How to Apply

The U.S. Embassy in Asmara will be reducing services temporarily to the public.  Nonimmigrant visa services will be unavailable until further notice.  

As of January 15, 2021, the U.S. Embassy in Asmara, Eritrea has discontinued issuing all nonimmigrant visas (NIVs) except for A1, A2, C2, C3, G1, G2, G3, G4, NATO1, NATO2, NATO3, NATO4, NATO5, and NATO6 visas, and others whose travel is covered by Section 11 of the UN Headquarters Agreement to citizens, subjects, nationals, and residents of Eritrea, with limited exceptions, in accordance with Section 243(d) of the Immigration and Nationality Act.

If you are subject to this visa restriction and you choose to apply, we will interview you when nonimmigrant visa services become available, but we will not be able to issue a visa until the restrictions are lifted. Please consider this carefully before you apply.

Application fees will not be refunded.

Your passport must be valid for at least six months beyond your period of stay in the United States, unless exempt by country-specific agreements (PDF, 57 KB). If more than one person is included in your passport, each person who needs a visa must submit a separate application.


  • Completed Online Nonimmigrant Visa Application, Form DS-160.
  • Every applicant must have their own Form DS-160, including children.

Please note that you must answer EVERY question on the application forms. If the answer to a question is “none,” please write “none”(Do not leave it blank). Incomplete/incorrect forms will be returned and will require you to schedule a new interview appointment.

Important! Many of our visa applicants are completing the DS-160 incorrectly, causing us to postpone their planned visa interview dates.

The following documents are required for your interview:

  1. Passport : valid for at least 6 months beyond intended stay in U.S.
  2. DS-160 confirmation page: do not print entire application
  3. Photo: 2 x 2 inch color photo, not older than 6 months, a light or white background, no glasses, entire face must be visible

Additional documents may be requested to establish if you are qualified. For example, additional requested documents may include evidence of:

  • The purpose of your trip;
  • Your intent to depart the United States after your trip; and/or
  • Your ability to pay all costs of the trip.

Note: Visa applicants must qualify on the basis of the applicant’s residence and ties abroad, rather than assurances from U.S. family and friends. A letter of invitation or Affidavit of Support is not needed to apply for a nonimmigrant tourist visa. If you do choose to bring a letter of invitation or Affidavit of Support to your interview, please remember that it is not one of the factors that we use in determining whether to issue or deny a nonimmigrant tourist visa.

Note:  Do not submit any fraudulent documents.  If you do not have the document you believe the consular officer will ask for, do not obtain fraudulent ones.

To schedule an appointment for a non-immigrant visa (NIV) interview, please consult the Embassy’s online NIV Appointment System. Please have your DS-160 Online Nonimmigrant Visa Application Form Confirmation Number handy. It is located on your DS-160 confirmation page, in bold print.  Each applicant must have their own appointment, including children.  All applicants, including children and elderly, must personally appear for an interview.

Expedited appointments: The Consular Section offers expedited appointments in certain cases.  Applicants facing emergencies should email to request an expedited appointment:

  • Students:  please include full name, school name, school start date (on I-20).
  • Emergency medical treatment, as well as any persons traveling in support (such as parent caring for a child):  please include full name of individual traveling, name of hospital in U.S., name of physician, date of appointment.
  • Family emergency, such as death, severe or terminal illness:  please include the emergency situation.
  • Other emergency as approved by the Consular Chief.

Bring all the documents in Step 2 and 3 to your interview at the U.S. Embassy.

On the day of your interview, please pay the following nonrefundable visa application fees: $160 for B-1 (Business) and B-2 (Tourism & Visit) nonimmigrant visas; $190 for H, L, O, P, Q, and R visas; and $270 for E visas.

When you come for your interview, please watch the video playing in our Waiting Room that provides information about the interview process.

During your visa interview, a consular officer will determine whether you are qualified to receive a visa, and if so, which visa category is appropriate based on your purpose of travel. You will need to establish that you meet the requirements under U.S. law to receive the category of visa for which you are applying.

Ink-free, digital fingerprint scans will be taken as part of your application process. They are usually taken during your interview, but this varies based on location.

If your visa is approved, you may also pay a visa issuance fee, depending on the type of visa issued or the nationality of your passport.

If you are issued the visa, return the following Friday morning between 8:00- 9:00 a.m. to collect your passport and visa.  Please watch carefully the video playing in our Waiting Area that provides information about your visa and travel to the U.S.