Ask the U.S. Consul January 2016

Visa photo

Question

What are the requirements when applying for visas for children?  I’m applying for a tourist visa for my ten year old son for the first time.  His father and I are divorced but I already have my visa.

Sincerely, Parent

Answer

Dear Parent,

Only biological parent(s) or legal guardians can apply on behalf of their children for a B-1/B-2 visa, even if the child is living with aunts, uncles, or grandparents.

Given that you already have your visa, your child may be eligible to use the “drop box” application process and qualify for a Personal Appearance Waiver.  Children qualify for this program if they are under the age of 14, have not previously had a U.S. visa application denied, and have at least one parent who holds a valid U.S. visa.

To use the Personal Appearance Waiver process, qualifying applicants need to register and follow the normal application process at www.usvisa-info.com.  You will need to submit the child’s passport, a copy of the child’s birth certificate (or adoption decree if adopted), a copy of your visa, a copy of your child’s father’s visa (if applicable), and biographical pages of both yours and his passport.  If the child’s father does not have a valid U.S. visa and/or passport, you will need to send a copy of his Trinidad and Tobago Identification Card or valid Government issued Identification.

Additionally, because you and your husband are divorced, it will be helpful for you to submit a letter from your ex-husband stating that he is aware that you are applying for a U.S. visa and that he gives his permission for the child to travel.

Once you have filled out the visa application form and paid the visa application fee, simply send the application package to the U.S. Embassy via our free courier service with DHL. While this service waives interviews for most qualified applicants, some applicants may be asked to come into the Embassy for an interview. Please be advised that the “drop box” option should not be considered to be an expedited visa process. Successful applicants will typically have their passports and U.S. visas returned to them within two weeks.

For complete instructions on this and other U.S. visa programs, please visit www.usvisa-info.com or call (868)-224-3099 Monday to Friday, during the hours of 7:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m.