Obtain a US Visa at a Different
US Consulate or Embassy Than on My Approval Notice
This information applies to the following categories of US Visas (Nonimmigrant Visas):
H - Temporary Workers
L - Intracompany Transferees
O - Aliens of Extraordinary Ability
P - Entertainers and Athletes
Q - Participants in Exchange Programs
R - Religious Workers
If you want to receive your nonimmigrant US visa at a different U.S. Consulate or Embassy than is indicated on your petition approval notice (or, if you are from a visa-exempt country, enter the United States at a different port-of-entry), your employer who filed the visa petition must notify the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) of the change in your travel plans. Visa exempt countries include Canada and some islands adjacent to the U.S.
The USCIS will then notify the U.S. Consulate / Embassy where you will be obtaining your nonimmigrant US visa (or, if a visa is not required, the USCIS will notify the port-of-entry where you will enter the U.S. that your petition has been approved). The U.S. Consulate (or port-of-entry) must receive this notification from the USCIS before you can receive the documentation necessary for entry into the U.S.
If you travel outside the United States and desire to re-enter the country, you should carry your original approval notice with you.
How Does My Employer Who Filed the Petition Notify USCIS?
If a USCIS petition has been approved for you, your employer should file USCIS Form I-824 (Application for Action on an Approved Application or Petition) including the correct fee, with the USCIS office that approved the original petition. Detailed information is provided in the instructions for Form I-824.
Forms are available online, or by calling 1-800-870-3676, or by submitting an online request to receive forms by mail. Further information on forms, filing fees, and fee waivers is available in USCIS Forms / INS Forms and Other US Immigration Forms, Fees & Filing Locations. Please see USCIS field offices for more information on USCIS office locations.
How Can I Check My Application Status?
You may check the status of your application or case online, by phone, or by contacting an appropriate USCIS office. For details see USCIS Case Status: Check USCIS Case Status for Visas and Immigration. You may also want to review US Visa Wait Times and USCIS Immigration Processing Times. For more assistance, see HELP! (below).
How Can I Appeal if My Application is Denied?
If your employer's application is denied, your employer will receive a letter that will tell your employer why the application was denied. Your employer may submit a motion to reopen or a motion to reconsider to the same office that made the unfavorable decision. By filing a motion, your employer is asking the office to reexamine or reconsider its decision. A motion to reopen must state any new facts that would support your employer's motion. Your employer may be required to submit affidavits or other documentary evidence in support of these new facts. A motion to reconsider must establish that the decision was based on an incorrect application of law or USCIS policy, and further establish that the decision was incorrect based on the evidence in the file at the time the decision was made. For more information, see How to Appeal if USCIS Denied My Petition or Application (US Immigration, Green Card Denial).
- Have a specific question? To help you find an answer quickly, we have placed "Ask a Visa & Immigration Lawyer" boxes on this page. Simply type a question in any of the boxes to receive a response online from a visa and immigration lawyer.
- For assistance in your country, contact the nearest U.S. Consulate.
- For inquiries on visa cases in progress overseas, contact the appropriate U.S. Embassy or Consulate handling your case.
- For assistance within the U.S., contact your nearest USCIS District Office or Sub Office. This link provides telephone numbers, addresses, directions, office hours, local filing procedures, and more.
- Or, call the national USCIS toll-free information service at 1-800-375-5283.
- In the U.S., the State Department's Visa Office may be contacted at 202-663-1225. You may also email a general inquiry to firstname.lastname@example.org. Be sure to indicate the general subject of your inquiry on the subject line (e.g., worker visa, exchange visa, etc.), and do not expect an immediate reply. You may also write to:
U.S. Department of State
Washington, DC 20520-0113