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How to Apply: Step-by-Step

All applicants for a nonimmigrant visa at the U.S. Consulate General in Chiang Mai must apply in person.  We accept applications by appointment only.  Before you apply, please review these instructions carefully.



Please review these guidelines to see if you may apply at the U.S. Consulate in Chiang Mai.  If you do not meet this residency requirement, you must apply at the U.S. Embassy in Bangkok.



You should apply as far in advance of your intended travel as possible.  High demand for visas during peak travel season could mean that an appointment will not be available immediately.  Also, the need for administrative processing might delay visa issuance.  Please keep this in mind before purchasing non-refundable airline tickets or making non-refundable hotel deposits. 

For the current average wait time for a nonimmigrant visa appointment, please see our Visa Appointment Wait Time and Expedited Appointments page.



1.  Get a Passport: You must have a passport that is valid at least six months beyond your intended stay in the United States.  If more than one person is shown in the passport, you must prepare a separate visa application for each person traveling to the United States.

2.  Prepare the Visa Application: Please prepare one online Form DS-160 Nonimmigrant Visa Application for each visa applicant.  For assistance completing the application, consult the Form DS-160 Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs).

Please answer all of the qustions in English as fully as possible.  If you do not fully complete the application, we will be unable to accept it at your appointment time.  In that case, we will ask you to complete it and return another day. 

3.  Schedule your Appointment: The Consulate uses VisaPoint to schedule nonimmigrant visa appointments and prepare applicants for interview.  You may access VisaPoint online or by telephone.  VisaPoint charges a fee for its service:

 You must use VisaPoint to schedule your appointment or change a currently-scheduled appointment.  If you need an earlier appointment than the first one available through VisaPoint, you may request an expedited appointment according to the instructions on your VisaPoint appointment confirmation page.

4.  Pay the Application Fee: Each applicant must pay the non-refundable application fee before coming to the Embassy or Consulate for the appointment.  You may pay this fee in Thai baht at any Thailand Post location that has “Pay at the Post” service.  You should bring to your appointment both original receipts that Thailand Post provides. 

The application fee depends on the type of visa you need.  Beginning April 13, 2012, you will pay the Thai baht equivalent of this dollar amount:

  • Visitors for Business or Tourism, Students, or Exchange Visitors (Category B, F, J, or M): $160
  • Petition-Based Employment and Work Visas (Category H, L, O, P, Q, or R): $190
  • All other visa categories: $160

If you are not sure which of these applies to you, you should pay the Thai baht equivalent of $160.  We will determine the correct fee at your appointment and advise you how to pay the difference. 

Please note that this fee is not refundable, even if the visa is not approved.  You must pay this fee every time you apply for a visa.  Also, Thailand Post cannot refund overpayments.

5.  Purchase Courier Envelope: If your visa is approved, you must provide a special Thailand Post EMS Courier Pass Back envelope that we will use to send you the completed visa.  Each applicant must provide his own envelope.  

Each Thailand Post EMS Courier Pass Back envelope costs 75 Thai baht.  You may purchase them at the Mae Ping Post Office (near Worarot Market in Chiang Mai) or the Chiang Mai University Post Office.  We do not sell these envelopes at the Consulate.

You may want to purchase your envelope before your appointment, at the same time that you pay your application fee.  This will save you time if your visa is approved.

6. Come to the Consulate for Your Appointment: The U.S. Consulate General in Chiang Mai is located at 378 Wichayanon Road, across from the Chiang Mai Municipal Hall Building.  There is no parking available at the Consulate.

Please arrive at the Consulate no later than 30 minutes before your scheduled appointment time.  This will give you enough time to clear our security checkpoint before your appointment.  Please do not bring weapons, sharp objects, or electronic devices (including mobile telephones or PDAs).  These are not permitted in the Consulate, and we cannot store them for you.  Backpacks, suitcases, attaché cases, and strollers are also not permitted. 

If you do not clear security more than 30 minutes after your scheduled interview time, or you are not prepared with all of the required documentation at that time, we cannot accept your application and will ask you to make a new appointment.  We must have this policy to be fair to applicants who have appointments after yours.

Please expect to spend approximately two hours at the Consulate.



We have very little space in our waiting area.  Therefore, only visa applicants may enter the Consulate during nonimmigrant visa hours.  Please do not bring family members, colleagues, or friends, even American citizens.  They will not be admitted to the Consulate.


  • Children under the age of 16 should bring one or both parents.
  • Applicants with disabilities may bring one person to assist them.
  • Applicants who cannot speak English, Standard Thai or Northern Dialect should bring a translator.

In these exceptional cases, please tell us before you come to the Consulate.  Once you make your appointment with VisaPoint, send an email to  The email should give your name, confirmed appointment date, VisaPoint confirmation number, the name of the person who will accompany you, and the reason why that person must accompany you.


1. Appointment Confirmation: Print your VisaPoint appointment confirmation page. 

2. Passport: Your current, valid passport and all previous passports.

3. Application Confirmation: Print the DS-160 Nonimmigrant Visa Application confirmation page for each applicant, regardless of age.  Be sure that the barcode is printed clearly.  

4.  Photograph: One unretouched, full-face photograph taken within the last six months.  The photo must be two inches square, in color, on a white background.  Head coverings and hats are only acceptable due to religious beliefs, and may not cover any portion of the applicant's face.  See the passport and visa photo instructions for complete requirements.  Please bring a photo to the appointment even if your DS-160 confirmation page already has a photograph.

5. “Pay at the Post” Receipts for the Application Fee: Please bring both original receipts that Thailand Post provides.

6.  Reciprocity Fee, if applicable: If you have a Thai passport and you are applying for a tourist, business, student, or exchange visitor visa, this does not apply to you.  The only fee you pay is the application fee.

However, if you are applying for a different visa category or your passport is not from Thailand, there might be an additional visa issuance fee called the reciprocity fee.  At your appointment, Consulate staff will confirm whether you must pay this fee.  For this fee, the Consulate accepts Thai baht, U.S. dollars, and most major credit cards.   

7.  Required Supporting Documents: If you are applying for certain nonimmigrant visa categories, you must present additional documentation at your appointment.  You must obtain these documents before the appointment because they are not available at the Consulate. 

When you make your appointment, VisaPoint will advise you of these requirements.  For example:

  • Student (F) applicants must present a Form I-20 issued by the U.S. school, Form I-901 or other receipt for SEVIS fee payment, original transcripts from all previous educational institutions attended, and original evidence of ability to pay educational and living expenses.
  • Exchange Visitor (J) applicants must present Form DS-2019 issued by the U.S. sponsor and Form I-901 or other receipt for SEVIS fee payment.
  • Summer Work and Travel Program (J) applicants should bring additional documents as advised by their agencies.
  • Petition-Based (H, L, O, P, R, T, or U) applicants should bring a copy of the Form I-797 Approval Notice from U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS).  Also, once you make your appointment, please email to scanned copies of your VisaPoint appointment confirmation sheet and the Form I-797.  In the subject line, please write: "Upcoming petition-based NIV appointment."

8.  Optional Supporting Documents: These are not required for your nonimmigrant visa application, and the Consulate is not required to review these documents.  However, you may wish to bring originals of documents that you believe:

  • explain the purpose of your trip to the United States
  • show how you will cover the expenses of your trip
  • demonstrate why you must leave the United States after a temporary visit.


At your appointment the Consular Officer will tell you if your visa application was approved or refused.  Sometimes, we cannot give you an answer immediately because we need you to provide additional documents or we have to perform additional administrative processing on your case.

Due to the need for post-interview security checks, we usually print and mail approved visas on the second business day after the appointment.  For security reasons, we cannot hold completed visas for pick-up.  If your application is approved, we will send the completed visa and information to you in the Thailand Post EMS Courier Pass Back envelope that you provide. 

If you did not bring a Courier Pass Back envelope to the appointment, you must purchase one and return it to the Consulate before 12:00 on the day of your appointment.  If you do not, it will delay visa issuance for several days. 

Once we mail the completed visa, delivery time is up to Thailand Post.  Usually, they deliver within three business days.  If you need it more quickly that that, you can have Thailand Post hold it at a post office for you to pick up.  If you prefer this option, you should mention it to Thailand Post when you purchase the envelope.