Most foreign nationals who wish to enter the United States must first go through the US visa application process. The US government issues visas to people traveling to the US through its consulates.
If you’re planning a trip to the United States, this article will guide you on a successful US Visa Application process.
What Documents Do I Need For A US Visa Application
Before applying for a US Visa, you should have the following documents and information available. These documents are required irrespective of the Visa type you’re applying for.
- Your Valid Passport
- Travel itinerary, if you have already made arrangements to travel
- Passport photographs
- Dates of your most recent trips to the United States, if you have previously travelled to the United States.
- Résumé or Curriculum Vitae.
- National Identity number
- Other Information – Some applicants, depending on the intended purpose of travel, will be asked to provide additional information when completing the DS-160 online form.
US Visa Application Steps
If you have the above-listed documents, you should proceed to apply for a US visa. The US Visa application is done online on the Consular Electronic Application Center following these easy steps:
1. Check if you need a Visa
Citizens of Bermuda, Canada, and the US Waiver Countries may not need a visa to enter the US. You should check out our previous post to know if your country is included in the US Waiver program before applying for a US Visa.
2. Select the Visa Type to Apply for
If your country isn’t exempted from the US Visa Application, the next step is choosing the type of US visa that you want to get. There are various US visa types. Therefore, it is important you carefully choose the Visa type that is suitable for the reason you want to travel to the US.
3. Complete the DS-160 Application form
If you’re applying for a US nonimmigrant visa, you will need to fill an online form known as the DS-160 Form. You can also find this form on the Consular Electronic Application Center
The DS-160 Application form consists of two sections:
Here, you’ll be required to provide personal information such as your name, date of birth, email address, marital status, nationality, your passport or national identification numbers, and your U.S. social security number or taxpayer ID number, if you have any.
The second section consists of security questions. Here, questions are structured to discover if you’re an ex-convict or a law offender in your country.
Note: Don’t be in a hurry to fill the Ds-160 form. Carefully fill in the form with accurate information. You can save your progress from time to time and return to it later—as long as you complete the process within 30 days.
4. Pay your US Visa Application fee
After completing the form, you will be required to pay a nonrefundable US Visa Application fee. Keep in mind that even if your US Visa Application is Unsuccessful, you won’t be refunded this fee.
The application fee for most Visa types is $160. This includes business, tourists, student, and exchange visas. Temporal work and religious visas cost $190. K visas cost $265 while E visas cost $205.
If you want to continue your US Visa Application process, you have to pay all the necessary fees and keep the receipts for proof.
5. Schedule a US Visa Interview
After you have electronically submitted your DS-160 online application, you should contact the embassy or consulate for which you’re applying to confirm whether you need to be interviewed by a consular officer.
If you’re eligible for an Interview, you can move on to the next step which is scheduling your interview. After scheduling an interview, you’ll get an interview confirmation letter. Ensure you take the confirmation letter along with you on the day of the Interview.
6. Go for your US Visa Interview
The last step in the US Visa application process is the US visa interview. Ensure you’re appropriately dressed and punctual for the interview. Don’t forget to go with all the relevant documents we listed earlier. You should expect questions like:
- What is the purpose of your visit to the US?
- Where do you intend to reduce in the US?
- Do you have relatives in the US?
- How long do you intend to stay in the US?
- What do you do for a living?
How Long Will It Take To Process My US Visa Application
After your US Visa Interview, it will take 10-15 working days for your application to be processed. The processing time depends on the Visa type you applied for. Some Visa types take months to process. If after processing your application, the consular officer finds you eligible to receive a US Visa, you’ll be issued one.
You can check the status of your Visa application to know if your application was successful or unsuccessful.
However, with the help of a trusted third-party Immigration expert like Immigly.com, you have greater chances of a successful US Visa application.
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