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.
Travel Restrictions under Presidential Proclamations 9645 and 9983 Are No Longer in Place
On January 20, 2021, President Biden signed a Presidential Proclamation titled “Ending Discriminatory Bans on Entry to the United States.” This proclamation ends the travel restrictions under Presidential Proclamations 9645 and 9983 that had suspended entry into the United States of certain nationals, based on visa type, from Burma, Eritrea, Iran, Kyrgyzstan, Libya, Nigeria, North Korea, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, Tanzania, Venezuela, and Yemen.
Nonimmigrant visa applicants who were previously refused due to either P.P. 9645 or 9983 and did not qualify for a waiver will need to submit a new visa application (DS-160) and pay a new visa application processing fee if they wish to reapply for a visa. For information on applying for a nonimmigrant visa please visit https://qa.usembassy.gov/visas/nonimmigrant-visas/.
Under current Department regulations Immigrant visa (IV) applicants who were previously refused) due to either P.P. 9645 or 9983 and were determined not to qualify for a waiver before January 20, 2020, must submit a new visa application (DS-260) and pay a new visa application processing fee. IV applicants refused due to either P.P. 9645 or 9983 and whose eligibility for a waiver was still being evaluated, or who were determined not to qualify for a waiver within one year of January 20, 2021, and who also request their local embassy or consulate to resume processing on their case within one year of January 20, 2021 may be able to resume processing of their case without submitting a new application or paying a new visa application processing fee. Embassies and consulates will prioritize the adjudication of applications for those individuals who remain in the waiver process. If you feel your case meets these conditions please email IVConsularDoha@state.gov for further information.
Important information for visa applicants at U.S. Embassy, Doha regarding novel coronavirus: https://travel.state.gov/content/travel/en/traveladvisories/ea/covid-19-information.html.
Requirement for Proof of Negative COVID-19 Test or Recovery from COVID-19 for All Air Passengers Arriving in the United States
On January 12, 2021, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) issued an Order requiring all air passengers, including U.S. citizens, arriving to the United States from a foreign country to get tested no more than three days before their flight departs. Travelers must provide proof of the negative result or documentation of having recovered from COVID-19 to the airline before boarding the flight. Testing is required regardless of vaccination status. This Order will go into effect on January 26, 2021. Travelers departing from Qatar should contact their health care provider to determine where they can be tested. Contact information for Primary Health Care Corporation (PHCC) health center is available here and a list of local hospitals and physicians is available on the U.S. Embassy website.
Waivers to the testing requirement may be granted by the CDC on an extremely limited basis when extraordinary emergency travel (like an emergency medical evacuation) must occur to preserve someone’s health and safety, and testing cannot be completed before travel. There are no waivers available for individuals who test positive for COVID-19. Individuals – or air carriers seeking to allow boarding by potentially qualifying individuals – who believe they meet the criteria for a waiver should contact the U.S. Embassy or Consulate at email@example.com and provide the information below. The U.S. Embassy or Consulate will then submit the request to the CDC for consideration.
The following information must be provided for each passenger:
- Name (family name/surname, given name), passport number and country
- Cell phone number including country code of passenger or head of household if family unit
- Email address of passenger or head of household if family unit
- U.S. destination address
- Is U.S. destination home address?
- Departure date
- Flight itinerary
- Name of submitting entity if different from passenger
- Name of company submitting on behalf of passenger(s) (if applicable)
- Name of point of contact submitting on behalf of passenger(s) (if applicable)
- Phone and email address for POC submitting waiver request on behalf of passenger(s) (if applicable)
- Purpose of travel to the U.S. (provide brief explanation of why urgent travel is needed and how travel will contribute to health and safety of passengers(s))
- Justification for testing waiver (e.g. no testing available, impact on health and safety)
- Documentation to support justification for test waiver, if available (e.g. medical records or orders for medical evacuation)
For information on limited humanitarian exemptions, please review the following page: https://travel.state.gov/content/travel/en/traveladvisories/ea/covid-testing-required-us-entry.html
What is a Visa?
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.).
If you need assistance, please contact our customer service department. Call center agents are able to assist you via email, telephone or chat. English and Standard Arabic speaking customer service agents are available 7 days a week from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. local Qatari time and 7 a.m. to 3 p.m., Eastern Standard Time in the United States. The call center is closed on Qatari national holidays, as observed by the U.S. posts.
Customer Service Statement
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 https://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.