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Visas

Welcome to U.S. Embassy Kampala's Visa Unit webpage.

The Consular Section of the United States Embassy in Kampala processes applications for nonimmigrant visas to the United States.  Most immigrant visas are processed by U.S. Embassy Nairobi.  The only exceptions are IR-3 and IR-4 adopted child visas. 

Nonimmigrant visas are for people visiting the U.S. temporarily for tourism, business, education, medical treatment, or petition-based employment.  The type of visa required depends on your purpose of travel.

Immigrant visas are for applicants planning to permanently relocate to the United States.

** Applicants are encouraged to apply well in advance of their anticipated travel and not to schedule travel until they have a visa in hand. **

For additional information on the visa process, please visit: http://travel.state.gov/visa/visa_1750.html

What is a visa?

A citizen of a foreign country wishing to enter the United States generally must first obtain a visa, either a nonimmigrant visa for temporary stay, or an immigrant visa for permanent residence.  The type of visa you must have is defined by immigration law and relates to the purpose of your travel.

A visa is issued by a U.S. Embassy or Consulate and entitles the holder to travel to the United States and apply for admission.  It does not guarantee entry.  An immigration inspector at the port of entry determines the visa holder's eligibility for admission and duration of stay in the United States.

Who needs a visa?

Generally, foreign nationals entering the United States must have valid visas unless they qualify for travel under the Visa Waiver Program or are exempt from the visa requirement. 

Please note: Travelers born in the United States and those who hold dual citizenship with the United States must enter and depart the United States on U.S. passports.

Important Security Information

To facilitate your entrance into the Embassy and avoid delays at the security checkpoints:

  • Please do not bring mobile phones or any electronic devices as they are not allowed within the Embassy.
  • We also strongly advise that you do not bring large bags, such as backpacks, suitcases or packages to the interview appointment.
  • No one will be allowed to accompany the applicant to the Embassy for the visa interview unless they fit into one of the following categories:
    • Parents or legal guardians of a minor child applying for a visa.
    • Person assisting an applicant with a disability (e.g. sign language interpreter).

Passport/Visa System

  • Technical Problems with Visa System

    We have made significant progress and issued most of the delayed visas worldwide.  We are working to bring our systems back to full operational capacity.  We continue to prioritize immigrant visas, adoption cases, and emergency nonimmigrant visa cases.  We are printing visas for these cases with very few delays.  We are aware of a small number of visa cases still in process because of system performance issues.  We are working diligently to clear those cases.  Visa applicants are advised to expect delays in addition to normal processing times.  Please take this into consideration when making travel plans. 

Travel & Tourism in the U.S.

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