How to Check Status of US Visa Application

Applying for a visa to enter the United States can be a complex and lengthy process. It is important to understand the steps involved and have all the necessary information before beginning your application.

Understanding the Different Types of Visas

1. Nonimmigrant Visas:
Nonimmigrant visas are temporary visas that allow foreigners to enter the United States for a specific purpose and period of time. This type of visa does not grant permanent residency or citizenship in the US. There are several categories of nonimmigrant visas, including:

  • B1/B2 Visitor Visa: This visa is for individuals who wish to visit the US temporarily for business (B1) or tourism/pleasure (B2). It allows stays up to 6 months and can be extended if necessary.
  • F/M Student Visa: This visa is for international students who plan on studying at an accredited institution in the US.
  • J Exchange Visitor Visa: This visa is for individuals participating in exchange programs such as work-study, cultural exchange, or research programs.
  • H Work Visa: This visa is designed for foreign workers with specialized skills or knowledge that are needed by U.S companies.
  • O Extraordinary Ability Visa: This visa is reserved for individuals with extraordinary skills in fields such as science, arts, athletics, education, or business.

It’s important to note that each category of nonimmigrant visa has its own specific requirements and limitations, so it’s crucial to research and make sure you are applying for the correct visa for your intended purpose.

2. Immigrant Visas:
Immigrant visas are permanent visas that allow individuals to live and work in the United States permanently. There are two main categories of immigrant visas:

  • Family-Based Immigration: This type of visa is for immediate relatives (spouses, parents, and unmarried children) of US citizens or legal permanent residents.
  • Employment-Based Immigration: This type of visa is for foreign workers who have been offered a job by a US employer.

The process for obtaining an immigrant visa can be lengthy and involves several steps, including filing a petition with USCIS (United States Citizenship and Immigration Services), completing a medical exam, attending an interview at a US embassy or consulate, and obtaining a green card upon entry into the US.

3. Diversity Visa:
The Diversity Visa Program, also known as the Green Card Lottery, is an annual program that grants 50,000 diversity visas to individuals from countries with low rates of immigration to the US. To be eligible for this program, applicants must meet certain education or work experience requirements and be selected through a random lottery system.

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4. Humanitarian Visas:
Humanitarian visas are granted to individuals who are facing serious and imminent danger in their home country. This includes refugees, asylum seekers, and victims of human trafficking or domestic violence. These types of visas have specific eligibility requirements and must be approved by the US government.

5. Transit/Ship Crew Visas:
Transit visas allow individuals to pass through the United States while traveling to another destination. Ship crew visas are for crew members of commercial airlines or ships who need to enter the US for work purposes.

It’s important to note that these are not all the categories of visas available in the United States, but they are some of the most common types. It’s important to research and understand the specific requirements for your desired visa before beginning the application process. For more information on specific visa categories and their requirements, you can visit the official website of USCIS or consult with an immigration attorney.

Step by Step Guide to Checking Your Visa Application Status

1. Visit the Official Website of the US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS): The first step in checking your visa application status is to visit the official website of USCIS, which is the government agency responsible for processing all immigration applications. The website address is

2. Click on “Check Your Case Status”: On the homepage of USCIS, you will find a section labeled “Tools” where you can click on “Check Your Case Status”. This will take you to a page where you can check the status of your visa application.

3. Enter Your Receipt Number: To check your case status, you will need your receipt number which was provided to you when you submitted your visa application. This number can be found on all correspondence received from USCIS regarding your application.

4. Fill in Captcha Code: After entering your receipt number, you will be prompted to fill in a captcha code for security purposes. Once completed, click on “Check Status” button.

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5. Review Your Case Status: After submitting your information, you will be directed to a page displaying detailed information about the current status of your visa application. This may include any updates or changes made since your last visit to the site.

6. Understanding Different Case Statuses: There are several different case statuses that may appear when checking your visa application status such as “Case Was Received”, “Case Was Approved”, or “Request for Evidence Was M ailed”. These statuses will give you an idea of where your application stands in the process.

7. Check Processing Times: USCIS provides estimated processing times for different types of visa applications. To get an idea of how long it may take for your application to be processed, you can check the processing times on their website.

8. Contact USCIS: If you have any questions or concerns about your case status, you can contact USCIS by phone, email, or through their online inquiry system. Make sure to have your receipt number ready when contacting them.

9. Keep Checking for Updates: It is important to keep checking your case status regularly as it may change at any time. USCIS updates the status of applications as they are processed and this information is typically available within 24 hours.

10. Receive Your Decision: Once a decision has been made on your visa application, USCIS will notify you by mail or email with further instructions on what steps to take next.

Common Reasons for Delayed or Denied Visa Applications

  • Incomplete or Incorrect Application
  • Lack of Supporting Documents
  • Failure to Meet Eligibility Requirements
  • Previous Visa Violations
  • Criminal Records
  • Inconsistencies in Information
  • Failure to Demonstrate Strong Ties to Home Country
  • Administrative Processing
  • Economic or Political Conditions
  • Consular Discretion

Resources for Further Assistance and Information

1. The U.S. Department of State’s Online Visa Status Check:
The U.S. Department of State offers a free online service that allows you to check the status of your visa application. To use this resource, all you need is your 13-digit barcode number located on your DS-160 confirmation page. Simply enter your barcode number and fill in other required details such as date of birth, passport number, and country of citizenship to view the current status of your visa application.

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2. Contacting U.S Embassy or Consulate:
If you have any questions regarding the status of your visa application, contacting the nearest U.S Embassy or Consulate can be helpful. They have trained staff who can assist you with any inquiries related to your visa application process.

3. USCIS Customer Service Center:
The United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has a toll-free customer service center that provides assistance related to immigration services including visa applications. You can contact this center for information about the status of your visa application by dialing 1-800-375-5283 (within the United States) or 1-212-620-3418 (outside US).

4.U.S Visa Application Website:
The official website for applying for a US Visa also provides information on checking the status of an application . In addition to providing details on the required documents and application process, this website also has a section where you can check the status of your visa application by entering your passport number, date of birth, and the country where the application was submitted.

5. Visa Application Center:
If you have submitted your visa application through an external visa service provider or VFS Global, you can contact their customer service center for assistance with checking the status of your visa application.

It is important to note that processing times for US visas can vary and it may take several weeks or even months to receive a decision on your application. If you have submitted all required documents and completed all necessary steps in the application process, it is best to wait for an update from the U.S. Department of State or USCIS rather than contacting them repeatedly for updates. If there are any issues with your application, they will reach out to you directly.

In case of any urgent travel plans or unforeseen circumstances, it is advised to contact the relevant authorities mentioned above for further guidance and assistance.

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