Visa Application Process
The Embassy handles visa applications from citizens of Sri Lanka, the Maldives, and third country nationals resident in or traveling through Sri Lanka and the Maldives.
Visa applicants must access the Consular Electronic Application Center website and submit a DS-160 visa application form. Applicants will need to print a confirmation sheet to bring to their interviews.
Accurate and complete information is essential. Incorrect or missing information will cause a delay in completing your interview, and applicants may be asked to leave and recomplete the form and schedule another interview. Frequently save your data as the system may time out and the information will be lost.
Except for emergencies, diplomatic visas, and visas for holders of diplomatic passports, appointments are processed through TT Services in Colombo. Visit the TTS website at http://www.ttsusvisas.lk/ to schedule an interview.
TT Services (TTS) is only responsible for scheduling appointments. Interviews take place at the Embassy and applicants should bring their supporting documents to the Embassy; TT Services does not accept supporting documents.
APPLY FOR YOUR VISA WELL IN ADVANCE OF YOUR TRIP AND DO NOT PURCHASE TICKETS UNTIL YOU HAVE YOUR VISA.
Only diplomatic passport holders are exempt from application fees. The U.S. Embassy only accepts payment in the form of bank drafts. Visa fee payment drafts should be drawn on a Sri Lankan bank made out to "U.S. Embassy Colombo". Write your name and passport number on the bank draft. Applicants will not be allowed in the Embassy without their bank draft.
Fee information may be found here.
Applicants should arrive at the time printed on their TT Services Confirmed Appointment receipt. Any applicant not arriving within 15 minutes of their interview time will have their appointment cancelled and must reapply for another appointment through TTS.
Applicants must bring their on-line confirmation sheet, a current passport valid for at least six months past the expected arrival time in the U.S, any required forms for the visa (e.g., I-20, DS-2019, I-797), and one 2"x2" photograph of the applicant facing forward taken on a white background within the last six months. Noncompliant photographs, including digitally altered or airbrushed photographs will be rejected.
Applying for a nonimmigrant visa is an interview–based process. However, applicants may bring additional documentation they deem important to support their application. Documents which demonstrate that applicants are well established in their own country can, in some circumstances, help demonstrate their intent to return after a short visit to the United States. Depending on specifics, an officer may or may not need to examine documents. Following is a list of common documents interviewers may ask for--however, having these documents does not guarantee a visa will be issued.
Bank statements going back six months. Bank letters are of little value.
If applicable, proof of legal status of friends or relatives in the United States
Proof of relationships (birth certificate, marriage certificate, photographs)
Proof of employment and salary slips
If applicant is an employer, EPF for employees
Do not mail or email us documents. If you have a friend or relative who wants to write a letter for you or provide documents, they should give that documentation to you to bring on the interview day. Documents mailed to the Embassy will not be saved.
If approved: Most applicants receive their visas the day after their interview; however, certain cases require additional processing, which could result in a delay. Therefore you should not purchase your travel ticket until you have received your visa. Once the decision has been made to issue a visa, the visa is normally ready for pick up at the Embassy Gate one business day after the interview from 3:00p.m. to 3:30p.m., except on Fridays, when they will be ready from 10:30a.m. to 11:00a.m. Visas are not issued the same day. Applicants should bring the ticket number that was given to them on their interview day to claim their visas. If applying in a group, only one person needs to come to pick up the visas. Someone may pick up the visa on an applicant’s behalf if they have a signed letter from the applicant, but that person should bring his/her own passport or National Identity Card.
Pending: Your application may require additional processing before the consular officer can decide whether to approve or refuse your visa. The officer will inform you in writing that your application is pending. The processing time lasts, on average two months, but could be longer.
If refused: In most cases, applicants are refused because they were unable to demonstrate strong economic, familial and/or social ties to a residence outside of the United States to which they are compelled to return. The consular officer will inform you in writing. You may reapply for a visa at any time. We recommend, however, that you wait until your conditions (economic, familial, etc.) have changed, which would strengthen the merits of your application. Further information on visa denials may be found here.