• March 15, 2023

Ask the US Consular office

Ask the US Consular office
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Hello from the US Embassy!

It was great to get so many questions from the radio outreach sessions we’ve been doing to answer your questions on visas. You’ve got questions and we have answers! Below, find responses to some of the questions we’ve received recently. Remember, the US government websites like www.travel.state.gov and the US Embassy website www.sl.usembassy.gov are the only place to find accurate information about traveling to the United States. The only way to apply for a visa to the US is through the visa appointment website www.ustraveldocs.com.:

Q: I have an advanced diploma and over 10 years of experience, do I meet the educational requirements for the DV?

A: To qualify for the DV, you must have the equivalent of a high school diploma or you must have, within the past five years, at least two years of work experience in a profession that requires at least two years of training. In Sierra Leone that means you have to have either passed the WASSCE or O Levels, in five subjects, and received either “credit” or better on all five (between C6 and A1). One of the five subjects you’ve passed must be either English or math.

Q: I am pregnant, can I give birth in the US with my B1/B2 Visa?

A: Yes, you can give birth in the U.S. on a B1/B2 visa but you’ll need to disclose your plans to either the consular officer during your visa interview or, if you become pregnant later, to the officer when you are entering the United States. You’ll also need to show proof of your ability to pay for your medical expenses.

Q: As a student with an F1 Visa, am I allowed to work? If yes, how many hours?

A: Yes, a student can work on campus for up to 20 hours a week.

Q: Can I marry with my F1 Visa?

A: Yes, you can get married when you are in the U.S. on an F1 student visa, but if you intend to stay in the United States with your spouse, you will need to go through the process to adjust your status so you don’t overstay your student visa. If you travel to the US on a J1 visa, you need to come back to Sierra Leone for at least 2 years before you are eligible to get an immigrant status in the US.

Q: My Mother has petitioned for me to join her in the US, but the petition has not been granted yet. Can I apply to visit a friend while I wait for my petition to be granted?

A: Yes, you can apply for a B1/B2 tourist visa at any time, but you will need to be able to demonstrate to the consular officer your plans to return to Sierra Leone after your visit.

Q: Is the Visa fee refundable?

A: Unfortunately no. The fee is actually a fee to apply, for your application to be reviewed, and for you to come for the interview. This is why the fee is not refundable even if the visa is denied, as the processing is the same whether the application is successful or not.

Q: Can you help us with a list of less expensive universities in the US?

A: There are a lot of factors that go in to funding your education. In addition to tuition fees, the cost of living can vary a lot between different states and cities. Availability of public transportation, scholarship opportunities offered by the university or external sources all go in to this calculation.

You can find a lot of information about studying in the United States, including resources on how to find a university that fits your needs and budget and places to look for scholarship opportunities at www.educationusa.state.gov. There are also a lot of resources about studying in the United States available to the public at the US Embassy’s American Center, located at Hill station in Freetown.

Q: I filled out my DS-160 form, submitted it, and printed out my confirmation late last year, but have not yet paid my visa fee. Can I head and pay or do I need to fill out another, maybe the previous one had expired

You can use the same DS-160. You’ll need to pay the visa fee at GT Bank and then schedule an interview.

Q: Does the DS 160 form expire?

The DS-160 is valid for one year from the date you submitted it.

 

 

 

 

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