Nonimmigrant Visas

Entry into the United States of noncitizens who are not U.S. LPRs and who were present in Botswana, Eswatini, Lesotho, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa, or Zimbabwe within 14 days prior to their arrival at the port of entry in the United States is suspended, per Presidential Proclamation.  Applicants with impending travel due to extreme humanitarian emergencies may contact consularlusaka@state.gov.  All Centers for Disease Control (CDC) orders pertaining to vaccination and testing requirements still apply.  There are very limited exceptions for diplomats (A and G visa holders) and air and sea crew (C1/D visa holders).

Nonimmigrant visas are generally for individuals seeking to travel to the United States for a temporary period.  Nonimmigrant visas are used for tourism and travel, temporary employment, business meetings, study and exchange, among other travel purposes.

Resumption of Routine Services:

Effective November 1, the U.S. Embassy in Lusaka will resume visa processing for all routine travel purposes.  Applicants should follow the instructions on the bottom of this page to schedule their appointment. All appointments are subject to cancellation with little advance notice due to local health conditions in Zambia. If your appointment is cancelled, you will be permitted to reschedule for a later date at no additional fee.

Travel Restrictions:

Effective November 8, 2021, all non-immigrant, non-U.S. citizen air travelers to the United States will be required to be fully vaccinated and to provide proof of vaccination status prior to boarding an airplane to the United States.

U.S. citizens and Legal Permanent Residents (LPRs) who are eligible to travel but are not fully vaccinated will need to provide proof of a negative COVID-19 test one (1) day before their flight. U.S citizens and LPRs who are fully vaccinated will need to present airlines with proof of vaccination and of a negative COVID-19 test three (3) days before their flight.

Exemptions will be considered on an extremely limited basis.  Please contact your nearest embassy or consulate to apply for an exemption.  Please visit the CDC webpages for more information about exemptions and the requirement for proof of negative COVID-19 test or recovery from COVID-19 for all air passengers arriving in the United States.

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 the steps at the bottom of this page (steps 1 and 2) 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, F1, F2, H1B or H4 visa that expired in the last 24 months, and who are residents of Zambia.  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. If an applicant does not qualify for a renewal, they will be able to schedule an appointment once the embassy opens for routine services.  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 an copy of your DS-2019 to schedule an interview.

Fill out the DS-160 visa application form at https://ceac.state.gov/genniv/.

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.

Create your personal U.S. visa account online at https://ais.usvisa-info.com/en-zm/niv.

Print your Payment Slip and pay the non-refundable $160 (fee payable in Zambian Kwacha) MRV fee at any Zanaco bank branch.

After waiting two business days, schedule your visa appointment online at https://ais.usvisa-info.com/en-zm/niv.  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 received their visas.  Please keep in mind, there are no interviews on American and Zambian holidays when the embassy is closed.

Arrive at the U.S. Embassy on the day of your appointment with your confirmation page DS-160.

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.

Arrive at the U.S. Embassy on the day of your appointment with your confirmation page DS-160, passport, and photo. See photo requirements here.

Passport pick-up is typically held on Monday and Thursday at 3:00 pm. 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.

Callers in Zambia: +260-211-388-801
Callers in the United States: +1.703.745.5546
Email: Consularlusaka@state.gov
Skype: To use Skype to speak to a customer service agent, add a new contact to your Skype account with the Skype name skype-zm.

Email: For payment issues, email essa_contactus+zm+mrv+en@visaops.net, and for appointment or website issues, email essa_contactus+zm+info+en@visaops.net

The Website and call center are the only official sources of general visa information from the U.S. Embassy and are the only authorized methods to schedule a personal visa interview. The application fee remains the same.  Please direct all inquiries on appointment scheduling to the phone numbers and email addresses provided above. The U.S. Embassy consular section cannot answer questions regarding online scheduling issues for nonimmigrant visa interviews.