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I'm currently residing in a country other than my own, and am planning a business trip to the USA for a week. Being a Bulgarian citizen, I do not qualify for the ESTA visa waiver program, unlike other EU countries.

The US embassy in Sofia lists a 7-step procedure which they inexplicably describe as "really quite easy". Unfortunately, some of the steps involved would be a major inconvenience for me, as I'm not residing in the country currently, particularly the interview and the visa/passport delivery.

I was hoping it could be possible to apply for a visa from the country of current residence rather than my own, but I wasn't able to find any information on the US embassy's webpages concerning this.

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In what country are you residing, and what is your residency status there (short-term visa, permanent resident, etc)? – Nate Eldredge Jan 23 '12 at 14:05
@Nate: I'm residing and working in Sweden, and as an EU citizen, I don't need a visa, working or otherwise. I don't have currently a permanent resident status. – mindcorrosive Jan 23 '12 at 14:27
This website indicates that the US embassy in Stockholm is quite willing to handle your case. – gnasher729 Jan 1 '15 at 5:29
Yes, if it's for a visit, you can apply at any US embassy anywhere in the world. Only for immigration you have to apply at the one in your home country, or at a designated embassy (e.g. if your country doesn't have one). – Michael Hampton Apr 28 '15 at 17:19
up vote 9 down vote accepted

I don't see anywhere on the Stockholm Embassy's page that they don't or won't do visas for citizens of other countries. As a matter of fact if you look at the Book Your appointment section you will see that they still do B1 and B2 visas with full application so that means that you can apply for a visa in Stockholm even though you are not a Swedish citizen just read the requirements in the FAQ and Book Your Appointment to see what you need to get a visa.

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I just received an answer from the US embassy in Sofia, and they "strongly recommend" what you suggest -- to apply to the consulate/embassy which is responsible for the country I currently reside in. – mindcorrosive Jan 24 '12 at 13:45

My wife managed to get her visa without issues in London, so I also think the answer is YES.

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Definitely YES! I am not a German citizen, but I have got a US visa before in Berlin, and soon have an interview scheduled in Frankfurt.

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I believe that as a general rule embassies/consulates do not in any way care about a visa applicant's country of residence, only his/her citizenship. Consider that legal residency is defined by the laws of a country where a person resides, with respect to the country of the person's citizenship. A third country has no obligation to know of or act on such laws.

U.S. law is in no way affected by Swedish law, which is what establishes your residency.

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This is very incorrect for many countries that require a visa in advance from citizens of countries in their visa list. Most require you to apply in country of citizenship, sometimes in country of residence. This is the reason for my downvote. – Ankur Banerjee Jan 31 '12 at 9:51
Thanks for the commentary. Requiring application in county of citizenship seems reasonable, but requiring residency seems unenforceable. If an American presents proof of Japanese residency to the Russian embassy in Tokyo, who are the Russians to reject it as invalid? Granted, a country can decide to issue or withhold a visa for whatever reason they want; the U.S. embassy in Paris might have good reason to reject an application from an Irish citizen who resides in Ethiopia. But as policy, I don't think it's very useful, and neither do many countries. – Paul Richter Jan 31 '12 at 14:06
@PaulRichter All this is very true, yet many countries do put such requirements on visa applications. How they enforce it will vary from place to place, the local consulate will determine what they accept as proof of residence depending on the country. Incidentally, this need not align perfectly with the host country's own legal definition of residence for one purpose or another, consulates indeed have no obligations to act on such laws, they can just make their own rules on what counts as residency. – Relaxed Dec 17 '13 at 16:24
What the US consulate is interested in is whether (a) the applicant has ties to somewhere outside the US that will motivate him to return there rather than overstay to become an illegal immigrant to the US, and (b) that the somewhere in question will allow him to go back there. If the applicant plans to demonstrate his intentions and ability to return to Sweden in particular, then the consulate in Sweden is the one with the experience in judging such claims, no matter what the applicant's citizenship is. Which is why it, rather than the one in Bulgaria, must process the application. – Henning Makholm Jan 1 '15 at 21:26
The US doesn't care whether he's going to return to Sweden or Bulgaria, as long as he doesn't overstay. If anything, his ties to Sweden make him a lower risk compared to a Bulgarian in Bulgaria, but the US gains nothing from knowing that. No bureaucracy ever requires disclosure of information that is to the applicant's favor! Consider the inverse. A Swede in Bulgaria is of no greater risk than a Swede in Sweden. If he wants to leave Bulgaria in search of a better life, he can just go back to Sweden, so his Bulgarian residency adds no risk. In either case there is no point in knowing residency. – Paul Richter Jan 4 '15 at 13:11

protected by mindcorrosive Mar 7 at 13:21

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