Generally, a citizen of a foreign country who wishes to enter the United States must first obtain a visa, either a nonimmigrant visa for temporary stay, or an immigrant visa for permanent residence. Visitor visas are nonimmigrant visas for persons who want to enter the United States temporarily for business (visa category B-1), tourism, pleasure or visiting (visa category B-2), or a combination of both purposes (B-1/B-2).
It is the applicant’s responsibility to provide all necessary information and documentation for the Consular officer to make an appropriate decision. During the interview, each applicant should be prepared to explain to the Consul the purpose of the intended trip and present evidence of sufficient funds. Applicants also need to convince the Consul that they have strong and permanent ties to Uzbekistan, such as a family, job, property, etc., which would demonstrate their intent to return to Uzbekistan after their stay in the United States. Applicants who have not been residing in Uzbekistan for at least six months are recommended to apply in their country of permanent residence where they would be better prepared to present evidence of their social and economic ties.
Business and Tourism Visas (B1-B2)
The United States offers a one-year, multiple entry visa for applicants with Uzbek citizenship. Most applicants applying for a nonimmigrant visas are visitors for business (B1) or tourism (B2). The two categories of visa are usually issued together as a B1/B2 visa.
“Business” does not mean gainful employment, but it does include a wide range of business-related activities (meetings, trainings, negotiations) for which you are not being paid in the United States. You may also seek medical treatment or travel as a domestic/personal employee.
Personal Appearance of Applicants in the Non-Immigrant Visa Interview
All applicants, of ages 14 and above, must appear in person for the non-immigrant visa interview. Applicants, between the ages of 14 and 16, may bring a parent or official representative with them. All accompanying adults must also sign up for an appointment. This is true even if the accompanying adults are not applying for visas themselves. In order to schedule an appointment, the accompanying adult must send an E-mail message to the Consular Section at ConsularTashkent@state.gov and request scheduling an appointment for the same date and time as the minor they will be accompanying.
For applicants over the age of 16, interested parties – including immediate family members, American friends, lawyers, and others are not allowed to be present at the interview.
In most cases, Consular Officers inform applicants whether the visa approved at the end of the interview. If the visa is issued, the applicant will be informed of when to return to the embassy to collect the passport. They need to bring a government-issued photo ID and their receipt confirming the payment of the application processing fee.
However, in some instances, Consular Officers may request additional documents or information to be provided in order to make a decision. In others, the nature of the application may require additional processing which will take some time. Therefore, the Consular Section strongly encourages applying for visas as early as possible to avoid last minute delays. It is usually not a good practice to reserve or purchase plane tickets before the visa is issued and received from the Consular Section.
Please visit the website of the Bureau of Consular Affair’s website for information on visas and visa procedures.
Transit / Crew Visa (C1/D)
The transit visa (C) is for travelers passing through the United States enroute to a foreign destination who do not have a valid B1/B2 visa. The crew visa (D) is for crew members serving onboard a sea vessel or aircraft in the United States. Crew members of an aircraft or ship that will be transiting through the United States or its waters generally use a combination transit/crew visa (C-1/D).
Fees: $185 application fee, reciprocity fees depending on country of citizenship. Uzbek nationals, members of sea and air crews can receive multiple entry transit/crew visas valid for up to one year.
Documents to Bring: If you are applying for a transit visa, the consul will be interested in what you have to say rather than what documents you present. If you are employed as a crewmember, you may choose to bring any evidence that can help to demonstrate your employment and your strong ties to Uzbekistan. Examples could include work ID, and letters confirming your job.
Medical Treatment in the U.S.
You can enter the United States on a visitor visa for medical treatment. Like a visitor for pleasure, you must apply for a visa and establish that you are qualified for a visa. In addition you need to bring the following information about your medical treatment:
- A diagnosis from a doctor about your medical condition. The doctor must explain why you must go to the U.S. for medical treatment.
- A letter from a doctor or hospital in the United States. This letter must give the following:
- Statement of willingness to treat your medical condition;
- Estimate of the costs of the treatment, including doctor’s fees, costs of hospitalization and other medical expenses;
- Estimate of the length of the treatment.
- Proof that you (or your sponsor) have sufficient funds to pay your travel and medical expenses in the United States.
In the past some visitors have had major medical treatment, which they were unable to pay for. To avoid this situation, the consular officer may ask applicants for visas for medical treatment and their sponsors for additional information. They may be asked to show how expenses for follow-up treatment and hospitalization will be met.
Visas for Children
All travelers to the United States — no matter how young ‒ must have valid U.S. visas. However, the process of obtaining a visa for a child is somewhat easier. Most importantly, children under the age of 14 who are residents of Uzbekistan do not have to appear for a personal interview, instead, the applying parent(s) or legal guardian(s) should bring the child’s passport, DS-160 confirmation page and the application processing fee with them to their interview.
If a parent (or a legal guardian) already has a U.S. visa and will be traveling with the child, he/she should make an appointment online for an interview on behalf of the minor applicant. The accompanying adult (parent or a legal guardian) must then send an e-mail message to the Consular Section at ConsularTashkent@state.gov and request an appointment for the same date and time as the minor they will be accompanying. The required documents to bring for the interview are:
- The child’s passport;
- DS-160 confirmation page;
- One photograph of the child taken within the last six months;
- Application processing fee for the child;
- Supporting documentation required for the visa type.
Children who are 14 years old or older must appear for an interview ‒ even if they previously had a U.S. visa issued before their 14th birthday. Parents of applicants, between the ages of 14 and 16, may accompany their children to the visa interview. For applicants over the age of 16, other parties including immediate family members, American friends, lawyers, and others are not allowed to be present at the interview.
Employers who qualify to take an alien domestic employee to the U.S in nonimmigrant status to work for them during a temporary stay:
- U.S. citizens who reside permanently abroad, are stationed in a foreign country and who are visiting the U.S temporarily, or whose overseas employment requires frequent international transfers lasting two years or more. Also, U.S. citizens who are assigned to the U.S temporarily, and who are likely, as a condition of employment, to be transferred abroad again within four years.
- Nonimmigrant aliens (bearers of B1-B2, E, F, H, I, J, L, M, O, P, Q, R and TN nonimmigrant visas) who are in or are applying for temporary admission to the United States.
- Employers assigned to an international or bilateral mission (A, G or NATO visa holders).
The requirements for a visa for a domestic employee include proof that the employee does not have the intention to immigrate to the United States. The Consular Officer must be convinced that the domestic employee will return to Uzbekistan after a short working period in the United States. Although the employer’s documentation (mentioned below) supports the visa application, it is still the responsibility of the domestic employee to demonstrate his/her intention of returning to Uzbekistan.
Under these circumstances, the domestic employee will only be allowed to travel accompanying his/her employers. Furthermore, they are notified that if the visa is issued, the possibility exists that they will be required to pay taxes, federal and state, and that both the employer and the employee are required to pay. A brief explanation is given below.
Individuals that wish to travel accompanied by their maids, nannies, chauffeurs, etc., will be able to do so if their employees comply with the following requirements:
- EXPERIENCE: They should have a minimum of twelve-month experience as domestic employees with their present employers.
- AGE: The minimum age is 16 years old.
- RELATIONSHIP: There cannot be any familial relationship between the employer and the employee.
The employee must appear in person at the Embassy to apply for their visa. They can make an appointment online through the Consular Section’s online appointment system.
The domestic employee should present:
- His/her Uzbek passport.
- Application form DS-160 available at https://ceac.state.gov/genniv. Please see our page dedicated to the online form DS-160.
- One photo that complies with the Consular Section’s requirements (PDF 92 KB).
- The application processing fee (check with Consular Section).
Additionally they should present the following documents:
- Employers’ valid passport and visas. Bringing copies of passports and visas is acceptable; however, having the originals available on the day of the interview provides for stronger credibility.
- Proof of the employer’s economic solvency (original bank statements, etc.) as evidence that they have sufficient money to enable them to travel with domestic help
- A letter signed by one of the employers identifying the domestic employee with his/her name, type of work done by the applicant, years of employment with him/her, salary, purpose of trip (to help family with the care of children, etc.) and indicating that they −the employers− will pay for his/her expenses.
- Original and copy (copy will be kept for future reference) of Employment contract dated and signed by both parties and prepared as follows:
A. DURATION: The contract should be given for a year, with a clause indicating that it is valid only during the trip or trips that the domestic employee takes with the employers.
B. SALARY: The employee will receive the prevailing salary of the locality where she/he will work as well as the benefits given to domestic employees, such as overtime payment, insurance, per diem, lodging, and meals. Here is the link that has the prevailing wages (in US dollars) in the United States. (Source: U.S. Department of Labor).
The contract should indicate the hours and the amount paid for overtime. The law in the United States requires employees to receive at least 150% of the normal salary for each hour worked in addition to the 40 hours per week. For example, overtime payment would be at least $9.00 dollars per hour for an employee usually earning $6.00 dollars per hour.
C. RESIGNATION: The employer should notify the employee of termination of employment at least two weeks in advance of the date of the end of the contract. The employer cannot require more than a two-week notification from the employee.
D. ONE EMPLOYER ONLY: The domestic employee can only work for one employer.
E. TRANSPORTATION, ROOM AND MEALS: The employer will provide the employee with room and meals, as well as a round-trip plane ticket. None of these expenses will be deducted from the employee’s salary.
F. SIGNATURES: The contract should be signed and dated by the employer and the employee.
G. COMPREHENSION: The contract must be in the employee’s native language (Russian or Uzbek, etc…) and in English. The employee should understand the contents of the contract and should be able to answer simple questions regarding the conditions of employment.
H. HISTORY OF MAKING SURE THAT THE CONTRACT IS RESPECTED: The Consular Officer is free to ask the employee of the conditions of employment and the salary received during previous trips to the United States, to verify if the employers and the employee usually have followed the conditions of the previous contracts and comply with the labor laws of the United States.
TAXES: It is likely that the employer and the employee will be required to pay taxes.
- It is recommended that both the employer and the employee acquire publication number 926 of the Internal Revenue Service to obtain information on the respective responsibilities regarding taxes. It is required that the employee file a tax return if the salary originating in the United States is equal to or exceeds $1,400 U.S. in a calendar year.
- If this amount is reached, the tax to be paid is equivalent to 15.3% of the salary, divided equally between the employer (7.65%) and the employee (7.65%). The part corresponding to the employer covers the cost of Social Security (6.2%) and the cost of Medicare (1.45%).
- The employer should also investigate and comply with state tax requirements.