And the most popular question in November was?
I’m not a British Citizen (or I am only visiting the UK), can I still apply for a visa at the Embassy in London?
We get this question a lot! If you are physically present in the United Kingdom, you may apply for a visa at the Embassy in London or the Consulate General in Belfast.
At the time they apply, all applicants are required to establish their eligibility for a visa under Section 214(b) of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA), which stipulates that all applicants are presumed to be intending immigrants until they can establish otherwise. Applicants generally establish their eligibility for a visa by demonstrating the strong ties outside the United States necessary to compel them to depart at the end of their visit.
Applicants should note that we cannot accept the assurances of third parties (e.g. relatives, employers) that you will depart the United States at the end of your visit. All applicants must demonstrate their eligibility on their own merit.
If you are not a permanent resident of the U.K. you should be aware that the interviewing officers’ unfamiliarity with local conditions in your home country may make it more difficult to demonstrate your qualifications for a visa. If you are a temporary resident, or are planning on traveling to the U.K. specifically to apply for a visa, you may wish to consider applying for a visa in your country of permanent residence where you will be best able to establish your qualifications for a visa.
Information about scheduling an appointment is available from the Embassy website: http://london.usembassy.gov/niv/apply.html.
The online DS-260 has replaced the forms DS-230-I and II for immigrant visa applicants and the online DS-160, forms DS-230-I and II, DS-156, DS-156 K and DS-157 for K visa applicants.
If you are applying for a visa with the Immigrant Visa Unit at the Embassy, you will be required to complete the new online forms, unless you have already mailed your application to us, in which case your application will be processed on the basis of the old style forms.
A further change is the use of email to notify the Immigrant Visa Unit that you have completed the DS-260 or DS-160 and have all of the documents in support of your application. By emailing us, you will receive instant acknowledgement that we have received your application and will be provide with a time-frame for the processing of your forms, which is currently six weeks from the date of receipt!
Do you have a question about U.S. Immigrant and Nonimmigrant Visas? Are you thinking about traveling to the United States for the holidays? Got a question about the new form requirements for Immigrant visas? Then join us on Thursday, October 24th to ask a Consular Officer and let us help you prepare!
Please join our webchat on Thursday, October 24th 12 – 1pm GMT to learn more about U.S. Immigrant and Nonimmigrant Visas!
There is only one way to register and only one website on which to register: Registration is done electronically using the Electronic Diversity Visa Entry Form, which is only accessible online at www.dvlottery.state.gov , the official U.S. government website. Be aware of all other websites as they are not operating on behalf of the U.S. government. Read more
There is only one way to enter the DV-2015 program. You must submit the DS-5501, the Electronic Diversity Visa Entry Form (E-DV Entry Form), which is only accessible online at the EDV website www.dvlottery.state.gov during the registration period noon, EDT (GMT-4), Tuesday, October 1, 2013, and noon, EDT (GMT-4), Saturday, November 2, 2013. Paper entries are no longer accepted.
At this time, any U.S. government shutdown will not affect Embassy London operations. The Embassy and Consular section do not anticipate a disruption to services beginning October 1.
Latest information will be posted on the Embassy website – http://london.usembassy.gov/servicenews001.html
If you have experienced difficulties when completing the DS-160 form, watch our helpful video for step-by-step guidance on completing the form. It’s available here, on the Embassy’s YouTube channel -
Our most popular question this month is… I have been arrested/cautioned or convicted, do I still need a visa?
We hear this in many different ways, here are just a few…
I was arrested when I was 14, I’m over 18 now, do I still have to declare the arrest/caution?
Yes, you do. The Rehabilitation of Offenders Act does not apply under U.S. visa law. If you have ever been arrested, even as a minor, you are required to declare the arrest when applying for a visa. It does not matter if the offense was committed as a minor.
I was given a speeding ticket, does this count as a caution?
Applicants are not required to declare minor driving offenses, like speeding or tickets for not wearing a seat belt. If you are not sure if your traffic offense is classed as ‘minor’, you should declare it, apply for a visa and allow a consular officer to make a determination on your case.
I have registered under ESTA, but I’ve been arrested since then, can I still travel visa free?
If you previously answered “No” to the question “Have you ever been arrested or convicted?”, you should complete a new registration, ensuring that you answer “Yes” to that question. If your travel is not authorized, you will be required to apply for a visa before traveling. Please note that it may not be possible to make a determination on your eligibility for a visa until the disposition of the case against you is known.
I don’t think the offense I was convicted of is classed as a Crime of Moral Turpitude (CIMT) do I have to declare it?
Yes, you should declare all arrests, cautions or convictions when applying for a visa. A consular officer will adjudicate your eligibility for a visa. If you require a waiver of ineligibility, you should be aware that it can take approximately 6 months from the date of the visa interview to complete your application.