Frequently Asked Questions and Contact Information

U.S. Embassy Quito
Ave. Avigiras E12-170 y Ave. Eloy Alfaro
Quito, Ecuador

U.S. Consulate Guayaquil
Calle Santa Ana y Av. José Rodriguez Bonin
Guayaquil, Ecuador


Frequently Asked Questions

What kind of visa do I need?

The purpose of your travel to the United States determines the type of visa you should apply for.  Detailed information about different visa categories is available at the Department of State website.

I only want to travel through the United States to visit another country.  Do I need a visa?

Even visitors transiting through the United States on their way to other destination are required to have a U.S. visa, even if they do not intend to exit the airport.  More information about transit visas (C visas) is available at the “Transit visa” information page at the Department of State website.

Can I obtain a visa for my U.S. citizen child?

No. American citizens by law cannot be issued visas. If you believe that your child may be a U.S. citizen, please visit the Consular Report of Birth Abroad (CRBA)  webpage of our American Citizen Services (ACS) section.

I qualify for the Visa Waiver Program because I have a Spanish, Chilean, Japanese, etc. passport.  How do I comply with the Electronic System for Travel Authorization (ESTA)?

ESTA is a fully automated, electronic system for screening passengers before they begin travel to the United States under the Visa Waiver Program.  More information about the ESTA program can be found at the ESTA webpage in the CBP website.

I want to apply for a visa but my passport expires in less than six months.

You will need to obtain a new passport with at least six months validity before applying for a visa.

How do I start the application process?

The first step in applying for a visa is to fill out the online DS-160 visa application form and to pay the application fee.  A step-by-step guide to the application process is available at the Global Support Services (GSS) website.

How much is the application fee and how do I pay?

The amount of the application fee depends on the type of visa you are applying for.  The fee is $160.00 for tourist and other non-petition based visas, and $190.00 for petition-based visas (H, L, O, P, Q, and R).  This processing fee is non-refundable.  You will pay the application fee when you schedule your interview at the Global Support Services (GSS) website.

What do I need to wear for the photo?

Photos must be taken with the last six months in front of a plain white or off-white background.  Please do not wear glasses, hats, or head coverings.  Additional photo requirements are available here.

I need to travel immediately.  Can I schedule an emergency appointment?

Information about emergency appointments is available at the Global Support Services (GSS) website.

I am traveling as part of a group.  Can we request a group appointment?

If you are traveling a group of 10 or more with a coordinated itinerary and purpose of travel, you may request a group appointment.  Examples of qualifying groups include sports teams and musicians performing together.  This does not include families traveling together nor tour agency groups.

A representative of the group may request a group appointment at the Group section of the Global Support Services (GSS) website.  If your request is not approved, you are welcome to schedule individual interviews.

I live in Ecuador but am not Ecuadorian.  Can I apply for a visa here?

Yes.  Please be prepared to explain your circumstances in Ecuador and your connections to this country and your country of origin.

What is the wait time for an interview?

The wait time for appointments varies.  If you would like to know the current wait time for an appointment, please refer to the Visa Wait Times web site.

Can I apply in Quito or Guayaquil?

Ecuador has two locations where you can apply for a visa – the Embassy in Quito and the Consulate in Guayaquil.  Please choose the location that best suits your needs regarding timing and travel.

What do I bring to the interview?

You must bring your valid passport and the printed DS-160 application form confirmation page.  You may also choose to bring other documents that help demonstrate your ties outside the United States (including bank statements, proof employment, and educational diplomas).  Certain visa categories also require additional documents, including letters from your employer, student visa documentation, and proof of fee payments.

What do I need to bring if I’m going to the United States for medical treatment? 

Please bring a letter from a doctor in the United States authorizing treatment and specifying all costs of the medical care, and proof of financial solvency to pay for all necessary care.

Who is exempt from the interview requirement?

Applicants under 14 years of age, applicants 80 years of age or older, and applicants who are renewing visas that have not been expired for more than 12 months are generally not required to schedule an interview.

If my visa was approved, how do I get my passport back?

If your visa is approved, your passport will remain with the Embassy or Consulate so that the visa can be printed.  The passport and visa will be returned via DHL courier in approximately 10 working days from the date of interview.  For information about the process or delivery of your visa, please visit the Global Support Services (GSS) website.

My visa was denied but I don’t understand why.

If your visa was refused, the Consular Officer at the interview gave you a letter explaining the reason for the refusal under the Immigration and Nationality Act.  Additional information about the requirements for obtaining a visa is available at the Department of State website.  We are not able to provide additional details on specific cases.

My visa was denied.  Can I apply again?

Yes.  If you have new information or if your overall circumstances have changed significantly, you may reapply.  However, applicants who provide identical information in a second interview rarely get a different result.

My passport expired.

If your passport has expired but your visa is still valid, you may travel with two passports (your new valid passport and the expired passport with the valid visa).

Can I renew my visa before it expires or do I have to wait until after its expiration date?

Yes, you can apply for the new visa before your previous visa expires.  You do not need to wait until the visa has expired.  Please note that the previous visa will be cancelled as part of the process of issuing a new visa.

I am renewing a visa that is still valid or that recently expired.  Do I need to schedule an interview?

Applicants who are renewing a visa that is still valid or that expired within the last 12 months may be eligible to apply for a visa without attending an interview.

My visa had a mistake or error when I received it.

Please contact us at (for Quito) or (for Guayaquil).

My visa was lost or stolen.

If your passport with a valid or expired U.S. visa is lost or stolen, please report the incident immediately to the Embassy or Consulate that is closest to your residence.  Include a copy of your identity card, a telephone number in case we need to contact you, and a copy of the police report if you have one.  Please send this information to  (for Quito) or (for Guayaquil).

Please note that once your passport is reported stolen or lost, the visa will be electronically cancelled, which means that it cannot again be used to travel to the United States.  This is important because if your visa is used fraudulently, it can cause difficulties for future visa applications.

My visa was damaged.

If your valid U.S. visa is damaged, you should not try to travel with it.  You will need to apply for a new visa and schedule a new interview, including the payment of all associated fees.

If you have any other questions, you can contact us through our call center during business hours, in Spanish and in English:

In Quito: (02) 382-0600 (8 A.M. to 8 P.M.)
In Guayaquil (04) 380-5540 – (04) 390-2550 (8 A.M to 8 P.M.)
In the United States: 703-249-4669 (8 A.M. to 8 P.M EST)
Skype: usvisaecuador

or by e-mail to: (for Quito) or (for Guayaquil).

For any questions or concerns regarding fraud or visa misuse, please contact (for Quito) and (for Guayaquil)