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Important Visa Information

Visa Services

Important Notice: Please note that U.S. Embassy Apia is a limited-service Post and is not permanently staffed with Consular Officers.  Consular Officers from the U.S. Consulate General in Auckland, New Zealand travel to Samoa roughly once every ten weeks to conduct nonimmigrant visa interviews during “visa weeks.”  Visa week appointments will be made available through our online portal, and all visa appointments must be booked online.

Upcoming visa weeks in Apia for 2024 are: March 11 – 15; May 6 – 10; July 22 – 26; September 23 – 27.  These dates are subject change and any updates will be posted on this page.

If you are an applicant who wishes to attend an interview in Apia, Samoa, you may now do so online using this website.  You will be required to pay the visa fee and schedule an appointment. After creating a profile on this website, on the Post Visa Category field in the Visa Options page, please select Applicant Interviewing in Samoa.

Direct any follow-up queries to the U.S. Visa Information Service for Samoa and New Zealand.  Their call center agents are available to assist via multiple channels:

  • Phone: +064-9-8875999 (this is not a toll-free number and will incur international calling charges).
  • Email: support-newzealand@usvisascheduling.com
  • Chat: Click here (please ensure you are using Chrome, Firefox, Safari or Opera)
  • The hours of operation for the service are 9:00am- 6:00pm, Monday to Friday.

Please be advised that appointments conducted at the U.S. Embassy Apia are restricted to B, C, D, I, F, M, and J visas and there are limited appointment dates and times. There is no option to apply for a U.S. visa via the interview waiver process through this Applicant Interview in Samoa Post Visa Category.

Visa Services in Auckland:
Alternatively, if you need to travel to the US immediately or your travel to the US will not fall within a visa week, you can make arrangements for travel to NZ to apply for your visa at the U.S. Consulate General in Auckland, New Zealand. For information on U.S. visa application in New Zealand, please see here .

 

How to Apply

For detailed information on applying for a U.S. visa from Samoa, please refer to https://ws.usembassy.gov/visas/visa-information/.

Required documents:

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.
  • Confirmation page of your visa payment and DS-160 barcode.
  • 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.

Additional and supporting documents:

You may be required to prove your social/economic, family and financial ties to Samoa or your country of residence. The visa officer may ask you to provide some of the following documents.  We suggest you hand carry this information to your interview but do not present them unless specifically ask to do so by our consular staff.

  • 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.

If you are not traveling on a passport from New Zealand, Samoa, Great Britain, or Korea, you may have to pay an additional fee.

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 documents 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.

Requests for an emergency appointment:

Embassy Apia is a limited service, non-immigrant visa issuing Post.  Outside of our regularly scheduled visa weeks, upon review by a visa officer the Embassy may consider requests for emergency appointments if it is related to a U.S. national security matter, or it directly impacts the national interests of the U.S. Government.  All other emergency visa appointment requests, such as requests to visit a dying relative or attend the funeral of a relative, should be referred to our Consulate in Auckland, New Zealand or our Embassy in Suva, Fiji.

Please review the following list of circumstances that may merit favorable consideration.  If you believe your circumstances merit consideration, you may email us at ApiaConsular@state.gov with your written justification requesting an emergency visa interview in Apia.

Valid National Security or National Interest Reasons for an Expedited Visa Appointment:

  1. An agency of the U.S. federal government has requested that you travel to the United States.
  2. An unexpected urgent need to travel to the U.S. to conduct business with or on behalf of the U.S. Government.
  3. 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/ ).

Non-Immigrant FAQs.

Fees

All applicants for a non-immigrant visa must pay the Machine Readable Visa (MRV) fee in U.S. dollars or Samoan tala equivalent. The MRV fee is non-refundable.

Visa TypeMRV Fee AmountU.S. Dollar
B1/B2(Business/Tourism)$185
C1, C1/D(Transit Visa, Crew-Airline/Ship)$185
E1/E2Treaty trader/Investor$315
E3/E3DSpecialty work visa for Australians)$315
F1/F2(Academic Students)$185
H1B/H2A/H2B/H3/H4(Temporary Employment)$205
I(Media Visa)$185
J1/J2(Exchange Visitors)$185
K1Fiancé (Visa)$265
L1/L2(Intra-company Transferee)$205
M1/M2(Vocational Student)$185
O1/O2/O3(Person of Extraordinary Ability)$205
Q1(International Cultural Exchange Visitor)$205
R1/R2(Religious Worker)$205

Additional fees: If you are not travelling on a passport from New Zealand, Samoa, Great Britain, or Korea, you may have to pay additional fees. Click here for more information on visa fees.

The Interview

All nonimmigrant visa applicants are required to appear in person at the Embassy for a personal interview.  There is no option to apply for a U.S. visa via the interview waiver process through this Applicant Interview in Samoa Post Visa Category.

If your visa is approved, your passport will be returned to you in 1-3 business days, unless more documentation is needed. We strongly urge you not to purchase tickets until you have received your visa and passport.

The U.S. Embassy cannot be held responsible for extra costs due to changing tickets or rebooking flights if delivery is delayed. When you have received your visa it is important to check it. Please take some time to read our frequently asked questions page.

Official and diplomatic travelers on official government travel are exempt from in-person interviews. Please email ApiaConsular@state.gov for more information.

After the Interview

Entering the United States

A visa allows a foreign citizen to travel to a U.S. port-of-entry (generally an airport) and request permission to enter the United States. A visa does not guarantee entry into the United States. The Department of Homeland Security (DHS), U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officials at the port-of-entry have authority to permit or deny admission to the United States. If you are allowed to enter the United States, the CBP official will provide an admission stamp or a paper Form I-94, Arrival/Departure Record. Learn more about admissions and entry requirements, restrictions about bringing food, agricultural products, and other restricted/prohibited goods, and more by reviewing the CBP website.

Extending Your Stay

See Extend Your Stay on the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) website to learn about requesting to extend your stay beyond the date indicated on your admission stamp or paper Form I-94.

You must depart the United States on or before the date indicated on your admission stamp or paper Form I-94, unless your request to extend your stay is approved by USCIS.  Failure to depart the United States on time may also result in you being ineligible for visas you may apply for in the future. Review Visa Denials and Ineligibilities and Waivers: Laws to learn more.

Change of Status

While in the United States, you may be able to request that U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) change your nonimmigrant status to another nonimmigrant category. See Change My Nonimmigrant Status on the USCIS website to learn more.

Requesting a change of status from USCIS while you are in the United States and before your authorized stay expires does not require that you apply for a new visa. However, if you cannot remain in the United States while USCIS processes your change of status request, you must apply for a visa at a U.S. Embassy or Consulate.

Additional Information

  • The approval of a petition does not guarantee that you will be issued a visa. Do not make final travel plans or buy tickets until you have a visa.
  • Spouse and Children –
    • With the exception of Cultural Exchange Visitor Q-1 visa applicants, your spouse and unmarried, minor children may also apply for the same visa category as you to accompany or join you. You must be able to show that you will be able to financially support your family in the United States.
    • For information about employment and study, review Temporary Workers information and Employment Authorization on the USCIS website.
  • Unless canceled or revoked, a visa is valid until its expiration date. Therefore, a valid U.S. visa in an expired passport is still valid. If you have a valid visa in your expired passport, do not remove it from your expired passport. You may use your valid visa in your expired passport along with a new valid passport for travel and admission to the United States.

Customer Service Agreement

If you need reasonable accommodation for your appointment, we encourage you to request your accommodation immediately once you schedule your appointment. We make every effort to provide accommodations to persons with disabilities and medical conditions. Reasonable accommodations vary, depending on the situation and the person’s needs.
Examples of accommodations include, but are not limited to:

  • If you require a private appointment due to a medical condition or disability, we may schedule an alternative time for you to come in for your interview.
  • If you or your child has special needs that requires a private appointment in a quiet space without distractions, we may schedule an alternative time for you or your family to come in for your interview.
  • If you are unable to speak, you may be allowed to respond to questions in an agreed-upon nonverbal manner such as using pen and paper.
  • If you are deaf or hard of hearing, you may bring a sign language interpreter to translate during the interview if needed.
  • If you have low vision, we may provide you with communications in large print.

If you are unable to provide fingerprints because of a medical condition, including birth defects, physical deformities, skin conditions, you may qualify for a fingerprint waiver for certain fingers.

  • Interview waivers are only granted in extreme situations, such as having a medical condition that requires flying in an air ambulance.

The waiting room of the Consular Section and its restroom is wheelchair-accessible.

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 https://travel.state.gov .
  • 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.

Case Status

You can check the status of your visa application on ceac.state.gov.

Some visa applications require further administrative processing, which takes additional time after the visa applicant’s interview by a consular officer. Applicants are advised of this requirement when they apply. Most administrative processing is resolved within 60 days of the visa interview. When administrative processing is required, the timing will vary based on the individual circumstances of each case.

If your visa has been denied, you may find useful information on Ineligibilities and Waivers on usvisas.state.gov.

Contact us

U.S. Embassy Apia

5th Floor
ACC Building
Matafele Apia, Samoa
Phone: +685 21436+685 21436 / 21631 / 21452 or 22696
Fax: +685 22030
Email: ApiaConsular@state.gov