For most people in the world, the desire to travel to the United States means that they need a visa. There are many reasons to travel, from sightseeing or a business visit to work, study or permanent residency. It is a country that attracts a variety of people with different goals and desires to achieve the “American Dream.” However, there are many hurdles to entry, and one of them is obtaining a visa. Applying for a US visa requires a straightforward application process and a few steps.
Steps to Apply for a US Visa
To apply for a US visa, follow these simple steps at the US consulate or embassy in your country of residence.
- Find out if you need a visa.
- Choose the type of U.S. visa you want to apply for.
- Fill out the DS-160 application form for a nonimmigrant visa.
- Pay the application fee.
- Schedule your visa interview.
- Prepare your document file.
- Attend the visa interview.
- Wait for processing.
1. Determine if you need a visa.
Citizens of the 39 visa waiver countries do not need to apply for a nonimmigrant visa to visit the United States.
2. choose your visa type
The second step in applying for a U.S. visa is to select the type of U.S. visa you would like to obtain. The type of U.S. visa you wish to apply for varies, so pay special attention to the type of visa you wish to apply for.
3. Fill in the Non-immigrant visa Application Form DS-160
Form DS-160, Online Nonimmigrant Visa Application, is a U.S. visa application form that must be completed when you apply for a U.S. nonimmigrant visa. This application form can be found on the website of the U.S. consulate to which you are applying.
Form DS-160 can be completed online in the following ways.
- Completing the form yourself through the consulate’s electronic application center.
- Get help from a third-party agency we recommend (e.g., TravelAssist).
How to fill in the form DS-160?
The DS-160 application form is composed of two parts. In the first part, you must answer questions about your personal information, such as.
- Full name
- Marital status
- Date and place of birth
- Cell phone number
- Passport number
- Passport book number
- Family information
- Educational institution
- Job, etc.
The second part of the online application form asks questions about your security and background information, including
- Whether you have ever been arrested or convicted of a crime.
- Whether you have ever participated in a conspiracy to violate controlled substance laws.
- Whether you have ever been involved in money laundering.
- Ordered, instigated, carried out, aided, or otherwise participated in genocide or other genocide.
4. Pay your US visa application fee
The next step in applying for a U.S. visa is to pay the U.S. visa application fee.
The machine-readable visa applicant fee varies depending on the type of visa you are applying for. It is tiered as follows
- MRV fee – $160
- Petition-based applicants (H, L, O, P, Q, R) – $190
- E-1, E-2, and E-3 visa applicants . .$205
Please note that the visa application fee is non-refundable if you cancel your appointment or if your visa application is denied.
In addition to the U.S. visa application fee, you may be required to pay a U.S. visa issuance fee. The visa issuance fee is based on the relationship between the United States and your home country. This means that some applicants will have to pay it and others will not. The amount varies from country to country.
In order for your application to be processed, you must pay all required fees and keep receipts as proof.
5. Schedule a US visa interview
All U.S. nonimmigrant visa applicants between the ages of 14 and 79 must complete a U.S. visa interview. To schedule this interview, you must make an appointment at the U.S. consulate or embassy to which you are applying. Consulates and embassies are busy and wait times can be days to weeks, so you should schedule your interview appointment as early as possible.
Once you have submitted your DS-160, please schedule an interview immediately. You will then receive an interview confirmation to bring with you on the day of the interview.
6. Compile the document file
In addition to the application form (DS-160), you must submit the documents required to apply for a U.S. visa and certify to the U.S. Consulate that you meet the requirements for the nonimmigrant visa you are applying for.
7. Attend the visa interview
The final step in the US visa application process is the US visa interview. You must show up for the interview on time and with all documentation. The interviewer will ask you questions about your background and other relevant topics related to the visa you are applying for. If you are coming to the United States to work, the interview may take longer than if you are coming as a tourist.
8. Wait for processing
After the visa interview, you will have to wait for your application to be processed. Processing time can range from a few days to several months, depending on the type of U.S. visa you are applying for. Once your visa has been processed, you will find out if it has been approved or denied. Travel arrangements should not be made until after your visa has been approved to avoid the risk of incurring expenses if your visa is denied.
Use Travel Assist’s services to ensure a successful US tourist visa application.
Do Visitors to the United States Have to Purchase Health Insurance?
Visitors to the United States are not required to purchase health insurance. However, due to the high cost of the U.S. health care system, it is strongly recommended that you purchase health insurance before coming to the United States.
A broken leg or arm can cost up to $2,500, and an overnight stay in a hospital in the U.S. can cost over $10,000 on average.
Applying for a US Visa From Different Countries
Applicants from the UK
If you are a citizen of the United Kingdom, you can travel to the United States without a visa. However, this is not the case for all residents of the United Kingdom. To apply for a US visa from the UK, you will need to follow some special procedures.
Applicants from Canada
Canadians do not need a visa or ESTA to travel to the U.S., but Canadians who are not citizens of one of the 38 visa-free countries must apply for a U.S. visa from Canada in order to visit the U.S.
Applicants from Australia
Residents of Australia who are not citizens of a country participating in the Visa Waiver Program should apply for a U.S. visa from Australia.
Applicants from UAE
The UAE does not participate in the Visa Waiver Program, so UAE nationals must apply for a U.S. visa.For information on applying for a U.S. visa from the UAE, see the following article.
Applicants from Qatar
Since Qatar does not participate in the Visa Waiver Program, Qatari citizens and residents must apply for a US visa. For more information on applying for a U.S. visa from Qatar, please read this article.
Applicants from the Philippines
To travel to the United States, Philippine citizens and residents must obtain a U.S. visa. For more information on applying for a U.S. visa in the Philippines, please read this article.
Applicants from India
Since India does not participate in the Visa Waiver Program, Indian nationals must obtain a U.S. visa. Click here for information on the process to apply for a U.S. visa in India.