On January 20, 2021, President Biden signed a Presidential Proclamation titled “Ending Discriminatory Bans on Entry to the United States.” This proclamation ends the travel restrictions under Presidential Proclamations 9645 and 9983 and directs the State Department to pursue the processing of visa applications for individuals from impacted countries consistent with applicable law and visa processing procedures, including any related to COVID-19. For further information, please go [here].

The U.S. Mission to Kenya understands that many visa applicants have paid the visa application processing fee and are still waiting to schedule a visa appointment. We are working diligently to restore all routine visa operations as quickly and safely as possible. In the meantime, rest assured that the U.S. Mission will extend the validity of your payment (known as the MRV fee) until December 31, 2021, to allow all applicants who were unable to schedule a visa appointment as a result of the suspension of routine consular operations an opportunity to schedule and/or attend a visa appointment with the already paid fee. Please continue to monitor this site for information on when we will return to routine visa operations. If you have an urgent need to travel immediately, please follow the guidance provided here (scroll down to the section on “Visa Appointment Questions”) to request an expedited appointment.

The U.S. Embassy has resumed limited processing of immigrant visas, in accordance with the priorities set out by the Department of State. All applicants should expect significant delays due to backlogs and capacity limitations created by the pandemic.

The U.S. Embassy has resumed limited processing of student (F-1, F-2, M-1, M-2, J-1, and J-2) visas. In addition, there are a small number of E (treaty investor), I (press/journalist), O (individual with extraordinary achievement or ability) and P (athletes, artists, and entertainers) visa appointments available.  Starting on March 3, 2021, there will also be a small number of H1B/H4 (specialty workers and their families) and L1 (intercompany transferees) visa appointments available.   To keep both applicants and our staff safe during the Covid-19 pandemic, we’ve had to keep the number of appointments lower than normal. If you would like an appointment to apply for a visa, please visit our Global Support Website here. If you need an urgent appointment due to an emergency, or because you would suffer severe financial hardship such as the permanent loss of a scholarship if you were to arrive late, please go to our Global Support Website and apply for an “Expedited Appointment” – for instructions on how to do so, go here and scroll down to the section on “Visa Appointment Questions.” For all other visa categories, please continue to monitor this site for information on when we will return to routine visa operations. If you have an urgent need to travel immediately, please follow the guidance provided here (scroll down to the section on “Visa Appointment Questions”) to request an expedited appointment.  Please also remember that all visas and travel to the United States may be subject to further restrictions – please go to for the latest updates.

Please be advised that all entrants to the U.S. Embassy, including consular applicants, are subject to body temperature screening, and may be refused entry if displaying an elevated temperature.

The purpose of your intended travel and other facts will determine what type of visa is required under U.S. immigration law. As a visa applicant, you will need to establish that you meet all requirements to receive the category of visa for which you are applying.

See our Directory of Visa Categories on to determine which visa category might be appropriate for your purpose of travel to the United States.

A citizen of a foreign country who seeks to enter the United States generally must first obtain a U.S. visa, which is placed in the traveler’s passport, a travel document issued by the traveler’s country of citizenship.

Certain international travelers may be eligible to travel to the United States without a visa if they meet the requirements for visa-free travel. The Visa section of this website is all about U.S. visas for foreign citizens to travel to the United States.

(Note: U.S. citizens don’t need a U.S. visa for travel, but when planning travel abroad may need a visa issued by the embassy of the country they wish to visit.).

Non-Immigrant Visa Unit

Answers to almost all questions about nonimmigrant visa categories, requirements, and procedures are available at . If you are unable to find the answer to your question after reviewing the website, you may send an inquiry to or speak to a representative at the visa call center by calling +254-20-619-0600 (in Kenya) or +1 703-439-2302 (in the United States).  The call center hours are Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Kenya time, or if you are calling from the United States, Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Eastern Time.

For questions which the call center cannot answer, the nonimmigrant visa unit may be contacted directly at

Immigrant Visa/Diversity Visa Unit

  • Email Address:
  • Telephone number:  +254 020 363 6622
  • Calling days –           Monday to Thursday  
  • Calling hours –         1 pm to 4 pm (local time)

The Department of State manages the visa process strictly but fairly in order to best protect the United States.  We are committed to the essential openness for which the United States has always been known.  Travel to the United States is welcomed and encouraged.

We promise to you, the visa applicant, that:

  • We will treat you with dignity and respect, even if we are unable to grant you a visa.
  • We will treat you as an individual and your case as unique.
  • We will remember that, to you, a visa interview may be a new or intimidating experience and that you may be nervous.
  • We will use the limited time available for the interview to get as full a picture as possible of your travel plans and intentions.
  • We will use our available resources to fairly assist all applicants to get appointments to allow travel in time for business, study, and other important obligations.
  • We will post detailed and accurate information on visa requirements and application procedures on every Embassy and Consulate website.
  • We will provide information on non-immigrant appointment waiting times at every Embassy and Consulate posted on
  • We will explain the reason for any visa denial to you.

Furthermore, if you are a:

  • Student, we will make every effort to ensure that you get an appointment and, if qualified, a visa in time to start classes.
  • Medical and humanitarian emergency traveler, we will expedite processing for those dealing with life threatening emergencies.
  • Business traveler, we will establish appropriate mechanisms to facilitate business travel and expedite cases of particular concern to American business.

At the same time, we expect you, the visa applicant, to:

  • Plan your travel and visa application as far in advance as possible.
  • Complete your application fully and accurately.
  • Be forthcoming about your purpose and plans.
  • Prepare for your interview by being able to clearly and concisely describe your intentions.