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Requirements for a Tourist Visa in the USA Research Team | Posted On Tuesday, April 16,2019, 03:37 PM

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Requirements for a Tourist Visa in the USA



Citizens of a foreign country, who wish to visit another country, need a visa to stay in the country for business purposes or as a tourist. So, when you are planning to visit the United States of America for business or a vacation, you need a visitor’s visa that enables entry into the country. Visitor’s visa is generally known as B-1 and B-2 visa.

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Requirements for a Tourist Visa in the USA

Visitor Visa Basics:

The visitor visas are of two types. They are: the B-1 visitor’s visa and the B-2 visitor’s visa. These visas are known as “non-immigrant visa”. The B-1 visitor’s visa is mainly issued for business travellers visiting the country on business related work, like visiting colleagues, travelling to business seminars or conventions or for closing of deals and negotiations of a business contract. The B-2 visitor’s visa is issued for people seeking to travel to the U.S for a vacation or medical treatment. If you are travelling on temporary work to the U.S, attend school or as a journalist, you do not fall under the visitor’s visa category.

General Requirements:

There are certain eligibility criteria specified by the Government of the United States of America, for applying and holding visitor’s visa. The applicant must qualify for the requirements laid out under the Immigration and Nationality Act.

The Immigration and Nationality Act presumes everyone applying for a visitor visa intends to immigrate to the U.S. permanently. The purpose of the interview is for applicants to demonstrate, otherwise. Your purpose for visiting the United States must be for business, pleasure or medical treatment, and you must remain for a specific, limited period of time. You have to provide evidence of funds (money in your bank account), to cover your stay, and evidence of social and economic ties in your country of citizenship.

The applicant must follow several rules to apply for the visa. Follow the steps given below to apply for the visitor’s visa:

Application Process:

To get the visitor’s visa, apply early as this takes time. You must apply at the United States embassy or consulate in your country of citizenship. The applicants applying for the visa, who fall under the age bracket of 14 to 79 years, must schedule an interview with a consular officer. 

During the application process, you will have to provide the fingerprint scan. In addition to paying the visa application fee, you must fill out and print Form DS-160 online, and bring a valid passport, travel itinerary and your resume or curriculum vitae.

If you do not have access to a computer to fill out Form DS-160, call the consulate and make arrangements. If you have visited the United States in the past, you will be asked to provide dates of your last five trips to the country. Some applicants may be asked to provide additional information, at the discretion of the consulate, they apply. Given below are the complete details of the visa procedure:

Complete Online Visa Application:

  • Online Non-Immigrant Visa Application: The applicant must apply for the tourist visa by completing the online application form. After filling and submitting the form, the applicant must print the application form confirmation page and carry it for the interview.
  • Photo: The applicant must upload a photograph while filling the form. The format and size of the photo is mentioned in the photograph requirement section.

Scheduling the Interview:

Interviews are generally required for visa applicants with certain limited expectations. In general, citizens below 13 years of age and senior citizens aged 80 and above, do not need to go through the process of an interview. Citizens aged between 14 to 79 years must appear for the interview. You must schedule an interview with your closest U.S. embassy or consulate. Wait times for interview appointments vary depending on location, season, and visa category, so you must apply for your visa early.

Prepare for your Interview:

  • Fees: The applicant has to pay the visa application fees online. The fee is non-refundable in case you have to pay it before the interview. If the visa is approved, the applicant must pay a visa assurance fee (if applicable).
  • Gather information: Before appearing for the interview, you must review the information available on the website of the U.S. embassy or consulate, where you can gather information on the interview or the fees.

Gather Required Documents:

The applicants must gather some important documents and prepare for the visa interview:

  • Valid passport for travel to the United States – Your passport must be valid for at least six months beyond your period of stay in the United States. Each individual who needs a visa must submit a separate application, including family members listed in the passport.
  • Non-immigrant Visa Application form DS-160 confirmation page.
  • Application fee payment receipt which you are required to pay before the interview.
  • Photograph: The applicant must upload the photo while completing the online form DS-160. If the photo upload fails, then the applicant must bring a printed photo in the format explained in the photograph requirement section.

Additional Documents Required:

The applicant must review the instructions to apply for a visa on the website of the U.S. Embassy or consulate, where the application is submitted online. There are certain additional documents that the applicant must carry on the scheduled interview date to establish proof or evidence. Additional documents may include evidence of the following cases:

  • The purpose of your trip.
  • Your intent to depart the US post your trip.
  • Your ability to pay all costs related to the trip.

Evidence of your employment and family ties may be sufficient to show the purpose of your trip and your intent to return to your home country. If the applicant cannot cover all costs related to the trip then he/she can show evidence that another person will cover some or all costs for the trip.

SEE ALSO: Check Your US Visa Status

Attending the visa Interview:

A consular officer will interview you to determine if you are qualified to receive a visitor visa. You must state your reasons and establish that you meet the requirements under U.S. law to receive a visa.  The officer also takes Ink-free, digital fingerprint scans as part of the application process. They are usually taken during your interview, but this varies based on the location. After the visa interview is completed, the consular officer decides if your visa application requires further verification or administrative processing.

The consular officer will inform you accordingly on your application. After the visa has been approved, you must pay a fee known as visa assurance fee. The fee is paid by applicants when applicable to their nationality.

Countries Exempted From the Visitor Visa:

The residents of some of countries can visit U.S.A for a maximum of 90 days, without applying for a tourist visa, provided they fulfil certain requirements. In August 2012 many countries participated in the U.S visa waiver program. The citizens of these countries can visit U.S.A without a visa. Given below is the list of countries that fall under this program:

  • Hungary
  • New Zealand
  • Australia
  • Iceland
  • Norway
  • Austria
  • Andorra
  • Ireland
  • Portugal
  • Belgium
  • Italy
  • San Marino
  • Brunei
  • Japan
  • Singapore
  • Czech republic
  • Latvia
  • Slovakia
  • Denmark
  • Liechtenstein
  • Slovenia
  • Estonia
  • Lithuania
  • South Korea
  • Finland
  • Luxembourg
  • Spain
  • France
  • Malta
  • Sweden
  • Germany
  • Monaco
  • Switzerland
  • Greece
  • Netherlands
  • United kingdom

In addition, citizens of Canada and Bermuda are permitted to visit the United States, without applying for a visitor visa.

A visa is a document that allows foreign citizens to travel to the U.S and get permission to reside in the country for some time. So, there are certain rules and prohibitions for citizens entering the United States with a visitor’s visa. They are as follows:

  • A person on a visitor’s visa is not allowed to accept any kind of employment (part-time or full-time) or work in the United States.
  • A valid U.S. visa on an expired passport is still valid. Unless cancelled or revoked, a visa is valid until its expiry date. If you have a valid visa on your expired passport, do not remove it. You may use your valid visa on your expired passport along with a new valid passport for travel and admission to the United States. 

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