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Nonimmigrant Visas

Welcome! Nonimmigrant visas allow people to travel to the United States temporarily. There are various types of nonimmigrant visas including visitor/tourist, student, and business. When preparing for a temporary visit to the United States, apply early for visas to ensure efficient processing and minimal travel delay.


Effective August 1, the Department of State changed the maximum validity of B-2 visas from six months, single entry to five-years, multiple entries for qualified Cuban nationals.  B-2 visas are issued to people coming to the United States for family visits, tourism, medical treatment, or other personal travel.  This change will not affect the validity of B-1 visas (for business) or other non-B visas (P, O, J, L, M, etc.)..  The validity of those visas will remain six months, single entry. This change will only apply to visa applications submitted after August 1, 2013 and will be issued to qualified applicants at the discretion of a consular officer. Those who have recently been issued a single-entry B2 visa will not be able to exchange or transfer the visa for a multiple-entry visa.

A visa does not guarantee entry into the United States. Additionally, the visa expiration date shown on your visa does not reflect how long you are authorized to stay within the United States. Entry and the length of authorized stay are determined by the Customs and Border Protection (CBP) Officer at the port-of-entry each time you travel. It is important to note that there are circumstances which can void or cancel the period of visa validity. If you overstay the end date of your authorized stay, as provided by the CBP officer at a port-of-entry, or United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), your visa will be automatically voided or cancelled unless you have filed an application with USCIS in a timely manner for an extension of stay or a change of status or the application is pending and not frivolous. 

For specific questions on this matter please email or visit our frequently asked questions on visa validity.

What is a Nonimmigrant Visa?

Nonimmigrant visas are for international travelers, coming to the United States temporarily. The visa, placed in the passport when issued, allows travelers to travel to a U.S. port-of-entry (airport, for example) and request permission from a Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officer to enter the United States. A visa does not guarantee entry into the U.S.

International travelers come to the United States for a wide variety of reasons, including tourism, business, medical treatment and certain types of temporary work. The type of visa needed is defined by immigration law, and relates to the principal purpose of the visitor’s travel. For an overview of the types of nonimmigrant visas available under immigration law, please see our Visa Types for Temporary Visitors webpage.

Purpose of Travel to U.S. and
Nonimmigrant Visas

Visa Type

Tourism, vacation, pleasure visitors


Business visitors


Diplomats and foreign government officials


Medical treatment, visitors for


Professor, scholar, teacher (exchange visitor)


Students: academic, vocational

F, M




Application Form for Nonimmigrant Visas (DS-160)

All visa applicants who wish to apply for a nonimmigrant visa at the U.S. Interests Section in Havana must submit an electronic application form, known as the DS-160 Non-Immigrant Visa Electronic Application. 

The Nonimmigrant Visa Process

The Nonimmigrant Visa Unit processes applications for applicants who wish to travel to the United States temporarily.

Applicants or friends, family and associates can schedule an appointment or ask questions about the appointment scheduling process by calling our Visa Information and Appointment Scheduling Service between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. (Eastern time), Monday-Friday.  Operators who speak both English and Spanish are available and can be reached at the following numbers:

Calling from Cuba or any country: (52) 477-493-4152.  International rates apply. 

Calling from within the United States: 1-866-374-1769

Callers will need to have a Visa or MasterCard ready to pay for the service which costs $11.00 for eight minutes of talk time. 

Given the restricted number of American consular personnel authorized to work in Cuba, the U.S. Interests Section is only able to schedule a limited amount of applicants per day.

On the day of the interview, a consular officer will determine an applicant’s eligibility under the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA); it may take a few days for a nonimmigrant visa to be processed. However, some cases require further administrative processing. This processing may last from several weeks to several months.  In such a case, the U.S. Interests Section will contact the applicant by telephone as soon as this process has concluded and a determination has been made on the applicant's case. Applicants or their relatives may also view the status of the nonimmigrant visa application at The applicant or relative will need to enter the barcode number that appears on the DS-160 confirmation page and the interview location. Once the visa appears as “ISSUED” the applicant will be able to come to the U.S. Interest Section to pick up their passport following the instructions on their pass. 


  • Fees for Consular Services to Change on September 12, 2014
    Effective September 12, 2014, the Department of State will adjust processing fees for some consular services.  The fees for most categories of immigrant visas will change, while fees for nonimmigrant visas largely remain the same. 



  • Upcoming Closure Dates

    September 1
    – Labor Day (U.S.)  

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