You may stay in the United States for the period of time and conditions authorized by the Department of Homeland Security officer when you arrived in the United States, which will be stamped in your passport, even if your visa expires during your stay.

The expiration date of your visa is the last day you may use the visa to enter the United States. It does not indicate how long you may stay in the United States. Your stay is determined by the Department of Homeland Security at the port of entry. As long as you comply with the Department of Homeland Security decision on the conditions of your stay, you should have no problem.

You can find more information here.

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Q.13 What will happen when I enter the United States?

Your airline should give you a blank Customs Declaration form 6059B. Only one Customs Declaration is required for a family traveling together.

A visa does not guarantee entry into the United States, but allows a foreign citizen coming from abroad to travel to a U.S. port of entry and request permission to enter the United States. The Department of Homeland Security, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officials have authority to permit or deny admission to the United States, and determine how long a traveler may stay. At the port of entry, upon granting entry to the United States, the Customs and Border Protection officer will determine the length of stay permitted. Previously, travelers received a paper I-94 (record of admission) with this information. This process is now automated, with some exceptions. The traveler will be provided with a CBP admission stamp on their travel document that shows the date of admission, class of admission, and admitted-until date. Learn more on the CBP Website. If a traveler needs a copy of their I-94 for verification of alien registration, immigration status or employment authorization, it can be obtained from www.cbp.gov/I94. You can review information about admission on the CBP Website.

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Q.14 I did not turn in my I-94 when I left the United States. What should I do?

Previously, foreign travelers granted entry by CBP officials received a paper Form I-94 (Arrival/Departure Record). This process is now automated, with some exceptions. If you received a paper Form I-94 or I-94W and failed to turn in your paper Form I-94 Arrival/Departure Record to the commercial airline or CBP when you departed the U.S., see the CBP Website for instructions. Do not send your paper Form I-94 or I-94W to the U.S. Embassy or Consulate General.

If you received an admissions stamp in your passport instead of a paper Form I-94 when granted entry, the I-94 record was created electronically, and a paper copy was not provided to you. CBP will record your departure from the U.S. electronically. Learn more on the CBP Website.

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Q15. I have questions about submitting my DS-160 and printing the confirmation page. Where can I go for more information?

Our call center is unable to provide assistance on the application form. Any inquiries on completing the DS-160 can be addressed on the following website.

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FAQ - Visa Refusals

  1. What is Section 214(b)?
  2. How can an applicant prove “strong ties?”
  3. Is a denial under Section 214(b) permanent?
  4. Who can influence the consular officer to reverse a decision?
  5. Why didn’t the officer look at the documents I brought?
  6. Does an invitation letter, affidavit of support, or bond help my chances of success?
  7. If I reapply, will I get a visa?
  8. Will using a broker improve my chances of getting a visa?

The United States is an open society. Unlike many other countries, the United States does not impose internal controls on most visitors, such as registration with local authorities. Our immigration law requires consular officers to view every visa applicant as an intending immigrant until the applicant proves otherwise. In order to enjoy the privilege of unencumbered travel in the United States, you have a responsibility to prove you are going to return abroad before a visitor or student visa is issued.

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Q.1 What Is Section 214(b)?

Section 214(b) is part of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA). This law states that any alien applying for a nonimmigrant visa is presumed to be an immigrant (wants to stay permanently in the U.S.) until they can demonstrate, to the satisfaction of a consular officer, that they have compelling reasons to return to a country outside the U.S.. An applicant can also be refused under Section 214(b) if the consular officer believes they will not use the visa as intended or do not meet the requirements of the visa.

214(b) Every alien (other than a nonimmigrant described in subparagraph (L) or (V) of section 101(a)(15), and other than a nonimmigrant described in any provision of section 101(a)(15)(H)(i) except subclause (b1) of such section) shall be presumed to be an immigrant until he establishes to the satisfaction of the consular officer, at the time of application for a visa, and the immigration officers, at the time of application for admission, that he is entitled to a nonimmigrant status under section 101(a)(15). An alien who is an officer or employee of any foreign government or of any international organization entitled to enjoy privileges, exemptions, and immunities under the International Organizations Immunities Act, or an alien who is the attendant, servant, employee, or member of the immediate family of any such alien shall not be entitled to apply for or receive an immigrant visa, or to enter the United States as an immigrant unless he executes a written waiver in the same form and substance as is prescribed by section 247(b).

Our consular officers have a difficult job. They must decide in a very short time if someone is qualified to receive a temporary visa. Most cases are decided after a brief interview and review of whatever evidence of ties an applicant presents. To qualify for a visitor or student visa, an applicant must meet the requirements of sections 101(a)(15)(B) or (F) of the INA respectively. Failure to do so will result in a refusal of a visa under INA 214(b). The most frequent basis for such a refusal concerns the requirement that the prospective visitor or student possess a residence abroad he or she has no intention of abandoning. Applicants prove the existence of such residence by demonstrating that they have ties abroad that would compel them to leave the United States at the end of the temporary stay. The law places this burden of proof on the applicant.

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Q.2 How can an applicant prove “strong ties?”

Our best advice is for you to explain your personal circumstances truthfully and in detail. Why do you want to visit the U.S.? Are you going on a business trip, visiting family, going to study? The consular officer considers whether your story makes sense and considers what would compel you to return home, i.e., do you need to return to your job, your school, your family, your social network, your pet? Since each applicant has different circumstances, there is no right or wrong answer. In other words, don’t exaggerate or embellish, telling us what you think we want to hear. Listen to the questions the officer is asking, and answer them truthfully about why you need to travel and what compels you to return. If your purpose of travel makes sense, you have good reasons to return home, and we believe you’ll use your visa properly, then you’ll likely get the visa. Remember, the officer must follow U.S. law and presume you intend to immigrate.

Ties are the various aspects of your life that bind you to your home country. Strong ties vary from country to country, city to city, and person to person, but examples include:

  • Your job;
  • Your home; and/or
  • Your relationships with family and friends.

While conducting visa interviews, consular officers look at each application individually and consider the applicant’s circumstances, travel plans, financial resources, and ties outside of the United States that will ensure the applicant’s departure after a temporary visit.

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Q.3 Is a denial under Section 214(b) permanent?

No. A refusal, or ineligibility, under Section 214(b) is for that specific application, so once a case is closed, the consular section cannot take any further action. There is no appeal process. If you have additional information that should be considered related to the visa decision, or there are significant changes in your circumstances since your last application, you may reapply for a visa. To reapply, you must complete a new application form, pay the application fee, and schedule an appointment for a new interview. Review the website of the U.S. Embassy or Consulate where you plan to reapply to learn about any reapplication procedures.

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Q.4 Who can influence the consular officer to reverse a decision?

Immigration law delegates sole responsibility for issuance or refusal of visas to consular officers. They have the final say on all visa cases. By regulation, the U.S. Department of State has authority to review consular decisions, but this authority is limited to the interpretation of law, not facts. When an applicant is refused under Section 214(b), the refusal is based on the facts given, not in the application of the law. The consular officer is the sole arbiter of whether the facts an applicant presents are credible and sufficient to overcome a presumption of immigrant intent. An applicant can have better success in future interviews by presenting new, convincing evidence of strong ties.

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Q.5 Why didn’t the officer look at the documents I brought?

Applying for a nonimmigrant visa is not primarily a document-based process. In many cases, the visa application form and information provided by the applicant during the visa interview is sufficient for the consular officer to determine eligibility for a visa. We do suggest though that supporting documents be readily available to present, if asked, which demonstrate eligibility for a visa. You must be able to speak credibly, knowledgeably, and in depth about your purpose of travel, intent and what will compel you to leave the U.S.

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Q 6. Does an invitation letter, affidavit of support, or bond help my chances of success?

An invitation letter, either from a business or family member, may help explain your purpose for travel. However, the officer will review your DS-160 application form and then ask some questions to assess your personal circumstances and ties to your country of residence.. We don’t accept affidavits of support or bonds in the nonimmigrant visa application process.

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Q 7. If I reapply, will I get a visa?

The visa application process is not a lottery. A rejection under Section 214(b) does not mean that you are permanently ineligible to receive a visa. Unless your personal circumstances change significantly since your previous interview, we do not recommend reapplying. If you do reapply, you will have to fill out a new DS-160 form, pay a new visa application fee, and schedule a new appointment.

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Q.8. Can a broker improve my chances of getting a visa?

There are many brokers who claim to have an inside connection in the Embassy or special knowledge of the visa application process. Be wary of these brokers. Most will try to sell you fake documents and useless interview coaching that may actually hurt your chances of receiving a visa. All of the information that you need to apply for a visa is public knowledge and freely available.

For information about visa ineligibilities other than 214(b), please visit the Department of State’s Consular Affairs website.

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FAQ - Business/Tourist Visa

  1. How long can I stay in the United States on a tourist or business visa?
  2. My visitor visa (B-1/B-2) expires after my intended date of arrival in the United States. Do I need to get a new visa before departure?
  3. My U.S. visa will expire in the next 6 months. Do I need to apply for a new visa after my current visa expires or can I apply in advance?
  4. I currently hold a valid B-1/B-2 visa, which is in my maiden name, in my old passport. I wish to transfer this visa to my new passport, which is in my married name. What is the procedure?
  5. My current U.S. visa was issued to me when I was working in my previous job. Now I have changed to a new job at a new company and my new employer wants me to attend a conference in the United States, scheduled for next month. Can I use the same visa or do I have to apply for a new visa?
  6. My child is studying in the United States. Can I go live with him?
  7. Can I use a B1/B2 visa to live and work in the U.S?

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Q.1 How long can I stay in the United States on a tourist or business visa?

A U.S. nonimmigrant visa grants you permission to travel to a Port of Entry (airport/seaport) in the United States. When you arrive at your destination Port of Entry, the U.S. Customs and Border Protection officer who processes your entry will determine the length of time that you may remain in the country. You may travel to the United States during the validity of your nonimmigrant visa up to and including the last day the visa is valid. The visa duration does not determine the length of time that you may legally remain in the United States; only the Customs and Border Protection officer can decide this upon your arrival in the United States.

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Q.2 My visitor visa (B-1/B-2) expires after my intended date of arrival in the United States. Do I need to get a new visa before departure?

You can arrive in the United States right up to the last date of validity indicated on the visa. The Customs and Border Protection officer on arrival determines the duration of your stay in the United States. Your visa can expire while you are still in the United States – just be sure that you do not overstay the period of time the officer grants.

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Q.3 My U.S. visa will expire in the next 6 months. Do I need to apply for a new visa after my current visa expires or can I apply in advance?

You do not have to wait until your current visa expires. You can apply for a new visa even if your current visa is valid.

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Q.4 I currently hold a valid B-1/B-2 visa, which is in my maiden name, in my old passport. I wish to transfer this visa to my new passport, which is in my married name. What is the procedure?

U.S. visas cannot be transferred from one passport to another. You can travel to the United States with both passports as well as your marriage certificate, or you can apply for a new visa.

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Q.5 My current U.S. visa was issued to me when I was working in my previous job. Now I have changed to a new job at a new company and my new employer wants me to attend a conference in the United States, scheduled for next month. Can I use the same visa or do I have to apply for a new visa?

You can travel to the United States on the same visa as long as your visa is valid for business or pleasure.

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Q.6 My child is studying in the United States. Can I go live with him?

While you can use your own B-1/B-2 visa to visit your child, you may not live with your child unless you have your own immigrant, work, or student visa.

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Q 7. Can I use a B1/B2 visa to live or work in the U.S?

U.S. immigration law limits the use of a B1/B2 visa to travel of a specific, limited duration. If your intent is to stay indefinitely, then B1/B2 is not the appropriate category for you. The law also forbids obtaining or engaging in paid employment while traveling on a B1/B2 visa.

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FAQ - Work Visa

  1. What is a petition?
  2. Can I get a visa to do casual work?
  3. Is there an age limit for applying for a temporary work visa?
  4. Can my U.S.-based relative sponsor me for a work visa?
  5. When can I enter the United States?
  6. Who pays the Fraud Prevention and Detection fee and when do they pay it?

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Q.1 What is a petition?

Before applying for a temporary worker visa at the U.S. Embassy or Consulate you must have an approved Form I-129, Petition for Nonimmigrant Worker, from USCIS. This petition must be submitted by your prospective employer no earlier than six months prior to your proposed employment start date. Your employer should file the petition as soon as possible within the 6-month period to allow adequate time for processing. Once approved, your employer will be sent Form I-797, Notice of Action. For more information, visit the USCIS Temporary Workers webpage.

Note: To verify your petition’s approval the U.S. Embassy or Consulate needs your I-129 petition receipt number, along with your approved Form I-797. Please bring both of these to your interview.

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Q.2 Can I get a visa to do casual work?

No. There is no visa that covers casual work. All applicants who plan to work in the United States must have an approved petition prior to their visa appointment.

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Q.3 Is there an age limit for applying for a temporary work visa?

There are no upper limits, but please check with the employment regulations of the employer’s place of business.

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Q.4 Can my U.S.-based relative sponsor me for a work visa?

No. Only your employer can sponsor you.

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Q.5 When can I enter the United States?

You may not enter the United States more than 10 days prior to your employment start date as noted on your Form I-797 or on your offer of employment letter.

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Q.6 Who pays the Fraud Prevention and Detection fee and when do they pay it?

An applicant for an L-1 visa traveling on a blanket petition must pay the Fraud Prevention and Detection fee. On individual L, H-1B and H-2B petitions, the U.S. petitioner pays the Fraud Prevention and Detection fee to USCIS when the petition is filed.

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FAQ - Student Visa

  1. What is an I-20 and how do I get it?
  2. How early should I apply for my student visa?
  3. I received my visa, when should I travel?
  4. Can a person on a visitor visa change his or her status to student while in the United States if he or she gains admission to a school and gets a Form I-20?
  5. What if I receive an I-20 to a different school?
  6. I was working as an H-1B and have now been admitted to a university as an F-1. Do I need to return to my country to apply for a student visa?
  7. Can an F-1 student work in the United States?
  8. What is the SEVIS system and how does it affect me?
  9. Where can I learn more about options for higher study in the U.S.?
  10. What must I demonstrate to a consular officer at the time of interview?
  11. What should I bring to the interview?

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Q.1 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.

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Q.2 How early should I apply for my student visa?

You are encouraged to apply for your nonimmigrant student visa as soon as you have your 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.

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Q.3 I received my visa, when should I travel?

For your initial entry, you may only enter the United States within 30 days of the beginning of the course of study stated on your I-20, regardless of when your visa was issued.

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Q.4 Can a person on a visitor visa change his or her status to student while in the United States if he or she gains admission to a school and gets a Form I-20?

Yes. In general, you may apply to change your nonimmigrant visa status if you were lawfully admitted to the United States with a nonimmigrant visa, if your nonimmigrant status remains valid, if you have not violated the conditions of your status, and you have not committed any actions that would make you ineligible. For more details, please visit the USCIS website.

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Q.5 What if I receive an I-20 to a different school?

If you received an I-20 after scheduling your appointment, then you can inform the U.S. consular officer of the new I-20 at the time of the interview.

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Q.6 I was working as an H-1B and have now been admitted to a university as an F-1. Do I need to return to my country to apply for a student visa?

No. Once you are in the United States, you do not need to apply for a new visa because the visa is only for entry into the United States. Check with USCIS to determine if you need to adjust status. If you leave the country, however, you’ll need to apply for the student visa in order to re-enter the United States.

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Q.7 Can an F-1 student work in the United States?

Full-time students on F visas may seek on-campus employment not to exceed 20 hours per week. After the first year in student status, an applicant may apply for employment off campus with authorization from USCIS. Please contact your student advisor for further information.

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Q.8 What is the SEVIS system 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.

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Q.9 Where can I learn more about higher study options in the U.S.?

Studying abroad is a big decision and the application process can be daunting. To assist aspiring students, the U.S. Embassy offers EducationUSA counseling services which can help you find the right program for your educational needs. To learn more, please visit EducationUSA’s website for more details.

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Q.10 How can I prepare for my interview?

The student visa interview is, above all else, a conversation. The consular officer needs to determine that you are a genuine student and you have the funds to pay for your education. While it’s not required or encouraged to prepare and memorize a speech, you should think about your reasons for study, understand your sponsor’s plan for financing your schooling, and be prepared to discuss this information with the consular officer. Above all else, relax! The consular officer’s job is to determine facts, not to intimidate.

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Q.11 What should I bring to my interview?

Bring with you any documents that demonstrate your ability to fund your studies and confirm your educational qualifications. These documents may include educational certificates, standardized test scores, and bank statements. Many applicants feel the need to falsify or embellish documents. If an applicant presents fraudulent documents in conjunction with a visa application, they may be subject to a lifetime ban from receiving a U.S. visa and/or travel to the United States. If you do not have the funds to support your education, EducationUSA can provide you with information on scholarships and other funding sources.

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FAQ - Exchange Visitor Visa

  1. I received my visa, when should I travel?
  2. What is the SEVIS system and how does it affect me?
  3. What is the “two-year rule?”
  4. Can the two-year rule be waived?

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Q.1 I received my visa, when should I travel?

Exchange visitors may only enter the United States within 30 days of the beginning of the program as stated on your Form DS-2019, regardless of when your visa was issued.

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Q.2 What is the SEVIS system 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. Exchange visitor visa applicants are required to pay a SEVIS fee before a visa can be issued. Applicants are required to provide the SEVIS I-901 fee receipt as proof of payment. The SEVIS website has more details.

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Q.3 What is the “two-year rule?”

The “two-year rule” is the common term used for a section of U.S. immigration law which requires many exchange visitors to return to their home countries and be physically present there for at least two years after the conclusion of their exchange visit before they can return to the U.S. under certain types of visas, specifically H-1, L-1, K-1 and immigrant visas. It is important to note that your DS 2019 contains only a preliminary finding of whether the two-year rule applies to you .The final decision occurs only if you later choose to apply for an H-1, L-1, K-1, or immigrant visa.

J-1 visa holders subject to the two-year rule are not permitted to remain in the United States and apply for an adjustment/change of status to a prohibited nonimmigrant status (for example, from a J-1 visa to an H-1 visa) or to apply for legal permanent resident status (Green Card) without first returning home for two years or obtaining an approved waiver. Whether you are subject to the two-year rule is determined by a number of factors, including your source of funding and your country’s “Skills List.” It is not determined by the amount of time you spend in the United States.

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Q.4 Can the two-year rule be waived?

Possibly. Only the Department of State’s Visa Office can grant waivers of the two-year rule. The Visa Office is also the final authority on whether you are subject to the rule, regardless of what is annotated in your passport. If you are subject to the two-year rule, you may be eligible for a waiver. Even if you are subject to the two-year rule, you may still qualify for a tourist visa or any other nonimmigrant visa except those noted above.

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FAQ - Transit/Ship Crew Visa

  1. I plan to stop in the United States for a day and take a flight to another country on the next day. Do I need to apply for C-1 visa or a B-1/B-2 visa?

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Q.1 I plan to stop in the United States for a day and take a flight to another country on the next day. Do I need to apply for C-1 visa or a B-1/B-2 visa?

If you seek layover privileges for purposes other than transiting through the United States, such as to visit friends or for sightseeing, then you must qualify for and obtain the type of visa required for that purpose, such as a B-2 visa.

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FAQ - Religious Worker Visa

  1. I am applying for a religious worker visa, but do not have an approved petition. I have been to the United States previously with an R-1 visa and was not required to have the petition. Can I apply for an R-1 visa without the petition since I had an R-1 visa in the past?

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Q.1 I am applying for a religious worker visa, but do not have an approved petition. I have been to the United States previously with an R-1 visa and was not required to have the petition. Can I apply for an R-1 visa without the petition since I had an R-1 visa in the past?

The requirement for an approved petition went into effect November 28, 2008. All applicants applying for an R-1 nonimmigrant visa are required to have an approved petition from U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). For more information, please visit the USCIS website.

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FAQ – Interview Waiver Program / Renew My Visa

  1. Can I apply for the Interview Waiver Program as my last visa was issued from an overseas post (not from Dhaka)?
  2. Am I eligible to apply for the Interview Waiver Program (“Drop-box”)?
  3. My visa expired two years ago. Can I still apply for drop-box?
  4. I applied for a visa in 2007 but received it in 2008. Can I apply for Drop-box?
  5. When will I get my visa after applying for Drop-box?
  6. What should I do if I am asked to come in for an in-person interview?
  7. Does Drop-box eligibility guarantee that I’ll be issued a visa?
  8. I am a crew member (vessel or airline) and I have previously been issued a C1/D visa. Can I also apply for a B1/B2 visa through the Drop-box system?
  9. What are the pre-requisites to submit an application for Drop-box?
  10. I am applying with my child and his/her age was below 14 when the last visa was issued. Now my child is over 14. Can he/she apply for Drop-box along with the rest of the family?

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Q.1. Can I apply for the Interview Waiver Program as my last visa was issued from an overseas post (not from Dhaka)?

Yes, you may apply at the U.S. Embassy Dhaka even though your last visa was issued from an overseas post as long as you are applying in the consular district of your normal residence. For an example, if you are a citizen or resident of Bangladesh and currently applying and present in Bangladesh.

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Q.2. Am I eligible to apply for the Interview Waiver Program (“Drop-box”)?

To determine whether you may be eligible to renew your nonimmigrant visa without appearing for an interview, we recommend that you read the selection criteria checklist.

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Q.3. My visa expired two years ago. Can I still apply for drop-box?

Yes, you may apply for renewal of a nonimmigrant visa that is either still valid or expired less than one year ago. In addition, you can also renew your visa under the same visa class (B, C1/D, F, M, J, O, and Q), as long as you apply within 12 to 48 months after your prior (last) visa expiration date.

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Q.4. I applied for a visa in 2007 but received it in 2008. Can I apply for Drop-box?

Applicants who were interviewed for a nonimmigrant visa on or after January 01, 2008 are eligible. Additionally, the applicants must meet the criteria listed in the checklist.

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Q.5. When will I get my visa after applying for Drop-box?

The visas are generally ready for pick up in seven (7) business days. However, some qualified applicants require additional administrative processing. It is impossible for us to predict how much time will be required for additional processing. Once the processing is complete and the visa is ready, your passport will be sent to your pre-selected location. You will receive an email from the service center that your passport is “Ready for Pick Up”.

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Q.6. What should I do if I am asked to come in for an in-person interview?

The Consular Section will notify you via email to schedule an interview online and unlock the MRV fee receipt.

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Q.7. Does Drop-box eligibility guarantee that I’ll be issued a visa?

No. Eligibility for the interview waiver program does not guarantee a visa issuance, nor does it guarantee that the interview will be waived. Although your interview may be waived, you may still be required to appear for fingerprinting. We will contact you via the email address listed on your DS-160 online application if we require additional information.

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Q.8. I am a crew member (vessel or airline) and I have previously been issued a C1/D visa. Can I also apply for a B1/B2 visa through the Drop-box system?

If you are a crew member (vessel or airline) who has been issued a C1/D visa, but not a B1/B2 visa, and would like to apply for both visas, then you are not eligible for Drop-box. You must schedule a regular in-person interview.

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Q.9. What are the pre-requisites to submit an application for Drop-box?

Please provide the following items with your Drop-box application:

  • Your current passport that has a validity of at least six months beyond your intended stay in the U.S. (all categories)
  • Your previous passport that contains previously issued U.S. visa (last issuance)
  • The DS-160 nonimmigrant visa application confirmation page (all categories)
  • Original CGI cash deposit slip for MRV fee payment (all categories)
  • Drop-box confirmation letter
  • One photograph with a white background, 2 x 2 inches (all categories)
  • Copy of I-20 (F1/F2, M1/M2)
  • Original DS-2019 (J1/J2)
  • Copy of SEVIS I-901 fee payment receipt (F1, J1, M1)
  • Copy of your CDC book/employment contract (for C1/D)

You can submit all required items at your pre-selected location.

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Q.10 I am applying with my child and his/her age was below 14 when the last visa was issued. Now my child is over 14. Can he/she apply for Drop-box along with the rest of the family?

No, your child needs come to the embassy for fingerprinting and an interview. Though it is not required, you are welcome to schedule an in-person interview for yourself so that you can accompany your child. If you decide to apply via Drop-box, please be aware that you may still be asked to appear for an in-person interview, along with your child.

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FAQ - Track My Passport

  1. How will I get my passport back after the interview?
  2. What do I need to show to pick-up the passport at the Embassy/Consulate?
  3. What types of ID are acceptable as proof-of-identity?
  4. Can someone besides me pick-up my passport?

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Q.1 How will I get my passport back after the interview?

If your visa application is approved, your passport and visa can be collected from the pickup location you selected when you scheduled for interview appointment. When your passport is available at selected location you will receive an email that your passport is “Ready for Pick Up”.

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Q.2 What do I need to show to pick-up the passport at the Embassy/Consulate?

In order to ensure that your passport and visa are not given to an unauthorized person, you must present a government-issued photo ID for identification when you collect your passport.

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Q.3 What types of ID are acceptable as proof-of-identity?

You must present an original government-issued photo ID.

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Q.4 Can someone besides me pick-up my passport?

Yes. However, your representative -must present the following in order to collect your passport:

For a Family, any adult applicant of the family that interviewed together may collect the passports from Saimon Overseas Ltd. It is not necessary for all the family members to appear to collect the passports.

For an individual, any individual may collect the passport if they provide the following documents:

  • The applicant’s representative must provide a signed “authorization form.” The signature on the authorization form has to exactly match the signature on the passport. The signed “authorization form” should include the name of the person authorized to collect the passport, plus the phone number and address of the person picking up the passport. You should also provide a valid photo ID of authorized person (e.g. valid passport, voter ID, etc.).
  • A VALID photo ID of authorized person (e.g., passport, voter ID, etc.)
  • Original DS-160 confirmation page

For officials of Bangladesh Government, international organizations, foreign embassies, etc., one of the authorized staff from the same organization from his/her office may collect the passport on his/her behalf. But the applicant must provide:

  • A signed authorization letter. The signed authorization letter must be printed on an official letterhead and include a recent date and the signature of the applicant (signature that exactly matches the signature on the passport) attesting the full name, designation and the signature of the person who will collect the passport/s.
  • The signed authorization letter should also include the phone number and address of the person picking up the passport.
  • A VALID photo ID of authorized person (e.g., valid passport, voter ID, etc.)
  • Original DS-160 confirmation page.

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FAQ - Application Profile

  1. How do I reset my password?
  2. What should I do if I move to another country after I have registered my profile on www.ustraveldocs.com and did not apply yet for my visa, or if I want to submit a new visa application in another country than my previous application?

Q.1 How do I reset my password?

Click the Forgot Your Password? link at the bottom of this web page. Enter your email address in the Username field and click Submit. The email address you type must match the email address you used when you began your visa application. A new password will be sent to your email address.

Note: The email with your new password will come from no-reply@ustraveldocs.com. Some email applications have rules which filter unknown senders into a spam or junk mail folder. If you have not received your email notification, please look for the message in your junk and spam email folders.

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Q.2 What should I do if I move to another country after I have registered my profile on www.ustraveldocs.com and did not apply yet for my visa, or if I want to submit a new visa application in another country than my previous application?

You do not need to create another profile if it is also serviced by CGI. You can simply contact us through the Contact Us section on this website and share your passport number, UID or email address so we can retrieve and update your profile with the new country where you plan to apply for your US Visa.

If you are applying in a country that is not covered by CGI, you will be invited to create a new profile. As a reminder, MRV fee receipts paid in one country are non-transferable to the other country.

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