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Non-Immigrant Visas

General Information

Unless exempt from visa requirements (see Travel Without a Visa below), most persons require a visa to travel to the United States.  There are over fifty different kinds or "classifications" of non-immigrant visas to the United States. Many have different requirements and provide different benefits – some allow a visitor to study or to work, while others do not.

The classification of visa depends on what the traveler intends to do in the United States. Therefore, all applicants should have a clear idea of their purpose of travel to the United States before they apply for a visa and be prepared to explain that purpose at the visa interview.

Please click on "Types of U.S. Visas" for details of various visa classifications.

Persons who wish to schedule an appointment to apply for a visa at Embassy Nassau should click on the link "How To Apply for a Visa" and then carefully read and follow the instructions.  Persons who are neither citizens nor residents of The Bahamas or the Turks or Caicos Islands should read our advisory (PDF 94 KB) to learn about restrictions on applications by persons who are not from the Nassau Consular District.

Travel Without A Visa

Citizens of certain countries may travel to the United States without visas in certain circumstances. 

Tickets and Travel Plans

Each applicant’s eligibility for a visa is determined once an application is made.  There is no guarantee in advance that a visa will be issued.  Although tentative travel plans may be useful, the Embassy recommends visa applicants NOT purchase tickets prior to receiving a visa.  A visa cannot be issued simply because the applicant has already purchased tickets.

Important Links

Expedited Visa Appointments in Emergencies or other Urgent Situations

The U.S. Embassy in Nassau maintains an appointment system which allows applicants to choose the next available appointment slot or to select one which is more convenient for them. This system serves to match available resources with customer service, and greatly reduce the amount of time applicants spend in queues or in waiting rooms.   During periods of high demand, however, the next available appointment slot may be in three or four weeks.

We recognize that emergencies do occur and will try to accommodate requests for early appointments in the following circumstances:

  • Visa applications for travel related to an unforeseen emergency, such as in a medical emergency or to attend a relative’s funeral;

  • Visa applications to replace a valid visa that was lost or stolen during or shortly before pre-arranged travel;

  • Student visa applications which need to be expedited in order for the student to arrive at school by the beginning of classes;

  • Business visa applications for travel for urgent and unforeseen business purposes.

Please note that we do not expedite visa appointments for persons from outside our consular district (i.e.: The Bahamas and the Turks and Caicos Islands) unless that person is seeking to replace a valid visa that was lost/stolen while temporarily in our consular district.

Persons seeking an expedited appointment should contact the Nonimmigrant Visa Unit via email at Please title your email "Expedite Appointment Request."  Provide your current appointment time/date, explain the full circumstances of your case, and include all pertinent contact information (telephone numbers and email addresses).

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