As of June 2011, for the first time in 20 years, immigrant visa applicants will again have scheduled interviews in Kabul, Afghanistan. U.S. Embassy Islamabad was previously the closest U.S. Embassy or Consulate where immigrant visa applicants could be interviewed.
Applicants for petition-based visas, which are mostly temporary work visas, can also now interview in Kabul. For the last two years, applicants for visitor, student and most other temporary visas could apply in Kabul, but not applicants for visas that if approved allow someone to move to the U.S. or to work there. Applicants for non-immigrant petition-based visas like temporary workers (H) can schedule their own appointments using the existing online system on the Embassy’s web site.
All of these categories of visas involve a multi-step process that usually starts with a petition that a U.S. relative or employer files with immigration authorities. It is important to note that prior to the interview, the National Visa Center conducts almost all pre-interview processing of petitions that the immigration service approves in the United States. The National Visa Center will also schedule appointments when approved immigrant visa petitions become current.
Applicants who have questions specific to Afghanistan about immigrant visas should consult the U.S. Embassy Kabul website at: http://kabul.usembassy.gov/immigrant-visas.html.