Nonimmigrant Visas

Questions and Answers regarding the resumption of B1/B2 visa interviews

 

What are the criteria for applicants starting to interview for B1/B2 visas on December 8?  Will it be first-come, first-served or based on other selection criteria?

We are able to offer a limited number of appointments at this time, and they will be available on a first-come, first-served basis.

Do applicants need to be fully vaccinated or present a COVID-19 green certificate

COVID related access requirements valid from January 18, 2022

Any individual seeking services from the Embassy, including children ages 2 years and older, must wear a face mask. 

Additionally, consular visitors should be prepared to present a valid digital or paper COVID-19 certificate showing that the person has been vaccinated against COVID-19, or has received a negative COVID test result within 48 hours, or has recovered from COVID-19. Recovery from COVID-19 can be proven by a valid COVID certificate of recovery, certifying by a PCR test that a person has suffered from COVID-19. The COVID certificate of recovery must be valid for 90 days. Minors under the age of 18 are exempt from this requirement.

 Can anyone in Bulgaria apply, or do you need to be a Bulgarian national to apply?

We will have slots available for Bulgarian nationals and long-term residents in Bulgaria.  In addition, we will offer a limited number of appointments on specific dates for third country nationals interested in applying in Sofia.

How will the Embassy handle the high volume of customers waiting to apply for tourist visas?

We are currently offering as many appointments as local conditions, resources, and safety considerations allow.  We hope to be able to offer more slots in early 2022

How long is the average wait time for a B1/B2 visa appointment?

It is difficult to estimate at this time, as it depends on the number of applicants waiting for appointments, and on the number of slots we will be able to offer – both of which will fluctuate over time.  We recommend customers apply early, and check back regularly for appointments.

When will the Embassy fully resume all visa operations?

With the resumption of limited B1/B2 interviews, the Embassy is currently offering the full range of visa services. The number of appointments offered will continue to depend on local conditions, resources, and safety considerations.

Do you expect any further changes to U.S. entry requirements given the fluid situation with COVID 19?

U.S. entry requirements may change, based on the changing pandemic situation.  Please monitor the Embassy’s website for information about policy changes.

The Consular Section of the U.S. Embassy in Sofia is responsible for providing visa services to those seeking to enter the United States for a temporary period and for those wishing to take up indefinite or permanent residence in the United States.

Please visit our Global Support Services (GSS) website for complete information on applying for a nonimmigrant U.S. visa, including a directory of nonimmigrant visa categories.

To contact a customer service representative, please visit the GSS Contact Us page or use the contact information below:

To reach the U.S. Consulate in Sofia, please write to: niv_sofia@state.gov

  • Telephone:Please contact a customer service representative using one of these telephone numbers:
  • Callers in Bulgaria:Call 02 4916 461
  • Callers in the United States:Call 1-703-988-7106.

Skype: To use Skype to speak to a customer service representative during regular hours of operation, add a new contact to your Skype account with the Skype name ustraveldocs-bulgaria.

Interview Appointment Information:

Fax: +359 (2) 937-5209
E-mail: nivappt_sofia@state.gov

Inquiries about Nonimmigrant Visas may be made only in writing and addressed to the attention of Chief of Consular section:

Fax +359 (2) 937-5209
E-mail:niv_sofia@state.gov

Postal Address from the U.S.:

Consular Section, Attn: Nonimmigrant Visa Unit
Department of State
5740 Sofia Place
Washington, DC 20521-5740

Postal Address from outside the U.S.:

U.S. Embassy, Consular Section
Attn: Nonimmigrant Visa Unit
Ul. Kozyak 16
Sofia 1408, Bulgaria

Please note that no one may accompany applicants into the embassy’s consular waiting room. This includes American citizens, spouses, attorneys, sponsors, friends, and family members. Thus, any information these individuals would like to present should be submitted with the application materials or given to the applicant to present to the Consular Officer during the interview. We appreciate your understanding.

To help speed up the security process and save time, you should ensure that you are not carrying any prohibited items.

Backpacks and large bags are not permitted in the Embassy and may cause you to be denied entrance into the Embassy.

Laptops, tablets, bags and all other prohibited items from the list cannot be kept by the security guards.

Additional prohibited items include:

  • electronic equipment
  • dangerous items
  • bottles
  • food
  • sealed envelopes
  • sealed packages
  • sprays, perfumes and other liquids

Parking

There is no parking lot on the Embassy grounds. We recommend you use public transportation or a taxi as it can be difficult to find street parking near the Embassy.

The streets around the Embassy are part of the paid Green Zone. If you choose to come by car, please be advised that you will not have access to your phone in the waiting room of the Consular section and you should use paper parking coupons. You may find more information on the official website of the Urban Mobility Center.