Visa Information

Visas 101

Visa Stamp

  • Allows entry to the U.S.;
  • Obtained at a U.S. Consulate abroad, cannot obtain new or extended stamp in the U.S.;
  • Does not necessarily reflect legal period of stay;
  • Can expire while in the U.S., but must obtain a new one to re-enter;
  • Canadian citizens are exempt from the visa stamp requirement for entry to the U.S.

Obtaining Visa Stamp

  • Visa Interview at U.S. Embassy/Consulate;
  • Visitor takes required documentation to interview and applies for visa;
  • It is encouraged that applicant visits U.S. Embassy web site for detailed information on requirements (process is different for each Embassy);
  • If delays occur, this is the process in which this happens (clearances, background checks, etc.);
  • A visitor will need to go through this process when initially obtaining a stamp and if they extend later and need a stamp to reenter the U.S.

Visa/Immigration Status

  • Once entered U.S., visa status is reflected by I-94 card or by DS-2019;
  • Reflects legal period of stay in the U.S.;
  • Can be extended while in the U.S.;
  • Cannot expire while in the U.S., or visitor will be considered to have "overstayed" and can impact future visits.

Helpful Resources

More information