The Department of State, in consultation with the Department of Homeland Security, has temporarily expanded the ability of consular officers to waive the in-person interview requirement for individuals applying for a nonimmigrant visa in the same classification.  Previously, only those applicants whose nonimmigrant visa expired within 12 months were eligible for an interview waiver at the U.S. Mission in UAE.  Under the temporary authority granted by the Department of State, Mission UAE has temporarily extended the expiration period to 36 months.  This policy is in effect until December 31, 2021 unless modified sooner. This change will allow consular officers to continue processing certain nonimmigrant visa applications while limiting the number of applicants who must appear at a consular section, thereby reducing the risk of COVID-19 transmission to other applicants and consular staff.  Travelers are encouraged to review what services are currently available as well as eligibility information and instructions on applying for a visa without an interview.

Welcome to the Visa Unit

UPDATE ON IMMIGRANT VISA PROCESSING:  U.S. Embassy Abu Dhabi has resumed routine immigrant visa processing services on a limited basis.

UPDATE ON NONIMMIGRANT VISA PROCESSING: Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, U.S. Embassy Abu Dhabi and U.S. Consulate General Dubai remain unable to resume routine visa operations.  We are currently offering as many appointments as local conditions, resources, and safety considerations allow in mission-critical visa categories, including a limited number of appointments for petition-based employment visas, student visas, exchange visitor visas, and temporary visitor visas for urgent medical needs or emergency travel.

The Consular sections in Abu Dhabi and Dubai will work to accommodate all applicants who are studying or participating in exchange programs in the U.S. to the best of our ability to ensure that students can travel in advance of program start dates. Please follow instructions to request expedited appointments on our provider website ( after you booked a regular appointment.  We encourage all applicants to be mindful of the constraints and also to apply early.

Due to COVID-19 pandemic and staffing restrictions, we are currently unable to accommodate visa appointment requests from applicants who are not resident in the UAE.

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 to determine which visa category might be appropriate for your purpose of travel to the United States.

Please click on “Nonimmigrant Visas” or “Immigrant Visas” below to learn more about the application process in Abu Dhabi or Dubai.

For nonimmigrant visa applicants with Iranian citizenship, please see additional information here.


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.).

To contact a customer service representative, please visit the GSS Contact Us page ( for full information or use contact information below:

Detailed information about the visa application process, fee payments, delivery of documents, types of visas and qualifying for a U.S. visa is available at ( . In addition, applicants in the UAE may contact our service provider’s call center, Sunday to Thursday from 7:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. to obtain general information at Abu Dhabi 02 447-6084 and Dubai 04 376-8311. Accordingly, questions regarding the application procedure should not be directed to the U.S. Embassy or the U.S. Consulate General.

Abu Dhabi

  • To reach a customer service representative in Abu Dhabi via email, please contact


For questions related to visa and consular issues at the Consulate General in Dubai, please review the Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) here . If your inquiry is not answered by the FAQs then send an email to

If you are the bearer of a diplomatic passport, and wish to apply for a tourist visa to the United States, you may request an appointment directly from the Embassy or Consulate General consular sections.  To request an appointment at the Embassy in Abu Dhabi, please email  To request an appointment at the Consulate General in Dubai, please contact the consular section 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.