Skip Global Navigation to Main Content
Skip Breadcrumb Navigation
Frequently Asked Questions

Non-immigrant Visas

 

How do I schedule an appointment?
You may schedule your appointment in one of the following ways:
Online by clicking on Greece at http://usvisa-info.com  or through the call center: 
Local Number: 211 198 3241 
Operation Hours – Athens time: 7 am to 9pm till Mid February 2013
                                                   7 am to 7 pm after Mid February 2013
U.S. Number: 703 439 2345
 Operation Hours D.C. time: 8 am to 8 pm till Mid February 2013
                                             8 am to 6 pm after Mid February 2013
Skype: usvisagreece
How can I find an earlier appointment?
You may find an earlier appointment in one of the following ways:
Online by clicking on Greece at http://usvisa-info.com  or through the call center: 
Local Number: 211 198 3241 
Operation Hours – Athens time: 7 am to 9pm till Mid February 2013
                                                   7 am to 7 pm after Mid February 2013
U.S. Number: 703 439 2345
 Operation Hours D.C. time: 8 am to 8 pm till Mid February 2013
                                             8 am to 6 pm after Mid February 2013
Skype: usvisagreece
How can I cancel my appointment?
You may cancel your appointment in one of the following ways:
Online by clicking on Greece at http://usvisa-info.com  or through the call center: 
Local Number: 211 198 3241 
Operation Hours – Athens time: 7 am to 9pm till Mid February 2013
                                                   7 am to 7 pm after Mid February 2013
U.S. Number: 703 439 2345
 Operation Hours D.C. time: 8 am to 8 pm till Mid February 2013
                                             8 am to 6 pm after Mid February 2013
Skype: usvisagreece

How do I schedule an appointment?

You may schedule your appointment in one of the following ways:

Online by clicking on Greece at http://usvisa-info.com  or through the call center: 

Local Number: 211 198 3241 
Operation Hours – Athens time:
 7 am to 7 pm 

U.S. Number: 703 439 2345 
Operation Hours D.C. time:
8 am to 6 pm 

Skype: usvisagreece

How can I find an earlier appointment?

You may find an earlier appointment in one of the following ways:

Online by clicking on Greece at http://usvisa-info.com  or through the call center: 

Local Number: 211 198 3241 
Operation Hours – Athens time:
7 am to 7 pm after Mid February 2013

U.S. Number: 703 439 2345 
Operation Hours D.C. time:
8 am to 6 pm

Skype: usvisagreece

How can I cancel my appointment?
You may cancel your appointment in one of the following ways:

Online by clicking on Greece at http://usvisa-info.com or through the call center: 

Local Number: 211 198 3241 

Operation Hours – Athens time:
7 am to 7 pm 

U.S. Number: 703 439 2345 

Operation Hours D.C. time:
8 am to 6 pm 

Skype: usvisagreece

 

I have electronically submitted my DS-160 application form what do I do next?

You must print the “Confirmation Pagebefore your visa interview and bring it to the visa interview.  For further information on how to apply step-by-step click here.

What type of photo do I need?

Please bring 1 photograph to your interview.  The photograph must meet these standards:

Recent (taken within the last six months).
Approximately 2x2 inches (5x5 centimeters) in size.
Head size from chin to top of head: minimum 25mm (1 inch), maximum 35mm (1 3/8 inch).
Full face, without a head covering.
Color with a white, plain background.

Please note that the photographs for the new Greek passports are acceptable if taken within the last six months.

I have a valid visa in my old passport.  Can I travel with both passports or should I get a new visa? 

If your passport containing a valid visa has expired, you may travel with two passports – your expired passport containing the valid U.S. visa, and your new passport. 

Please ensure that the biographical information (such as the spelling of your name and your date of birth) are exactly the same in the old and new passports.  If there is even a slight difference, you may need to apply for a visa to be put in your new passport; or if you fulfill the requirements you may apply for an ESTA and travel under the Visa Waiver Program.  

If a visa in your old passport is damaged in any way, it is no longer valid for travel to the United States. Sometimes visas are damaged when passport authorities clip the corners of an expired passport.

It is not possible to transfer a visa from one passport to another.

An "indefinite" validity visa is no longer valid for travel to the United States. 

If I am denied a visa, will my fees be returned?

The fee that you pay is an application fee.  Everyone who applies for a U.S. visa anywhere in the world must pay this fee, which covers the cost of the adjudication of your application.  As you may read in our web site (see step 5) this fee is non-refundable regardless of whether you are issued a visa or not.  If your application is refused under Section 214(b) of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) and you choose to reapply for a visa at this Embassy or elsewhere, you must pay the application fee again.

What is 214(b)? Can I reapply again if my case was refused under this section of the law?

A refusal under Section 214(b) of the INA means that the Consular Officer did not find you eligible for the type of visa for which you applied.  The requirements for each non-immigrant visa differ, but common elements include the need for applicants to demonstrate that they have a residence in a foreign country which they have no intention of abandoning and that they will adhere to the terms of the visa. 

Under U.S. immigration law, applicants for most non-immigrant visas are presumed to be intending immigrants.  In order to be approved for a visa, applicants must demonstrate to the satisfaction of  the interviewing officer that they are entitled to the type of visa for which they are applying, and that they will depart the United States at the end of their authorized temporary stay.  This means that before a visa can be issued, applicants must demonstrate strong social, economic, and/or familial ties outside the United States.

The decision of the interviewing officer cannot be appealed.  While you may reapply, you should be prepared to demonstrate that your circumstances have changed significantly or be able to provide additional evidence to demonstrate that you qualify for a visa.  You will need to make a new application, including making a new appointment and presenting a new application and photo.

My case was refused under 221(g).  What does this mean?

A temporary refusal under Section 221(g) of the INA means that the case requires further administrative processing or additional documentation.  The case will remain in pending status until the completion of the administrative processing when the Consular Section will contact the applicant, or until we have received the documents you have been asked to submit.

I will be traveling with other family members/relatives/friends.  Do we all need to have an interview?

Yes.  According to U.S. regulations, all applicants between the ages of 14-80 must be interviewed.  In order to make an appointment, please go to “Schedule an Appointment” (
see step 6).

What about my children or elderly parents?  Do they need to come to the interview?

Applicants under 14 years of age or 80 years old and over who are physically present in the Athens consular district and are legal residents of Greece are not required to be personally interviewed by a Consular Officer unless, upon review of the documents, the Consular Officer determines that an interview is necessary.  For these applicants, documents (including the confirmation page of application form DS-160, valid passport, photo and bank receipt) may be submitted by anyone Monday through Friday between 12-1 p.m. without an appointment or by family members at the time of their own visa appointments.
 
I was arrested/convicted years ago.  Can I apply for a visa?

Anyone arrested or convicted of a crime (regardless of how long ago or where in the world) needs to note this information correctly in the visa application.  The applicant must submit at the time of the interview details including the penal record for judicial use and court transcripts describing the type of offence and the outcome.  The port of entry and exit to/from the U.S. and the expected dates of travel are also required.  This information is in addition to the usual requirements for the type of visa requested.

My passport/visa was stolen/lost.  What do I need to do?

Go to the local police station and report your document(s) as lost or stolen. You will be issued a police report detailing the incident.  Don’t forget to make an extra copy of the report for your own records.  Please fax a copy of this report to the Embassy that issued your visa.  If you choose to apply for a new visa, you will need to present the police report before a new visa will be issued.

I found a mistake in my visa.  Can it be fixed?

If a typographical error occurred in your visa, and if your visa was issued within the past year in Athens, you may bring your passport to the Embassy any business day that we are open between 12-1 p.m.  Please note that we are not able to make any corrections to a visa that was issued more than one year ago.  Other changes, such as a legal name change, require a new visa application.  

I changed my name and had a new passport issued.  Do I need a new visa?

Yes, if you do not fulfill the requirements for the Visa Waiver Program or you simply want to have a visa.  You should apply for a new visa in your new passport following the normal procedure.  In addition to the required documents, on the date of your appointment, please present your new Greek I.D., previous passport with visa, and any documents you have that explain the reason for the name change (e.g., marriage certificate or other legal document).

My DS-2019/I-20 form hasn't arrived from the US.  Can I apply for the visa with a photocopy?

No.  You must have the original documents to apply, and you must bring all pages of the form to the Embassy.

How long can I stay in the United States after my study or exchange visa expires?

J and M visa holders may remain in the United States for 30 days after the official completion of the program; F1 visa holders may remain up to 60 days.

What if I take a break from my studies?  Can I use the same F-1 visa and I-20 if they are still valid?

Students who leave the United States for a break in studies of five months or more may lose their F-1 or M-1 status unless their activities overseas are related to their course of study.  They will need to obtain a new I-20 and apply for a new student visa before returning to the United States.

Students admitted to the United States in F-1 or M-1 status may also lose that status if they do not resume studies within five months when transferring schools or programs.  Unless United States Citizens and Immigration Service (USCIS) reinstates the student’s status, the student’s F-1 or M-1 visa would also be invalid for future travel.

Can I work and/or study in the United States if I have a tourist visa?

No, you must apply for a work visa or student visa.  

How long can I stay in the United States?

The period of validity of a visa relates only to the length of time during which the holder may travel to the United States and apply for admission at a port of entry.  It does not determine the length of stay, which is decided by Customs and Border Protection (CBP) at the port of entry.  If, while you are in the United States, you find that you need to stay longer than the period of time initially granted to you, you must contact the nearest office of the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) to apply for an extension of your stay.  USCIS has sole jurisdiction over such matters.

I forgot to hand in my departure record (white card Form I-94) when I departed the United States, what should I do with it?

Please see NIV Form I-94 

What is VWP (Visa Waiver Program)?

The VWP enables citizens and nationals from 36 countries to travel to and enter the United States for business or visitor purposes for up to 90 days without obtaining a visa.  Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano announced that Greek citizens are able to travel to the United States under the Visa Waiver Program starting on April 5, 2010. Click here for more information on Greece and the Visa Waiver Program.

What is ESTA (Electronic System for Travel Authorization)?

Effective January 12, 2009, all individuals traveling to the United States under the Visa Waiver Program (VWP) are required to obtain a travel authorization before initiating travel.  The ESTA application collects the same information collected on Form I-94W and can be completed in 16 languages at http://www.cbp.gov/esta.  ESTA applications may be submitted at any time prior to travel, though it is recommended travelers apply when they begin preparing travel plans.

I have a valid B1/B2 visa.  Do I need to fill out an ESTA too?

No.  You may travel to the United State with your valid visa without any other procedure/s.