International & Exchange  Student CentreWestern International

United States Visitor Visa (B1/B2)

International students planning on traveling to the United States for personal travel or to attend a conference will need a U.S. Visitor’s Visa if they are a citizen of a country that is currently not part of the U.S. Visa Waiver Program (VWP).

How to Apply for a U.S. Visitor Visa

All applicants in Canada between the ages of 14 and 79 intending to apply for U.S. Visitor Visa while in Canada may need to apply in person at a U.S. Consulate or Embassy. Those in London, Ontario should schedule an interview at the U.S. Consulate in Toronto. To apply, you must first submit your application and make an appointment online.

Step 1: Fill out the DS-160 Application Form

Step 2: Login to the U.S. Non-Immigrant Visa Applicant Website

Students are advised to make an appointment and apply for their U.S. Visitor Visa well in advance of their planned trip to the United States as it can sometimes take several weeks or months to get an appointment date.

Note: Personal Appearance Wavier (PAW) Program
As of October 2014, "certain qualified individuals [can] apply for a visa to the U.S. without being interviewed.” Under this new program, “applicants will be informed of their eleigibility for the PAW program when they apply for a visa appointment at Qualified individuals will be instructed to submit their applications by mail, saving the time and expense of a visit to a U.S. consular facility.

In addition, some other first-time visa applicants such as children applying before their 14th birthday and applicants over the age of 79 are exempt from personal appearance and will be informed of their eligibility for the PAW through the online appoinmtent system.” 1 

Step 3: Prepare the Required Documentation

Note: If you have been exempted from attending an in-person appointment under the Personal Appearance Waiver Program, you must submit all required supporting documentation in the application package.

You can view current visa processing times online.

Attend an appointment in-person, unless you have been exempted under the Personal Appearance Wavier Program.

Ensure that you bring all of the required documents (see Step 3 above) to your appointment. Review the security procedures for the U.S. Consulate.

Note that the entrance for visa appointments at the U.S. Consulate in Toronto is at 225 Simcoe Street.

Applicants whose visas are not issued will be given back their passports and a letter explaining the reason for the refusal at the end of the visa interview.

Step 5: Visit the U.S. Non-Immigrant Visa Applicant Website

Visit the U.S. Non-Immigrant Visa Applicant website for information on your visa status and delivery.

Additional information on applying for a U.S. Visitor Visa:

U.S. Visa Information Session

Every year in the Fall term, the International and Exchange Student Centre hosts a U.S. Visa Information Session. This session will include topics such as visiting, studying and working temporarily in the U.S. It will cover different U.S. Visa classifications such as “B1/B2” (business/pleasure), “F & J” (student and exchange visitors), “H” (temporary worker) and “TN” (NAFTA professionals). The presentation will be followed by a question and answer period. This session is presented by representatives from the U.S. Consulate General in Toronto.

To register for the Fall 2016 session, please click here.

Studying or Working in the U.S.

For information on applying for a visa to study or work in the United States, please visit the U.S. Department of State.

Helpful links: