The information below provides answers to frequently asked questions that are specifically pertinent to visa applicants who are citizens of Cuba, Iran, and Syria, since these four countries are designated as State Sponsors of Terrorism.

We received several emails about visa applicants with prior service in the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC). On a case-by-case basis, the Department of State can request that the Department of Homeland Security grant waivers for nonimmigrant visa applicants with past mandatory military service in the IRGC.

For nonimmigrant visas, generally, the applicant will make an appointment at a convenient U.S. Embassy or Consulate and pay the application fee. The applicant will have an interview in-person with a consular officer, who will ask questions and review documentation to determine whether the applicant qualifies for a visa. After the interview, and any necessary administrative processing, if the applicant qualifies the U.S. Embassy or Consulate issues a visa.

Applicants for immigrant visas, wishing to reside permanently in the U.S. must first be the beneficiary of a petition filed with U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). Petitions are most often based on family relationship or employment, but can also be self-generated by investors. After the petition is approved, the State Department’s National Visa Center notifies the beneficiaries to schedule an interview with a consular officer at an embassy or consulate. If the consular officer determines the applicant is qualified, and there are no security concerns, the U.S. Embassy or Consulate will issue an immigrant visa.

After reviewing this page, please, find out more about both the immigrant and nonimmigrant visa process at the State Department’s visa main page.