Do UAE Citizens Need a Visa for USA?
Nationals of the United Arab Emirates should apply for a USA visa before traveling to the United States. UAE citizens need a visa when traveling to US for both immigrant and nonimmigrant purposes.
If you are a national of another country but you are residing in Abu Dhabi, you may not need a visa. There is a chance that you may be exempt from the visa requirement when traveling to the US as a visitor.
There are 39 countries under the US Visa Waiver Program. Nationals of these countries only need a US Electronic Travel Authorization to enter the country. Use our ESTA Eligibility Checker to find out if you are eligible.
How to Apply for US Visa from Abu Dhabi?
The US visa application in Abu Dhabi consists of several steps. If you need to apply for a US visa, you should follow these concrete steps to make sure your application is successful.
Here’s how to apply for a US Visa form Abu Dhabi:
- Figure out what type of US visa you need.
- Check where you should submit your application.
- Complete the online application form.
- Pay the visa fee.
- Schedule a US visa appointment.
- Collect the required documents for a US visa from Abu Dhabi.
- Attend the visa interview
Check what type of US visa you need
The US visas for Abu Dhabi residents are grouped in two main categories:
- US nonimmigrant visas.
- US immigrant visas.
Both categories have their subcategories depending on your purpose of traveling to the US. Note that selecting the right visa is crucial. If you apply for the wrong visa, your application will be rejected. The whole process for applying for a US visa in Abu Dhabi depends on the visa type.
Check where you need to apply in Abu Dhabi
All US visa applicants from the UAE have to apply at either the US Embassy or the Consulate General. Where you need to apply for a visa to US depends on the visa type you are applying for, as follows:
- If you are applying for a US immigrant visa, submit your application at the US Embassy in Abu Dhabi.
- If you are applying for a US nonimmigrant visa and:
- You are a resident of Abu Dhabi; you should submit you application at the consular section of the US Embassy in Abu Dhabi.
- You are a resident of Dubai; you should submit you application at the consular section of the US General consulate in Dubai. If you belong to this category, check our article “How to apply for a US Visa in Dubai?”
Note that this article is for those applying for a nonimmigrant visa to US. If you wish to apply for a US immigrant visa in Abu Dhabi, you should check our article on “Immigrant Visas to the United States.”
Complete the online application form
Upon figuring out the two things above, you can continue to apply for a US visa in Abu Dhabi by taking concrete action. Start this process by filling in the online application form known as the DS-160 form.
You can fill the DS-160 form online through the Consular Electronic Application Center.
Pay the visa fee & schedule an appointment
After you complete your application form, go to the website of the Official US Department of State Visa Appointment Service. There you should pay the US visa fees for Abu Dhabi residents. Follow these steps to complete the payment procedure:
- Create a user account.
- Enter the DS-160 confirmation number.
- Complete the courier document return process.
- Pay the nonimmigrant visa (MRV) application fee.
- Make a Consular Section appointment.
Collect the required documents for a US visa from Abu Dhabi
Gathering the required documents for a US visa in Abu Dhabi is a compulsory part of your application. The required documents depend a lot on the visa type you are applying for.
To apply for a US visa in Abu Dhabi, you need to submit the following documents:
- Confirmation page that you have completed the DS-160 form.
- Valid Passport. Your passport must valid for at least 6 months beyond your date of planned stay in the US. It must have at least one blank page in order to be able to affix visa.
- A recent US Visa photograph. It should be of 5 x 5 cm size, color and taken within the last 6 months. If you have already uploaded a picture to the DS-160 application form, then there is no need to submit an additional photo.
- US Visa Interview appointment confirmation page (if applicable).
- Application fee payment receipt.
- Previous US visas (if applicable).
- ACRO. This is a police certificate you obtain from the authorities in your country. It is a criminal record that shows if you have ever been arrested, cautioned or convicted.
- Medical letter. The letter is required only if you have a medical condition that could have a bearing on your eligibility for a visa.
- Invitation Letter for US Visa application. If you are applying for a B-2 visa then this letter may also be required.
- If you have ever been rejected from entering or deported from the US, you must also submit documents in this regard, which tell the reasons behind the deportation / rejection.
There are documents you need to submit, when applying for a US visa from Abu Dhabi. These documents are the core of your application. Make sure you submit each of them according to the criteria set by the US authorities.
Be attentive that these are only the standard documents for a US visa. According to your purpose of entry to the US, you will need to submit extra documents.
After making sure you have completed the documents file, it is advisable that you look for travel insurance options for the United States and find a plan that meets your needs for the whole period of stay.
Attend the visa interview
If you are between the age of 14 and 79 years old, you should attend an interview for visa application. The interview is compulsory. Not attending the interview means the embassy will reject your application.
On the day of your visa interview, you should show up at the US Embassy in Abu Dhabi on time. If you are late, your interview may be annulled. Before the interview, the consulate staff will enter and examine your application documents. They will also scan you fingerprints.
During the interview, the consular officer will ask you several questions on your US trip. He/she will also ask you for documents, which you need to hand over as required.
US Visa Application Processing Time in Abu Dhabi
The processing time for a US visa in Abu Dhabi differs. This period depends on the number of applications that the embassy is receiving at the time you apply. The processing period may vary from four to six weeks.
In Case of Visa Denial
In case of visa denial of your US visa application from Abu Dhabi, you will not be able to get your visa fee money back. However, you can still re-apply. For each new application, you will need to pay the visa fee again.
In order for your application to be successful, you should present proof that the reasons of the previous rejection are no longer valid.
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