Information for nonimmigrant visa applicants regarding National Interest Exceptions for Certain Travelers from China:

Effective April 26, 2021, the Secretary of State approved several National Interest Exceptions to regional travel restrictions imposed under Presidential Proclamations aimed at addressing the threat to public health by the COVID-19 pandemic. These National Interest Exceptions are in addition to previous determinations made by the Secretary of State. Current restrictions allow us to expand appointments for applicants in certain nonimmigrant visa categories, including all F visas, certain J, M, C1/D visas, and for emergency, mission-critical, travelers providing vital support of critical infrastructure and job creation. We are currently offering as many appointments as local conditions, resources, and safety considerations allow. We will resume routine nonimmigrant visa services in all other categories as soon as possible but are unable to provide a specific date at this time. Direct travel to the United States from Mainland China remains restricted under Presidential Proclamation 9984 for other travelers not covered by a National Interest Exception or exempted by a Presidential Proclamation. 

Information for visa applicants Immigrant Visa services for Mission China:

Immigrant visa services at our U.S. Consulate in Guangzhou are operating normally. For information about immigrant visa services, please visit U.S. Consulate Guangzhou’s immigrant visa website here. For information about visa services at other U.S. Embassies and Consulates worldwide, please visit

Information for visa applicants regarding MRV Fees:

The U.S. Mission to China understands that many visa applicants have paid their visa application processing fee and are still waiting to schedule a visa appointment. We are working diligently to restore all routine visa operations as quickly and safely as possible. In the meantime, the U.S. Mission will extend the validity of your payment (known as the MRV fee) until September 30, 2022, to allow all applicants who were unable to schedule a visa appointment as a result of the suspension of routine consular operations, an opportunity to schedule and/or attend a visa appointment with the already paid fee. Please continue to monitor this site for information on when we will resume full visa operations. If you have an urgent matter and need to travel immediately, please follow the guidance provided at, or email or contact the call center, to request an emergency appointment.

Information about the travel restrictions

  • For information about National Interest Exceptions and travel restrictions related to the current Presidential Proclamations, click here.
  • For frequently asked questions about visa processing during the COVID-19 pandemic, click here.
  • For up-to-date guidance on Department of State travel policies, click here.

The purpose of your intended travel and other facts will determine what type of visa is required under U.S. immigration law. As a visa applicant, you will need to establish that you meet all requirements to receive the category of visa for which you are applying.

See our Directory of Visa Categories on to determine which visa category might be appropriate for your purpose of travel to the United States.

Nonimmigrant Visas

Travel to the United States on a temporary basis, including tourism, temporary employment, study and exchange.

Immigrant Visas

For foreign citizens who want to live permanently in the United States.

A citizen of a foreign country who seeks to enter the United States generally must first obtain a U.S. visa, which is placed in the traveler’s passport, a travel document issued by the traveler’s country of citizenship.

Certain international travelers may be eligible to travel to the United States without a visa if they meet the requirements for visa-free travel. The Visa section of this website is all about U.S. visas for foreign citizens to travel to the United States.

(Note: U.S. citizens don’t need a U.S. visa for travel, but when planning travel abroad may need a visa issued by the embassy of the country they wish to visit.).

Email: To reach a customer service representative via email, please write to

Telephone: Please contact a customer service representative using one of these telephone numbers:

Callers in Beijing: 5679-4700 | Callers outside of Beijing: 010-5679-4700

Callers in Shanghai: 5191-5200 | Callers outside of Shanghai: 021-5191-5200

Callers in the United States: 703 665 1986

International callers: +1 703 665 1986

Help Us Fight Visa Fraud

If you have information concerning any type of visa fraud, please contact the Consular Section by e-mail at

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 non-immigrant appointment waiting times at every Embassy and Consulate posted on
  • 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.