Important Reminder on the Visa Waiver Program/ESTA and Travel to the United States
Embassy Beirut wishes to remind all nationalities who are able to travel to the United States via the Visa Waiver Program that as of April 1, 2016, they must have a valid electronic passport. This rule applies even to those who possess a valid Electronic System (ESTA). The U.S. Embassy recommends that all travelers check to ensure their passports are valid electronic passports before they make arrangements to travel to the United States on the Visa Waiver Program.
Electronic passports have this symbol on their cover:
You can check if your passport is valid for travel under the VWP by carefully reading the following page: https://travel.state.gov/content/visas/en/visit/visa-waiver-program.html.
Any traveler who does not have a valid electronic passport is still eligible to travel to the United States with a valid nonimmigrant visa issued by a U.S. embassy or consulate. Such travelers will be required to appear for an interview and obtain a visa in their passports at a U.S. embassy or consulate before traveling to the United States. Information on visa applications can be found at:
Guidance for new Visa Waiver Program procedures
If you are a citizen of a Visa Waiver Program partner but have received notice that you are no longer eligible to travel to the United States under that program, you should apply for a nonimmigrant visa at least three months in advance of your desired travel. If you do not have imminent travel plans, you should pay the nonimmigrant visa application fee, fill out the DS-160 nonimmigrant visa application form at ceac.state.gov/genniv/, and schedule a visa appointment. If your travel is imminent, you may request an expedited visa appointment. Please include in your request the date and purpose of your travel, as well as a copy of the U.S. Customs and Border Protection message you received regarding your ESTA status.”
We advise nonimmigrant visa applicants to keep checking the calendar for availability of earlier appointments.
Visa Information for Temporary Visitors
Non-immigrant visas are for international travelers (citizens of other countries) coming to the U.S. temporarily. This visa allows you to travel to a U.S. port of entry (airport, for example) and request permission of the Department of Homeland Security immigration inspector to enter the United States. A visa does not guarantee entry into the U.S.
The Consular Section provides full Non-immigrant Visa Services for Lebanese Citizens. Third-country nationals may apply for U.S. visas in Beirut.
The New Non-Immigrant Visa Application Procedure for all Non-immigrant Visa Categories
- Complete your DS-160 Online Visa Application.
- Visit https://www.ustraveldocs.com and print a personalized bank deposit slip.
- Take your deposit slip to any Credit Libanais location to pay your visa application fee.
- Schedule an appointment for your visa interview online at https://www.ustraveldocs.com or by phone through the Call Center at 01-964-659.
- Visit the U.S. Embassy on the date and time of your visa interview appointment.
Applicants will need to bring with them to the interview their DS-160 confirmation page, the bank receipt, a photo, passport, and any other necessary documents. Failure to provide the necessary documents will delay the applicant’s interview process.
Special Information for Syrian Applicants
All nonimmigrant visa applicants must overcome Section 214(b) of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA). This statute contains a presumption that nonimmigrant visa applicants are intending immigrants. Visa applicants can overcome this presumption by proving that they have a permanent residence abroad which they have no intention of abandoning.
Unfortunately, it is extremely difficult for individuals fleeing war zones to overcome the presumption of immigration if they have no safe home to which they can return. This is generally established by demonstrating family, social, employment, economic, and/or academic ties to another country that will lead them to return there after a temporary stay in the United States.
Please note that all Syrian citizens must appear for their visa interview in person; there are no interview waivers available for age or any other reason.
Hours of Operation
The visa section of the Embassy conducts non-immigrant interviews, by appointment only, Monday through Friday from 8:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m., and from 13:00 p.m. to 14:30 p.m. No visa interviews are conducted on the last Friday of each month.
Required Documents for Passport Retrieval
Applicants issued visas can collect their passports and ask for information at the upper entrance of the Embassy, Monday through Friday from 3:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m, except the last Friday of each month, and holidays. Passports will be returned to visa applicants themselves, their immediate relatives, or a representative.
If a representative is collecting your passport on your behalf - even in case of family members - the representative must present:
- Their own original government-issued photo ID for identification
- A photocopy of your government-issued photo ID
- A letter of authority, authorizing your representative to
collect your passport. The letter of authority must contain the following
- Your representative's full name as shown on their government-issued photo ID
- Your name
If the applicant is under the age of 14, the following documents are required:
- An original, signed letter of authority from either of the applicant's parents
- A clear photocopy of the government-issued photo ID belonging to the parent who signed the applicant's letter of authority
- The representative's original government-issued photo ID
Note: In case of a group/family, a single letter of authority with the required information for each of the applicants will be accepted.
How to Reapply if Denied
Applicants who are denied visas to the U.S. may reapply. Starting August 16, 2013 use the new non-immigrant visa application procedures. Applicants will have their case heard by another consular officer. However, the applicant should be able to demonstrate changes in their personal situation that caused them to be denied in their earlier interview.
Who May Accompany Applicant to the Interview?
Applicants should, in almost all cases, come alone to their interviews. Lebanese applicants above the age of 79 years do not need to come to the interview. These applicants may choose to send a representative in their stead, along with their visa application confirmation page, and one recent 5x5 cms full face white background photo. As appropriate, such applicants may want to include copies of their family extract, owned properties, bank account statements, and a letter detailing their purpose of travel. The visa section may, however, ask for more documentation or for a personal interview. Applicants must make sure to include accurate contact information on their visa application forms.
Applicants between the ages of 14 and 18 must come to the interview and may bring a parent with them. Lebanese applicants under 14 years of age are exempt from coming to the interview. Either of the parents may apply for the visa on behalf of the applicant. Applicants under 14 and above the age of 79 years who do not have Lebanese citizenship must come to the interview. Applicants with serious medical problems may also choose to bring an escort with them.
Forgot to turn in your I-94?
If you forgot to turn in your I-94 when you departed the United States, please visit the following website for information on how to return it: https://travel.state.gov/visa/questions/questions_1253.html