The USA is a dream country for everyone who is planning to migrate, study or even pay a small visit as it is full of natural resources, with unique way of living, tremendous business opportunities and marvellous educational institutes. A foreign visitor intending to visit USA is required to obtain visa which can;

  • Either be a Non-immigrant Visa for a temporary stay, OR
  • An immigrant Visa for a permanent Residence in the USA

Visitor’s visa or Non-immigrant visa is usually granted for a temporary stay in the USA for the following categories ;

  • For business (visa category B-1),
  • For tourism or a visit (visa category B-2), OR
  • For a combination of both the purposes (B-1/B-2).

How to Apply

There are certain steps you are required to follow and the sequence of these steps may be somewhat differing according to the US Embassy or Consulate where you are applying to. Hence it is important for you Follow and Interpret the instructions available at the US Embassy or Consulate website where you are going to apply to.

Complete the Online Visa Application :

  • Online Non-immigrant Visa Application, Form DS-160 –
    • It would be preferable for you to learn about completing the Online DS-160 application form.
    • Complete the Online Visa Application form.
    • Print the Application Form Confirmation Page which you have to bring with you at the time of your interview.
  • Photo 
    • You are required to upload your recent photo at the time of filling your online DS-160 application form.
    • Take care that your photo is in the format as explained and required in the Photograph Requirements.

Schedule an Interview :

Let us first have a look at WHO NEED TO SCHEDULE A NON-IMMIGRANT VISA INTERVIEW. Generally the applicants of certain ages as described below are exempted from the Visa Interview. However it is up to the officers at the Consulate to call a particular applicant for an interview irrespective of his/her age.

If you are of the age of : Then an interview is:
13 and less than it Usually not required
14-79 Required (some exceptions for renewals)
80 and older Usually not required


How your Visa Interview will be scheduled?

  • First you need to have an appointment for your Visa Interview. Usually, it is to be fixed at the US Embassy or a Consulate in the territory of the country where you live.
  • You can schedule your visa interview at any of the US Embassies or Consulates but it would be difficult for you to qualify for a visa outside of your place of permanent residence.
  • WAIT TIMES FOR INTERVIEW APPOINTMENTS may differ according to location, season, and the visa category you are applying for. Hence it would be prudent to analyse the Interview Wait Time for the location where you are applying from.

Fees for Your Visa Application :

  • You are required to pay the non-refundable visa application fee of $160 if you are required to pay it before your interview.
  • On your visa approval you also need to pay a visa issuance fee if applicable according to your nationality.

Required Documentation Prior to your Visa Interview:

The following documents are required to be managed and prepared before your visa interview:

  • A valid passport for at least six months beyond your period of stay in the USA unless it is exempted by country specific agreements.
  • If more than one person is included in your passport, each person who needs a visa must submit a separate application for Visa Interview.
  • Non-immigrant Visa Application, Form DS-160 confirmation page
  • Application fee payment receipt, if you are required to pay before your interview.
  • You are required to bring a Printed Photo in the format explained in the Photograph Requirement Rule, in case if the uploading of your Photo fails while filling in the online form DS-160.

Required Additional Documentation:

As stated earlier, it would be prudent to review the instructions for how to apply for a visa on the website of the embassy or consulate where you will apply. Additional documents may be requested to establish if you are qualified. These additional documents may be required in respect of the following matters

  • The purpose of your trip
  • Your intent to depart USA after your trip
  • Your ability to pay all costs of the trip

In the context of the above requirements the following points will help you out:

  • Evidence of your employment and/or your family ties may be sufficient to show the purpose of your trip and your intent to return to your home country.
  • If you cannot cover all the costs for your trip, you may show evidence that another person will cover some or all costs for your trip.
  • Visa applicants must qualify on the basis of the applicant’s residence and ties abroad, rather than assurances from U.S. family and friends.
  • A letter of invitation or Affidavit of Support is not needed to apply for a non-immigrant tourist visa.
  • If you do choose to bring a letter of invitation or Affidavit of Support to your interview, please remember that it is not one of the factors which are not helpful in determining whether a non-immigrant tourist visa will be issued or refused.

Attend Your Visa Interview :

  • You will need to establish that you meet the requirements under U.S. law to receive the category of visa for which you are applying.
  • During your visa interview a consular officer is the authority to decide whether you are qualified for the visa, the visa category based on the purpose of your travel.
  • Ink-free, digital fingerprint scans will be taken as a part of your application process. They are usually taken during your interview, but it may differ according to the location.
  • After your visa interview, your application may require further administrative processing. You will be informed by the consular officer if further processing is necessary for your application.

When the visa is approved, you may pay a visa issuance fee if applicable to your nationality, and will be informed how your passport with visa will be returned to you. Review the visa processing time, to learn how soon your passport with visa will generally be ready for pick-up or delivery by the courier.

Additional Information

  • Visitors are not permitted to accept employment or work in the United States.
  • Do not make final travel plans or buy tickets until your visa is approved.
  • Unless cancelled or revoked, a visa is valid until its expiration date.  Therefore, a valid U.S. visa in an expired passport is still valid. If you have a valid visa in your expired passport, do not remove it from your expired passport. You may use your valid visa in your expired passport along with a new valid passport for travel and admission to the United States.