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A Web Chat with Consul General Roberto Powers

November 10, 2009

10/11/2009 02:00:26 
Moderator : Hello and welcome to today's webchat with Mr. Roberto Powers, the Consul General for the U.S. Embassy Cairo. We are delighted to host this chat and thank you for spending time with us today.

CG Powers : Good afternoon, everyone. Thank you for joining me today. This is my first webchat since I arrived in Cairo as the Consul General. I am delighted to be in Cairo and look forward to our chat today. 

First, I would like to share with you some information on the Business Visa Program. We have launched this program in order to be more responsive to business people who wish to travel to the United States for a legitimate business purpose. It is a very significant first step in expediting interview appointments for employees of qualifying companies and their families traveling to the US on business. The requirements for the program are on our website at Basically, employees of any business that is a member of the American Chamber of Commerce in Egypt or any other qualified company with 50 or more employees will be able to apply for visas four days a week during designated hours without a prior appointment. We think this new program will expedite business travel between Egypt and the United States and we look forward to welcoming member companies into our new Business Visa Program.

We have also had a very busy 2009 with business and tourist visas. The number of applications increased nearly 10% in 2009 over the previous year. We are also proud to say that the number of visas issued has increased by 10%. Egypt once again received the lion’s share of diversity visa winners under the lottery program, representing nearly the maximum that can be issued to any single country. All of this is good news and prompts us to constantly look for ways to provide a timely service to you, our clients. I have shared these statistics with you so that you are better able to understand the reality with respect to visa applicants in Egypt. The bottom line is that more and more Egyptians succeed in traveling to and studying in the United States. 

Now, let’s get on to our chat. During our chat, I can't answer questions about specific cases but let me give you a couple of email addresses for you to use to ask about your specific cases:

Questions on immigrant or diversity visas:
Questions about non-immigrant visas:
Please give us one week to respond to your questions on email. 

The embassy website containing general information about how to apply for a U.S. visa is:
The official State Department website for all information about the Diversity Visa Program is

I know there are lots of questions from all of you. I will answer as many as possible in the time allotted. If I don't answer your specific question, I hope you will find an answer in my response to a similar question from someone else. Let's get started!

10/11/2009 02:02:37  
muhanad : i am somali student in cairo university faculty of economic and political science but i like to speek english well but it defficult for me and i like to go usa to work and learn can you give me visa and i am wait you soon thank you very much mr rechard hermann my number 0160834868

CG Powers : Hi Muhanad: If you wish to study in the USA, you will need to identify a school and get accepted. Once this done, the school will provide you an I-20, which you will use to apply for a student visa. You will need to show that you can afford your studies.

10/11/2009 02:03:32  
Hossam Alaidy : Dear Mr Powers, Does the embassy has special visas for journalists? I am journalist who likes traveling to different countries, some consular s granted me a compliment visa ,is it available with the USA. I had some invitations to attend conference in US but i wasnt able to apply for the visa because of the long period of waiting to have the interview,is there any possibility to obtain the visa in short time?
last suggestion , I believe there are many cases require immediate travel to the State for making surgery,do they have to fix an appointment too or they may have some exemption for that cases?
Hossam Alaidy

CG Powers : Dear Hossam : The Embassy does have a special visa for journalists and other representatives of the media, called the “I” visa. To apply for an “I” visa, you would apply like other applicants through Vodafone to get an appointment. To qualify for an “I” visa, you would gather your packet, photo, passport, and application fee and come to your appointment. During the visa interview, you must prove employment and a valid reason for travel for your newspaper, magazine, television program, etc. This “I” visa, if approved, has a validity of 5 years.

We offer emergency appointments to those in need of immediate travel to the United States for medical and even business emergencies. To apply for such an appointment, one must send an email to More information can be found on this page:

All Egyptians traveling to the United States must have a valid visa, even in the case of a medical emergency

10/11/2009 02:05:10  
Heba Metwally : What is the possibility to apply for a visa if I am working on my PhD and my topic is related to the USA, and I would like to visit the states to conduct some interviews?

CG Powers : If you are doing research on a temporary basis such as you propose, you may use a B1/B2 (tourist) visa for your travel. If you will do more organized research under the sponsor of a university or research institution in the United States, you should ask that organization to sponsor you for an F (student) or J (program) visa.

10/11/2009 02:09:01  
bassem : dear sir , im bassem samuel 35 years from egypt i want to vist my brouther in usa he is an american citezin i went to the usa embassy two times to get visa and they refused at the last time the counsol man didnt answer me any thing he just said to me why u want to go to usa and then he said that he cant give me visa even he didnt see any of the documents withe me all what i need just to vist my brouther thier im not in need to stay thier im here working good with good postion , any way thnx and best regrds all what i need just to tell me y they didnt give me visa and y he didnt see any of the documents my Hr leeter and outher documents

CG Powers : Hello Bassem, Thank you for taking part in the chat. All visa applicants must prove that they have strong ties to their home country, as well as demonstrate that they will not become public charges in the United States. The burden is on each applicant to overcome the presumption established under US immigration law that all applicants are intending immigrants. Sometimes it is difficult to prove strong ties to one’s own country even when one has a family and a job. Consular officers make an effort to assess an applicant’s overall profile and the likelihood of the applicant returning home following a visit. These decisions are not based upon the number of documents presented.

10/11/2009 02:12:16  
Amar : how long it takes to get K3 visa after the interview???

CG Powers : Dear Amar, Please note that the time for processing K3 visas differs from one case to another. Some cases are issued in about two to three weeks following the interview. Other cases may take three months or more depending upon the circumstances

10/11/2009 02:12:18  
Lawyer Bishoy : Welcome sir, I wanna ask about:

  1. first, why the selection of the Lottery usually goes to people from Upper Egypt, i mean their chances in winning are very high?!
  2. second,if i wanna apply for the Electronic entry, can I do so in the American embassy in Cairo?

Thanks in Advance
Lawyer Bishoy

CG Powers : Dear Sir: The DV Program is open to all Egyptians who qualify. Winners are selected randomly. In the past few years, Egypt has gotten nearly the maximum number of DV winners for any given country. It is not possible to submit your application at the U.S. Embassy. Please keep in mind that there is no fee for submitting an application.

10/11/2009 02:14:28  
Ramzy : I applied for K3 visa to my wife and according to NVC they forwared the file to US embassy one month ago, wish to see an update for interview schedule weekley , just to get an average of time to process.

CG Powers : Dear Ramzy, The process of K3 cases is slightly different from immediate relative visa cases. When we receive a K3 case file, we send a packet of forms and instructions to the applicant to complete and return to our office. We do not start the process or schedule an appointment until we receive a complete set of the required documents. If your wife did not receive a packet of instructions from our office, she will need to send us an e-mail to to update her mailing address and request a new instructions packet. Regards,

10/11/2009 02:18:28  
Michael Mikhail : Hello Sir, My names are Sam Mechael,Rina Hanna, Michael Mikhail, Egyptian, and we level in USA, Our nephew was born with 9 medical problems then We figure that the highest medical levels are in the USA so We contacted with a child doctor in the states and he said he wanna see my nephew then my brother went to USA embassy cairo-Egypt requesting Visa for him and the 3 years old child for medical travel, in the embassy they refuse give them a Visa, and they didn't even aske for more evidance, thanks so much for taking from your time. Their application numbers are 1106446,1106449
Best Regards
Michael Mikhail

CG Powers : Dear Michael, we review medical emergency cases on a priority basis. All applicants must demonstrate, however, an ability to pay for the medical treatment in the US. They must further present evidence that they are in contact with medical facilities in America and that they are not likely to become public charges.

10/11/2009 02:18:55  
bibo : I'm student is engineering collage I applied to CCSU in USA to continue my study there and I did my interview on October 4th but till now the visa still under processing . I just want to know how long it will take because the study started in USA 3 weeks ago . so I'm really need it 
case number 2009277 325 1

CG Powers : Hi Bibo: First of all, congratulations on your acceptance for studies. We make every effort to expedite student visa processing. We are not in a position to inform you how long the required administrative processing will take, but will make an effort to expedite this for you. It is important that all applicants, especially students, submit their applications as early as possible.

10/11/2009 02:20:28  
abdulrahman ezzat : well my father is an egyption and he has got the american nationality so he is an american citizen too .i am 21 years old and living in egypt and i want to immigrate to U.S so he applied a petition for me from US embassy in riyadh saudi arabia as he recently works what i should do now and when am i going to recieve my visa

CG Powers : Dear Abdurahman: You should contact our embassy in Riyadh to get an update as to the status of the processing of your IV petition.

10/11/2009 02:20:44  
mohamed abden : my Application Type: I130 , IMMIGRANT PETITION FOR RELATIVE, FIANCE(E), OR ORPHAN
Current Status: Denial Notice Sent is today what can ido to resolve this problem

CG Powers: Dear Mohamed, It appears that your petition was denied by the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) in the United States. In this case, the petitioner must communicate with USCIS directly to find out the reasons for denial and also the options available for her to appeal this denial. 

10/11/2009 02:23:59  
Merette Ibrahim : how many green cards the egyptians got this year?

CG Powers : Dear Merette: Thank you for your question. We always appreciate hearing from journalists. With respect to the diversity lottery program, Egypt gets the lion's share each year with nearly the maximum number of Diversity Visas issued. This past year, more than 3,500 visas were issued under the program. This is the largest number for any country in Africa and one of the highest in the world. In addition, significant numbers of Egyptians immigrate each year to the USA based on having immediate family members who are American citizens.

10/11/2009 02:27:44  
Shaaban : good after noon i would like to ask about something i applied to dvlottery 2008 and i didnt hear anything about it and when i tried that year the site not work may i ask why the link not work ?

CG Powers : Dear Shaaban, If you did not receive a notification following registering for DV program in 2008, then you were not among the winners of that program. We have checked the Diversity Visa registration website for the DV 2011 program and ensured that it is working properly. The heavy demand on the program sometimes results in website delays. The DV 2008 program is now terminated. If you wish to apply this year, you must do so before November 30.

10/11/2009 02:29:09  
mohamed : how are you mr. ROBERTO ? welcome to egypt; thats verry good to talk with you
my qu. i will go to the interview in the embassy oF usa this days for f1 visa , i have all the papers complete but i have afraid from this interview too much i dont know why , can you tell me how to not be afraid ? and is better to talk in the interview by english or by arabic ? i am good in english but not verry good
thank you too much mr. RABERTO

CG Powers : Dear Mohamed: firstly, there is no reason to be fearful. What is most important is that you be prepared to explain to the consular officer why you wish to study in America and where. You should have received your I-20 from the school before applying for your student visa. You must further demonstrate that you have enough money to cover the cost of your studies. Given that you wish to study in America, I would encourage you to conduct your interview in English, although this is not a requirement. We look forward to seeing you at your interview!

10/11/2009 02:30:44 
Marwa Kamel : Hi Sir,  My husband is a business man and he wants to apply for a business visa to invest in US what is the procdures to have it ?

Marwa Kamel

CG Powers : Hello Marwa, Your husband may travel to the United States on a B1/B2 (business/tourist) visa. If he wishes to make a substantial business investment, he may apply for an E-2 (treaty investor) visa. The requirements for E-2 visas are rather complex, and I would suggest that he contact our NIV unit directly to discuss this option further.

10/11/2009 02:32:04 
Hany : Welcom to Cairo, We postponed our interview appointment (F4 visa) due to my work abroad at the time of the year, but we waited for about one year and nine months uptillnow and we didnt receive the appointment. How long does it take.

CG Powers : Hi Hany: You should generally be able to get another appointment within a reasonable period of time (and certainly sooner than a year and nine months). It may very well be that your request is lost in the system. For this reason, please request another appointment. We fix appointments based upon officer availability. You should be able to get an appointment within a 3 month timeframe.

10/11/2009 02:34:59  
Mostafa : Hello Sir, im studying engineering here in egypt and i have 1 year to graduate and i want to start over from scratch in USA and Bulid my Life in that great country and im really good at hand work as my professors declacred before, the quiestion im asking what type of visa i need to go to USA as A student to get what im missing from knowladge and work there as i study and after i finish styding ?
and is there any way that The embassy of the USA could help me in these visas or help me to find a scholarship and im willing to do whatever it takes to be Good man in socity and do whatever it takes to be some one known ?

CG Powers : Hi Mostafa, You would need an F-1 (student) visa to do study for an undergraduate or postgraduate degree. To apply for an F-1 visa, you must first apply and be accepted into a program in the United States. Once you have been accepted, the university or college will submit an I-20 form. With that I-20 form, you may pay the SEVIS fee and apply for an F-1 (student) visa. To qualify for an F-1 (student) visa, you must still prove strong ties to Egypt as well as your family’s ability to pay for any tuition that is not otherwise covered by scholarship.

Please visit the Public Affairs section of the U.S. Embassy’s website. They have information about many scholarship opportunities for Egyptian students, including Fulbright Scholarships: You can also join a Facebook page we have just for students interested in studying in the U.S. It is

Good luck!

<10/11/2009 02:36:57 : Greetings Rob, My wife and kids have been to the US embassy in Cairo today for their scheduled interview with the consulate, unfortunately and to our disappointment- they have been told that the file and the rest of the documents have not arrived yet from the US???

Due to the urgency of the situation, I would like to have someone appointed to follow up on this case closely, and please let me know if there is anything from my side needed to have this case prioritized.
CRO2009628001,CRO2009633008 , KHF2008812001

CG Powers : Greetings, thank you for your question. Unfortunately, we are experiencing a delay in the arrival of files from the National Visa Center. We are in fact monitoring shipments closely and will make an effort to expedite cases once the files arrive. Thank you for your patience.

10/11/2009 02:39:33  
mahmoud sabri : i want to compelete my study in USA , but i don't know where i can start or what shall i do ? . i have Bsc in information technology . please inform me with any information to start with or if i'm qualified for this or not .
Best Regards
mahmoud sabri

CG Powers : Hello Mahmoud, In order to qualify for a student visa, you must first apply to a program in the United States. Please visit the website of the Embassy’s Cultural Affairs sections to learn about scholarship opportunities. Once you have been accepted into a program in the United States, you may qualify for an F-1 (student) visa or J-1 (exchange) visa. The Public Affairs website can be found:

Please keep in mind that students also must demonstrate that they are not intending immigrants and that their primary for travel is to study in the USA.

0/11/2009 02:40:42 
emad atta : hello , first i would like to thank you for giving me the chance to talk to you
i actually applied several times to come to united states as visitor but i got refused , i don't know why , should i apply again , i wish that i could come on Christmas holiday and have fun with one of my friend who invites me every year and i went to the embassy with his invite several time but i got refused , i just want to go for a couple of weeks in Christmas time.
thanks so much

CG Powers : Dear Emad, thank you for your question. Each applicant who wishes to travel to the United State must prove that they have a valid reason to travel and strong ties to Egypt, as well as the ability to pay for their trip. Under U.S. Immigration law, there is a presumption that all applicants are intending immigrants. It is often difficult to overcome this presumption. If you have already come to the Embassy very recently, I would recommend that you wait at least one year before applying again.

10/11/2009 02:40:54  
Hossam mahmoud : if anybody Stayed in America more than his certain stay(6 months).How long will he be forbidden going to America again and eting another visa???

CG Powers: Hi Mohamad: It is important to respect the time frames fixed by Immigration. Persons who overstay their visits may be barred from returning for periods of either 3 or ten years depending upon the length of the overstay. We welcome tourism, but it is important to respect the periods granted for visitation.

10/11/2009 02:42:19  
Hani : What is the perfect time to apply ( join christmas with my citizen sister&i got invitation letter) & what paper need ? Thx. Warm regards

CG Powers : Hi Hani, thank you for taking part in the chat today. If you would like to spend Christmas in the U.S. this year, please apply as soon as you can. We currently have a 10 day wait time for visa appointments and the December holiday season is quite a busy time with visa applications. Please keep in mind that we need at least two weeks to return the visa and passport to you if your visa application is approved.

10/11/2009 02:43:03  
Haitham Gamal ElDin Arafa : I Need Travel To My Family To U S A But I Get Some Proplem In Sit To Send It My Information .

CG Powers : Hello Haitham, If you need to visit your family because of an emergency situation, please email If the situation is not an emergency, please contact Vodafone at 090070600 to schedule an appointment. Thank you.

10/11/2009 02:44:22  
ali suliman ali : Question: hello how ar u my name is ali from sudan my age is 17 but live in egypt here but my life is soo hard and my dad is dead from 3 weeks and i wanna help my family have my mam and my brother and my sister and life here is so hard i working chef helper and so im leaving my school for help my family and im was player football and was play in zamalek clup but really i wanna go to us becuse im have dreams but my dreams not able to materialize here in africa
plz help me and that my namber is 0174625348 
and my email
i wish answer on me plz

CG Powers : Ali – Thank you for taking the time to write the note and I am sorry to hear about the death of your father. Based upon the circumstances that you highlighted, it is extremely difficult to qualify for a U.S. visa, for you must demonstrate that you are not an intending immigrant as well as have the means to pay for a visit or studies in the USA.. There are some Fulbright scholarship programs, however, dedicated to young people who have never had the chance to travel outside of the region. Information on scholarships to the U.S. can be found here:

10/11/2009 02:45:14  
Mohamed A El Bana : Dear sir 
First i would like to say welcome to Egypt and hope you have a good time while you working there in Egypt , my name is Mohamed and i live in Oklahoma as a permanent resident of the United Sates of America under my CR-1 visa since last September and my green card will expire in September 2011 now my question is what should i do to renew it and why it is valid for 2 years only instead of 10 years like the diversity visa . thank you sir for your time and wish you having a great day

CG Powers : Dear Mr. El Bana, Thank you for the kind message. A CR-1 stands for “Conditional Resident”. All conditional residents must file a joint petition with their spouses to have the conditional status removed. The petition must be filed within the 90-day period immediately preceding the second anniversary of the date you were granted conditional permanent resident status. I encourage you to file this petition on time. Thank you. 

10/11/2009 02:46:08  
mohamed magdy abd elsalam mahdy : why the visa didnt came yet cuz i want to travel to america cuz my course will begin in 1 dec my visa is student visa

CG Powers : Hi Mohamed, According to our records, we are waiting on a piece of information from you before we can print and send the visa. Please contact for more details. Thank you!

10/11/2009 02:48:37  
Ehab Eldeib : Good Day Sir, What are the chances if an American citizen wishes to apply for an immigration visa for his family but has no defined residence or job still in the US and has been outside the US for more than 15 years,is it a must to have both pre-applying?

Thank you.

CG Powers : Dear Ehab, American citizens are able to file petitions on behalf of immediate family members. With respect to filing an immediate relative petition for one’s spouse of dependent children, the American must intend to return to the USA and reside there. The American must also file the requisite documents demonstrating an ability to provide for his or her family in the US. The fact that one has lived outside of the US for many years is not pertinent.

Thank you for your question.

10/11/2009 02:51:53  
mohamed : Hello, thanks for connecting us here. I have a B1/B2 Visa already, when i entered USA for the first time they wrote B1 on the entering date in my Passport also they gave me only 3 months to stay as i told them my return flight is after 1 month only, Now i will visit USA in February and as I am journalist i will have to stay more to have a general trip as it will be a long vacation for 5 months, so they will give me also 3 months or they will give me 5 or 6 if i request, depending on what they are giving some people 3 months and others 6 months.

Thanks a lot.

CG Powers : Hi Mohamad: If you have a B1/B2 visa that is still valid, you can travel to the US for business or pleasure. If you wish to work as a journalist or on behalf of a newspaper while there, you will need to request a special visa for journalist (the I visa). With each visit to the USA, the Immigration official will determine the length of stay to be permitted. In most instances, visitors are allowed to remain for up to 6 months, although this depends upon the purpose of the visit.

10/11/2009 02:52:33  
elsayed : i have green card and im traying to get a jop in us embassy in cairo can i do that ?

CG Powers: Dear Elsayed, Please be advised that job vacancies are advertised on our website at:

10/11/2009 02:54:07  
waleed zakoot : i like to know how i can reapply to us visa again i was deported by mistake from Egyptian consulate in new york ? .... thanks

CG Powers : Dear Waleed: I have not fully understood the circumstances of your deportation, so it is difficult to respond. You are welcome to submit an application for a visa and the consular officer will fully examine your request. Please keep in mind that all applicants must demonstrate that they are not intending immigrants and that they will have a compelling reason to return home following a visit.

10/11/2009 02:56:45  
Mohamed Hashem : Dear Mr. Roberto, Good After noon, I applied for a business visa, since I nned to attend a conf. in Chicago (RSNA), i was approved, but my visa is pending due to admin. issues, what does that mean, and does that mean that i need to submit any further documentation or anything else, please advise...than you

CG Powers : Dear Mohamad: Administrative processing is mandatory in many instances. If additional information is required, you will be asked to provide this. If you have not been requested to do so, then there is nothing more for you to do than wait for a response. This processing may take as little as three weeks or sometimes more than 3 months. It is critical to apply for visas well in advance of your projected travel. I hope that you get a response in time for your conference.

10/11/2009 03:00:09  
Hayam : Hi Dear Mr. Roberto, We requested to postpone our interview appointment for six months last year through email to embassy in cairo they said that they will contact us once the appointment has been scheduled as they have a huge list, uptill now passed more than a year and half and they didnt give us an appoitment and my daughters will reach the age of 21 next July. Help pls. Tks a lot.

CG Powers : Dear Hayam: We make every effort to process visas before beneficiaries "age out". Please contact the embassy website and inform us of the fact that your daughter will soon be 21. We will make every effort to process the case before her 21st birthday.

10/11/2009 03:03:44  
Moderator : Thanks to everyone who participated in today's webchat and thanks to Consul General Roberto Powers for his time.

CG Powers : It has been great chatting with you and to have a discussion with Egyptians. I hope that this exchange has been beneficial and would encourage you to raise any further concerns about visa services directly with us through our consular email boxes which have been listed above. I know I didn't get to all of your questions, but I hope I covered most of the topics you were interested in. With respect to questions from people with individual cases, please bring your concerns to us through the appropriate embassy mailbox. In each instance we will try to provide a response within a week. 

Thank you again for joining me today!