Can you get a visa to the US if you are in another country as a visitor? For example, you're from Algeria and visiting Germany. Are you allowed to apply for a visa at a US Embassy or Consulate in Germany?

  • Are you asking whether you can apply for a US visa at one of the American consulates in Germany? – hmakholm left over Monica Jun 21 '17 at 12:16
  • I'm asking if either the German Embassy or a US Embassy in Germany would issue or let you apply for a US Visa even though you don't live in Germany – GIGI SMITH Jun 21 '17 at 12:19
  • I have no experience of that combination but I have of similar cases. Person with nationality A wants a visa to B while in C. In the cases, I have seen, it is possible but slow. The embassy in C sent the application to its embassy in A (not B) for review. It seemed that it was common that the list of undesirable citizens of A was maintained by the embassy in A. My experiences are quite old and modern computerised systems may have helped but I would not be surprised if it is still slow. – badjohn Jun 21 '17 at 12:33
  • There are no German consulates in Germany. Did you mean US consulate located in Germany? – Neusser Jun 21 '17 at 12:54
  • I am not sure what it would be called in Germany.. consulate, embassy, mission... – GIGI SMITH Jun 21 '17 at 12:56

The US missions in Germany don't make this information readily available on their visa pages, but the US policy is nicely expressed by the US Embassy in Thailand:

I am a citizen of another country who would like to apply for a visa while in Thailand. Can I do so?

While it is the policy of U.S. Embassy Bangkok to accept visa applications from anyone physically present in our consular district, we strongly recommend that you make your application in your country of nationality or residence. Should you choose to apply in Bangkok, and you are not a Thai citizen or a long-term resident of Thailand, it may be quite difficult for the adjudicating consular officer to make a determination regarding your case. Additionally, while many visas are able to be issued within 3-4 business days of the interview, if there are any delays it could have a significant impact on the timing of your return travel.

So, the answer to your question is yes, you can get a visa to the US if you are visiting another country, but the application might take longer than it would if you applied in your country of residence, and the probability of success may be lower.

It has become apparent in the comments that you intend to marry the visa applicant in the US:

My friend has applied in his country, Algeria, and has been denied both times. They keep saying it's because they think he wants to marry. The last time he went they told him do not apply again for 3 years... I am at a loss for what to do to help him. – GIGI SMITH

@GIGISMITH applying in Germany won't help overcome the factors that led to the refusals in Algeria. – phoog

Thank you phoog. I am just at a loss at how to help. I guess we will try a fiance visa since this is what they believe. – GIGI SMITH

@GIGISMITH are you in fact going to marry? – phoog

Yes. We wanted to meet and come back to US for marriage. We do not think they will accept this either. It is just difficult to get his visa. He has tried twice in the past 8 months but only trying tourist visa. – GIGI SMITH

If the intention is to settle in the US, then the previous visa refusals were correct because a tourist visa is the wrong visa for that purpose. If that is your intention, however, the question is off topic here; you should ask instead at Expatriates.

If the intention is to leave the US after you marry, then you should be up front about your intentions. In that case you will need compelling evidence of concrete plans to build a life outside the US. This is necessary because the law requires applicants for nonimmigrant visas to overcome a presumption that they intend to immigrate.

Another option would be to get married in another country and then apply for an immigrant visa as the spouse of a US citizen (assuming you are in fact a US citizen).

Finally, you may have created a bit of trouble for yourself already, however, since referring to someone you intend to marry as a "friend" can seem deceptive. Applying for a fiance visa after two refused tourist visa applications could call your credibility into question. If you can afford one, now is probably the time to engage a reputable immigration lawyer.

  • That matches my experience of visa applications while not in your own country: possible but maybe much slower. It is not always the case, I have seen some cases in which the process was quick but you cannot rely on that. – badjohn Jun 21 '17 at 13:22
  • USA visa application are decided within seconds by the interviewing officer. Why would it take longer with an application in another country? – greatone Jun 21 '17 at 19:33
  • 1
    @greatone: That's just the interview part. They also need to take time to review your application first. – Greg Hewgill Jun 21 '17 at 20:09
  • @Greg Hewgill do you have any sources to back that up? – greatone Jun 22 '17 at 8:40
  • @greatone the decision isn't always made in seconds. See for example pennstatelaw.psu.edu/sites/default/files/documents/pdfs/… – phoog Jun 22 '17 at 10:59

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