Nonimmigrant Visas

Please visit our Global Support Services (GSS) website for complete information on applying for a nonimmigrant U.S. visa, including a directory of nonimmigrant visa categories. The NIV visa application processing information as well as the information about all visa categories is available at the website of our Visa Support Contract Partner. Applicants under the age of 14 or those aged 80 or over may be eligible to apply for a visa by mail. Applicants applying for diplomatic (A-1 & A-2) and official/International Organization (G-1, G-2, G-3, G-4) visas are not required to appear in person for an interview with a consular officer. C-3 visa applicants who are accredited officials are also exempt from the interview process. A & G visa application information is available at: Diplomatic and Official Visa.

Location: Parkring 12a 1010 Vienna Mailing address: U.S. Embassy Boltzmanngasse 16 1090 Vienna Attn: Non-Immigrant Visa Section Telephone Inquiries: Visa Information/Visa Application Appointment hotline  (Live Operators): Tel.: (0043) (0)72011 6000 Monday – Friday, 8:00 am – 8:00 pm (local Austrian time) For callers from the U.S., Tel.: 1 (703) 520 2562 Monday – Friday, 7:00 am – 3:00 pm EST Visa Service Contract Partner: support-austria@ustraveldocs.com E-mailConsulateVienna@state.gov

The Visa Waiver Program (VWP) enables citizens of participating countries to travel to the U.S. for tourism or business for 90 days or less without obtaining a U.S. visa. Visitors applying for entry under this program are allowed to remain for a maximum of 90 days. No extensions are granted. Visitors who enter without a visa cannot change status. (For example, you cannot decide that you want to begin a course of study or begin working in the U.S.) Travelers coming under the VWP cannot work or study. If you plan to stay for more than 90 days, to study or to work, you MUST obtain a visa before traveling. Failure to do so could result in your being detained at the port of entry and returned to Austria on the first available flight. Please see additional requirements below. Please note that travelers from Visa Waiver Program (VWP) countries must pay a fee of $14.00 when applying for an electronic travel authorization (ESTA- Electronic System for Travel Authorization). Please be aware that a search of “ESTA” in popular search engines results in links to commercial websites that offer assistance in obtaining ESTA approval for a price well above $14. We do not endorse these websites nor do we consider it necessary to pay a higher price to obtain commercial assistance to receive ESTA approval.

Visa Waiver Country List

As of April 1, 2016 all Visa Waiver Program travelers will be required to have an electronic passport (with chip). Important Note: Please read the Austrian Passport Information. To qualify for the VWP, travelers from participating countries must:

  1. Have a valid passport issued by the participating country and be a citizen (not only a resident) of that country;
  2. Be seeking entry for 90 days or less as a temporary visitor;
  3. If entering by air or sea, have a round-trip ticket issued on an approved carrier and arrive in the United States aboard such a carrier (Most major airlines and cruise lines are approved. The Embassy does not have a list of approved carriers. Call the carrier if you have questions. If traveling by private plane or private boat, you must obtain a visa.);
  4. If arriving by a land border, have proof of financial solvency and a domicile abroad.

Important Information for Travelers on the Visa Waiver Program The Visa Waiver Program applies for the United States of America including Puerto Rico, Guam and the U.S.-Virgin Islands. After entering the U.S. you may travel to Canada, Mexico or adjacent islands within 90 days and re-enter the U.S. using any mode of transport. You may also enter the U.S. without a visa from Canada or Mexico for up to 90 days (please note that there will be a $ 6.00 fee, payable only in U.S. dollars). You will have to show financial proof to finance your trip at the port of entry. Travelers who apply for entry at a land border crossing point are not required to present round trip transportation tickets. However, all other VWP requirements apply to such travelers. Please do not apply for a visa if your travel plans meet the VWP requirements. Please note that the following travelers will need a visa in any case: NEW

  • People whose registration has been denied under ESTA and those whose ESTA travel authorization has been revoked by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and who received e-mail notification about the revocation.

NEW

  • Nationals of Visa Waiver Program countries who are also nationals of Iran, Iraq, Sudan and Syria.  Beginning January 21, 2016, travelers who currently have valid Electronic System for Travel Authorizations (ESTAs) and who have previously indicated holding dual nationality with one of the four countries listed above on their ESTA applications will have their current ESTAs revoked.

NEW

  • Nationals of all Visa Waiver Program countries who have traveled to to Iran, Iraq, Sudan, Syria, Somalia, Yemen and Libya any time on or after March 1, 2011.  The law includes exemptions for military personnel and full-time government employees of program countries traveling to one of those countries in their official capacity.*
  • People who intend to work in the U.S. (paid or unpaid!). This includes work as an au-pair or intern.
  • People who intend to stay in the U.S. for more than 90 days.
  • People who intend to attend school or university in the U.S.
  • People who have been refused admission into, or have been deported from the U.S. within the past five years.
  • People who have ever been arrested or convicted for any offense or crime (including drug trafficking).
  • People who have been afflicted with a serious communicable disease, or who are drug abusers or addicts.
  • People who have participated in the persecution of any person under the control of the Nazi Government of Germany.
  • People who have ever been a member or representative of a terrorist organization.

If any of the above applies to you, you are not eligible for the Visa Waiver Program and will need a visa to enter the United States. Any traveler who receives notification that they are no longer eligible to travel under the VWP are still eligible to travel to the United States with a valid non-immigrant visa issued by a U.S. embassy or consulate.  Such travelers will be required to appear for an interview and obtain a visa in their passports at a U.S. embassy or consulate before traveling to the United States.   The detailed (step by step) visa application processing information is available at: Apply for a Visa. Current ESTA holders are encouraged to check their ESTA status prior to travel on CBP’s website at: https://esta.cbp.dhs.gov/esta/. *Waivers may be available for following categories of travelers:  The Secretary of Homeland Security may waive these restrictions if he determines that such a waiver is in the law enforcement or national security interests of the United States.  Such waivers will be granted only on a case-by-case basis.  As a general matter, categories of travelers who may be eligible for a waiver include:

  • Individuals who traveled to Iran, Iraq, Sudan or Syria on behalf of international organizations, regional organizations, and sub-national governments on official duty;
  • Individuals who traveled to Iran, Iraq, Sudan or Syria on behalf of a humanitarian NGO on official duty;
  • Individuals who traveled to Iran, Iraq, Sudan or Syria as a journalist for reporting purposes;
  • Individuals who traveled to Iran for legitimate business-related purposes following the conclusion of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (July 14, 2015); and
  • Individuals who have traveled to Iraq for legitimate business-related purposes.

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has updated the online Electronic System for Travel Authorization (ESTA) that travelers must complete prior to travel to the United States under the Visa Waiver Program. Travelers seeking a waiver must apply for an ESTA and will have their waiver eligibility determined on a case-by-case basis as part of the ESTA process. If an ESTA travel authorization is granted the Visa Waiver Program may be used, if not, the traveler is not barred from traveling to the U.S. but will be required to obtain a U.S. visa. Please note that in cases where an ESTA is authorized for persons who have traveled to Iraq, Syria, Iran or Sudan on official military order or official government business, the travelers are encouraged to travel with supporting documentation to verify their eligibility as government official/military personnel. FAQ about the Visa Waiver Program Improvement and Terrorist Travel Prevention Act of 2015are available at:http://www.cbp.gov/travel/international-visitors/visa-waiver-program/visa-waiver-program-improvement-and-terrorist-travel-prevention-act-faq. ESTA (Electronic Systems for Travel Authorization) Visa Waiver Program (VWP) travelers are required to obtain a travel authorization via the Electronic Systems for Travel Authorization (ESTA) prior to boarding a carrier to travel by air or sea to the United States. ESTA is available in many different languages and accessible online at:ELECTRONIC ESTA APPLICATION FORM. ESTA travel authorizations are generally valid for two years, or until your passport expires, whichever comes first. A visitor may travel to the U.S. repeatedly within the validity period without having to apply for another ESTA. Note to Austrian passport holders: In course of the ESTA registration, please enter the passport number (consists of 1 letter and seven digits) without any spaces (sample: A1234567) and do not enter any academic titles. All ESTA registrations made on or after September 8, 2010 will be subject to an ESTA registration fee of $14.00.  The credit card payment will be made on-line in the course of the registration process. Please note that persons entering the United States on a visa and lawful permanent resident aliens (Green Card holders) do not need an ESTA registration. Inquiries about ESTA This office has no access to the ESTA data base. Visa Waiver Program travelers with inquiries about their ESTA registration can first visit the U.S. Department of Homeland Security/Customs and Border Patrol (DHS/CBP) info center at: http://www.cbp.gov/travel/international-visitors/esta. Should a person need further information after consulting the website, one may call the ESTA Help Line at +1-202-344-3710 Monday-Friday 0800-1600 Eastern Time (local time: 02:00 pm to 10:00 pm). Important note: If your passport has ever been reported lost or stolen to the authorities and then recovered, please do not attempt to use it for travel to the United States. A previously reported lost or stolen passport, even if the recovery has been reported, cannot be used for travel to the U.S. Under those circumstances, no new ESTA registration can be approved nor is an existing one valid any more. Please apply for a new passport under those circumstances. U.S. State Department/Visa Waiver Program (VWP) – Important information regarding new ESTA travel regulations

  • No More Paper Form I-94 – New Arrival/Departure-Record Process for Foreign Visitors (April 29, 2013)
  • Your own individual arrival and departure date records (covering the last five years) can be retrieved from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s/Customs and Border Patrol information link at: https://i94.cbp.dhs.gov/I94/#/history-search Over the next few months, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) will phase out the paper I-94 Arrival/Departure form for most non-immigrant travelers. CBP will instead gather travelers’ arrival/departure information automatically from electronic travel records. Travelers will not need to do anything differently upon exiting the U.S. Travelers previously issued a paper Form I-94 should surrender it to the commercial carrier or to CBP upon departure. Travelers who need the information from their admission record to verify immigration status or employment authorization will be able to get it online at http://www.CBP.gov/I94.
  • I just returned from the United States and discovered that I did not turn in my I-94 departure record. What should I do?  If you departed by a commercial air or sea carrier (airlines or cruise ships), your departure from the U.S. can be independently verified, and it is not necessary to take any further action, although holding on to your outbound (from the U.S.) boarding pass – if you still have it – can help expedite your re-entry next time you come back to the United States.If you failed to turn in your I-94 Departure Record, please send it, along with any documentation that proves you left the United States to:DHS – CBP SBU 1084 South Laurel Road London, KY 40744 U.S.A.Do not mail your Form I-94 Departure Record or supporting information to any U.S. Consulate or Embassy, to any other CBP office in the United States, or to any address other than the one above. Only at this location are we able to make the necessary corrections to CBP records to prevent inconvenience to you in the future. The London Kentucky office does not answer correspondence, so please do not ask for confirmation that your record has been updated.More information can be found at: U.S. Customs & Border Protection website.

For U.S. Visa and Immigration purposes, all legal marriages are now considered equal. Following the Supreme Court decision in United States v. Windsor, the U.S. State Department will immediately begin to recognize same-sex marriages for immigration and visa purposes. A same-sex marriage is valid for U.S. visa purposes even if the applicant is applying for his/her visa in a country in which the marriage is not considered legal. If local authorities recognize legal partnerships as separate and different from marriage, such partnerships cannot be the basis of a visa or immigration benefit at this time. Lastly, same-sex partners of U.S. citizens may apply for Fiancé nonimmigrant K-1 visas to wed and file immigration paperwork within the United States. Nonimmigrant Visa (NIV) Policy Beginning immediately, same-sex spouses and their children are eligible for NIV derivative visas. Same-sex spouses and their children (stepchildren of the primary applicant when the marriage takes place before the child turns 18) can qualify as derivatives where the law permits issuance of a visa to a spouse or stepchild. Some NIV classifications require certain documentation before a visa issuance can take place. For example, family members of F and M student visa applicants (F-2 and M-2) need to obtain an I-20 prior to issuance. Spouses of exchange visitors (J-2) need an approved DS-2019. Immigrant Visa (IV) Policy A spouse of a U.S. citizen, as well as a spouse of a Lawful Permanent Resident (LPR), may apply for an immigrant visa once the Office of Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) approves an I-130 immigrant visa petition. The validity of a marriage will depend on whether it was legally valid in the place of celebration, rather than the place of domicile. Stepchildren of same-sex couples may be included as beneficiaries on the I-130 petition. In addition to family-preference categories, same-sex spouses and their dependents may also qualify as dependents of employment-based categories, and as follow-to-join derivatives. Finally, persons participating in the DV program (Green Card Lottery) may include same-sex spouses in their initial entry or add a spouse if the marriage took place after their initial registration. Many same-sex couples live abroad in countries where they are unable to marry. Starting immediately, same-sex partners of U.S. citizens may apply for Fiancé(e) nonimmigrant K-1 visas to wed in the United States. Once the union is contracted in a state permitting same-sex marriage, the foreign spouse may apply for adjustment to Legal Permanent Resident (LPR) status through USCIS, or the U.S. citizen may file an I-130 with USCIS. Detailed information about K-1 visas is available at our homepage at: Fiancé(e) Visa.

  • If a child (under the age of 18) is traveling with only one parent or with someone who is not a parent or legal guardian, what paperwork should the adult have to indicate permission or legal authority to have that child in their care? Due to the increasing incidents of child abductions in disputed custody cases and as possible victims of child pornography, the Department of Homeland Security/Customs and Border Protection (DHS/CBP) strongly recommends that unless the child is accompanied by both parents, the adult have a note from the child’s other parent (or, in the case of a child traveling with grandparents, uncles or aunts, sisters or brothers, or friends, a note signed by both parents) stating “I acknowledge that my wife/husband/etc. is traveling to the USA with my son/daughter. He/She/They has/have my permission to do so.”DHS/CBP also suggests that this note be notarized:  Notarial Services
  • Please note that foreign notaries (“Notar”) are not accepted in the U.S.
  • More information can be found at: https://help.cbp.gov/app/answers/detail/a_id/268.

I-901 SEVIS fee for “F,” “M,” & “J” Nonimmigrant Students & Exchange Visitors

The Department of Homeland Security collects a Congressionally mandated fee to cover the costs for the continued operation of the Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP). International students and exchange visitors are subject to this fee which will be used to administer and maintain the Student and Exchange Visitor Information System (SEVIS), support compliance activities, and establish SEVIS Liaison Officers. Liaison Officers will serve as local resources for schools and students, providing timely and accurate program and reporting information and assistance. SEVIS, the automated system for collecting, maintaining and managing information about foreign student and exchange visitors during their entry to, stay in, and exit from the United States, will be used to record and track the I-901 fee payment. Who pays the fee? Those who wish to enter the United States either as a student or an exchange visitor with a Form I-20 or DS-2019 dated on or after September 1, 2004. The fee is nonrefundable, regardless of whether the visa is issued. Participants of federally sponsored exchange visitor programs, which are designated by program codes beginning with “G-1,” “G-2,” or “G-3” are not subject to this fee. Spouses and dependent children (“F-2,” “M-2”) of students or exchange visitors (“J-2”) do not pay this fee. How much is the fee?

 

  When do prospective students or exchange visitors pay the SEVIS fee?

  • Applicants who require a visa to enter the United States must pay the SEVIS fee before going to the U.S. Embassy or Consulate for their visa interview.
  • Applicants who are citizens of Canada, Bermuda, Bahamas and residents of certain other islands (see 8 CFR 212.1a) wishing to apply for “F-1,” “F-3,” M-1,” “M-3,” or “J-1” status at a port of entry into the United States must pay and process the SEVIS fee before appearing at the port of entry.
  • Nonimmigrants currently in the United States who apply for student or exchange visitor status must pay the fee prior to filing their change of status application.

How is the fee paid?

  • Through the Internet at https://www.fmjfee.com/index.html by using a credit card and completing the online Form I-901 (Fee for Remittance for Certain “F,” “M,” and “J” Nonimmigrants); or
  • Through the mail by submitting a completed Form I-901 and a check or money order drawn on a U.S. Bank and payable in U.S. currency; or
  • By a third party such as a school or sponsor; or
  • Selected sponsors of an exchange program by submitting a bulk or group payment.
  • The fee cannot be paid at the Consular Section.

When must the fee be paid? The fee must be paid to ensure that the payment can be deposited and recorded in SEVIS prior to the scheduled visa interview. The interviewing Consular Officer will confirm that the fee has been paid by accessing SEVIS. To allow for adequate processing time the fee must be paid:

  • At least three business days prior to the visa interview date for electronic submissions;
  • At least three business days before the scheduled visa interview for mail submissions to allow for delivery at the DHS address listed on the Form I-901. This time frame allows the fee payment to be deposited and recorded in SEVIS.

How will the payment be verified? The payment will be recorded in the SEVIS system. However, it is recommended that the paper I-797 or the Internet generated receipt be brought to the visa interview.

  • DHS will issue an official paper receipt (I-797) for every payment received.
  • Individuals who file electronically will be able to print an electronic receipt immediately at the time of payment.
  • Individuals may request Express delivery service for the I-797 receipt at an additional cost of $ 30.

When must continuing students (“F-1,” “F-3,” “M-1,” or “M-3” nonimmigrants that have begun, but not finished, a program) pay the SEVIS fee? Continuing students must pay the SEVIS fee before:

  • Filing an application for reinstatement when they have been out of status for more than 5 months; or
  • When applying for a new visa or returning to the United States after an absence of more than 5 months that did not involve authorized overseas study; or
  • When filing an application for a change of status to an “F,” “M,” or “J” classification except for changes between “F-1” and “F-3” or between “M-1” and “M-3.”

When must continuing exchange visitors (“J-1” nonimmigrants who have begun, but not finished a program) pay the SEVIS fee? Continuing exchange visitors must pay the SEVIS fee before:

  • Filing a reinstatement application after a substantive violation; or
  • Filing a reinstatement application after they have been out of status between 121 and 269 days; or
  • Applying for a change of exchange visitor category unless the new exchange visitor category is fee exempt (federally sponsored programs with program codes that start with “G-1,” “G-2,” or “G-3”).

Additional information at: