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Applying for a Visa in Canada or Mexico

Important Note: Certain nationalities require a visa from Canadian or Mexican authorities to enter those countries. Refer to our handout "Travel to Canada or Mexico" or visit our website at Travel to Canada or Mexico for more information.

APPOINTMENTS ARE REQUIRED FOR ALL VISA INTERVIEWS

Any person who is not a citizen or legal resident of Canada or Mexico wishing to apply for a nonimmigrant U.S. visa at an embassy or consulate in Canada or Mexico must make an appointment for an interview. The OIA recommends that you investigate conditions at your travel destination that may affect your safety and security. Worldwide travel information is available on The U.S. Department of State website.

Since conditions and requirements for travel can change from day to day, we recommend that you review information on the appropriate website before traveling for the visa interview. Most consulates have helpful websites that you can link to through http://www.usembassy.gov.

CANADA:

Where can you apply?

Calgary, Halifax, Montreal, Ottawa, Quebec City, Toronto, Vancouver, and Winnipeg.

Who can apply?

Those wishing to renew their existing visas; those wishing to change to a new visa status.

Who should NOT apply?

Those who are out-of-status; those who are in B-1 or B-2 status or on the Visa Waiver program.

Making Appointments Online:

Applicants can make appointments online at http://www.nvarsappointment.com. Each appointment reservation is charged a fee, which must be paid with a major credit card. Applicants are advised to have their credit card information handy. The Internet system is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

Making Appointments by Phone:

From the United States, call 1-900-443-3131 (per minute charge applies); in Canada, call 1-900-451-2778 (per minute charge applies). To charge the call to a credit card, call 1-888-840-0032 from either country. Please DO NOT call individual consulates directly to request an appointment.

What next?

You will need to complete the visa application materials online at http://evisaforms.state.gov. Once you have completed them, print out all 3 pages and take them with you to the interview. You should also take your Appointment Confirmation Letter. Applicants who are unable to attend their scheduled appointments must cancel them two full working days prior to the appointment by calling toll-free 1-888-611-6676 or by logging back into the website.

The Department of State also advises that once the visa appointment has been made, you should still wait five days before making travel plans to Canada to apply for the US visa. This is to make sure that your appointment will not be cancelled because you were not considered eligible to apply for the visa.

MEXICO:

Where can you apply?

Tijuana, Nogales, Guadalajara, Monterrey, Hermosillo, Ciudad Juarez, Nuevo Laredo, Mexico City, Merida, and Matamoros.

Who can apply?

Those renewing an existing visa, as long as the existing visa was issued in the home country.

Who should NOT apply?

Those wishing to change status; those who are out-of-status; those who are in B-1 or B-2 status or on the Visa Waiver program; citizens of Syria, Cuba, North Korea, Sudan, and Iran; those who were registered in the NSEERs program.

Making Appointments Online:

Appointments should be made online at https://usvisa-info.com/en-MX/selfservice/ss_country_welcome. To pay for the online service you must obtain a "PIN" for a fee. The amount of the fee varies depending on the location you plan to visit. For details, see http://usvisa-info.com/en-MX/selfservice/us_fee_payment_options.

Making Appointments by Phone:

From the United States, call 01-900-476-1212 (per minute charge applies); in Mexico, call 01-900-849-4949 (per minute charge applies). To charge the call to a credit card, call 1-800-919-1754 from the US or 01-477-788-7070 from Mexico. Please DO NOT call individual consulates directly to request an appointment.

What next?

Depending on the embassy city, you may use paper or electronic visa application forms. This information will be provided when you schedule your appointment. You can find a link to the paper forms online at https://usvisa-info.com/en-MX/selfservice/us_before_you_apply. You should take these forms and your Appointment Confirmation Letter to the interview with you. It is not necessary to obtain photos prior to the interview. Each of the offices in Mexico will take your photo as part of the interview process. Applicants who are unable to attend their scheduled appointments must cancel them two full working days prior to the appointment by either logging into their online account or by calling the number provided in the above section.

A few cities in Mexico use offices called Applicant Service Centers (ASC). These locations use slightly different procedures. When you make your appointment, be sure to find out whether you will be required to visit one of these centers. You can review that information here: https://usvisa-info.com/en-MX/selfservice/ss_country_welcome.

Who faces risk in applying for a visa in Canada or Mexico?

  • Males between ages 16 to 45 from these 27 countries: Afghanistan, Algeria, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Djibouti, Egypt, Eritrea, Indonesia, Iran, Iraq, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Libya, Malaysia, Morocco, Oman, Pakistan, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, Tunisia, Turkey, United Arab Emirates, and Yemen. These individuals could be subject to name check clearances and/or security clearances. These security measures could take several months in a worst-case scenario.
  • Applicants holding B-1 or B-2 statuses: If you are not a citizen or legal resident of Canada or Mexico, it is generally not advisable to apply for the student or scholar visa. Persons in B-1 or B-2 status needing to change their visa status should consult with an Office of International Affairs advisor to learn about their options.
  • Those individuals whose field of study is considered "sensitive" and is on the Technology Alert List. For further information please see our "Checklist for Traveling Outside the U.S." handout or review the information on our website.
  • For all applicants in F-1 and J-1 status: It is sometimes difficult for applicants not from Canada or Mexico to convincingly demonstrate their strong ties and reasons for returning to their home country to a consular officer in Canada or Mexico. The consular officials may not be familiar with local conditions in or documentation from the home country. If this is a problem, applicants are advised to apply for visas in their home countries or countries of permanent residence. This is less of a concern if you are renewing an existing visa.
  • Applicants with a criminal record in the US, including driving while intoxicated. We recommend that you schedule an appointment with an advisor at OIA before deciding to travel.

Remember, there is risk involved with every visa application. You can never be guaranteed that you will receive the visa you apply for. If you have circumstances that cause you to be concerned, please schedule an appointment to meet with an advisor in the Office of International Affairs or email an advisor at iadvisor@iupui.edu.