How to Apply for a U.S. Visa Stamp

Applying for Your U.S. Visa Stamp

Citizens of Canada and Bermuda do not need to obtain a visa stamp in certain situations. For more information, please read here.

Advance travel planning and early visa application are important. Please review the current wait time for an interview on the Department of State website. Not all visa applications can be completed on the day of the interview. List of U.S. consulate and embassies around the world that are visa issuing posts. 
To start the process to get your visa stamp, complete the online visa application Form DS-160. Read these Frequently Asked Questions first--they will answer many of your questions.

Check with the U.S. Embassy/Consulate where you will apply for a nonimmigrant visa, since additional or different documents might be required and application submission method might differ depending upon which U.S. Embassy/Consulate you will go to. Prepare the documentation that you must show when applying for a nonimmigrant visa, such as:
  • Passport valid for at least six months after your proposed start date in the U.S.
  • One photograph of 2x2 “ (50 mm square) taken within the last six months, showing full face, without head covering or eyeglasses, against a light background
  • Receipt for visa processing fee
  • One of the following (depending on your status)
    • J-1: All two pages of the DS-2019 Form signed by the applicant and by a school official in the appropriate places
    • H-1B: your I-797A or B (this serves as evidence of your approved I-129). A copy is enough to present. Original is not needed.
  • For J-1s ONLY
    • Receipt for the SEVIS I-901 fee
    • Proof of your binding ties to a residence in your home country which you have no intention of abandoning
Depending on your field of study and/or your country of origin, you may be subject to a background check. A background check may result in a delay in obtaining your visa. If you are delayed beyond the start date of your employment and still intend to work for the UW, please email your hiring unit and IFSS.

Applicants with dependents:
  • You will be required to provide proof of your relationship to your spouse and/or children (for example, marriage certificates for the spouse and birth certificates for children)
    • English translations are required, if those documents are not already in English
  • It is preferred that families apply for the J-1 and the corresponding J-2 visas at the same time. If the spouse and children must apply separately at a later time, they should bring a copy of the J-1 visa holder’s passport and J-1 visa stamp, along with all other required documents.