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U.S. Visa and Travel FAQs
40 MINUTE READ
August 21, 2023

Introduction

U.S. Embassy Dublin
Consular Affairs

 

Due to the volume ofinquirieswe receive, we are only able to respond to individual questions that are not answered on this page or elsewhere on our website. Please carefully review these FAQs to find the information you require.

If you have a question aboutvisa processing at the U.S. Embassy in Dublin, or aboutapending visa application,please carefully reviewtheGeneral Informationsectionbelowin full, and then navigate to the Nonimmigrant Visa, ImmigrantVisa,or Fiancé(e) section as appropriateformore information relevant to your circumstances.

General Information  

Q. Am I required to show evidence of COVID-19 vaccination to enter the United States on ESTA or on a non-immigrant visa?

The Administration ended the COVID-19 vaccine requirements for international air travelers at the end of the day on May 11, the same day that the COVID-19 public health emergency ended. This means starting May 12, noncitizen nonimmigrant air passengers no longer need to show proof of being fully vaccinated with an accepted COVID-19 vaccine to board a flight to the United States. CDC’s Amended Order Implementing Presidential Proclamation on Safe Resumption of Global Travel During the COVID-19 Pandemic will no longer be in effect when the Presidential Proclamation Advancing the Safe Resumption of Global Travel During the COVID-19 Pandemic is revoked.

Please see: https://www.whitehouse.gov/briefing-room/statements-releases/2023/05/01/the-biden-administration-will-end-covid-19-vaccination-requirements-for-federal-employees-contractors-international-travelers-head-start-educators-and-cms-certified-facilities/

Q: What should I know about visa processing at Embassy Dublin?

The Visa Unit at Embassy Dublin is open and processing all visa categories.  We advise visa applicants not to finalize non-refundable travel plans unless/until they have their valid visa.

Nonimmigrant visa appointments can only be scheduled through the Appointment Service, not via email with the Embassy.  If you need assistance, Appointment Service customer care is available strictly via this webpage  .  If you already have a visa appointment at Embassy Dublin, please ensure that you monitor the email address that you used to register with the Visa Appointment Service  , including your junk or spam folder, as that is how we will contact you if your appointment is postponed or cancelled. You may also log into your Appointment Service account for nonimmigrant visa appointment information.

Please also keep in mind the following:

  • For those attending a visa appointment, if your visa is approved at the time of interview, please allow at least 10 working days for processing and the return of your passport. In some cases, processing might take longer.
  • Please do not make non-refundable travel plans unless you have your passport with U.S. visa in hand.
  • For those renewing by courier, please allow at least 15 working days, although processing may take longer.
  • For those submitting documentation via courier or email in response to an Embassy request, please allow at least 15 working days for review, although processing may take longer.
  • Our office is unable to provide updates on visa processing unless 15 working days or more have passed from your interview/receipt of all required documentation.  You may review your application status in real time at https://ceac.state.gov/ceacstattracker/status.aspx   
  • The Embassy does not permit in-person drop off/collection of documents.
  • If you are considering travelling to Dublin for your visa appointment, please make no non-refundable plans unless you have an appointment scheduled.  Please note that due to operational and other reasons, scheduled appointments are occasionally subject to change.
  • Passports and other documentation submitted to the Embassy are returned via our contracted courier and only within Ireland.  We cannot return documentation outside of Ireland, including to Great Britain.
  • If you have an urgent need to travel and wish to be considered for an expedited appointment, please review the question I urgently need to apply for a visa. What should I do?

Q: I am in the United States and I am worried about overstaying my authorized period of admission. What should I do?

If you are in the United States, please visit the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) website   for information about how to apply to extend your stay.  While you are in the United States, any questions about your status are a matter for USCIS, not the Embassy.  Information and contact details can be found on the USCIS website.

Q: I have scheduled an appointment. What can I expect when visiting the embassy?

You will go through an airport-style security screening. You must not bring laptops or bags larger than a handbag or small backpack to your appointment as they are not permitted into the building and there are no storage facilities available.

If you are experiencing COVID-19 symptoms or have been exposed to the virus, you must reschedule your appointment through the Visa Appointment Service website here  .

Please arrive no more than 10 minutes before your appointment.  If you arrive late, you will not be permitted entry and will have to reschedule your appointment.  Our office may send you instructions 1-3 working days before your appointment, so please check your email regularly.

I have a question about my existing visa application

You can check your visa application status at:  https://ceac.state.gov/CEACStatTracker/Status.aspx 

Tracking information is available through your appointment service account and through An Post, which you can use to confirm delivery of documentation shipped to us.

If you need assistance with visa appointments, the courier, or a visa application, customer care is available at https://ais.usvisa-info.com/en-ie/niv/information/contact_us .

If your application is subject to additional administrative processing or is under review pending a decision on a waiver of ineligibility or for any other reason, that will remain the status of your case until you are advised otherwise.

Now that you have read the General Information,review the sectionbelow for the specific information that applies to you.

Specific Information for Nonimmigrant Visa Applicants and Nonimmigrant Visa Holders  

Q: I read that visa fees are increasing. When will they change and how much will they increase?

The U.S. Department of State has increased certain nonimmigrant visa (NIV) application processing fees and Border Crossing Card (BCC) fees for Mexican citizens age 15 and over. These fee increases are effective as of June 17, 2023.

  • The application fee for visitor visas for business or tourism (B1/B2s and BCCs), and other non-petition based NIVs such as student and exchange visitor visas, has increased from $160 USD to $185 USD.
  • The application fee for certain petition-based nonimmigrant visas for temporary workers (H, L, O, P, Q, and R categories) has increased from $190 USD to $205 USD.
  • The application fee for a treaty trader, treaty investor, and treaty applicant in a specialty occupation (E category) has increased from $205 USD to $315 USD.

Other consular fees remain the same, including the waiver of the two-year residency required fee for certain exchange visitors. Applicants who have already paid a visa application fee that is currently valid and non-expired, but who have not yet appeared for their visa interview or are waiting for their case to be processed, will not be charged any additional fees.

For additional information please visit: https://www.state.gov/publication-of-final-rule-on-nonimmigrant-visa-fee-increases/ .

Q: I heard that I can apply for a visa without attending an interview.  What does that mean?

Embassy Dublin is currently only accepting renewal applications for those that qualify; we are not currently accepting non-renewal applications via courier.  Please note that to renew a visa through our office, the applicant must be in the Republic of Ireland.  If a nonimmigrant visa applicant believes they might qualify to renew via the courier, they should pay the visa fee through the appointment and payment system, https://ais.usvisa-info.com.  The system will then ask a series of questions to see if the applicant might qualify to renew through the courier.  Our office highly recommends that applicants carefully read each question before answering as a wrong answer may cause processing delays.  If one requires assistance with this process, customer care is available via https://ais.usvisa-info.com/en-ie/niv/information/contact_us

If applicants submit documentation through the courier, they should please allow at least 15 working days from receipt of documents for review and a determination of their application.  This timeline is a guide and not a guarantee as processing might take considerably longer.  The Visa Unit always recommends that no nonrefundable plans be made unless/until an applicant has a valid visa in hand.

Our office may advise some applicants that attempt to renew via courier that they are required to appear for interview as our review determined that they must appear in-person.  We cannot discuss the reason for the interview requirement, nor can we modify interview appointment arrangements via email.  All appointment arrangements must be made through the applicant’s profile at https://ais.usvisa-info.com

Q: How long is my nonimmigrant visa fee valid and can I get a refund?

All receipts for payment of Machine-Readable Visa (MRV) fees issued before October 1, 2022, will expire September 30, 2023. There will be no extensions of fee validity. Applicants must schedule an appointment or submit an interview waiver application before September 30, 2023 to avoid paying a new fee. Please note that the interview itself does not need to take place before September 30, 2023, but an interview appointment needs to be made in the system, even if it is scheduled months into the future. Furthermore, applicants using MRV fees paid before October 1, 2022 to book an appointment are cautioned not to attempt to change their appointment dates on or after October 1, 2023. Doing so will result in forfeiture of both the original appointment slot and the MRV fee receipt. The applicant will be required to pay a new fee and submit a new application package.

Please note that visa fees are non-refundable and non-transferable. If you wish to apply for a visa through another embassy or consulate, you will be required to pay a new application fee and complete a new Form DS-160 for that location.  Additional information on fee terms and conditions is available at https://ais.usvisa-info.com/en-ie/niv/information/fee

Q: I urgently need to apply for a Visa. What should I do?

Please find instructions on how to apply for a visa through the U.S. Embassy in Dublin HERE .  Please note that the U.S. Embassy in Dublin cannot accept emergency appointment, called “expedite”, requests from applicants who do not reside in the consular district of the Republic of Ireland.

If you are physically present in Northern Ireland, the Isle of Man, or Great Britain, please visit https://ais.usvisa-info.com/en-gb/niv/information/faqs#need_earlier_appt  for instructions on how to request an expedite in Belfast or in London. You may find contact information for the Consulate in Belfast and the Embassy in London at https://uk.usembassy.gov/visas/visa-information-services/ . If you are physically present elsewhere, please review the U.S. Embassy or Consulate website for where you are for information.

You may book a visa interview appointment for Dublin online. Please refer to our appointment website  for step-by-step information about the application process.

Once you have booked an interview date through the calendar in your Visa Appointment Service account, you can then use the ‘Request Expedite’ feature. You will be asked to briefly outline the reason that you must travel. The Nonimmigrant Visa Unit will review your request. If you need assistance, please contact customer service .

Please note that appointment availability is limited, and we cannot guarantee that an expedited appointment will be available for you.  Please also be aware that an expedite request relates only to the date of the visa interview.  No expedited visa processing is available.

Q: I am a student and I need to get my visa in time for my program. What can I do?

If after following the instructions for applying to renew your visa and book an interview appointment you find that no appointments are available in time for your intended date of travel, please follow the instructions at the above question to request an expedited appointment.

Q: When I try to pay the visa fee, the payment and appointment system tells me there are no appointments available so I cannot pay. What can I do?

All appointment requests must be made through the appointment system, https://ais.usvisa-info.com/ . If you need assistance with doing this, customer care is available and can be reached strictly via https://ais.usvisa-info.com/en-ie/niv/information/contact_us Please be advised that we are regularly adding appointments, so please check the system regularly

Travelers in the United States planning to renew their visas should check our appointment schedule on our visa service provider’s website at https://ais.usvisa-info.com/en-ie/niv .  If you depart the United States, you may not be able to obtain an interview according to your desired timeline. We do not consider routine travel requests to resume or begin work or school in the United States as qualifying for an expedited or emergency appointment.

If you need to extend or change your status while in the United States, please see https://www.uscis.gov/i-539 .

Q: Can my nonimmigrant visa be extended?

Nonimmigrant visas cannot be extended. However, the majority of nonimmigrant visas are valid for several years. Please check the visa in your passport to confirm the validity period of the visa in your case.

Visa holders currently in the United States may be able to extend their stay through the U.S. Citizen and Immigration Service. Information on applying to extend your stay is available here: https://www.uscis.gov/visit-the-united-states/extend-your-stay 

Specific Information for Immigrant and Fiancé(e) Visa Applicants Immigrant Visa Holders  

Q: My case is at the NVC and I have been waiting a long time, when will I have my  interview?   

If you are applying for an immigrant visa and the case is being processed by The National Visa Center (NVC), please click here and visit your CEAC account (if applicable) for information. Please contact NVC directly using the online contact form on that website if you still have questions. The Embassy cannot answer questions about cases currently pending with the NVC, including questions about expedite options or about appointments.   

Q: I have an immigrant visa. Is that the same as a Green Card? Am I an LPR?   

You are not a Lawful Permanent Resident (LPR) until such time as you apply for entry to the United States using your immigrant visa and you are admitted as an LPR by a U.S. Customs and Border Protection official.  Any individual who has been issued an immigrant visa but who has not been admitted to the United States using that visa is considered an immigrant visa holder, not an LPR. 

When an immigrant visa holder is admitted as an LPR at a U.S. Port of Entry, their passport is stamped with the words “Processed for I-551 temporary evidence of lawful residence” which helps facilitate overseas travel while they are waiting for the Permanent Resident Card to be processed.   

Q: Can my immigrant visa be extended?   

Immigrant visas cannot be extended.  However, if you are unable to travel within the validity period of your visa due to circumstances beyond your control, you can request visa reissuance.   

If you were issued with an E-3 visa or a IR-1, CR-1, IR-2 or CR-2 visa as the spouse or child of a U.S. citizen that has now expired and you wish to move to the United States urgently, please contact us to check whether it is possible for your visa to be reissued on an emergency basis. Please provide the full names of the visa applicant(s) and the petitioner, plus the case number (typically DBL followed by ten digits).   

If you were issued with a different category of immigrant visa (not an IR-1, IR-2, CR-1, CR-2 or E-3 visa), please monitor our website for the latest updates. After normal visa operations have resumed and if your unused visa has expired, please contact the Immigrant Visa Unit at that time to request visa reissuance. We will send you information about how to submit your passport, visa package (if applicable), and a letter explaining why you were unable to travel and requesting visa reissuance. Please note that you will be required to undergo a new medical examination and pay a new visa fee before the visa can be reissued. Please do not schedule a medical exam until instructed to do so by our office.   

If you are currently in the United States, please be aware that the expiration date of your visa has no bearing on your length of stay in the United States. Please check the stamp in your passport applied by officials at the U.S. Port of Entry for information about your authorized period of stay. See the FAQ above for information about how to apply to extend your stay.   

Q: I am a Lawful Permanent Resident (LPR) and I am currently outside the United States. What should I do?   

U.S. Immigration law assumes that a person admitted to the United States as an immigrant will live in the United States permanently. Remaining outside the United States for more than 12 months may result in a loss of lawful permanent resident status.  Immigrants who hold permanent resident status and reside outside of the United States for more than 12 months without prior approval from U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) must obtain a new immigrant visa to return to the United States. Prior approval from USCIS consists of a re-entry permit which can only be applied for in the United States.  The holder of a USCIS re-entry permit may remain outside of the United States during validity period of re-entry permit normally up to 24 months. Information about travel and maintaining permanent resident status is provided through the USCIS website.   

Specific Information for Fiancé(e) Visa (K-1) Applicants and Fiancé(e) Visa Holders   

Q: Will my fiancé(e) visa case expire? Can I continue with the application process?   

If your application is being processed by the Embassy in Dublin, applicants are given 12 months from the date on which the Embassy’s Immigrant Visa Unit writes to them with instructions about the status of their case in which to apply for the visa.   

If you have been advised that your case file has been forwarded to the Embassy in Dublin, you may refer to our website for an overview of the application procedure and begin compiling the necessary supporting documents. Please do not schedule a medical exam until instructed to do so by our office. Please check this website regularly for updates about visa services and travel.  

If the fiancé(e) visa petition expires, you may request revalidation of the petition by providing a letter from the petitioner stating that you both remain legally free to marry and that you will do so within 90 days of your arrival in the United States. You should take the letter with you to your visa interview; do not mail or email the letter to the Embassy.   

Q: Can I extend my K-1 visa?   

Fiancé(e) visas cannot be extended.  However, if you are unable to travel within the validity period of your visa due to circumstances beyond your control, you can request visa reissuance. Please monitor our website for the latest updates. After normal operations have resumed and your unused visa has expired, please contact the Immigrant Visa Unit at that time to request visa reissuance. We will send you information about how to submit your passport, visa package (if applicable) and a letter explaining why you were unable to travel and requesting visa reissuance. Please note that you will be required to undergo a new medical examination and pay a new visa fee before the visa can be reissued. Please do not schedule a medical exam until instructed to do so by our office.   

Q: If my I-129F petition has expired, do I need to file a new one before I have a K visa interview?   

The I-129F Petition for Alien Fiancé(e) is valid for four months; however, consular officers may revalidate the I-129F petition in four month increments once processing of K visa applications resumes. For most cases impacted by the suspension of visa services or COVID-19 travel restrictions it will not be necessary to file a new I-129F petition.   

Other questions

If you have any further questions about visas, please see our website , including the Frequently Asked Question  (FAQs), for detailed information. Please note that we will not respond to email inquiries if your question is addressed on our website.

If your question is about ESTA or the Visa Waiver Program, please note that those programs are administered by the Department of Homeland Security Customs and Border Protection (CBP), not by this office. If you have ESTA questions after checking our website (including the FAQs) and the official ESTA website  (including the Help section), you can find additional information and contact details for CBP through their Info Center website .

If you have question about flights, please contact your airline or travel agent.