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What is a US Visitor Visa?

What is US visitor visa & How to apply for one?


The United States is a land of infinite beauty and endless possibilities. The white sand beaches of Hawaii, the snow-capped peaks of Alaska, the jaw dropping granite walls of Yosemite National Park, as well as the iconic Las Vegas strip, the country has so much to offer. Little wonder then that the US received 15.7% of all world travelers in 2018, according to statistics released by the National Travel and Tourism Office

What is a US Visit Visa?

A US visit visa is a kind of short-term visa that allows its bearer to enter the United States for the purposes of business, tourism, medical treatment or a combination of the three. Those who wish to travel to the US for the purposes of education, temporary employment, religious work, etc., need to apply for visas from the specific category that relates to the purpose of their travel.

There are two types of US visitor visas, so make sure you choose the one that applies to you.

Business Visa (B1)

A business visa allows an individual to enter the US for:

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  • Consultation with business associates
  • For negotiation of a contract
  • To attend a scientific, educational, or business convention
  • To settle an estate.

Tourism Visa (B2)

With a B2 visa, an individual is permitted to take part in the following activities:

  • Tourism and vacationing
  • Visiting friends or family living in the US
  • Medical treatment or procedure
  • Participating in social, sports, or musical events. However, these activities should not lead to any monetary renumeration. 
  • Enrolling in recreational courses of study, which do not count as credit towards a degree.

How to Apply for US Visitor Visa?

To apply for a US visitor visa, you first need to fill the online non-immigration visa application form or Form DS-160. After submission of the form, you will receive a confirmation page and number. Print this page and keep the number safe, since you will need both for the remainder of the process. 

Along with the form, you will also need to submit some mandatory supporting documents, such as your photograph, valid passport with at least 2 pages empty for visa stamps, proof of identification, address in the US, etc. 

After the submission of documents, you need to pay the visa fee. You will receive a receipt of payment, which should also be kept safe. 

The next step is to schedule two appointments, one at the Visa Application Center, for your biometric readings, including fingerprints and photograph, and the second at the consulate/embassy closest to you for a visa interview. You will need the confirmation page and number mentioned above and the visa fee receipt to schedule the appointments. 

After this, you will need to appear for the two appointments on time. The visa interview aims at determining whether you are qualified to receive a visitor visa. The key is to remain honest and confident in your responses.

After all this is completed, all you have to do is wait for the visa approval. You can track the status of your application online, using the account that you would have created to fill the visa application form.

If your visa is denied, you first need to determine the reason for denial to decide on the next moves.


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Having lived in 3+ countries, worked for companies small and big in USA, Middle East & India, I have a lot of stories to share about international travel and immigration. Add me on WhatsApp if you have any queries (+001-408-489-4785).

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