Visiting USA has always been a dream for over half of the people of the world and getting there has also seem to be a task on its own.
But, here we are to guide you with the minute details. So that we can get you a step closer to exploring the King of North America – The United States of America.
It goes without saying that we’re talking here about a USA Tourist Visa. So, generally a citizen of any foreign country who wishes to visit the USA needs to obtain a visa prior to his travel. The visa could be either a non-immigrant visa for temporary stay or an immigrant visa as a permanent residence. There are also a handful of countries who are exempted from obtaining a visa to the US under the Visa Waiver Program.
So, what’s the Visa Waiver Program? The VWP allows nationals of certain countries to travel to US for either tourism or business purposes for stays of 90 days or less without the need of having to obtain a visa. Of course, not all countries or travelers are eligible to the VWP. The VWP travelers are required to undergo an authorization through an Electronic System of Travel Authorization and are screened at the port of entry of the US and are then enrolled in the US Home Security Department under the US-Visit Program.
The VWP Member Countries are:
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These member countries can travel without requiring a visa for tourist or business purposes for up to 90 days, provided that they meet the following requirements:
- A passport with an integrated chip (e-passport).
- A citizen of the countries above, holding a possession of VWP compliant passport.
- The traveler must have registered online through the Electronic System of Travel Authorization.
- The purpose of travel is for:
- Transit (traveling through the US)
- If entering to the US by air or by sea:
- An onward or return ticket needs to be carried by the traveler.
- Sufficient funds to support their stay in the US.
SOME QUICK FACTS ABOUT THE USA TOURIST VISA:
- The visitor/tourist visa is known as a B1-B2 visa or a B2 visa for the US.
- A visitor visa is subject to the approval of the US immigration. The visitor visa needs to be stamped on your passport.
- Tourist visa is granted only for specific purposes like tourism or medical. Any person who applies for a tourist visa need not be involved for the purpose of studying, business or work. If the purpose of your travel to the US is business, then make sure you apply for US business visa (B1 visa) instead.
- The maximum length of your stay in the US is subject to the US port of entry. An extension of 6 months’ maximum can be obtained, which is again subject to approval.
SO, YOU MUST BE WONDERING WHAT IS THIS B1-B2 VISAS ALL ABOUT?
- There are two types of B visas that are issued by the embassy of the USA.
- The B2 Visa is a non-immigrant visa which is meant for people who are entering the boundaries of the US for the purpose of leisure or to obtain medical treatment. It is generally referred to as US Tourist Visa. The B1 visa is issued to people who have a purpose of traveling to the US for business purposes.
- Usually, the two visa categories are combined together and are issued as B1-B2 visa, that is valid for a temporary visit which can be used for business or pleasure, or for the purpose of both.
- These B visas are usually granted for a period of 1 to 10 years. During this period, the visa holders are allowed to make multiple entries to the US for the purpose of carrying out the above mentioned purposes.
- But, there is one thing to be remembered always; Each of these visits must be for a duration not exceeding more than 6 months.
ELIGIBILITY CRITERIA FOR OBTAINING THE USA VISA
Now comes the main and the painstaking part of the visa, the eligibility criteria. It’s for a fact that we all know, that to be eligible to obtain a US Visa you really need to have everything that is required.
- You intend to travel to USA on temporary basis and only with the purpose of tourism or seeking medical treatment.
- You plan at remaining in the US for a specific period and time.
- You have the monetary means that are required to pay for all your expenses during your stay in the US.
- You have a residence outside the USA and other binding ties that will ensure your return back home after you finish visiting the States.
STEPS TO FOLLOW WHILE APPLYING FOR YOUR USA TOURIST VISA
Before applying for your USA Tourist Visa, you need to have all your common documents ready, to be eligible to apply for the visa. Once you’re sure of the eligibility with your documents, you can go ahead with the procedure. To know more about the documents required for your USA Visa, click here.
Let’s start with the procedure.
Step 1: Complete the tourist visa application form.
Fill the tourist application form after reading the guidelines and in a correct format. Remember, you will not be able to make any changes once you have filled the online form.
In case of previous visa rejections, you will be required to submit a new non-immigrant visa application form.
Step 2: Pay the tourist visa application fee.
Make the payment for your tourist visa application fee and will need to be paid in US Dollars and in your native currency.
Always remember to preserve your receipt number for payment in order to book the visa appointments.
Step 3: Schedule appointments for tourist visa interview.
There are 2 appointments that need to be scheduled. One appointment is for the Visa Application Centre where you will be required to provide Biometrics information about yourself. And the second one is for your interview at the US Embassy or the Consulate.
In order to schedule your appointments, you will require:
- Your passport number
- The date on which you made a payment for your visa application fee.
- The ten-digit bar code number from your visa electronic application form page
Step 4: Carry the relevant documents for your scheduled appointment
As per the US embassy specifications, carry all your documents when going for your interview.
For your biometric interview, the documents required are:
- A valid passport that is valid at least 6 months beyond your intended period stay in the US.
- Your electronic visa application page.
- Your appointment confirmation page.
- One photograph as per US Visa Specifications, if the applicant is under the age of 14 years.
Step 5: Appear for your visa interview along with all the required information.
On the day of your scheduled visa interview, carry the following documents:
- A copy of your appointment letter.
- Your electronic visa application page.
- Your current passport as well as all old passports.
- Supporting documents related to your visa type.