Nonimmigrant Visas FAQ

Welcome to our Nonimmigrant Visas Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) page.  We encourage you to read them carefully and to visit the U.S. Visa Appointment Service website for additional FAQs.


Consular operations during the COVID-19 pandemic

The United States Embassy in Lima, Peru is only processing first time visa applications in response to emergency needs to travel.  Appointment availability remains extremely limited due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.  Travel solely for tourism is not considered an emergency.  Please review the information on requesting an emergency appointment.  We are working diligently to restore all routine visa operations as quickly and safely as possible.

In-person appointments for first-time, nonemergency nonimmigrant visa applicants are unavailable through 2022 to ensure the health and safety of applicants and consular staff alike.

Applicants renewing visas (B1/B2, C1/D, F1, H2A, some J1 programs, and M1) that expired within the previous 48 months may apply through the Visa Renewal program (under Visa Renewal), and in most cases will not require an in-person interview.  The Embassy reserves the ability to request an interview for further information or to provide biometric data, including a new photo and fingerprints.

If your visa expired more than 48 months ago you will need to apply for an in-person interview.  Appointment availability for in-person interviews remains extremely limited.

Please contact the U.S. Visa Appointment Service by phone (+51 1 709-7950 or +51 1 709-7951 from Peru, or +1 703 249 4660 from the United States) or email directly for assistance.  More useful information, including office hours and instructions on resolving common issues, can be found on the U.S. Visa Appointment Service contact page.

  • Processing times are extremely delayed due to health and safety measures during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.  Times are subject to change based on local conditions.
  • Visa renewal applications average 10 weeks from drop off to delivery.
  • In-person interview applications average 21 days from the interview date.  If you need your visa in less time, please communicate that during your visa interview.

Yes, but appointment availability remains extremely limited.  Appointment dates and times are updated on real-time basis and are subject to change.  Please periodically review your account on the U.S. Visa Appointment Service website for updated appointment availability.

Applicants with an emergency need to travel to the United States should access their account on the U.S. Visa Appointment Service website, then select the emergency appointment option and provide an explanation.

Emergency need includes urgent travel related to a life and death or other medical emergency of the applicant and/or close family member.  Travel for tourism is not considered an emergency need.  Please contact your airline if you need to reschedule an upcoming international flight.  Approval of an emergency appointment request is never guaranteed.

Appointment availability remains extremely limited due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.  This includes expedited appointments.  An expedited appointment may only be available in weeks rather than days.

If you already submitted an expedited request, there is no further action required on your part.  Your request will be processed as soon as possible.  Please do not send follow up emails or additional information if we have not requested it, as this may delay our ability to respond to your request.  We appreciate your patience.

The payment for nonimmigrant visa applications (known as the MRV fee) is usually valid for one year but, until further notice, payments will be valid through September 30, 2022.  This is to allow applicants who were unable to schedule a visa appointment last year an opportunity to schedule an appointment on the U.S. Visa Appointment Service website with the previously paid fee.

All future appointments, even for emergencies, are contingent upon the health and safety conditions at the time of the confirmed appointment.  The U.S. Embassy in Lima appreciates in advance your patience with any unexpected scheduling changes that may result from the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

Should you experience coronavirus symptoms, you must reschedule your appointment.  Any applicant for any reason may reschedule his or her appointment at the day and time of their convenience on the U.S. Visa Appointment Service website.  Rescheduling your appointment does not impact the adjudication of your visa.


Regular pre-application questions

There is no way to edit Form DS-160 once it has been submitted.   If you entered incorrect or outdated information, please submit a new DS-160.  There is no need to update the application ID on the account you created on the Visa Appointment Service website, but make sure to use the correct confirmation page when sending your documentation or coming to your appointment, as applicable.

A visa does not guarantee entry into the United States but allows a foreign citizen to travel to a U.S. port-of-entry and request permission to enter the United States.  The Department of Homeland Security U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) immigration officers have the authority to permit or deny entry to the United States.  For additional information on entry to the United States, please refer to the U.S. Custom and Border Protection website.


Following up on your application

To check the status of your visa application, visit the Visa Status Check website, select NIV and PERU, and enter your application number.

  • “No Status means your application has not been reviewed yet.  Due to COVID-19 restrictions we are experiencing significant delays in our processing times.
  • “Refused could mean your application was refused for administrative processing under INA Section 221(g) or INA Section 214(b).  There are significant differences between these types of refusals.  INA Section 221(g) may require additional information from the applicant.  You can find more details on both types of refusals in the questions below.  You will be notified separately by the consular officer regarding the reason for your refusal.
  • “Issued means the visa was printed and your passport will be sent to the DHL location you chose.  You may log into your account to find your passport pickup number.  Please note we are experiencing significant delays in our processing times.

If your application status says “Issued” (see under “How can I check my application status?”), you may log into your account to find your passport pickup number.

When an applicant is refused under 221(g), it means the consular officer determined that the applicant was not eligible for a visa, but could reconsider based on additional information or upon the resolution of administrative processing, and determine that the applicant is eligible.  There is more information available on administrative processing on the following web pages (in English):

Processing times vary based on individual circumstances.  You will be contacted when the administrative processing on your case concludes.

What does a visa denial under INA section 214(b) mean?

This law applies only to nonimmigrant visa categories.  If you are refused a visa under section 214(b), it means that you:

  • Did not sufficiently demonstrate to the consular officer that you qualify for the nonimmigrant visa category you applied for; and/or
  • Did not overcome the presumption of immigrant intent, required by law, by sufficiently demonstrating that you have strong ties to your home country that will compel you to leave the United States at the end of your temporary stay.  (H-1B and L visa applicants, along with their spouse and any minor children, are excluded from this requirement.)

What are considered strong ties to my home country?

Ties are the various aspects of your life that bind you to your home country. Strong ties vary from country to country, city to city, and person to person, but examples include:

  • Your job;
  • Your home; and/or
  • Your relationships with family and friends.

While conducting visa interviews, consular officers look at each application individually and consider the applicant’s circumstances, travel plans, financial resources, and ties outside of the United States that will ensure the applicant’s departure after a temporary visit.

Is a refusal under section 214(b) permanent?

No.  A refusal, or ineligibility, under section 214(b) is for that specific application, so once a case is closed, the consular section cannot take any further action.  There is no appeal process.  If you feel there is additional information that should be considered related to the visa decision, or there are significant changes in your circumstances since your last application, you may reapply for a visa.  To reapply, you must complete a new application form, pay the application fee, and schedule an appointment for a new interview.  Review our Nonimmigrant Visas page for information on how to apply.


Third Country Nationals

Yes.  Please follow the instructions for applying for a visa on our Nonimmigrant Visas page.

Yes, but you may be asked to provide additional information regarding your previous visa, and/or or be asked to attend an in-person interview.  Please follow the instructions for applying for a visa on our Nonimmigrant Visas page (see under Visa Renewal).

Yes, but you may be asked to attend an in-person interview, even if you are renewing a visa.  Anyone is welcome to apply for a nonimmigrant visa at any U.S. Embassy or Consulate in the world.  Each case is examined individually and afforded every consideration under U.S. law.  Please note that all nonimmigrant visa applicants must overcome the presumption of immigrant intent by showing that they have a residence outside of the United States and ties that will compel them to return to their foreign residence at the conclusion of a temporary stay in the United States.

Yes.  As of June 7, 2019, the Department of State recognizes that previously issued Venezuelan passports and prórrogas have been extended by decree of interim Venezuelan President Guaidó for an additional five years past their printed expiration date.  Passports rendered valid by this decree will be accepted for visa and other consular services.  Please note if you are renewing your visa, and your previous visa was issued at a post other than Lima, you may be asked to attend an in-person interview.

*** You may find more useful information on the U.S. Visa Appointment Service Frequently Asked Questions page.***