A Serbian person's US B1/B2 visa application was denied in 2016. Since then, the circumstances have changed, and he now lives and works in Canada, and would like to visit friends in the US within the next 2 months.

Upon contacting the US consulate in Toronto, he was strongly encouraged to reapply for the US visa from his home country, although it was stated that applying in Canada was indeed possible.

Do you think he should still try applying in Canada, since a trip to Serbia for this sole reason would be very inconvenient?

ETA: he works for a Canadian company in Serbia, which has transferred him to Toronto for a long, but temporary, period.

  • 3
    It doesn’t make sense to return to Serbia just to apply. The consular officers everywhere have access to his application history. Oct 18, 2018 at 12:40
  • Ultimately it is a judgment call depending on your appetite for risk. Applying in Canad and getting approved saves you perhaps $2500 in airfare and wasted vacation time. On the other hand getting denied (because a consular could not be bothered to do the legwork to check your former application details from Serbia) means two successive denials, a category you do not want to fall in. It is your call. I still believe the details of previous applications are on a central server they can access anywhere making traveling to Serbia unnecessary. Oct 18, 2018 at 14:45
  • 1
    If he's in Canada on a work visa, then he should apply from Canada. Oct 18, 2018 at 18:05

1 Answer 1


Generally countries prefer that you apply for visas in the country you're resident in, no matter if you are a national of another country. Some have this as a hard requirement, others just recommend it.

If the US consulate in Toronto told you that you ought to go to Serbia to apply, it is most likely that this was the result of a miscommunication. Perhaps the person you spoke to got the impression that your permanent home is still in Serbia and you're just in Canada on a shorter trip.

  • But there are exceptions, and Serbia could be one of that. The main problem is about reading original documents (non Latin characters). So if you need original document in Serbian written in Cyrillic, the home consulate could prepare/translate (and better verify originality). Canadian consulates could do it, with much more work and difficulty. Oct 18, 2018 at 13:37
  • @GiacomoCatenazzi: Since he's living in Canada, most of his relevant documentation would be in English or French anyway. Oct 18, 2018 at 13:44
  • From the question, it seems that he started recently to work in Canada, Assuming that consulate know less than this forum is not always a good idea (but it happens). Note: strongly encourage, but he is still allowed. Maybe just some insider information about backlog. Oct 18, 2018 at 13:48
  • I was under the impression that once you are denied a USA visa you must apply from the country of citizenship. May be I'm wrong?
    – user58558
    Oct 18, 2018 at 13:58
  • 2
    The US embassy in Canada has a long history of discouraging tourists from applying for visas there. They have stated that they have difficulty evaluating relevant documentation for people not resident in Canada, and that only the strongest applications are likely to be approved. Many tourists are refused visas applying in Canada when they may have been approved if they applied in their country of residence. This doesn't apply to people who live in Canada, i.e. residents. Oct 18, 2018 at 18:08

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