The Secretary of State has ordered consular officers in Eritrea to implement additional visa restrictions effective January 5, 2018.

Under Section 243(d) of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA), when notified by the Secretary of Homeland Security that a particular country has denied or unreasonably delayed accepting the return of one of its nationals, the Secretary of State must order consular officers in that country to discontinue granting any or all visas until the Secretary of State is informed by the Secretary of Homeland Security otherwise.

As a result of Eritrea’s continued lack of cooperation in issuing travel documents and accepting the return of its nationals ordered removed from the United States, consular officers in Eritrea are ordered to discontinue granting all F1, F2, J1, J2, M1, and M2 non-immigrant visas to citizens, subjects, nationals, and residents of that country with limited exceptions. Consular officers in Eritrea were previously ordered to discontinue issuance of B1, B2, B1/B2 non-immigrant visas in September 2017.

Consular operations at the U.S. embassy in Asmara will continue. These visa restrictions do not affect other consular services provided, including adjudication of applications from individuals not covered by the suspension.

The purpose of your intended travel and other facts will determine what type of visa is required under U.S. immigration law. As a visa applicant, you will need to establish that you meet all requirements to receive the category of visa for which you are applying. Applicants from outside of Eritrea may apply here for a visa, but language difficulties and interviewing officers’ unfamiliarity with local conditions in your country may make it more difficult to demonstrate your visa qualifications here than in your home country or country of permanent residence.

See our Directory of Visa Categories on to determine which visa category might be appropriate for your purpose of travel to the United States.

A citizen of a foreign country who seeks to enter the United States generally must first obtain a U.S. visa, which is placed in the traveler’s passport, a travel document issued by the traveler’s country of citizenship.

Certain international travelers may be eligible to travel to the United States without a visa if they meet the requirements for visa-free travel. The Visa section of this website is all about U.S. visas for foreign citizens to travel to the United States.

(Note: U.S. citizens don’t need a U.S. visa for travel, but when planning travel abroad may need a visa issued by the embassy of the country they wish to visit.).

Consular Section
U.S. Embassy Asmara
179 Alaa Street
P.O. Box 211
Asmara, Eritrea (we answer emails within two business days.)

Fax: (+291)1-12-4255

The Department of State manages the visa process strictly but fairly in order to best protect the United States.  We are committed to the essential openness for which the United States has always been known.  Travel to the United States is welcomed and encouraged.

We promise to you, the visa applicant, that:

  • We will treat you with dignity and respect, even if we are unable to grant you a visa.
  • We will treat you as an individual and your case as unique.
  • We will remember that, to you, a visa interview may be a new or intimidating experience and that you may be nervous.
  • We will use the limited time available for the interview to get as full a picture as possible of your travel plans and intentions.
  • We will use our available resources to fairly assist all applicants to get appointments to allow travel in time for business, study, and other important obligations.
  • We will post detailed and accurate information on visa requirements and application procedures on every Embassy and Consulate website.
  • We will provide information on non-immigrant appointment waiting times at every Embassy and Consulate posted on
  • We will explain the reason for any visa denial to you.

Furthermore, if you are a:

  • Student, we will make every effort to ensure that you get an appointment and, if qualified, a visa in time to start classes.
  • Medical and humanitarian emergency traveler, we will expedite processing for those dealing with life threatening emergencies.
  • Business traveler, we will establish appropriate mechanisms to facilitate business travel and expedite cases of particular concern to American business.

At the same time, we expect you, the visa applicant, to:

  • Plan your travel and visa application as far in advance as possible.
  • Complete your application fully and accurately.
  • Be forthcoming about your purpose and plans.
  • Prepare for your interview by being able to clearly and concisely describe your intentions.