An official website of the United States government

Important Visa Information

Payment Methods & Details

Appointments & Locations

All visa interviews are conducted in the Consular Section at the U.S. Embassy in Lusaka.  Interviews for nonimmigrant visas are typically held on Mondays through Thursdays.  As appointment slots for nonimmigrant visas fill up quickly, we advise applicants to begin the application process at least several weeks prior to the intended date of travel.  You may find estimated wait times on this website.  Nonimmigrant visa applicants will need to follow the below steps to schedule their appointment.

For immigrant visa appointments, the National Visa Center will schedule an interview date and time.  However, the Consular Section may reach out to the beneficiary or petitioner by email to reschedule the appointment.

To contact the consular section, please review our visas assistance contact information.

Security Information

Electronics prohibited: Please be advised that due to embassy security regulations, all electronics are prohibited. Please leave your cell phones, laptops, cameras, tablets, or any other device at home or in your vehicle. There are a limited number of small shelves to place your phones at the security entrance, but they will not be locked up. Laptops cannot and will not be stored at the embassy.

Large bags prohibited: We recommend you leave backpacks, bags, purses, etc. in your vehicle, or for a safer option, at home. There are no storage options at the security entrance for your bags.

Application Steps

Step 1. Complete the Online Nonimmigrant Visa Application, Form DS-160

Fill out the DS-160 visa application form.  You will need to bring a printed copy of your completed DS-160 visa application form to your visa appointment.  Below is an example of the completed DS-160.

See example of completed DS-160 (PNG 359 KB).

For Students: “Name of Person Paying for Your Trip:” MUST be the person/entity whose Financial Documents the applicant is submitting.

Please note that you must answer every question on the application forms. If the answer to a question is “none,” please write “none” (do not leave it blank). Incomplete/incorrect forms will be returned and will require you to schedule a new interview appointment.

Step 2. Make Your Payment and Schedule an Interview Appointment

Create your personal U.S. visa account online.

Print your Payment Slip and pay the appropriate visa fee (payable in Zambian Kwacha) MRV fee at any Zanaco bank branch. (Note: Effective June 17, 2023, the standard MRV fee is $185.00). You will be able to see the next available appointment before paying for your interview.

After waiting two business days, schedule your visa appointment online. Interviews for nonimmigrant visas are typically held on Mondays and Thursdays. However, as appointment slots fill up quickly, we advise applicants to begin the application process at least several weeks prior to the intended date of travel. Additionally, we advise applicants to not book their travel until they have collected their visas. Please keep in mind, there are no interviews on American and Zambian holidays when the embassy is closed.

Step 3. Interview for Your Visa with the Consular Officer

Arrive at the U.S. Embassy on the day of your appointment with your confirmation page DS-160, passport, photo, and any other supporting documents. Familiarize yourself with photo requirements.

During your visa interview, a consular officer will determine whether you are qualified to receive a visa, and if so, which visa category is appropriate based on your purpose of travel. You will need to establish that you meet the requirements under U.S. law to receive the category of visa for which you are applying. Ink-free, digital fingerprint scans will be taken as part of your application process.

Step 4. Return to Collect Your Passport and Visa

Passport pick-up is typically held Monday through Thursday at 3:00 pm.  If approved,  NIV visas generally take two to three business days before collection.  Renewals Without Interview generally take one week to process.  However, in all cases, we advise applicants to not book their travel until they have collected their visas.  You can authorize someone else in writing to pick up your passport if you cannot make it for pick up.  The bearer of the letter must bring their ID card and your receipt.


Other Information

Expedite Appointments:

Applicants may request an expedited visa appointment for emergency travel purposes, but it is necessary to make the request online. Circumstances that may be considered for expedited appointments include:

  • An immediate relative’s death, grave illness or life-threatening accident taking place in the United States.
  • Urgent medical treatment for the applicant or their minor child.
  • An applicant for a student or exchange visitor (F/M/J) visa whose I-20 or DS-2019 has a start date within the next 30 days and is earlier than the first available visa appointment.
  • An unexpected need to travel to the United States for urgent business purposes that is occurring within 10 days after the first available visa appointment.
  • An unexpected visit that is of significant cultural, political, journalistic, sporting or economic importance that is occurring within 10 days after the first available visa appointment.
  • If you think your reason for travel falls into one of these categories, you will need to do the following:

1) Complete steps 1 and 2 under “Application Steps” to schedule a regular visa appointment on the closest available date (even if it is different or later than what you would prefer).

2) Sign back into your personal visa account, click ‘Continue,’ select ‘Request Expedite,’ and follow the instructions. In your request, include the date and purpose of your intended travel.

Expedited appointments will only be granted at the Consular Section’s discretion. Applicants may only request an expedite once.

Renewals Without Interview:

The embassy is processing renewals without an interview for individuals who were previously issued a B1/B2, C1/D, F1, F2, H1B or H4 visa that expired in the last 48 months, who are residents of Zambia, and who have been issued a visa in Lusaka. To request a renewal, please follow the instructions to request a visa appointment. If the application qualifies for a renewal, the system will allow the individual to use that option.

Applicants will need to pay the interview fee before submitting their application. An interview may be requested at the Consular Section’s discretion.

Interview Waiver for Individuals Under 14 and Over 79:
The embassy is processing visa applications for applicants less than 14 years old and whose parents have a valid U.S. visa, or who can travel to the United States through ESTA, and for individuals over 79 years old.  Applicants should follow the below steps to schedule a visa appointment.  If the application qualifies for an age-based interview waiver, the system will allow the individual to use that option.  However, an interview may be requested at the Consular Section’s discretion.

Government Sponsored Exchange:  

J-1 visa applicants, along with their dependents, for a U.S. government sponsored exchange program, whose Form DS-2019 has a program serial number of G-1, G-2, G-3, or G-7 are not required to pay the visa application fee (MRV fee) or SEVIS fee.   Please email ConsularLusaka@state.gov with a copy of your DS-2019 to schedule an interview.

Third Country Nationals Applying in Lusaka:

Visa applicants from any consular district are free to apply in Lusaka.  However, applicants must be present in Lusaka to pay the visa fee and attend an interview.  This fee is not transferrable or refundable.  All expedite requests will not be made until formally requested in the scheduling system. NOTE: to interview in Lusaka, applicants’ Form DS-160 must list Lusaka as the interview location.

MRV Fee Receipt Validity

All nonimmigrant visa application fee (also known as the MRV fee) payments made on or after October 1, 2022, are valid for 365 days from the date a receipt is issued for payment of the MRV fee. Applicants must schedule an interview appointment or submit an interview waiver application during this 365-day period. Please note applicants must only schedule their interview or submit their waiver application within the 365-day period. There is no requirement the interview must occur during the 365-day period. All receipts for payment of MRV fees issued before October 1, 2022, were extended until September 30, 2023, and remain valid until this date.

Reasonable Accomodation

If you need reasonable accommodation for your appointment, we encourage you to request your accommodation immediately once you schedule your appointment. We make every effort to provide accommodations to persons with disabilities and medical conditions. Reasonable accommodations vary, depending on the situation and the person’s needs.
Examples of accommodations include, but are not limited to:

  • If you cannot communicate in English, you may bring an interpreter or translator for your visa interview.
  • If you require a private appointment due to a medical condition or disability, we may schedule an alternative time for you to come in for your interview.
  • If you or your child has special needs that requires a private appointment in a quiet space without distractions, we may schedule an alternative time for you or your family to come in for your interview.
  • If you are unable to speak, you may be allowed to respond to questions in an agreed-upon nonverbal manner such as using pen and paper.
  • If you are deaf or hard of hearing, you may bring a sign language interpreter to translate during the interview if needed.
  • If you have low vision, we may provide you with communications in large print.

If you are unable to provide fingerprints because of a medical condition, including birth defects, physical deformities, skin conditions, you may qualify for a fingerprint waiver for certain fingers.

  • Interview waivers are only granted in extreme situations, such as having a medical condition that requires flying in an air ambulance.

The waiting room of the Consular Section and its restroom is wheelchair-accessible.