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U.S. Visa Applications

If you need a new visa in your passport for re-entry to the United States, you will need to follow the same procedures you followed when you secured your first visa, with some small exceptions. Check the U.S. Consulate website to learn of specific rules and the most current application procedures.

It is possible to get a new visa at a U.S. Consulate that is not in your home country.  Be aware that you are applying as a "third-country national" when you do this.  There may be additional items that you need to present to the Consular Officer.  It is generally simpler to apply in your home country.

There are some instances where you can get a subsequent visa without another interview.  Check the U.S. Consulate website to see if you are eligible.  The U.S. Department of State is gradually expanding the number of consulates where this is available, so be sure you have current information.

Before you depart the United States:

  • Schedule an appointment with the U.S. Consulate where you will apply for your visa.  You will need to complete the visa application Form DS-160.  There is a useful slide show about filling out the DS-160.
  • Review the U.S. Consulate website for guidance about what materials you will need to provide at your visa appointment.
  • Tell your Caltech or JPL sponsor about your travel plans.  You could be away for a few weeks if you become subject to a security clearance (see Visa Delays section).
  • Students should request an official or unofficial transcript (depending on the Consulate's requirements) from the Registrar's Office to show proof of continued enrollment.
  • Graduate students receiving a Caltech stipend should request a Certification Letter by directly emailing the Office of Graduate Studies or submitting the Request for Certification Letter to the Office of Graduate Studies.
  • International scholars at Caltech or JPL should request an employment verification letter from your international advisor.

Note:  An arrest or criminal record may impact your visa eligibility.  Contact the International Offices for a referral to an immigration attorney before you leave the United States.