Announcement: Student and Other U.S. Visas

The Department of State suspended routine visa services at U.S. Embassies and Consulates worldwide in March 2020 due to COVID-19. Our goal is to resume normal processing as soon as possible, but due to resource constraints, the U.S. Embassy in Addis Ababa does not anticipate resuming most immigrant visa and nonimmigrant visa services – including interviews for student visas – until well after the start of fall classes in the United States. We deeply regret the inconvenience and delays resulting from the pandemic. We provide this update so that students can attempt to work with their U.S. schools or explore other academic options for the fall semester.

Note: if you are renewing a student visa that is valid or expired within the last 12 months, we strongly encourage you to follow visa application instructions at to see if you qualify to renew your visa without an in-person interview. (Please be aware that if you have never had an F visa previously, or have changed your program of study in the U.S., you cannot renew your visa without an in-person interview.)

Read more here: and continue to check our embassy website for updates.

What about Diversity Visas (DV)? Are they also affected?

We are unable to provide routine DV services at this time. If you have an emergency or reason to believe you qualify for an exception to Presidential Proclamation 10014 or 10052, please contact

Can I apply for my student visa at a U.S. Embassy or Consulate in another country?

As global conditions evolve, U.S. Embassies and Consulates are beginning a phased resumption of routine visa services. Please check an Embassy’s or Consulate’s website for information on what visa services they are able to provide. Some services may be limited to residents of the consular district.

What about my $160 visa application fee? Can it be refunded?

No, the application fee cannot be refunded. However, the receipt for payment is valid for one calendar year, so it can still be used to schedule an interview when we are able to return to routine processing.

Can I use my B1/B2 visa to travel to the U.S. to begin my studies?

No, B1/B2 visas are not appropriate for study. Certain recreational or avocational programs may be permissible on a B1/B2 visa (for example, a two-day cooking class while on vacation). Enrollment in a program to earn credit toward a degree is not permitted while in the United States on a B1/B2 visa.