Frequently Asked Questions About Nonimmigrant Visas

Do I need a visa even if I’m only transiting the U.S? I’m only spending a couple of hours at the airport?
A valid visa is a requirement for all Brazilians to enter the United States, even if they are simply transiting a U.S. airport. However, if you also carry a passport from a country participating in the Visa Waiver Program (certain dual nationals), then you may not need to have a U.S. visa if you travel using that other passport.

I carry a European Union passport. Do I need a visa?
Passport holders from countries that participate in the Visa Waiver Program typically do not need a visa for business or leisure travel to the United States of less than 90 days duration, if their passport is machine-readable and meets certain other requirements.

I am having difficulties with the Visa Appointment Service website. Whom should I contact?
Please call one of the local numbers for the Call Center or send an email to

How long should I expect my appointment to take?
We make every effort to ensure that visa applicants spend as little time as possible at the Embassy or Consulate.  At the same time, there are several steps that must be completed for every visa interview. It is very important that you arrive as close as possible to your designated appointment time. Scheduling appointments in this manner allows us to attend to applicants with the greatest possible degree of efficiency.

Do I need to bring my family members’ passports to the interview, even if they are not planning to travel?
When a minor child applies for a visa without his/her parents, it is helpful to present the parents’ passports with their U.S. visas.  Otherwise, there is no need to bring anyone else’s passport.

Do I need to present a physical photo for my interview?
At the U.S. Consulate General in Porto Alegre and Recife, visa applicants must provide a 5 x 5 cm (2 x 2 inches) colored printed photo of each applicant.

Must I show my airline ticket when applying for a visa?
It is not required to present airline tickets when applying for a visa, and we recommend that applicants do not purchase non-refundable tickets until they have received their passport with the visa.

I am not a Brazilian Citizen. Can I apply for a U.S. visa in Brazil?
Anyone resident in Brazil may apply for a U.S. visa in Brazil. You may also apply for a visa in Brazil if you are not a resident, however, you should be aware that language difficulties and interviewing officers’ unfamiliarity with local conditions in other countries may make it more difficult to demonstrate your qualifications for a visa here than in your home district or at a post designated for your application.

I want to book my travel as far in advance as possible.  How long will it take to get my visa back?
Applicants are strongly advised not to book their travel until after they receive their passport and visa. There is no way for us to guarantee or for you to be certain in advance that you will be issued a visa.

When I received my visa, I discovered that it had an error.  What should I do?
Should you discover an error in your visa, please bring the passport to the Applicant Service Center (ASC) where the visa application process was started for correction. There is no need to schedule an appointment.  For ASC operating hours, please visit:

What is the difference between an immigrant and a nonimmigrant visa?
A nonimmigrant visa is designed for people whose visit to the U.S. is intended to be temporary.  Temporary visits may include a wide variety of purposes as well as a variety of lengths of stay. For more information about visas, click here.
Immigrant visas are for people who have qualifying family or employment relationships that allow them to live permanently in the United States.  Generally, they are issued to family members of U.S. citizens and people of other nationalities who have already gained Legal Permanent Resident status in the U.S., as well as to employees whose U.S.-based employers sponsor their immigration applications

What should I do if my passport expires but my visa is still valid?
Make sure that the visa was not damaged and always travel with both the expired passport with a valid visa and the new passport.

I have a visa but it has my maiden/married name. Now I’m married/divorced, and my name has changed. Do I need a new visa?
If your name has legally changed through marriage, divorce, or a court ordered name change, you will need to obtain a new passport.  Once you have a new passport, the Department of State recommends that you apply for a new U.S. visa to make it easier for you to travel to and from the United States. If you have emergency travel that does not allow you time to get your visa updated, we recommend that when traveling, you carry a copy of the document showing the name change.

My passport with a valid U.S. visa has been stolen/lost. What should I do? How can I cancel the U.S. visa?
If your passport with a valid United States visa has been stolen or lost, first you need to go to a local police station and report your document lost or stolen.
Next, you need to contact the U.S. Consulate/ Embassy that issued your visa. Please, attach the police report and include your full name, date of birth, place of birth, your contact information, stolen/lost passport number, the visa type and a copy of your stolen/lost visa, if you have it. Visit the U.S. Embassy and Consulates in Brazil Visa Navigator for more information.

My passport with a valid U.S. visa has been stolen/damaged/lost. Can I get a copy of the visa in my new passport?
Unfortunately, lost, stolen or damaged visas cannot be replaced. You will need to apply for a new visa.

Are any provisions made at the interviews for applicants who have special needs?
We do make special accommodations for applicants who are elderly, pregnant, appearing at the Embassy or Consulate with very young children (under 2 years old), injured, and who have special physical needs.  These applicants are prioritized ahead of other applicants so that they will spend less time at the Embassy or Consulate.

What about applicants who do not speak Portuguese, or are unable to speak?
Applicants who speak Portuguese or English will have no difficulty during their interviews.  Applicants who do not speak any of these languages can bring an interpreter with them. Likewise, applicants who are unable to speak are strongly advised to bring an interpreter, for example, a sign-language interpreter.
Interpreters don’t need to be formally licensed but need to be able to accurately translate the interviewer’s questions and the applicant’s answers. It is the applicant’s responsibility to ensure that this qualification be met.

Does the U.S. government consider a civil union to be a lawful relationship?
The U.S. government recognizes Brazilian civil unions as valid marriages. The civil union must be legally recognized in Brazil and give both members of the relationship the same legal rights and duties as two people who are in a lawfully-contracted marriage.

Does my Brazilian passport have to be valid for six months beyond my date of departure from the United States?
Citizens of Brazil are exempt from the six-month rule and need only have a passport valid for their intended period of stay.

How long can I stay in the United States?
Duration of stay in the United Sates is determined by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officials at the port of entry. For more information see the Visa Validity and Length of Stay page.

What does the visa expiration date mean?
The visa expiration date is the last date you are permitted to arrive at a port-of-entry in the United States.  For more information see the Visa Validity and Length of Stay page.

If my application for visa is denied, how long should I wait to reapply for a visa?
You may reapply for a visa any time by scheduling a new interview. You will have to submit a new visa application form and pay a new visa application fee. You may wish to wait to reapply until your circumstances have changed. For more information, visit the visa denials page.

Does it help my application if a U.S. Citizen sponsors my application for a visitor’s visa?
U.S. Citizens may not sponsor a visitor’s application. A visitor must qualify individually for a U.S. visa, regardless of a concerned U.S. citizen’s interest in the case. You must still demonstrate, on your own, sufficient ties outside of the United States to convince the consular officer that you will leave voluntarily at the end of your authorized stay.

Additional information about non-immigrant visas
You may find additional information on this website: