Planning to visit the USA? Take a deep breath and have a look at your go-to beginner’s guide summing up all the essentials that you need. Though the USA has a stringent visa application process still if you follow the steps wisely it’s not impossible. Have a look at the US tourist visa requirements for getting your visa beforehand.
Important requirements for US tourist Visa
Brush up on the type of visa you require.
USA Visitor Visa is a tourist visa also known as B2 visa. People who are planning to visit the US temporarily for pleasure, tourism or medical treatment can avail this non-immigrant visa. Before starting the application process for this visa. However, there is a comprehensive list of both non- immigrant categories, but B1/B2 or Business or Tourist’s Visa is the most common place category for tourist and general visitors to the USA. The prerequisite for obtaining a tourist visa is that the person should not be involved in the study, business or work. The duration for which the visa is granted is subject to the grant at a US port of entry on the entrance. However, the visa is extendable for a period of 6 months for which visitor visa extension form needs to be submitted to the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) with a nominal application fee.
Essential documents that you may need.
The documents that you need to have readily available are passport, travel itinerary and details of the earlier international travels to the USA in case if they are required. The applicant, however, must make sure that the passport is valid for at least 6 months period from the proposed date of application. A passport shall be in a decent condition and should not be tattered and worn out.
Suggested Read: List of Sponsor Documents Required for the US-Visit Visa
Visitor visa application form.
The foremost step in initiating the application process for a visitor visa is filling up the DS-160. You can learn more about it by logging on to https://ceac.state.gov/genniv/. The DS-160 form needs to be filled with the utmost accuracy and shall include your contact details, residence information, and educational qualifications. The form shall also include the specifics of your envisioned travel plans and whereabouts of the places you intend to reside in the USA. It is advisable to fill up the form in one go. However, if you cannot fill it one go, the particulars would be saved for a period of 30 days. The application ID that you receive once you start filling up the form should be saved for easy future referrals. On successful completion, you will receive a confirmation with a 10-digit barcode which you would require at a later stage during the interview process.
In order to apply for a visitor visa, you need to have a digital photograph of yours that need to fulfill certain criteria. The picture must be in square form having a minimum and maximum dimension of 600 pixels by 600 pixels and 1200 pixels by 1200 pixels respectively. The size of the picture must be less than or equal to 240 kilobytes. The embassies that do not require digital photograph will take the same at the Offsite Facilitation Centre (OFC) or Application Service Centre (ASC) with fingerprint authentication.
Paying the fees.
All the visa applicants have to pay a nominal non-refundable fee. Be it, children or seniors, everybody needs to make this payment. The US government provides an exchange rate that the applicants use to pay in Indian Rupees notwithstanding the fee is paid in US Dollars. This exchange rate is specified by the US government. A stipulation made by any other authority has no standing in law. The exchange rate for the same can be found here, http://cdn.ustraveldocs.com/in/in-niv-visafeeinfo.asp. This fee can either be paid electronically or in cash. The payment that is done electronically can be done as a bank transfer throughout the designated branches of CitiBank and Axis Bank. It is suggested that you should undoubtedly create a profile at US visa service website and elect the Schedule Appointment option to ensure the payment in an orderly manner. On confirming the payment option you would receive a plethora of options on how to initiate the payment process. The fee holds good for one year from the date of payment.
Schedule for interview appointment.
On successful completion of the payment process, you will have an option to schedule 2 appointments as a part of the visa issuing process. It is suggested that soon after making an appointment you should avail a date and time slot as per your convenience for the interview process. There are usually a large number of tourist visa applicants, so there is a two-stage interview selection process. The interview shall take place in two distinct processes:-
- Firstly, with one of the five Offsite Facilitation Center (OFC) to give Biometrics Information including fingerprinting and photograph
- Secondly, with the Consulate or Embassy for a face to face interview session.
An appointment for the face to face interview session can be made by visiting the following website http://cdn.ustraveldocs.com/in/index.html and then choose a date and time. The applicant can also cancel or reschedule the interview by visiting this website and can make suitable changes by following the relevant instructions.
A fingerprinting appointment is scheduled immediately after an appointment with the consulate or embassy for a personal interview is scheduled. Previously, the process provided for taking fingerprints at the time the personal interview was conducted. However, under the new rules, the applicant is required to give biometrics information at the Visa Application Centre (VAC) appointment. The measure is an effective facilitating reduction in congestion at the US consular facilities and speeding up the application process at the same time. It is recommended to schedule your visa interview appointment at the Consulate prior to the VAC appointment.
Appearing for the Visa Interview.
The applicant should make sure to have reached the US embassy at least 15 minutes before the interview time. The applicant should carry with him all the original copies of all the essential documents which include the current as well as the old passport, photograph, the bar code that you received after the payment got confirmed, the fee receipt of visa application, visa appointment letter and any other relevant documents. In case of Indian citizens, they also need to provide documents that envisage their strong connection with India like income tax returns of at least 3 years, employment records, bank statements of at least 6 months and invitation letter if any from the parties that you are planning to visit the USA.
Right to refuse to issue Visa.
The USA reserves its right to refuse to issue a visitor visa. The US Embassy and its officials have the right to issue or refusal to issue a Visa. The US government provides for a hassle free return of all your documents in case your request for issuing a tourist visa is declined. However, the non-refundable application fee shall not be returned to the respective applicants. Rejection of application does not prohibit the person from applying for the visitor visa once again. He is whole-heartedly welcomed to fill a new DS-160 form and the entire process has to be repeated once again. In case if an individual is re-applying for the visa, does not guarantee that it would be issued this time.
These are all about the essential requirements if you are planning to visit the USA. If you are looking for some cheap flights to India from USA contact Taj Travel, one of the best Indian travel agency in USA. Check out their amazing flight deals and make your journey memorable.