COVID Testing Requirement
All airline passengers to the United States ages two years and older must provide a negative COVID-19 viral test taken within three calendar days of travel, regardless of vaccine status. Alternatively, travelers to the U.S. may provide documentation from a licensed health care provider of having recovered from COVID-19 in the 90 days preceding travel. Check the CDC website for additional information and Frequently Asked Questions.
COVID Travel Restrictions
Under Presidential Proclamation 10143, entry into the United States is generally suspended for foreign nationals who were present in the 26 countries that comprise the Schengen Zone (including Slovenia) within 14 days prior to their arrival in the United States, per Presidential Proclamation. This travel ban includes transit – i.e. you cannot transit the United States if you must depart the plane. Please see these notices which contain detailed information about visa restrictions related to the COVID-19 global pandemic, as well as the Department’s announcement of National Interest Exceptions.
The following are excepted and may travel to the U.S. without contacting the Embassy if they already posses a valid visa or Electronic System for Travel Authorization (ESTA):
- U.S. citizens and Legal Permanent Residents, along with their spouses and minor children; parents of a minor U.S. citizen. (Carry proof of relationship to the U.S. citizen or LPR (marriage certificate or birth certificate) and proof of the principals’ U.S. citizenship (copy of passport) or LPR status (green card).
- immigrant/fiancé visa holders
- crew (C1/D visas)
- students (F and M visas)
- diplomats (A, G, NATO visas).
In addition, the Embassy may be able to grant exceptions for others to travel direct from the Schengen zone for:
- Emergency medical treatment in the U.S.
- Those working on the Coronavirus response
- Business travelers working in critical infrastructure fields
- Journalists (I visa)
- Academic professors/researchers (J visa)
- Au Pairs who are providing specialized care to a child needing particular medical, educational or sign language care; or an au pair providing care to a child of parents working in the medical field related to Covid care or research. (J visa)
- Exchange participant pursuant to a government-to-government agreement (J visa)
- Intern or Trainee at a U.S. Government Agency (J visa, with program series G-3)
- Specialized Teachers (J visa, with program series G-5)
For those who do not qualify for an exception, if you currently have a valid visa or ESTA, you may travel to the U.S. if you first spend 14 days outside the Schengen zone (and also outside Britain/Ireland, South Africa, China, Brazil, and Iran) and then travel directly to the U.S. without transiting the Schengen zone. You should maintain evidence of spending the 14 days outside the Schengen zone such as paid hotel stay or passport entry stamps.
Professional athletes with established sports leagues in the United States may qualify for an exception. These sport leagues work directly with the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Customs and Border Protection (CPB) to request a waiver. The Embassy has no role in arranging this waiver. However, athletes who have already received a waiver from CPB and need a visa may contact the Embassy to request an appointment.
Travelers with existing valid visas/ESTA: Obtaining the Embassy’s Electronic Exception Approval
If you already possess a visa, or your travel is eligible under visa-waiver and you have an approved ESTA, and are seeking an Embassy exception to allow travel direct from the Schengen zone within the next 30 days under one of the above listed exceptions, contact the U.S. Embassy at LjubljanaVisa@state.gov, providing for each traveler:
- Full name
- Date of Birth (format: day-month-year)
- Country of Birth
- Passport number
- Copy of existing visa or ESTA
- Travel dates
- Grounds for Exception. For Business travelers, please note what critical infrastructure field you work in, what your own activities will be, and why the activities require your physical presence in the U.S.
If your request is approved, it is valid for one entry within a specified 30 day window; any future travel to the United States will require another approval. The approval is entirely electronic and will be visible to airlines and U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP). Nevertheless, admission remains subject to a determination by CBP officers at ports of entry and travelers. Travelers must follow U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines upon arrival.
Travelers needing to apply for a new visa
At this time, the U.S Embassy in Ljubljana is providing limited visa appointments for residents of Slovenia only. The Embassy is processing immigrant visa applications. For non-immigrants, the Embassy is accepting appointment requests only for those who qualify for an exception to the travel restrictions – See above. For B visa (business/tourist) travelers, the Embassy is providing appointments only to those who meet an exception to the travel ban, but who are not permitted to travel using ESTA. Those who simply want to renew their visa but have no immediate travel plans should contact us when they have specific (and permitted) travel plans. If you meet an exception that permits travel to the U.S., please contact the Embassy via email (LjubljanaVisa@state.gov) for an appointment, noting the purpose of travel and why you qualify for an exception (and noting if you have been in any countries outside Slovenia in the past 14 days).
For your appointment: Facemasks are required. If you experience any Covid symptoms (fever, shortness of breath, cough), have been in contact with someone diagnosed with Covid, have been to a hospital or nursing home within the past 14 days, or if you traveled outside Slovenia within the past 14 days, you should again email us prior to your appointment (at least one day in advance).
Although travelers will be issued full validity visas, for those cases requiring an Embassy approved exception, the exception is valid only for only a 30 day window and is valid for a single entry to the United States. Any future travel to the United States will require an electronic approval. (See above section.) Admission remains subject to a determination by Customs and Border Protection officers at ports of entry and travelers must follow U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines upon arrival.
The purpose of your intended travel and other facts will determine what type of visa is required under U.S. immigration law. As a visa applicant, you will need to establish that you meet all requirements to receive the category of visa for which you are applying. See our Directory of Visa Categories on usvisas.state.gov to determine which visa category might be appropriate for your purpose of travel to the United States. Then click on the appropriate link below.
What is a Visa?
A citizen of a foreign country who seeks to enter the United States generally must first obtain a U.S. visa, which is placed in the traveler’s passport, a travel document issued by the traveler’s country of citizenship.
Certain international travelers may be eligible to travel to the United States without a visa if they meet the requirements for visa-free travel. The Visa section of this website is all about U.S. visas for foreign citizens to travel to the United States.
(Note: U.S. citizens don’t need a U.S. visa for travel, but when planning travel abroad may need a visa issued by the embassy of the country they wish to visit.).
Customer Service Statement
The Department of State manages the visa process strictly but fairly in order to best protect the United States. We are committed to the essential openness for which the United States has always been known. Travel to the United States is welcomed and encouraged.
We promise to you, the visa applicant, that:
- We will treat you with dignity and respect, even if we are unable to grant you a visa.
- We will treat you as an individual and your case as unique.
- We will remember that, to you, a visa interview may be a new or intimidating experience and that you may be nervous.
- We will use the limited time available for the interview to get as full a picture as possible of your travel plans and intentions.
- We will use our available resources to fairly assist all applicants to get appointments to allow travel in time for business, study, and other important obligations.
- We will post detailed and accurate information on visa requirements and application procedures on every Embassy and Consulate website.
- We will provide information on non-immigrant appointment waiting times at every Embassy and Consulate posted on http://travel.state.gov/.
- We will explain the reason for any visa denial to you.
Furthermore, if you are a:
- Student, we will make every effort to ensure that you get an appointment and, if qualified, a visa in time to start classes.
- Medical and humanitarian emergency traveler, we will expedite processing for those dealing with life threatening emergencies.
- Business traveler, we will establish appropriate mechanisms to facilitate business travel and expedite cases of particular concern to American business.
At the same time, we expect you, the visa applicant, to:
- Plan your travel and visa application as far in advance as possible.
- Complete your application fully and accurately.
- Be forthcoming about your purpose and plans.
- Prepare for your interview by being able to clearly and concisely describe your intentions.