Visas

[Updated March 10, 2021]

U.S. Embassy Nassau is conducting visa interviews for all visa categories at this time; however, due to social distancing requirements, staffing, and current demand, the wait time for a visa interview appointment can be considerable. 

  • We continue to prioritize student visa interviews.   Student visa appointments are generally available within 7 business days.
  • Expedited requests for appointments are granted in extremely limited circumstances, such as medical needs, funerals, and other emergencies.   If you request an expedited appointment and it is accepted, please be prepared to present documentation at the interview that validates your expedited request.   For expedited appointment requests, you must submit an application through https://ais.usvisa-info.com/en-bs/niv, schedule an available appointment, pay the application fee, and follow the guidance provided at https://ais.usvisa-info.com/en-bs/niv/information/faqs under “I need an earlier appointment.”
  • U.S. Embassy Nassau continues to implement all appropriate measures to help control the spread of COVID-19.
  • If you have submitted a visa application, your application fee (also known as the MRV fee) remains valid in the country where the payment was made for one year from the date of payment or until September 30, 2022, whichever is later.
  • If you do not have urgent travel, we encourage you to wait to apply for a visa so that people who have urgent travel can get appointments; however, if you do plan to travel, please plan ahead, as the wait times can be considerable, and expedited appointments are granted only in limited circumstances.
  • If you are a Bahamian citizen and qualified, please consider using the visa free travel option and the pre-clearance facility at the Lynden Pindling International Airport in Nassau. You can find the requirements for visa-free preclearance travel at bs.usembassy.gov/preclearance/

Courier process for returning visas and passports to applicants (Changes begin December 24, 2020) 

  • Beginning December 24, 2020, all applicants will be required to provide a pre-paid or cash-on-delivery waybill in order for the approved visa to be returned to the applicant.  

Applicants applying in-person for a Non-Immigrant or Immigrant Visa 

  • Beginning on December 24, 2020 all applicants must provide a pre-paid or cash-on-delivery waybill at the time of the interview. The courier service that is used must provide tracking services (see options below).
  • Only one waybill is necessary for family or applicant groups who wish for their visas/passports to be returned to the same address.
  • Visa pickup from the U.S. Embassy will not be granted except in emergency situations. An “emergency” is defined as a situation when the applicant has little to no control over his/her time of application and travel plans (e.g. funerals). 

Non-Immigrant Visa Applicants- Interview Waived

  • All applicants must begin their visa application process through the GSS appointment scheduling website (https://ais.usvisa-info.com/en-bs/niv).
  • Only if the appointment scheduling system informs the applicant of their eligibility to complete the visa process without an interview should the applicant continue to the following step:
    • Please go to the following website for information about required documents and how to mail in your completed application package. 

Courier Options

Please Note:

  • If your visa application is refused, the U.S. Embassy is not able to assist in the refund of pre-paid waybills.
  • For general questions regarding waybills or refunds please reach out directly to your local courier service provider.

The purpose of your intended travel and other facts will determine what type of visa is required under U.S. immigration law. As a visa applicant, you will need to establish that you meet all requirements to receive the category of visa for which you are applying.

See our Directory of Visa Categories on usvisas.state.gov  to determine which visa category might be appropriate for your purpose of travel to the United States.

A citizen of a foreign country who seeks to enter the United States generally must first obtain a U.S. visa, which is placed in the traveler’s passport, a travel document issued by the traveler’s country of citizenship.

Certain international travelers may be eligible to travel to the United States without a visa if they meet the requirements for visa-free travel. The Visa section of this website is all about U.S. visas for foreign citizens to travel to the United States.

The Consular Section of the U.S. Embassy in Nassau is responsible for providing visa services to those seeking to enter the United States for a temporary period and for those wishing to take up indefinite or permanent residence in the United States.

Please visit our Global Support Services (GSS) website for complete information on applying for a nonimmigrant U.S. visa, including a directory of nonimmigrant visa categories.

When you have determined which category of visa is appropriate for your reason for entering the United States, please ensure that you have compiled the supplementary documentation required for your visa class by completing the following steps:

(Note: U.S. citizens don’t need a U.S. visa for travel, but when planning travel abroad may need a visa issued by the embassy of the country they wish to visit.).

To contact a customer service representative, please visit the GSS Contact Us page for full information or use contact information below:

  • Email: 
    • For inquiries regarding pending nonimmigrant visa cases – VisaNassau@state.gov
    • For inquiries regarding pending immigrant visa cases – IVNassau@state.gov
    • Every effort is made to reply to all e-mails within two business days.
  • Telephone:
    • (From The Bahamas and Turks and Caicos Islands) 1-242-603-1290.
    • (From The United States) 1-703-831-3448
    • Hours: Monday through Friday (except Bahamian holidays) 8:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.
  • Fax: (242)356-7174

The Department of State manages the visa process strictly but fairly in order to best protect the United States.  We are committed to the essential openness for which the United States has always been known.  Travel to the United States is welcomed and encouraged.

We promise to you, the visa applicant, that:

  • We will treat you with dignity and respect, even if we are unable to grant you a visa.
  • We will treat you as an individual and your case as unique.
  • We will remember that, to you, a visa interview may be a new or intimidating experience and that you may be nervous.
  • We will use the limited time available for the interview to get as full a picture as possible of your travel plans and intentions.
  • We will use our available resources to fairly assist all applicants to get appointments to allow travel in time for business, study, and other important obligations.
  • We will post detailed and accurate information on visa requirements and application procedures on every Embassy and Consulate website.
  • We will provide information on non-immigrant appointment waiting times at every Embassy and Consulate posted on http://travel.state.gov.
  • We will explain the reason for any visa denial to you.

Furthermore, if you are a:

  • Student, we will make every effort to ensure that you get an appointment and, if qualified, a visa in time to start classes.
  • Medical and humanitarian emergency traveler, we will expedite processing for those dealing with life threatening emergencies.
  • Business traveler, we will establish appropriate mechanisms to facilitate business travel and expedite cases of particular concern to American business.

At the same time, we expect you, the visa applicant, to:

  • Plan your travel and visa application as far in advance as possible.
  • Complete your application fully and accurately.
  • Be forthcoming about your purpose and plans.
  • Prepare for your interview by being able to clearly and concisely describe your intentions.

The Fraud Prevention Unit, because of the nature of anti-fraud work, is not open to the public.  If you have questions about your case, please visit the page of the specific unit that is handling your case (the American Citizens Services Unit, the Immigrant Visa Unit or the Nonimmigrant Visa Unit) and follow the directions for contacting that unit.

If you have a tip concerning fraud that you wish to share with us, you may contact the Fraud Prevention Unit.  If you wish us to keep your identity confidential, be sure to tell us that this is your wish when you contact us.

E-mail:        NassauFPU@state.gov
Mail:           Consular Section

ATTN: Fraud Prevention Unit
#42 Queen Street
P.O. Box N-8197
Nassau, The Bahamas