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How to Apply for a Visa

In order to minimize any potential inconvenience, applicants are strongly encouraged to apply/renew at least three (3) months before their intended travel.


Visa Application Checklist

STEP 1: Select visa type. Many people visit the U.S. for business or pleasure on B1/B2 visas but there are many different types of visas for study, exchange programs, employment, and investment in the U.S.  Please review our Visa Categories page for more information.  We suggest that all applicants apply well in advance of planned travel to ensure there is enough time for visa processing.

STEP 2: Complete DS-160 Nonimmigrant Visa Application form. This form is available online in English with Spanish translation.  Print out the “Confirmation Page” with the barcode after filling out the application. See our TIPS for the DS-160 if you need additional help.

STEP 3: Pay the non-refundable application fee and schedule appointment (if required).  Note that not everyone requires an interview (see section on Interview Waivers).  Use the online system to determine if an interview is required. 

STEP 4: Schedule appointment for biometrics to be taken at the Applicant Service Center (ASC) in Bogota or Medellin (if applicable - see below).  Appointments are scheduled through the Visa Information Service. You will choose your passport pick-up location through this site.  Save this information for Step 4 and 5.

STEP 5: Attend your Applicant Service Center (ASC) appointment in Bogota or Medellin (if applicable).  During this appointment, your biometric information will be collected.  Applicants should present their current passport and DS-160 confirmation page.

STEP 6: Appear at U.S. Embassy in Bogota for your interview.  Appear on the date/time of your visa interview appointment.

STEP 7: Pick up passport with visa at your local DHL office or the Applicant Service Center (ASC).   Pick up passport at selected site chosen in Step 3.  Note:  If you need to reschedule your appointment or change your pick-up location, contact the Visa Information Service directly. There is no need to contact the Embassy. 


Do I qualify for a Biometric and Interview Waiver? (Renewal of Visas, Minor Children under the age of 14 (0-13), and Persons over 80)

Some applicants do not need to have biometrics retaken at the Applicant Service Center (ASC) or appear at the Embassy to obtain their visas. Applicants whose previous tourist visa was issued after January 1, 2008 and applicants under the age of 14 or are aged 80 or over may submit their documents via DHL to the Applicant Service Center (ASC). It may take up to three (3) weeks to receive your visa through the Interview Waiver program.  If you need your visa more quickly, please schedule an interview through the regular process. 

Interview Waiver requirements

  • Renewal applicants whose previous (full validity) tourist visa was issued after January 1, 2008 in Bogota.
  • Minor children: Must be under the age of 14 (0-13) and one of child’s two parents must have a valid visa.  An applicant with a parent who is a U.S. permanent resident or a U.S. citizen does not qualify for this program.
  • Persons aged 80 and over are not required to interview.
  • Must reside in Colombia.
  • Must be applying for a Tourist/Business B1/B2 Visa and prior visa must have been a B1/B2 visa.
  • If the applicant has ever been refused a U.S. visa, must have been subsequently issued a visa.


I Qualify!  Biometric and Interview Waiver – Checklist

  • STEP 1: Complete the DS-160 Nonimmigrant Visa Application form. This form is available online in English with Spanish translation.  Print out the “Confirmation Page” with the barcode after filling out the application. See our TIPS for the DS-160 if you need additional help.
  • STEP 2: Pay the non-refundable application fee.  Pay fee through CSC Visa Information Service. You will also choose your DHL document drop-off and pick-up location through this site. You may also choose to drop off your documents at one of our two Applicant Service Centers (ASC).
  • STEP 3: Drop off the application package.  Drop off your application (including all required documents listed below) at the DHL office or the Applicant Service Center (ASC) you selected in Step 2.
  • STEP 4: Wait for the Embassy to approve/refuse the visa.  This can take up to three weeks.  If you have waited three weeks and have not received notification that your passport is ready for pick up, please send an email with your name as the subject line to
  • STEP 5: Pick up the passport and application package. If the visa is approved or refused, you must pick up the applicants' passport, visa, and any applicable documents at the DHL location or the Applicant Service Center (ASC) you selected in Step 2.


Required Documents for Waiver of Interview:

  • Applicant's valid passport. (Please do not send expired passports.)
  • Confirmation page of DS-160 Application form.
  • Photograph (5 x 5 cm or 2 in x 2 in, color with white background, taken within the last six (6) months).  For additional information, see TIPS for the DS-160.
  • Fee payment confirmation.
  • For applicant’s under the age of 14:
    • Valid birth certificate, and
    • Copy of parent or guardian’s valid U.S. visa

****  Please do not send anything other than required documents ****


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