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Frequently Asked Questions
 

Hours and Locations

What are your hours of operation?

Our hours of operation vary by consulate. To find the hours and location of a specific consulate, please consult the consular section of this website.

Security Concerns

What can I bring into the Embassy or Consulate?

All visitors to U.S. Embassy or Consulate buildings must follow certain security procedures. Any visitor who declines to be screened by U.S. Consulate security personnel will be prohibited from entering the Consulate.

Return of your Passport

When can I pick up my visa?

We cannot offer same day processing of visas. It generally takes one to two days to complete the necessary processing to produce a visa. Further delays are possible. Additional information on visa processing times and delays is available from our Consular Section.

Emergency Visa Processing

How do I get an Emergency Appointment for a Visa Interview?

Please consult this consular page on Emergency Visas to find out how to get an Emergency Appointment.

Visa Fee Refund

If my emergency appointment was refused but I already paid the visa application fee, can I get a refund?

The visa application fee is non-refundable. In order to obtain an emergency appointment, you must first pay for and make an appointment. If you cannot secure your desired appointment date, please contact our emergency appointment system at ottawaemergencyapp@state.gov to get an earlier date. Please review this consular page on fees for more information on this subject.

Driving Under the Influence: Entry to U.S.

For Foreign Citizens: Will a DUI conviction prevent me from traveling to the U.S.?

Our Consular Section provides this information regarding criminal ineligibility and travel to the United States.

Driving Under the Influence: Entry to Canada

For American Citizens: Can I travel to Canada after a DUI conviction in the U.S.?

Anyone with a criminal record (including a drunk driving conviction) may be excluded from Canada. Please consult our consular page on DUIs and entering Canada for more information.

Immigrant Visas for Canadians

For Canadian Citizens: How can I move to the U.S.?

The only means to move permanently to the U.S. is to be sponsored by a relative or an employer. Please review this guide from the State Department for more information on the process of obtaining an immigrant visa.

If you are a student who has applied and been accepted to a US college or university, please review this page on student and exchange visas. If you are being sponsored by an employer to work temporarily in the U.S., please consult this page on professionals and visas.

Canadian Passports

Do Canadians need machine readable passports to enter the United States?

No.

Expiring Canadian Passport

For Canadian citizens: My passport expires in less than 6 months. Can I still travel to the U.S.?

Your passport only needs to be valid for the duration of your planned trip to the U.S.

Expired U.S. Work Visa

Do I need a new work visa if mine expires while I am still in U.S.?

You are permitted to stay in the United States for the duration of your I-94 (the card you were given at the time of your initial entry into the U.S.) The validity generally matches the time indicated on the I-797 (Notice of Approval). Even when your visa expires it is the expiration date on the I-94/I-797 that counts. However, if you plan to travel outside of the US/Canada/Mexico, you will need to get a new visa to re-enter the U.S.

Visa Approval

How likely am I to get a visa?

Each case is different, and only the interviewing officer can make the decision to give or refuse a visa. We cannot predict ahead of time your chances of receiving a visa.

Work Visa

What type of work visa do I need to work in the United States?

Please visit our "Doing Business in America" section for information on working or doing business in the United States.

Valid Visa in an Expired Passport

My U.S. visa is valid, but it's in my expired passport. Do I need a new visa in my new passport?

Under 22 CFR 41.112(3), you can enter the United States with a valid visa in an expired passport provided that you also have in your possession a valid passport that is of the same nationality as the expired passport that contains the unexpired visa.

When you travel, carry your current passport together with the old one that contains the valid visa. Do not tear out, peel off, or otherwise remove the visa from the old passport to try to put it in your new passport as this will invalidate the visa. If your country's embassy or consulate did not return your old passport when it issued your new one, then you will need to apply for a new visa.

Dual Citizenship

For American Citizens: If I get Canadian citizenship, will I lose my U.S. citizenship?

Please consult our page on dual citizenship for more information on this subject.

Marriage

How do two Canadian citizens get married in the U.S.?

Marriage license requirements vary from state to state. Once you know in which state you'd like to get married, then look at this website on vital records for help in finding the information you need. Also, you will need to check with the Canadian government to see if there are any rules about making your marriage legal once you return to Canada.

Criminal Record

If I was convicted of a criminal offence in the past, how can I enter the United States?

Please consult our consular page on criminal ineligibility for details on how to qualify for a waiver to enter the U.S.

Extended Visa Application Processing

Does the Embassy phone or email me ahead of time if my application will have to go through a name check or security clearance?

No. We are unable to conduct any type of visa application processing in advance of the visa interview.

U.S. Residents Renew Visa in Canada

I am working in the U.S. May I come to Canada to renew my work visa?

It is always best to apply for a visa in your home country. However, you may request an appointment for a visa interview at any consular office in Canada (with the exception of the Consulate in Montréal). To book an appointment for a visa interview and for information on documentation requirements, please do so through the U.S. Visa Service.

Please be aware that demand for visas from those living in the U.S. far exceeds our visa appointment capacity. It is possible that you may experience a long wait for an appointment or that no appointments may be available until others cancel their appointments.

Passport Requirement

For American and Canadian Citizens Only: Do I need a passport to drive between Canada and the U.S.?

Please consult our page on the for information regarding the Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative (WHTI).

Bringing Money into the United States

How much currency/money/monetary instruments can I bring into the U.S.?

There is no limit on the amount of money that can be taken out of or brought into the United States. However, if a person or persons traveling together and filing a joint declaration (CBP Form 6059-B) have $10,000 or more in currency or negotiable monetary instruments, they must fill out a "Report of International Transportation of Currency and Monetary Instruments" FinCEN 105 (146KB PDF) (formerly CF 4790).

If assistance is required, a Customs and Border Protection (CBP) Officer can help with filling out the form.

Please be aware, if persons traveling together have $10,000 or more, they cannot divide the currency between each other to avoid declaring the currency.

For example, if one person is carrying $5,000 and the other has $6,000, they have a total of $11, 000 in their possession and must report it on a FinCEN 105. If a person or family fails to declare their monetary instruments in amounts of over $10,000, their monetary instrument(s) may be subject to forfeiture and could result to civil and criminal penalties.

The FinCEN 105 can be obtained prior to traveling from the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network website (146KB PDF), or when going through CBP.

Visa Waiver Program

For Foreign Citizens (except Canadian Citizens): Do I need a visa to visit the U.S.?

Citizens of some countries may qualify for the U.S. Visa Waiver Program (VWP) if certain requirements are met. Please consult our VWP page for more information.

If you don't see your country on the list or are unable to meet the requirements, you are welcome to apply for a tourist visa here in Canada. Please consult the U.S. Visa Service website for instructions on how to book an interview appointment.

Report the Birth Abroad

For American Citizens: My child was born in Canada. How to I get U.S. citizenship for him/her?

Please consult our consular page on reporting births abroad for more information regarding registeration.

Affordable Care Act

I am a U.S. citizen living in Canada. Does the Affordable Care Act require me to get health insurance?

Please visit travel.state.gov for more information on the Affordable Care Act and what it means for U.S. citizens living outside the United States.

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