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Visa information

Important Notice

Update about Visa System (in spanish)

La Oficina de Asuntos Consulares del Departamento de Estado sigue trabajando para restaurar el sistema de visas de no inmigrante a su total funcionalidad. El proceso puede... read the whole article (in spanish)

General Information about Visa System

The Department of State Bureau of Consular Affairs continues to make progress restoring our nonimmigrant visa system to full functionality.  Over the weekend, the Department of State implemented system changes aimed at optimizing performance and addressing the challenges we have faced. We are now testing our system capacity to ensure stability.  Processing of immigrant visas cases, including adoptions, remains a high priority.  Some Embassies and Consulates may temporarily limit or reschedule nonimmigrant visa interview appointments until more system resources become available to process these new applications.

We sincerely regret the inconvenience to travelers, and are committed to resolving the problem as soon as possible.  Additional updates will be posted to as more information becomes available.

Welcome to the U.S. Embassy’s Non-Immigrant Visa Unit!

Representatives from the U.S. Consulate General will host a town hall meeting explaining how to petition family members (spouses, children, parents and siblings) for legal residence in the United States. 

Place:  Centro Cultural Metropolitano
            García Moreno 887 y Espejo
            Quito, Ecuador

Date:   Friday, June 6, 2014

Time:   11:00 AM

Cost:   FREE

Event open to the public. Optional registration at  


The Visa Unit of the U.S. Embassy in Quito handles processing of non-immigrant visas only.

We processed almost 59,000 non-immigrant visa applications last year. Most of the visa applicants that we interview each day receive a visa. We are thrilled that many tourist destination, business opportunities, and cultural experiences found in the United States continue to attract so much interest.

Our goals in the Consular Section are to review each application in accordance with immigration laws and regulations, and to treat applicants efficiently and with respect.

What is a visa?

A visa is a document issued by a U.S. Embassy or Consulate.
A visa entitles the holder to travel to the United States and apply for admission; it does not guarantee entry.
An immigration inspector at the port of entry determines the visa holder's eligibility for admission into the United States. 

Who needs a visa?

Anyone who is not eligible to enter the United States visa free under the Visa Waiver Program (VWP), or is not exempt from the visa requirement.  Review the Travel Without a Visa Section of Department of State website for more information.

Please note: Travelers born in the United States and those who hold dual citizenship with the United States must enter and depart the United States on U.S. passports.

What type of visas are available?

Customer Service Statement to Visa Applicants

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 nonimmigrant appointment waiting times at every Embassy and Consulate posted on the Department of State website.
  • 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.

Travel & Tourism in the U.S.

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  • PROCESS TO APPLY FOR A VISA For more information about how to apply for a visa, please watch this instructional video explaining the process of how to pay the visa fee and how to schedule your interview appointment.

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