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Visa Services

Consular Consolidated Database: Updates on Operational Status.

  • We have made significant progress and issued most of the worldwide backlog of nonimmigrant visa cases.  We are working to bring the Consular Consolidated Database back to full operational capacity.
  • We continue to prioritize immigrant visas, adoption cases, and emergency nonimmigrant visa cases.  We are printing visas for these cases AND ALL CASES with very few delays.
  • DROP:  We are aware of a small number of visa cases still in process because of system performance issues.  We are working diligently to clear those cases. 
  • DROP:  Visa applicants are advised they might still experience delays of up to one week in addition to normal processing times.  Applicants should take this into consideration when making travel plans. 
  • Please check with the embassy or consulate where you will apply for additional information.   

August 4, 2014

The U.S. Department of State is currently experiencing technical problems with its visa system, which are affecting global operations.  This issue is worldwide and is not specific to any particular country or visa category.  We recognize and deeply regret the inconvenience to travelers.  We are doing everything possible to return passports with visas as soon as we are able to complete processing.  We regret that we are currently unable to predict how long the delay will be.

Applicants who interviewed with the U.S. Embassy after July 20 and who would like their passports returned to them without the U.S. visa may contact: and provide their name and passport number. We will respond with a specific time for you to pick up your passport. Applicants who have an urgent need to travel to the United States may contact with their name, passport number, and nature of the emergency.  Please understand that only true emergencies of an extraordinary humanitarian nature can be considered for exceptional handling.  You may also visit the following website for updated information on visa system:

We appreciate your patience as we work to resolve this matter and apologize for the inconvenience.  


Embassy Freetown has expanded its visa services in May, 2009 to include all visa types.  It currently offers the following visa services:

Nonimmigrant Visas: Visas for temporary travelers to the United States. The most common examples are visitors for business, pleasure, study, exchange, and official government business.  As of April 13, 2012, the cost of a nonimmigrant visa application is now $160 for non-petition based visas (e.g. B1/B2, F, J, etc.) and $190 for petition based visas (H,L,O,P,Q and R).  In addition, as of September 1, 2010, only DS-160 forms will be accepted for nonimmigrant visa applications.  The previous forms (DS-156 and DS-157) will no longer be accepted per U.S. Consular policy.

Sierra Leonean visitors traveling to the United States are required to be in possession of passports that are valid for six months beyond the period of their intended stay in the U.S.

Immigrant Visas:  Visas for people who intend to live in the United States permanently.  Upon entry to the U.S., Immigrant Visa holders will receive Lawful Permanent Resident status, known as a "green card."  All Sierra Leonean immigrant visa cases held at this Embassy in May 1997 were sent to the National Visa Center in New Hampshire.  The Embassy no longer has files on these cases.  Please address all questions concerning them to the National Visa Center (

Diversity Visas: Commonly known as the DV Lottery or green Card lottery, the Diversity Visa is a special type of Immigrant Visa where the right to an interview is determined by lottery instead of petition.

Do not wait until the last minute!  Inform yourself on visa application requirements and apply for your visa at least several weeks in advance of your planned travel dates.  Everyone applying for a visa, including applicants renewing a visa, is required to appear in person at the U.S. Embassy.

Please Click Here to check the status of your immigrant visa (IV) or nonimmigrant visa (NIV) application. In order to check the status of your visa, you will need to change the Visa Application Type to IMMIGRANT VISA (IV) or NONIMMIGRANT VISA (NIV), select SIERRA LEONE, FREETOWN as your location and enter your Application ID or Case Number.

For more information on visas to the United States, please visit

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