How to Apply
How to Apply for a Non-Immigrant Visa
We are anticipating increased demand for visa appointments beginning in April and continuing through the summer months. We have increased appointment capacity where possible, but the wait time for an appointment may be several weeks or more. Please book your appointment as soon as you have completed your application. Student visa applicants may schedule their visa interviews up to 120 days before classes begin.
Step 1: Introduction: Learn more about the process -- Whether you need a visa, whether to apply in person, how we evaluate visa eligibility, categories of visa. The answers to most general questions may be found in our Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Step 2: Prepare Photos: Visa applicants will be required to upload a proper photo when filling in the DS-160 application form. Applicants must also bring a photo with them to their interview. Photo specifications are very exact. The following links may be accessed for information regarding visa photos for the application form DS-160:
Step 3: Complete the Application: The previous application form (DS-156) will no longer be accepted after July 30, 2010.
All non-immigrant visa applicants will be required to complete the new Electronic visa application form DS-160.
The DS-160 may also be accessed here. Upon completion of the required information, the form will be electronically transmitted, generating a biographical confirmation page that must be printed and submitted at the time of the visa interview.
Please note that it is compulsory for all visa applicants to have the DS-160 biographical confirmation page at the time of the scheduled visa interview.
Step 4: Make an Appointment: Make an appointment to visit Embassy for your visa interview. DO NOT e-mail the Embassy asking for an appointment! Applicants must schedule their own appointments by visiting the U.S. Department of State website.
Most visa applicants will be fingerprinted electronically during their interview with the Consul. All applicants above age 14 must complete the interview by themselves.
Applicants need to present ID at the Embassy Consular entrance, and will be asked to leave their cell phones at the guard post.
Step 5: Pay the Non-Refundable Visa Application Fee: Please consult our schedule of fees to determine the fee for your visa category. This fee should be paid in Rwandan francs at BCR Main Branch Kigali, and the receipt must be presented at the time of the interview. There may be an additional fee for non-Rwandan nationals who are granted a visa. You can see if your country has a reciprocity fee. All diplomats, as well as government officials on official government travel (with diplomatic notes) are exempt."
Please Note that BCR Main Branch is the only bank in Rwanda authorized to accept U.S. visa application fees.
Step 6: Gather the Required Supporting Documentation: The following items must be brought to your interview:
- DS-160 biographical confirmation page,
- Non-refundable visa application fee bank receipt form BCR,
- Passport valid for at least six months beyond the intended stay in the United States,
- Passports containing all previous U.S. visas, even if expired,
- Appointment confirmation sheet,
- All required supporting documents for your visa type (see below),
For Visitors (B-1/B-2): Applicants must demonstrate that they are properly classifiable as visitors under U.S. law by:
- Evidence which shows the purpose of the trip, intent to depart the United States, and arrangements made to cover the costs of the trip may be provided. It is impossible to specify the exact form the documentation should take since applicants' circumstances vary greatly.
- Those applicants who do not have sufficient funds to support themselves while in the U.S. must present convincing evidence that an interested person will provide support.
- Depending on individual circumstances, applicants may provide other documentation substantiating the trip's purpose and specifying the nature of binding obligations, such as family ties or employment, which would compel their return abroad.
For Interns / Trainees (J-1): applicants must present Forms DS-2019 and 7002, issued by the sponsoring organization.
For Medical treatment: Please bring documents showing that a physician in the U.S. has agreed to treat you, cost of treatment, and means of payment.
For the Spouse of a US Citizen (K3): You must have an immigrant petition (I-130) pending with USCIS, as well as a non-immigrant I-129F petition approval notice sent to Embassy Kigali. Please find instructions here.
For student visas (F-1/M-1): Applicants for student visas must submit the following documents in addition to those listed above:
- An original I-20 form issued by the educational institution.
- Proof of funds available to pay for one year of studies and travel.
- Evidence of academic preparation and English language skills such as school diplomas, transcripts of grades, certificates of exams taken, and TOEFL exam score.
- Proof of prior payment of the Student and Exchange Visitor System (SEVIS) fee. (Find additional information on paying the SEVIS fee. You MUST pay the SEVIS fee before arriving for the interview.
For more information on studying in the U.S. please visit the Education U.S.A. Website.
Step 7: Appearing at the Embassy for your scheduled visa appointment: Applicants should arrive at least 15 minutes but no more than 30 minutes before their appointments. Please note: Only the applicant will be allowed into the building, except in the case of minor children (age 18 and under) or those requiring a medical attendant.
For children less than 18 years old, at least one parent must be present with proof of parentage, plus written permission from parent who is not present.
Policy for Expedited Appointments
Visa applicants wishing to travel to the United States must apply for a visa and schedule an appointment online at http://rwanda.usembassy.gov/how_to_apply.html. If there are no available appointments before the applicant’s intended travel date and the applicant has emergency travel or is applying for an F, J, or M type visa, the applicant may request an expedited appointment. Emergency travel is defined as travel to attend a funeral or receive urgent medical attention, or urgent and unanticipated business travel. The applicant must schedule the first available appointment date and then write to ConsularKigali@state.gov requesting an expedited appointment.
The email should include the date and destination of the intended travel, reason for travel, and should explain the reasons why an expedited appointment is required. The consular section will review the applicant’s request and, if possible, will expedite the appointment to a date that will fit the applicant’s travel needs. There is no guarantee the applicant will receive an expedited appointment.
Bearers of diplomatic passports who are traveling to the U.S. for personal travel can request an expedited appointment by emailing ConsularKigali@state.gov. Holders of diplomatic notes who are applying for visas for personal travel may request expedited appointments as well; these are not guaranteed but will be granted on a space-available basis.
Policy for Group Appointments
Groups of five or more applicants who plan to travel to the United States for the same reason and with the same intended destination or funding source may request a group appointment. Groups of student visa applications who are organized by local NGOs but attending different universities are also eligible for group appointments. Unless the group’s attendance at the conference is clearly in the interest of U.S. foreign policy, conference attendees are not eligible for group appointments. This determination is at the sole discretion of the U.S. Embassy. All group visa applicants will be processed and interviewed on the same day.