Nationals of most countries, including Mali, must have a valid visa for travel to the United States, even if you are just changing planes. Only a U.S. consular officer may issue a U.S. visa. Most visa applicants must have an interview with a U.S. consular officer to determine visa eligibility.
Advance travel planning and applying early for your visa are important. Typical processing times at U.S. Embassy Bamako can vary according to demand and time of year.
Many additional factors, such as the need for administrative processing and/or incomplete applications, may influence the processing of individual visa cases. Please visit the Department of State's Visa Appointment and Processing Wait Times page for up-to-date wait time information. Select Bamako to find the current wait times for U.S. Embassy Bamako.
All applications for Nonimmigrant Visas must be submitted online via the DS-160 application form.
1. Determine Your Visa Classification
Review the visa types to determine the appropriate visa classification for your travel. Selecting the wrong visa category on the DS-160 online application can significantly delay the visa process.
All A-3, G-5, NATO-7, H, J, and B-1 domestic employee visa applicants need to read and understand the contents of the Legal Right and Protections Pamphlet prior to their visa application interviews. You can find the Legal Right and Protections Pamphlet at the Department of State's Rights and Protections for Temporary Workers website. Additional pamphlet translations can be found on the Department of State website.
2. Pay Application Processing Fee
Applicants must pay the $160 nonimmigrant visa fee at any branch of Banque Internationale pour le Mali (BIM). You will need the BIM receipt number to schedule your visa interview appointment online. Please note that a receipt number used more than once in the online appointment system will result in an automatic deletion of the visa appointment request(s) without notice to the applicant.
Visa Issuance Fee: You may be charged an additional visa issuance fee, if applicable. Please consult the Visa Reciprocity Tables website to determine if you must pay an additional visa issuance reciprocity fee and the current fee amounts.
Other Fees for Certain Visa Applicants: Some L visa applicants must pay a fraud prevention and detection fee and may need to pay the Border Security Act Fee. Visit our Fees for Visa Services website for more information.
3. Submit Your Online Application
U.S. Embassy Bamako no longer accepts paper applications. Applicants for nonimmigrant visas must complete the DS-160 online application form. After electronically submitting your application, print the confirmation page. You will need to bring the confirmation page to your visa interview.
Note: Effective October 7, 2013, the DS-160 online application form applies to all nonimmigrant visa categories.
Once a DS-160 online application has been submitted, you cannot change or add information to your application at the visa interview. Significant errors in your application, or information incorrectly marked as “Not Applicable,” “Nil,” or “Don’t Know,” may result in your visa application being rejected at the time of your interview.
4. Upload a Photograph
Applicants must upload a color photograph to the DS-160 online application. If you are unable to upload a photograph, complete the remainder of the application and bring a photograph to the Consular Section of the U.S. Embassy on the day of your interview. Please review the Department of State's photograph requirements for visa applications on its Digital Image Requirements website.
In general, the applicant's head, including both face and hair, should be visible in its entirety. It is preferable that ears be exposed. Head coverings and hats are only acceptable due to religious beliefs, and even then, may not cover any portion of the applicant's face. Sunglasses or any other wear which detracts from the face are not acceptable unless required for medical reasons (an eye patch, for example). Digitally reproduced photographs must be reproduced without discernible pixels or dot patterns. Photocopied photographs are NOT accepted.
5. Schedule an Interview Appointment
Once you have completed the above steps, schedule your interview appointment online. You must submit your completed DS-160 online application form before scheduling your interview appointment. The appointment system will require you to enter the barcode number on the DS-160 confirmation page to proceed to the appointment calendar.
If there are no appointments available, please try back another time. Individuals may only request an expedited visa appointment for urgent reasons, such as for medical, educational, or humanitarian purposes. Expedited appointment requests for the convenience of a traveler will not be approved.
Expedited or Special Interview Appointment: If you would like to request an expedited appointment for an interview (for emergency medical treatment or family death/illness, for example), or if you require a special interview (such as a group interview), please send an email explaining your circumstances to firstname.lastname@example.org.
6. Consular Officer Interview
All applicants for Nonimmigrant Visas will need to bring the following minimum required documentation:
Minimum Required Documentation
- The confirmation sheet of the DS-160 form (this is obtained after completing and submitting the form);
- A valid passport with a validity date at least six (6) months beyond the applicant's intended period of stay in the United States;
- The original Banque Internationale pour le Mali (BIM) payment receipt;
- One (1) 2 x 2 inch (51 x 51 mm) color photograph. Visit the Nonimmigrant Visa Photograph Requirements page here.
Do not have supporting documentation faxed, emailed, or sent to the Embassy; it will be deleted or thrown away. Bring all supporting documentation with you for the interview.
On the day of your interview, arrive at the Consular Section of the Embassy 30 minutes before your scheduled interview time. The process in whole may take several hours so please plan ahead. Bring all required documents with you to the interview. Depending on your visa classification, you may be required to bring additional documentation (such as if you are traveling for medical treatment). Additional documentation you may be required to bring with you to the visa interview can be found on the Department of State's Visitor Visas website.
AFTER THE INTERVIEW
Some applications require additional administrative processing. Administrative processing can take several weeks to months, so all applicants are encouraged to apply well in advance of travel plans. For more information about administrative processing, please consult the Department of State's Administrative Processing Information website.
There are many reasons why a nonimmigrant visa application may be denied. If denied a visa, the applicant is given a reason based on the section of U.S. law which applies. For more information on visa ineligibilities and visa denials, please visit the Department of State's Visa Denials website. If you decide to reapply, you are required to submit a new online DS-160 application and submit a new payment of the visa application processing fee.