What is the US Visitor Visa Application Process

More than $177.2 billion were spent by tourists in the United States in 2014, more than in any other country, according to an article on List 25. The US was also the second most visited country in 2018, attracting almost 77 million travelers. Destinations such as the Empire State Building, Los Angeles Hollywood Studio tour and a trip to Yosemite National Park are some of the major attractions for tourists in this vast country.

If you are looking to travel to America too, you might need to apply for a US visa. Here’s a look at the process to apply for a US visitor visa.

Determine the Type of Visit Visa

A US visitor visa is a short-term visa, issued for the purposes of tourism, business or a combination of both. It is also the visa you need to apply for if you seek medical treatment in the US. So, the first thing you need to do is select the type of visitor visa, depending on the purpose of your visit. There are two types of US visitor visas:

Business Visa (B1)

This visa is issued for activities such as consultation with business associates, negotiation with clients, to settle an estate, or for the purpose of attending a scientific, educational or business convention.

Tourism Visa (B2)

This visa is issued for the purpose of tourism, vacation, for the purpose of visiting friends and family in the US, for a medical procedure, or for enrolling in a recreational course of study, which does not count for credit towards a degree.

Fill Form DS-160

The next step is to fill in the online non-immigration visa application, Form DS-160. After the submission of the form, you will receive a confirmation page and number, which should be kept safely because you will need it for the remainder of the process. 

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Schedule Appointments

Using the confirmation number, you will need to schedule two appointments. The first one is at the Visa Application Center, for your biometric readings. The second is an appointment at the US embassy or consulate in your home country for the visa interview. The interview appointment is generally not required for individuals younger than 13 years and those aged 80 and older. The waiting time for an interview appointment can vary depending on the location, season and visa category.

Prepare Your Documents

Some documents will need to be submitted before your visa interview, including:

  • A valid passport, which must be valid for at least six months after your intended stay in the US. 
  • Confirmation page of the non-immigrant visa application form, DS-160.
  • Payment receipt of the visa fee, if you are required to pay before the interview.
  • Your photograph, according to the guidelines provided by the US government.

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Attend the Visa Interview

Next up is your visa interview, where a consular officer will ask you certain questions to determine whether you are eligible for the chosen visa type and whether you intend to return to your home country before your visa expires.

The key to completing the process successfully is to provide complete and accurate information at all times. For more information, you can contact the US embassy in your home country.

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