The United States is one of the most visited countries in the world. People visit the US for different reasons like to study, work, as a tourist and so on. For most immigrants to enter the US a visa is required and the visas vary according to the individual purpose of visit. However, the focus of this article is the Tourist Visa also known as the B2 or US Visitor Visa.
The maximum length of stay on a B2 visa is 6 months. During this period, the carrier can travel to different parts of the US. Nonetheless, immediately after your visa expires, you must return to your home country.
What qualifies one getting a US visitor visa ?
Table of Contents
- 1 What qualifies one getting a US visitor visa ?
- 1.1 Step-By-Step Guide on Getting A US Visitor Visa
- 1.2 US Visitor Visa Application Requirement
- Have a vacation in the United States.
- Tour various cities in the United States.
- Visit friends or family.
- Partake in social events hosted by different organizations.
- Visit for medical treatment or diagnosis.
- Participate in events or contests related to music or sports. You will not be receiving payment.
- Enroll in short study courses for which you will not receive credit (ex. cooking classes), etc.
Step-By-Step Guide on Getting A US Visitor Visa
Check If You Need A Visa
The first step is to confirm if you will require a visa to enter the United States, as there are certain countries that their citizens are exempted from getting a visa. Check if your home country or the country with which you are currently carrying their passport can enter the USA without a visa. Here is the list of the 40 visa waiver countries.
Choose The Right Visa Type
If you are required to apply for a visa ( your country is not among the 40 visa waiver countries) the next step is for you to choose the right visa type. Since you are going to the United States for visiting purposes, you have to apply for the United States Visitors or Tourist Visa (B2 visa). Utmost attention is needed here so as not to apply for the wrong type of visa which will further create problems for the applicant in the other stage of application.
Fill Out The Non-immigrant Visa Application Form DS-160
The non-immigrant visa application form DS-160 is an online non-immigrant form that has to be filled out by all non-immigrants seeking to enter the US irrespective of their purpose of visit. You can fill out the form online yourself via the Consular Electronic Application Center, or with the help of any third-party visa processing company. The form must be filled out correctly. Listed below are the basic information that is required by the applicant to put in the form:
- Full name
- Marital Status
- Date & Place of Birth
- Mobile number
- Passport number
- Passport book number
- Family information
Then some security and background questions like:
- If the applicant has ever been arrested or convicted for any crime.
- If the applicant has ever engaged in a conspiracy to violate any law relating to controlled substances like heroin.
- if the applicant has ever been involved in money laundering.
- If the applicant has ever ordered, incited, committed, assisted, or otherwise participated in genocide, etc.
Submit The DS-160 Form
After the applicant has correctly input the necessary required information in the nonimmigrant DS-160 application form, they are required to submit the form. After submission of the form, a verification page will pop up, and a verification code will be used as the applicant’s document file.
Pay The US Visitor Visa Application Fee
The next step is to pay a nonrefundable visa application fee (in case the application is canceled by the applicant or the visa is rejected). The application fee for the US Tourist Visa is $160 (price may be reduced or increased later). In addition to the visa fee, applicants might have to pay other fees depending on their country’s relationship with the US. These additional fees are referred to as visa issuance fees and they differ from country to country. However, after the payments, applicants must keep the payment receipts and attach them to their files of documents.
Schedule a US Visitors Visa Interview
After the fees are paid for, applicants between the ages of 14-79 years old are required to go through an interview at the US embassy in their country. Therefore, applicants that fall under this age group must schedule an interview with the US Embassy in their home country. Interview appointments should be booked as soon as the necessary arrangement is in place because of the unusual workload in the embassy it might take a while to get a close date. When the interview is booked a confirmation letter is sent to the application and they are required to take the letter along with them to the interview.
Compile your B2 Visa document file
While the applicant is waiting for their scheduled interview date, they need to get all necessary documents needed for their tourist visa ready. These documents are needed at the interview so the waiting period is as good as any to get them ready.
US Visitor Visa Application Requirement
- Valid passport.
- A photograph that adheres to the requirements and guidelines of the US embassy.
- DS-160 form confirmation page and code.
- Receipt of paid visa fees.
- Interview confirmation page.
- A letter that clearly states the purpose of your visit.
- Financial or bank statements to verify you have the finances to stay in the US minimum of $266 for each day of your intended stay.
- Ties to your home country e.g Family, job contract, lease, or property deed, which will prove that you will return to your home country.
- Optional US visitor visa invitation letter from friends or family in the US.
- Criminal records or letters from authorities stating that the applicant is not a convicted felon.
- Documents related to your prior visits. This applies if you visited the US in the past.
- A letter from your employer and payslips for the last three months. If the applicant is a worker.
- Photocopies of your relative’s status in the US.
- Letters from doctors on your diagnosis and treatment. If visiting for medical reasons.
- Social media details. A list of the social media that you use, and the name used on each account.
Attend the visa interview
Attend your visa interview on the scheduled interview date and time. A US Embassy officer will orally ask questions about your background and your reasons for wanting to visit the United States. The official will also go through your documents to confirm that everything is as it should be. The interviews generally are short but ensure to disclose all the vital information to avoid problems later.
How Long Before The B2 Visa Is Out?
The B2 visa process usually takes a few weeks to a few months before they are out. Processing times vary from country to country as it solely depends on the workload that the US Embassy where you applied has. If it is taking longer to hear from the Embassy, you have no choice than to wait to hear from them to notify you on whether your visa is approved or rejected.