Visa Requirements for U.S.A.
Applying for a visitor visa to the United States can be a tricky and confusing process. With these handy tips however, it doesn’t have to be that difficult. While every country’s process is a little different, there are some basic steps that are the same.
The first thing to do is to have your photo taken so that it meets the requirements for the DS-160 form. The specifications for the photo can be found on the U.S. State Department website, so be sure to follow the instructions.
Next step is to pay the application fees. You will find the information and amount on the consulate page for your country, which can be found at the U.S. embassy website. Once you pay these fees, be sure to keep the receipts, as you will most likely need to have them for the interview process.
After the fees, you will need to fill out the DS-160 form. The U.S. government is trying to move to a completely online process, so you will probably have to fill this out on a computer. Make sure you have 30-60 minutes available to complete the form. There is not a way to save a partially completed form online. When you hit ‘Save’ on the form, if you exit the browser or your session ends, you will lose everything. If you do need to stop in the middle, hit ‘Save Application to File’ and then you can open that later by choosing ‘Upload a Previous Application’ in your new session. After you finish filling it out, be sure to print off the confirmation page. You will need this—with its legible barcode—for your interviews.
Next, you will schedule the interview. Some places require that you schedule two separate appointments: the first for fingerprinting and to have your photo taken, and the second for the actual interview. Other embassies only require the interview, so be sure to check the website for your country to see what the requirements are.
If you do have to make two appointments, make sure that you schedule the fingerprinting appointment first. This is important, since you will not be allowed to go to your interview if you haven’t done this.
For the interview, make sure that you bring the confirmation page of the DS-160 form, the receipts from the fees you paid, your current and expired passports, and any supporting documentation. The required and supporting document lists vary from country to country, so be sure to check the website for what you should bring. Be aware that the interview may be conducted in English, so practicing your conversation skills would probably benefit you. Remember that the interviewer is just doing their job, and try not to get too nervous. They want to know that you will return from the United States, so try to bring evidence like family photos or a letter from your employer that will help them make the decision to grant you a visa.
So, you’ve paid the fees, submitted the DS-160 form and completed your interview. Now you just have to wait for your visa. It’s important to check the website to see what the process is for this. Some embassies will ask you to bring a self-addressed stamped envelope with you and then mail it to you. Others will just mail it to you or require you to pick it up. If you wish to check the wait time, then go to the U.S. Department of State website to see the typical wait times for your country.
If your visa is denied, don’t lose hope! There are many reasons that visas get denied, ranging from serious reasons to easily resolved reasons like incomplete documentation. The good news is that you will get a reason for the denial, and you can reapply in the future. You can also apply for a waiver for the ineligibility that you have if it is not a simple thing like missing some documents.
The final step is to enjoy your visit to the United States! Once you’ve navigated your way through the maze of the visa process, navigating through the streets in America should be no problem. Don’t forget to have an amazing trip and enjoy every second of the visa that you earned!