The COVID-19 pandemic continues to severely affect the ability of embassies and consulates around the world to be able to resume routine visa services. The particular constraints vary based on local conditions and restrictions, but include local and national lockdowns; travel restrictions; host country quarantine regulations; and measures taken by our embassies and consulates to contain the spread of COVID-19.  Combined, these restrictions have reduced appointment capacity during the pandemic, which has created a significant backlog of both immigrant and nonimmigrant visa applicants awaiting a visa interview.  The Embassy in Cairo remains open and the Consular section continues to process cases as expeditiously and safely as possible during the COVID-19 pandemic.  While the Embassy aims to process cases as soon as possible, there will be increased wait times due to a substantial backlog.  Please see these notices which contain detailed information about the current status of visa services worldwide and visa restrictions related to the COVID-19 global pandemic:


Because of a recent court decision, U.S. Embassy Cairo will be adjudicating limited Diversity Visa (DV) selectee applications from now until the DV-2020 Program expires on September 30, 2020. Because of time constraints and limitations due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Embassy will not be able to adjudicate all Diversity Visa selectee applications by that date. There will be no extension of the 2020 Diversity Visa Program and no 2020 Diversity Visas will be issued after September 30, 2020.

The U.S. Embassy in Cairo will contact you directly if we determine that we can attempt to adjudicate your DV application before the September 30, 2020 deadline. We have already begun contacting affected individuals. Contacting the embassy directly to request that your DV application be adjudicated will not increase the likelihood that your application will be processed. The Embassy will prioritize interviewing named plaintiffs in the court case Gomez v. Trump and its companion cases and then process DV selectee applications based on statutory standards and categories of cases most likely to result in timely issuances. If you feel your DV application question has not been addressed by the above information, you may email and include your DV case number (All the DV case numbers will likely start with 2020AF followed by 4 to 8 numbers) and name in the subject line. For additional information please see

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 to determine which visa category might be appropriate for your purpose of travel to the United States.

Nonimmigrant Visas

Travel to the United States on a temporary basis, including tourism, temporary employment, study and exchange.

Immigrant Visas

For foreign citizens who want to live permanently in the U.S.

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.

(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:

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
  • 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.