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FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS (FAQ)

Frequently Asked Questions

Q:  What is the difference between an immigrant and a nonimmigrant visa?

A:  Immigrant visas are issued to persons intending to live permanently in the United States.  To qualify for an immigrant visa, a close relative or prospective employer generally must file a petition on behalf of the applicant.  Immigrant visas are also available through the diversity visa lottery.  Nonimmigrant visas are issued to persons who wish to travel to the United States for a temporary stay, often for tourism, business, temporary work, or study, and are able to demonstrate that they intend to return to their home country at the conclusion of a temporary stay in the U.S.

Q:  What must be done to invite someone for a visit to the United States?

A:  Hosts may send a potential guest a letter of invitation including the guest’s name and the reason for the visit.  Such letters should also include the anticipated period of stay in the U.S. and a statement of which expenses will be borne by the host.  Hosts are reminded, however, that visa applicants must qualify for a visa in their own right and that a host’s invitation is not a guarantee that a guest’s visa will be issued.

Q:  What must I do if I am seeking medical treatment in the United States?

A:  Persons seeking medical treatment in the United States must provide the following documents during their visa interview:

  • An original letter, with a certified English translation, from a local doctor describing the applicant's condition and the availability of treatment in the region. 
  • An original letter from a U.S. hospital or medical clinic stating that they have agreed to treat the applicant for his medical condition; the estimated total cost of the proposed treatment; and the estimated amount of time the applicant would need to remain in the U.S. for treatment and follow-up.
  • Proof that either the applicant or his sponsor has sufficient funds to cover the anticipated cost of the medical treatment.  Applicants or their sponsors may wish to present original bank documents to establish that they can meet all costs associated with the medical treatment.  A letter from a sponsor stating that they will pay for any and all costs is not sufficient. 

Q:  How can an applicant learn why he or she was denied a visa at a post overseas?

A:
 Applicants are always told the reason for their refusal, orally or in writing.  If an applicant does not understand the reason for his denial, he may contact the Consular Section by email for an explanation.

Q:  What can applicants do if their visa applications have been denied? Can they appeal? May they reapply?

A:  All refusals are reviewed by a senior consular officer, but there is no "appeal" process.  Although a refused applicant may reapply at any time, applicants are encouraged not to reapply unless their situation has dramatically changed.

Q:  My visa is valid but my passport has expired. What should I do?

A:  Visas in expired passports are still valid.  Applicants may travel with a visa in an expired passport as long as their currently valid passport reflects the same biographical information and the visa in the expired passport has not been damaged.  Applicants whose names have changed (for example, by marriage) or whose visas were damaged must apply for a new visa.

Q:  Can I apply for a visa at the Embassy in Skopje if I don't live in Macedonia or Kosovo?

A:  We accept visa applications from any person physically present in our consular district, and each case is decided on its individual merits.  However, it is generally more difficult for applicants who do not live in our consular district to demonstrate their eligibility for a visa.  If an applicant’s country of citizenship charges Americans visa fees, the applicant may be required to pay a “reciprocity fee” before a visa is issued. 

Q:  I forgot to turn in my Form I-94 when I left the United States. What should I do?

A:  It is your responsibility to ensure that your Form I-94 is turned in so your departure is properly documented. Failure to turn in a Form I-94 when leaving the U.S. can create a serious problem...more. [pdf 23.7kb]

Q:  Why must all applicants use the electronic visa application form?

A:  When applicants use the electronic visa application form (EVAF), they help our consular posts improve the visa services we provide our customers.  The EVAF, which has been in use for more than three years, allows for quicker and more accurate data entry.  Our applicants do not have to wait for us to enter the data, and we can therefore process their applications more quickly.

Q:  Doesn't this process disadvantage those applicants in less developed countries?

A:  Not at all; in fact, already many developing countries have high levels of EVAF usage.  Moreover, many developing countries have high numbers of Diversity Visa (DV) Lottery applicants, all of whom have had to apply online since 2003.  The highest number of DV entries continues to be from countries as diverse as Bangladesh, Ghana, Nepal, and Ukraine.  We believe legitimate travelers will still be able to apply.  In fact, the electronic form should make the process easier for many applicants who no longer need to travel to the consular section to pick up a visa form.

Q: 
I have an urgent need to travel for an emergency reason.  Do I still need to fill out the electronic visa application form?

A:  Yes, in most cases, you will still need to fill out the EVAF.  Please call the Visa Information Service to request an emergency appointment.

Q:  I am a diplomat or government official.  Do I need to fill out the EVAF?

A:  Yes.  All applicants, including diplomats and government officials, must use the electronic visa application form in nearly every case.  Please call the consular section or visit the website at travel.state.gov for more information.

Q:  I don't have Internet access at home.  May I fill out my form at the Embassy?

A:  Unfortunately, no.  Embassy Skopje does not have public Internet access available.  We suggest that applicants access the Internet through Internet cafes, libraries, or schools. 

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