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Visa Application Steps

*IMPORTANT NOTICE*

Most visitors to the United States must have a valid visa.  The visa application process includes several steps: filling out an online application form; paying a visa application processing fee; scheduling an enrollment appointment with the Applicant Service Center (ASC) and an interview appointment with the Consulate; attending an enrollment appointment at ASC; attending a personal interview at the Consulate (in most cases); and, if approved, picking up the visa at a DHL office.

While individual experience may differ based on factors such as the class of visa sought, an applicant’s age, and an applicant’s eligibility for the Interview Waiver Program, the steps below outline what one can expect in the standard visa application process:

Step 1: Complete the DS-160 Online Application Form
 
Nonimmigrant visa applicants, regardless of visa category, must complete the online application form DS-160 prior to making their enrollment and interview appointments through the Computer Sciences Corporation (CSC).  The DS-160 online application must be completed truthfully and in its entirety.

The online application form DS-160 is available at the website https://ceac.state.gov/genniv.

*IMPORTANT NOTICE*
Your answers must be in English and must use the English alphabet. That means you cannot use letters like ñ, é, ü, or ç. For example, instead of writing “São Paulo,” write “Sao Paulo.” There is only one exception to this rule, which is when you are asked to provide your full name in your native alphabet; then you can use non-English characters. Applications that do not use the English alphabet may be rejected, which may result in a substantial delay of both your enrollment and interview appointments.

While you must answer all questions in English, translations of questions are available in many languages from the drop-down menu in the right upper corner of the application. These translations should assist you in completing the form in English.

The form must be completed entirely before scheduling enrollment and visa appointments.  Once the online application is completed and submitted, be sure to print the confirmation page, which will be required in order to schedule the enrollment and interview appointments.  Click here for a sample of how the confirmation page will appear on the computer screen once the DS-160 has been completed.


Step 2: Pay the Visa Application Processing Fee

Current Visa Processing Fees, since January 1, 2011

Visa Category

Fee
(US Dollars)

B1/B2, F, M, J, TN, I, U, T, C and D Visas

US$160

H, L, O, P, Q and R Visas (Petition-Based Visas)

US$190

Treaty Trader / Investor (E Visas)

US$270

Tourist Visa for Mexican Minors under age 15

US$15

Before scheduling their enrollment and interview appointments, applicants must pay a non-refundable and non-transferable visa application processing fee through one of the following four methods:

  1. CSC's Visa Information Service website by credit card,
  2. By telephone at 01-33-8526-1444, 01-33-4624-1978, or 01-44-9462-8591 with a credit card
  3. At any Banamex branch or,
  4. At any Scotiabank branch

Applicants will need a receipt number for the paid visa application processing fee in order to schedule their appointments.  Applicants should also retain original receipts for their records.

Note: For minors under the age of 15, please see the visa processing fee information in the Minors section.

Mexican Citizens are not required to pay any fees beyond the Visa Processing Fee described above.  The Applicant Service Center will not charge you an additional fee; if your application is approved, there is no additional fee to retrieve your visa from DHL.

If you are not a Mexican citizen, you can consult the Reciprocity by Country section of the Department of State's Travel.State.Gov site to learn if an additional visa reciprocity fee is necessary.  These fees apply to various categories of visas and differ by nationality.  Any applicable reciprocity fees may be paid at the Consulate in dollars, pesos or by a credit card at the time of your Consulate interview appointment.

Step 3: Schedule an ASC Enrollment Appointment & a Consulate Interview Appointment

Click here to learn more about the wait times at different consulates for appointments and the time it takes to receive an approved visa.  Please be aware that the times given are averages, and that the processing time of a specific case can vary due to individual circumstances and special requirements. 

We recommend scheduling the appointments well in advance of travel plans, keeping in mind appointment waiting times and visa delivery times. The visa section is closed on holidays and demand is higher during the months preceding Christmas, Easter and the summer travel season.

Some applicants qualify for the Interview Waiver Program and may not need to attend a Consulate Interview Appointment.  For more information about the Interview Waiver Program, including information about who qualifies, please click here: Interview Waiver Program 

To make appointments via the internet, please gather the applicant's full name and valid passport information, the DS-160 confirmation page code, the visa application processing fee receipt number, and click on CSC's Visa Information Service website.  Once the applicant’s information is inputted, you can use the system to schedule appointments with ASC and the Consulate (the system will also help determine if the applicant qualifies for the Interview Waiver Program).

To make an appointment via phone, please use the following numbers:

Within Mexico:

  • 01-33-8526-1444 (Regular phone charges apply)
  • 01-33-4624-1978 (Regular phone charges apply)
  • 01-44-9462-8591 (Regular phone charges apply)

From the United States:

  • 703-439-2313  (Regular phone charges apply)

Call Center Hours of Operation:

  • Monday through Friday from 7:00 am to 9:00 pm
  • Saturdays, Sundays and holidays from 9:00 am to 3:00 pm

Upon calling, an appointments service operator will ask for the applicant’s full name and valid passport information, the DS-160 confirmation page code, and the visa application processing fee receipt number.  The operator will ask a series of questions to determine if the applicant requires an ASC appointment only or if a Consulate interview appointment must also be scheduled.  The operator will provide a time and date for the ASC Enrollment Appointment and, if necessary, a time and date for a Consulate Interview Appointment.

Step 4: Go to your Enrollment Appointment at the Applicant Service Center

The day of your Enrollment Appointment at ASC, contractors will take your picture and collect your fingerprints.  You will be expected to present the following information:

  • Your DS-160 application confirmation page.
  • Your Mexican Passport, which should be valid until at least six months after the appointment.
  • Previous visas, if they exist.

Applicants can expect to spend approximately 30 minutes at the ASC.

Mexican Citizens are not required to pay any fees beyond the Visa Processing Fee.  The Applicant Service Center will not charge you an additional fee; if your application is approved, there is no additional fee to retrieve your visa from DHL.


Step 5: Go to your Interview Appointment at the Consulate

The interview will be brief but detailed.  A United States Consular Officer will conduct the interview.  You will be expected to present:

  • Your DS-160 application confirmation page.
  • Your Mexican Passport, which should be valid until at least six months after the appointment.
  • Previous passports and visas, if they exist.

The focus of the visa interview is not on your documents, and supporting documentation (such as civil documents, bank statements, employment information, or travel itineraries) is not a requirement; however, the Consular Officer may request to review supporting documentation if there are questions about your application.  Any documentation you present should be original, and relevant to your current employment, current financial status, personal situation, and/or the reason for your trip.  Your documents should support your statement that you fully intend to return to Mexico at the completion of your trip.

*IMPORTANT NOTICE*

Please arrive on time for your visa interview, and not too early.  You will not be allowed to join the line outside the Consulate more than 30 minutes prior to the time of your appointment, so there is no advantage to arriving more than 30 minutes earlier.  A Consulate greeter will verify the time of your appointment before allowing you to join the line.  Once inside, you should expect the processing of your visa application to take about two hours.

Only individuals applying for a visa are allowed to enter the Consulate, with the exception of family members accompanying applicants who are minors, elderly, or handicapped.

For reasons of security, please be advised that no food, drinks, or other prohibited items will be allowed into the Consulate.  For your convenience, drinking water, vending machines and restrooms are located within the Consulate waiting area.  There are several businesses near the Consulate that provide storage lockers for a fee: the Consulate does not have partnerships with these businesses.

Step 6: Retrieve your Visa from DHL

If your visa is approved, it will be delivered to a DHL facility of your choosing for secure retrieval.  We believe that this approach provides the greatest security for visa applicants.  Applicants will have the opportunity to choose their desired DHL location for visa pick-up as part of the appointment scheduling process. 

Mexican Citizens are not required to pay any fees beyond the Visa Processing Fee.  The Applicant Service Center will not charge you an additional fee; if your application is approved, there is no additional fee to retrieve your visa from DHL.