USA Visit Visa
USA Visitor Visa is a tourist visa to US. It is also known as B2 Visa. A visitor visa is a non-immigrant visa issued to people entering US temporarily for pleasure, tourism, or medical treatment. Any foreign citizen including parents who wants to visit USA for tourism, visiting children, family, friends, relatives, attending special events, family functions, ceremonies, or for medical treatment may qualify and can apply for Visitor Visa.
Note: Citizens of certain countries may not require visitor visa if the trip is less than 90 days. This is known US Visa Waiver Program (VWP).
Quick Facts about USA Visitor Visa
- US Visitor Visa is a non-immigrant, temporary visa that is also known as category B1/B2.
Category B1 visa is for business while category B2 is for tourism; a combination of both is called B1/B2.
Citizens of the Visa Waiver Program participatory countries do not need a visa to enter the US for less than 90 days.
- Citizens of other countries with a B2 visa will normally be allowed to stay for up to six months.
- The B2 visa can also be extended is you want to stay longer than six months per trip which is subject to approval.
- Depending on the applicant’s country of origin, visitor visas may be used for multiple trips to the US while the visa is valid.
- According to CNN, the United States issued 6,358,600 B-1, B-2 and B-1/B-2 combo visas in 2017.
Steps to getting a US Visitor Visa:
Like all other visas, obtaining a US Visitor Visa is subject to fulfilment of certain requirements and of course the authorities’ approval. For starters, you must have a valid passport, submit the application form, pay the required fee, and take the interview to complete your application for a visitor visa.
Below is the step-by-step guide to submitting a Visitor Visa to US application.
Arrange Photograph for Visitor Visa
The application process starts with you providing a digital photograph of yourself that meets the visa application criteria. Professional photographers and photo studios are usually aware of the photo requirements for the US Visitor Visa application and will do the job for you.
To meet the US Visitor Visa criteria, the photo must:
- Be in colour.
- Be of 600 X 600 pixels on dimension.
- Be in JPEG format (.jpg or .jpeg file extension).
- Be less than 240 kilobytes
- Be at least 2 inches X 2 inches (51mm X 51mm) square (if paper photo is being scanned)
- Have light-coloured background
- Be without sunglasses or items that obscure the face (with head covering exemption for religious reasons)
See the complete photograph requirements for visitor visa.
Fill the Visitor Visa Application Form
Form DS160 is what you need to fillto begin your Visitor Visa Application. To fill the form, you must have a reliable internet connection as the form is online. Please make sure that you provide accurate information failure of which could potentially render the application invalid. In the form, you must:
- Provide a photograph of yours.
- Provide current and previous international travel itinerary (past five years).
- Details of all social media handles.
- Information of all family members.
- Details of your place of stay in the US.
- Details of relatives living in the US (if any).
- Any other details that the form asks for.
Pay US Visitor Visa Application Fee
Once the application form is filled, the next step is paying the US Visitor Visa Fee. The fee can be paid electronically via bank transfer, or in cash at designated bank branches (varies from country to country). One the fee is successfully paid, it is valid for one year and you must take an appointment for the interview within a year’s time. The application fee amount varies according to the visa type and for B2 Visitor/Tourist Visa, the fee is USD 160.
- Depending on the payment method, you may need to wait for 3 to 24 hours after fee submission to be able to schedule an interview.
- The Visitor Visa Fee is non-refundable and non-transferable.
- A payment receipt will be issued to you after successful submission of the fee which will be valid for a year.
- You will use this receipt to schedule an interview within the stipulated time.
Book an Interview Appointment for US Visitor Visa
After you have submitted the US Visitor Visa Application fee, you will need to proceed to schedule your appointment for the interview. To do this, you will use the fee payment receipt that is valid for a year starting the date of issue. You have to schedule an appointment within that time frame. To schedule the appointment, you will:
- Need to wait for 3 to 24 hours after fee payment, depending on the payment method you chose.
- Use the VFS website to book an appointment with the US embassy or Consulate.
- Need a two-part appointment; one for biometrics and the other for the interview.
- Not wait till last minute if you wish to get a schedule of your choice.
- Need a passport that is valid for at least 6 months beyond the intended period of stay.
Visitor Visa Interview Process
Once the appointment is locked, you will have to appear at the applicable embassy or consulate for the final interview. Make sure you have the following before you appear for the interview: