Visa and Travel

H-1B applicants

To apply for an H-1B visa you must have the original I-797 approval notice for the University of Nevada, Reno, and a current letter from your department confirming your employment here. You should also have a copy of Labor Condition Application (LCA) which you have received from OISS and copies of your educational credentials. Visa requirements vary from country to country! Before you leave the U.S., please inquire at the American Consulate where you will be applying, what documents you need to bring to your appointment. Upon your return to U.S. please bring back the original I-797 notice to OISS and provide us with copies of your visa.

J-1 applicants

Should have the original DS-2019 form signed for travel, a letter from the department confirming the employment and type of research conducted at the University of Nevada, Reno, proof of funding, and a proof of payment of SEVIS fee (first time applicants only). The fee can be paid on line at the Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP) SEVIS I-901 fee processing website.

View consulate contact information. General information about visa services, DS-156 visa application form and other visa forms can be obtained at the State Department's Visa Application Forms page. All applicants should try to schedule visa appointment ahead of time and allow sufficient time for security background checks carried out with every visa application. Visa processing times vary from post to post and may take anywhere from one to eight weeks.

Please keep in mind the U.S. State Department strongly recommends that you apply for a visa in your country of origin. However, if this is not possible, you may be able to schedule an appointment in another country. If you chose this option, you need to make sure that the U.S. consulate there will accept "third country applicants", and be prepared to wait until your visa is issued.

To Apply for a U.S. Visa in Canada

You must make an appointment for an interview at a U.S. consulate by either calling 1-900-443-313 (the charge is about $2.00 per minute) or if the 900 number is not available, call 888-840-0032.

To Apply for a U.S. Visa in Mexico

You must make an appointment for an interview at a U.S. consulate by either calling 1-800-919-1754 ($7.00 charge per call).

Please note that you cannot obtain a U.S. visa in Mexico if:

  • You changed status in U.S. and now seek a new visa
  • You entered the U.S. in one visa category and now seek a different visa category
  • You obtained your original visa in a country other than your legal residence
  • You have been out of status, violated the terms of your visa or overstayed
  • You are subject to National Security Entry/Exit Registration (NSEERs) or a national of N. Korea, Cuba, Syria, Sudan or Iran

It is important that you contact the U.S. consulate you are applying to in order to verify what is needed for your Visa application. Visa forms are available on the State Department's Visa Application Forms page.

Special Note: Effective April 1, 2002, if you apply for a visa in Canada or Mexico and are DENIED the visa, you will not be able to re-enter the United States under "Automatic Visa Revalidation."


In order to re-enter the U.S. you must have a valid passport, valid visa stamp, a recent pay-stub or current letter of employment, original DS-2019 form signed for travel if you are J-1(J-2) visitor and I-797 notice if you are H-1B (H-4) holder.

A valid U.S. visa stamp is not required if you are going to Canada or Mexico (H and J visitors) and contiguous territories (J visitors only) for a period of less than 30 days. This is known as "automatic visa revalidation provision".

Caution: citizens of Iraq, Iran, Syria, Libya, Sudan, North Korea and Cuba are not eligible to use this provision. In addition, "automatic visa revalidation" does not apply if from Canada you then travel to another country i.e Germany and return to the U.S. via Canada.

Please keep in mind that you may need an entry visa to travel to other countries. Contact the embassy/consulate of the country you are planning to visit for the required entry documents.