Monday, July 15, 2024
HomeLocal News“Ask the Consular Office” Column 1st Set

“Ask the Consular Office” Column 1st Set

Hello from U.S. Embassy Freetown! Welcome to our regular newspaper column to answer questions about obtaining a U.S. visa.  Today we will explain the two most common types of non-immigrant visas – B1/B2 visas for business and tourism and F1 student visas – and how to apply for them.

B1/B2 visas are for business and/or tourism. For example, you could go on vacation, consult with business associates, or attend a conference. You cannot study, work, or stay for longer than 6 months.

F1 student visas are for applicants hoping to go to school in the United States. With an F1 visa you can go to university or high school in the United States.

How to apply for a U.S. visa

To apply for a B1/B2 visa, you’ll first need to visit this website: Here you will first submit the DS-160 form online. Next, you’ll need to pay the $160 visa fee at GT Bank in Freetown. Once you have done those two things, you’ll need to book an interview appointment on the same website.

To apply for an F1 student visa, you’ll need to do all of the above and also take some additional steps including obtaining admission into a school in the United States, securing funding and obtaining a SEVIS number here:

On the day of your interview, you’ll need to come in with your passport, a passport photo, and your DS-160 and payment confirmation pages. If you’re applying for an F1 student visa, you’ll also need to bring in your I-20 (provided by the school you’ve been accepted into) and your SEVIS confirmation page. During the interview, you need to be able to talk about your travel or study plans and you need to explain how you will fund your trip. You will also need to explain why you plan to return to Sierra Leone after your trip.

Please do not give or send money to anyone claiming to be able to obtain a visa for you. The steps we’ve just outlined are the only way to obtain one. If someone says they can get a visa for you, please report them by email to

Please note that both B1/B2 and F1 visas are for temporary stays in the United States. Once you are finished with your business, vacation, or studies, you must return to Sierra Leone. To immigrate to the United States permanently, you must have an American family member submit an immigrant visa petition for you or you’ll need to win the diversity visa program and pass your interview. Please send in your questions! We will continue this column twice a month.



Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

- Advertisment -spot_img
- Advertisment - Support Us
- Advertisment -spot_img
- Advertisment - Support Us

Most Popular

Recent Comments