Visas

Application for nonimmigrant visas

IMPORTANT UPDATES as of September 15, 2022

The U.S. Embassy in Gaborone provides routine nonimmigrant visa appointments to citizens and residents of Botswana.

Beginning January 2023, appointments for non-residents will be available ONLY on the second and fourth Thursdays of each month. (For example, appointments for non-residents will be available in 2023 on January 12 and 26, February 9 and 23, March 9 and 23, April 13 and 27, etc.) Appointment wait times for non-residents will likely be several months long. Appointments booked by non-residents on any other date than the 2nd or 4th Thursday of each month will be cancelled automatically. Important note for nonimmigrant visa applicants living outside of Botswana: If your visa application is approved, please allow approximately two days to enable visa processing. It is necessary to leave your passport at our embassy during this time. We recommend that you plan your travel to Botswana with this in mind.

It is possible that a date for a visa interview will not be available. Please prepare your DS-160 and check the online calendar on our website regularly. New slots can become available at any time. If you live in Botswana and have an urgent need to travel, please refer to “Obtaining an Expedited Appointment” on our website. We cannot accommodate requests for an expedited appointment from non-residents. If an appointment is not available when you check the website, please continue to check the website on a regular basis, as appointments will continue to open in the future.

Please note that, while we make every effort to honor the appointments we offer, interviews may be cancelled or postponed at the las minute, due to unexpected circumstances.

Prioritization of Student Visa Applicants: If you are a citizen or resident of Botswana who needs to start or return to school in the United States prior to the date you have booked for an appointment, please complete the following steps.

    1. Complete your DS-160 application using the instructions at https://bw.usembassy.gov/visas/nonimmigrant-visas-tourism-visit/how-to-apply/
    2. Schedule the first available appointment you find via the online system
    3. Email our office at consulargaborone@state.gov with your DS-160 confirmation number (the code beginning with AA00), a copy of your I-20 form and proof of SEVIS payment, documentation of your new acceptance or ongoing attendance at a school in the US, and proof of your citizenship or residency in Botswana.

Based on this information, we may be able to expedite your interview date, and we will respond to you as quickly as possible. The Consular Section will endeavor to prioritize these appointments based on availability but cannot guarantee an expedited appointment in all circumstances.

Please note that this prioritization is only applicable for student and exchange visitor applicants and their dependents (F, M, and J visa classes).

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 usvisas.state.gov to determine which visa category might be appropriate for your purpose of travel to the United States.

Immigrant Visas

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.).

Physical Address: Embassy Drive, Government Enclave, Gaborone, Botswana
Mailing Address: P.O. Box 90 Gaborone, Botswana
Consular Information Line: (+267) 373-2201
U.S. Citizen Services: (+267) 373-2322
After Hours Emergency (U.S. Citizens Only): (+267) 373-2222
Consular FAX Line: (+267) 318-0232
Email: ConsularGaborone@State.Gov

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 http://travel.state.gov.
  • 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. Provided the student has a completed DS-160, proof of paid SEVIS fees and active/initial SEVIS status.
  • 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.