person who is physically present in the United Kingdom
may apply for a visa at the U.S. Embassy in London.
The Embassy is located in Central London, and is
easily accessible from London’s major railroad stations
by taxi, bus, or tube (subway). The Embassy in London
is responsible for issuing both nonimmigrant and
immigrant visas to residents of the United Kingdom.
The Consulate General in Belfast issues only nonimmigrant
visas covering visits for tourism, business, work
or study, but does not issue Treaty
(E Category) visas or Fiancee
(K Category) visas. Further, the Consulate General
in Belfast also does not issue immigrant visas.
The Consulate General in Edinburgh, Scotland and
the Welsh Affairs Office, Cardiff, Wales do not
process any type of immigrant or nonimmigrant visas.
Nonimmigrant Visa Processing
The following provides information on visa requirements
for travelers to the United States who wish to visit,
work or study for a temporary period. The type of
visa required will depend on the purpose of your
travel. Many travelers seeking to enter the U.S.
for business or tourism for less than 90 days will
be eligible to travel to the United States visa-free
under the Visa Waiver Program.
Interview and Waivers of interview
Due to increased screening processes and biometrics
necessitating fingerprinting requirements, most
applicants are required to schedule an appointment
for an interview with a U.S. consular officer.
You may be granted waiver from the personal interview
and be allowed to mail in your visa application
if you satisfy the following conditions:
You are under the age of 14; or
You are applying for diplomatic (A-1
& A-2) and International
Organization (G-1, G-2,
or NATO 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, &
6 visas; or
You are an accredited official applying for
a C-3 visa; or
You are aged 80 and over and:
are U.K. or E.U. passport holder, or
have been granted indefinite leave to
remain in the United Kingdom from the
U.K. government; and
are not ineligible to receive a visa;
have not been refused a visa under Section
214(b), or if refused, the refusal has
been overcome; and
have not been denied entry into or removed
from the United States; and
were not born in nor do you hold a passport
from North Korea, Cuba, Syria, Sudan,
Iran or Libya
Scheduling an interview
You may schedule an appointment for an interview
by calling the Operator Assisted Visa Information
Service on 09055-444-546 Monday through Friday,
between 8.00 am and 8.00 pm, and Saturday, between
9.00 am and 4.00 pm. Calls to this line are charged
at £1.30/min from BT landlines, but some mobile
and network providers may charge more. In addition,
callers from outside the United Kingdom and some
mobile and network providers cannot access this
number. Applicants outside the United Kingdom should
have a relative, friend or colleague in the United
Kingdom call on their behalf.
In case you have an urgent need of travel, you should
identify the nature of the emergency when calling
the Live Operator Service.
Family or married couples applying for visas at
the same time may schedule one appointment per family
or couple. All others must schedule individual appointments.
Your child under the age of 14 is not required to
appear in person for the interview. You may bring
his/her application, passport and other documents
along with you, at the time of your interview.
Forms, Fees and supporting documents
All nonimmigrant visa applicants, even children
and babies listed in parents' passports, are required
to submit the required forms and documents.
Application Forms: All
visa applicants must submit Form
DS-156, Nonimmigrant visa application. All male
applicants aged 16 to 45 must also complete the
DS-157. This form is also required of any applicant
aged 16 or over who was born in or holds a passport
from Iran, Iraq, North Korea, Sudan, or Syria.
Passport: A passport or
other travel document valid for at least 6 months
from your planned date of departure from the U.S.
is required. This requirement does not apply to
United Kingdom passports. The passport must have
at least one blank page.
Photograph: One recent
color or black and white photograph taken within
the last six months is required of all applicants,
including babies. The photograph should be:
Taken within the last six months
2 inches (50mm) square, with the head centered
in the frame. The head (measured from the
top of the hair to the bottom of the chin)
should measure between 1 & 1 3/8 inches
(25mm to 35mm) with the eye level between
1 & 1/8 inch to 1 & 3/8 inches (28mm
and 35 mm) from the bottom of the photograph
In color, or black and white against a white
or off white background. Photographs taken
in front of busy, patterned or dark backgrounds
are not acceptable
Unmounted, full face, with the face covering
about 50% of the area of the photograph. In
general, the head of the applicant, including
both face and hair, should be shown from the
crown of the head to the tip of the chin on
top and bottom, and from hair-line side-to-side.
It is preferable that the ears be exposed
Head-coverings are acceptable only when the
applicant's face is completely exposed
May contain a small (one quarter inch) white
border on one side
If the photograph does not meet required standards,
you may have to leave the consulate grounds to have
a new photograph taken before the visa interview
can proceed. You must affix the photograph firmly
to the space provided on the DS-156. In case you
need to staple the photograph, place the staples
on the edge of the photograph, not in the middle
of it, as the photograph will appear on the visa.
Visa application fee:
Every visa applicant is required to pay a visa application
fee of $100.00 or sterling equivalent which currently
equates to £60.00. Payment must be made in
cash at a bank using the Embassy supplied paying-in
slips. The fee cannot be paid at the Embassy. The
visa application fee may be paid at any bank in
cash. If paid through Barclays Bank, no additional
charges apply. Other banks may assess an administrative
charge. Each individual must pay a fee even if he
or she is traveling with others on the same passport.
You should request a paying-in slip when scheduling
the appointment for the visa interview.
Routine visa applications take approximately 5 workdays
to process. In case you tick yes to any of the boxes
under point no. 38 on your DS-156 application form,
your visa processing may take considerably longer
and you can expect to wait a minimum of 14 to 16
weeks before being advised of the outcome of your
application. Box 38 contains questions related to
prior convictions, refusals on account of fraud,
violations of terms of visa, affliction with communicable
If you are advised at the time of the visa interview
that your application will require additional administrative
processing, you should allow at least 60 days for
this stage of the application to be completed. However,
the processing times mentioned above are approximate
and cannot be guaranteed. Thus, you should schedule
your visa interview much in advance from the date
of your intended travel to the U.S.
The Visa Interview
Incomplete forms, lack of documents or failure to
pay the visa application fee may result in the cancellation
of the appointment. You must ensure that you complete
the visa application forms and pay the visa application
fee before the scheduled interview and that you
bring all supporting documents with you on the day.
You must also carry the letter of confirmation of
your scheduled appointment for presentation to the
security guards at the gate.
You must review all the forms and supporting documentation
and be prepared for the questions to be asked by
the Consular officer. You should be confident in
answering questions related to the purpose of your
travel, duration of your visit, your present job
and family ties to the United Kingdom etc.
For more assistance
In case you need further assistance in your visa
processing, please contact
us. We also recommend you to view the following
videos containing two mock interview sessions on
how to handle interview at the consulate.
Interview 1 (Windows
Interview 2 (Windows