How Long Does My Passport Have to Be Valid to Apply for a U.S. Visa?

You want to apply for a visa for the United States but aren’t sure if you meet the requirements, especially when it comes to your passport. Before you try to get a visa, make sure that you find out about the process and what you can do to ensure it goes smoothly. Here’s some more information.

How Long Your Passport Has to Be Valid

When applying for a visa, your passport needs to be valid for at least six months beyond your period of stay in the U.S., according to the U.S. Department of State. You could be exempt from this requirement if you’re from a country that has a specific agreement with the U.S.

Different Types of U.S. Visas

There are various types of U.S. visas you may be pursuing. They include:

  • Tourism visa
  • Business travel visa
  • Student and vocational training visas
  • North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) professional visa

There are different requirements for all these kinds of visas. It’s best to visit and find out more about applying. You should also reach out to your school or employer if you plan to come to the U.S. to study or work. They will likely be able to assist you with the process so that it goes smoother.

Another good resource is’s Visa Wizard. You can go on the website, enter the country where you have a passport, and select the primary purpose for your visa. For instance, if you put in that you’re from Mexico, you’re doing a study program, and you’re taking courses for academic or vocational credit, the Visa Wizard shows these results to help you:

  • Academic study at an approved academic institution, including high school (F)
  • Vocational study at an approved educational institution (M)
  • Academic study at an approved educational institution, including high school, under an approved exchange program (J)

With this information, the application process becomes simpler.

What to Do Before Your Visa Interview

Prior to your visa interview, you’ll need to complete the Nonimmigrant Visa Application, Form DS-160 confirmation page. Family members who are on your passport will need to submit separate visa documents. You’ll also have to pay the application fee and upload your photo.

Keep in mind that you’ll need to look at the instructions on the website for the U.S. Embassy or Consulate where you’re going to be applying for your visa. You may need to let them know further information about your trip, like the purpose of it, your ability to pay for it, and your intent to leave the U.S. after your trip. By providing proof like your employment and family information, you’ll be able to show that you intend to go back home after your trip is over.

What Happens During the Visa Interview

During the visa interview, you will have digital fingerprint scans taken, and a consular officer will decide if there is additional administrative processing needed. You’ll need to cover a visa issuance fee and figure out a way for the visa and your passport to be sent to you.

Modifying Your Nonimmigrant Status

Let’s say that during the time you’re in the U.S. on your visa, your nonimmigrant status changes. You might become employed in the U.S. or marry a U.S. citizen, for example. Reach out to the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) and see if you can change your nonimmigrant status. You won’t have to apply for a new visa while you’re in the U.S.

Contact a Florida Immigration Attorney

Do you have questions about gaining naturalization or citizenship? Then contact Florida Immigration Law Counsel through our website or by calling 1-800-666-4996. We deal with the government so you don’t have to. We look forward to assisting you.


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Attorney Saman Movassaghi, Esq.

Caring and compassionate, Saman Movassaghi Gonzalez is a Florida immigration attorney dedicated to producing the results her clients need. She has over 17 years of experience helping both corporate and individual clients with an emphasis in employment/investment cases and family adjustment cases.

As the Managing Attorney at Florida Immigration Law Counsel, Saman Movassaghi Gonzalez and her team are capable of representing and helping individuals looking to attain a Family VisaWork Visa, and Citizenship/Naturalization. Her experience successfully representing clients in front of the Department of Justice for cases involving Deportation/Removal Proceedings will lead to success in your case.

Her experience and expertise in immigration litigation has led to multiple Avvo awards and other accolades, including the Clients’ Choice for 2017 Immigration Attorney. Her clients also consistently post positive reviews on her Facebook page. Her experience has also allowed her to teach a new generation of lawyers as an adjunct professor of law at Nova Southeastern University, and she also regularly gives speeches on immigration matters.

Counselor Gonzalez is also experienced in helping corporate clients through the process of filing for Employment Visas, Labor Certifications, and Business and Investment Visas with the Department of Labor. She takes on the entire case from start to finish, simplifying the process for her clients and allowing them to focus on their business.

Fluent in English, Spanish, and Farsi – Saman Movassaghi Gonzalez is dedicated to making her clients feel comfortable and assured in making her their go-to immigration attorney in Florida. Her goal is to ensure that those who want to live the American dream have a professional fighting for them and making the process as painless as possible.

Saman’s passion for immigration law stems from her personal life as the daughter of immigrants. Her parents were recipients of the student F1 visa in 1971. Her father came into this country with the goal to improve his life and the life of his children. He earned a PhD in Civil Engineering and Business, instilling in his daughter a strong work ethic that she carries to this day. Saman saw firsthand what it means to be an immigrant and achieve the American Dream.

Saman Movassaghi Gonzalez can personally understand the struggle of immigrants and the children of immigrants navigating through the bureaucratic process of immigration law. Because of this, she dedicates herself fully and provides her personal attention to every case. She prides herself on developing a strong relationship with each and every client, and she is not afraid of pushing the envelope and looking for answers where other attorneys have failed.

Saman Movassaghi makes it her goal to provide you with only the best representation for immigration matters because she believes it’s time for you to live the American dream!