Update on Visa Weeks in Samoa (July 2023)
Due to staffing constraints at the U.S. Consulate in Auckland, there will be no Visa Weeks in July and August in Apia and visa appointments at the U.S. Consulate General in Auckland will be very limited. The U.S. Embassy in Samoa looks forward to the return of Visa Weeks in Apia later this year and will update our website and facebook page once the Visa Week program resumes. Applicants needing a visa appointment are encouraged to apply at the U.S. Embassy in Suva https://fj.usembassy.gov/visas/ or any U.S. embassy or consulate worldwide.
- The public is hereby advised that visa applicants applying at the U.S. Embassy in Apia MUST NOT under any circumstances pay any visa fees online through any website. All visa fees MUST BE PAID IN CASH with the Embassy Apia cashier ON THE DAY of your interview. It has come to the attention of the Embassy that there are websites claiming to be able to complete your DS-160 and book an appointment for you online after you pay the visa fee. To re-iterate this is incorrect, visa fees must be paid in cash with the Embassy Apia cashier on the day of your interview. Visa fees must not be confused with SEVIS fee payments for students applying for F,J and M visas which can be paid online, for more information on SEVIS fee payments please visit I-901 fee payment To avoid making online payments visa applicants and anyone assisting them are advised to ONLY use the U.S. Embassy Apia website Nonimmigrant Visas and follow the links there for booking online appointments. Online visa payment services ARE NOT available in Samoa.
The U.S. Embassy in Apia conducts non-immigrant visa interviews – ‘Visa Week’ in Apia periodically. A consular officer will travel from the U.S. Consulate General in Auckland to interview applicants in Apia. Applicants must fill out the DS-160 application form and book an appointment online. The visitor visa (B) for business, tourism and medical treatment is US$185.00 or Samoan tala equivalent to be paid to the Embassy cashier on the day of your interview. The visiting consular officer can only conduct a limited number of visa interviews per visit. The number of applicants seeking interviews may exceed our interview capacity, so we may not be able to accommodate all applicants seeking appointments.
Alternatively, applicants residing in Samoa and Am. Samoa who were not able to secure an appointment in Apia or whose travel date does not fall with a visa week can also apply at the U.S. Consulate General in Auckland, New Zealand (https://nz.usembassy.gov/visas/) or the U.S. Embassy in Suva, Fiji (https://fj.usembassy.gov/visas/).
If you are applying for a visa under the U.S. Embassy Apia visa program please follow steps below.
There are four easy steps to applying for a visa:
- Fill out the DS-160 application form online and upload a photo.
- Make an appointment for interview online.
- Gather supporting documents.
- Attend interview and pay the visa fee at Embassy Apia.
All applicants for visas must submit the following when applying for a visa:
- A current, valid passport, preferably machine readable. If you have held previous passports please bring them on the day of the interview.
- NIV/Machine-Readable Visa (MRV) fee: Every applicant for a nonimmigrant visa must pay the NIV/Machine-Readable Visa (MRV) fee. This fee is non-refundable and must be paid whether or not a visa is granted. The fee is payableby CASH ONLY at the Embassy on the day of the visa appointment. No personal or company cheques will be accepted.
- Passport Photograph: One recent, color photograph 2 inch x 2 inch (5 x 5 cm)on a plain background, front view, full face. Digital photos or laser copies are NOT accepted.
- Confirmation page of online visa application form (DS-160). Upon completion of the online application, the applicant must then print the confirmation page that includes some biographical information and a bar code confirmation number, and bring to the interview.
Additional and supporting documents:
You may be required to prove your social/economic, family and financial ties to Samoa or your country of residence. It may be necessary to provide some of the following documents:
- Travel itinerary and purpose of trip;
- Name, address & relationship of people you are visiting in US;
- Letters of employment, business letter / conference details;
- Proof of funds, ie. bank statements, ownership of property etc.
- Applications traveling for medical treatment in the U.S. must provide a letter from the treating doctor/hospital in the U.S. and proof of Medicare or sufficient funds.
Please note that supporting documents can vary from person to person depending on your personal situation.
We suggest that you supply this information with your first application, instead of waiting until after you have been refused a visa.
If you are not traveling on a passport from New Zealand, Samoa, Great Britain, or Korea, you may have to pay an additional fee. These fees must be paid at the Embassy by cash only.
SEVIS Fee: Student and Exchange Visitor Information System for F1 and J1 Visas.
The U.S. Embassy accepts no liability for any documents lodged as part of a visa application. It is your responsibility to use a secure means of sending your application to us and for ensuring its safe return to you.
You should never pay for travel arrangements (e.g., airfare, hotels) without having the necessary visa in your possession. The U.S. Embassy accepts no responsibility if you do so, nor will we expedite processing because you have fixed travel dates. You risk significant financial losses if you ignore this advice.
Photos that do not conform to the specifications below will not be accepted and applicants will be required to provide new ones. This may lead to significant delays in visa processing.
The photograph of each visa applicant must be an unmounted full-face photo, taken within the past six months.
A “full face” photo is one in which the applicant is facing the camera directly. The applicant should not be looking down or to either side, and the face should cover about 50 percent of the area of the photo. Although variations in hair styles and in head coverings make it difficult to rigorously define the term “face”, in general, the head of the applicant, including both face and hair, should be shown from crown of the head to tip of chin on top and bottom and from hair line side-to-side. It is preferable that ears be exposed. Babies must have their eyes open. The key requirement is that the photograph clearly identifies the applicant.
The photograph should measure 2 inches square (50 mm square) in color against a white or off-white background), and should be uploaded to Form DS-160 (Non-immigrant Visa Application). If unable to upload the photographs you must bring one photo with you when you come for the interview, but must complete and submit the online application form DS-160. Photographs taken in front of busy, patterned, or dark backgrounds will not be accepted.
Head coverings and hats are only acceptable due to religious beliefs, and even then, may not obscure any portion of the face of the applicant. Sunglasses or other paraphernalia, which detracts from the face, as defined above are not acceptable unless required for medical reasons (e.g. an eye patch.) A photograph depicting a person wearing a traditional facemask or veil that does not permit adequate identification is not acceptable. Photos of military, airline, or other personnel wearing hats are not acceptable. Photographs of applicants wearing tribal, national costume or other headgear not specifically religious in nature are not acceptable.
Requests for an Expedited or Emergency visa appointment
Outside our regularly scheduled visa weeks, we will only accept requests for expedited or emergency appointments related to a U.S. national security matter or impacting the national interests of the U.S. government.
Please review the following list of circumstances that may merit favorable consideration. If you believe your circumstances merit consideration, please email firstname.lastname@example.org with your justification and supporting documentation to request an expedited visa appointment in Apia.
Valid National Security or National Interest Reasons for an Expedited Visa Appointment:
- An agency of the U.S. federal government has requested that you travel to the United States.
- An unexpected urgent need to travel to the U.S. to conduct business with or on behalf of the U.S. Government.
- An unexpected visit that is of significant cultural, political, journalistic, or economic importance that is sponsored by or in the direct interest of the U.S. Government.
In all cases, the applicant will be expected to provide documentation to substantiate the urgent need to travel in addition to those forms and supporting documents normally required.
Applicants requesting expedited or emergency visa appointments for other purposes, including to obtain urgent medical care or to accompany a relative or employer for urgent medical care; to attend the funeral of or make arrangements for repatriating the body of an immediate family member; to begin or resume employment as permitted by C1/D, E, H, I, L, O, or P visa categories; or to begin or resume a valid program of study in the United States, should request an appointment at either the U.S. Consulate General in Auckland, New Zealand (https://nz.usembassy.gov/visas/) or the U.S. Embassy in Suva, Fiji (https://fj.usembassy.gov/visas/).