The United States of America has always been a dream destination for many around the world who are attracted to the abundance of possibilities the country offers and the sheer vastness of the USA – which allows you to select your ideal climate and living conditions. Whether you prefer the seasons of Seattle or the sunshine of California, there is a state that is sure to suit your taste – after all, you have 50 to choose from! And to fulfill this dream, your first step should be to acquire your US Visa. To help you on your way, here is all the information you need to know before applying for a US Visa.
What is a US Visa (B1/B2)?
The B1 and B2 visas are temporary, nonimmigrant US visas for visitors who travel to America for a short- term period. Specifically, the B1 visa is for business visits while the B2 visa is for pleasure, tourism, and medical visits. Irrespective of the purpose, the US visa will be issued as a B1/B2. This just means that it is both for business and leisure. People who come to the US for a different purpose i.e. to study, temporary workers, crewman, journalists, etc. must obtain a visa appropriate to their visit
US Visa Eligibility
There are specific requirements that must be met by applicants to qualify for a US visa under provisions of the Immigration and Nationality Act. The consular officer at the embassy or consulate will determine whether you qualify for the visa. The presumption in the law is that every US visa applicant is an intending immigrant. Therefore, applicants must overcome this presumption by demonstrating that:
- The purpose of their trip is to enter the US for business, pleasure, or medical treatment;
- That they plan to remain for a specific, limited period;
- Applicants must demonstrate that they possess sufficient funds to support themselves and their family for the entire period of their visit;
- Applicants should have no criminal record and intend to strictly comply with the laws of the country;
- Applicants who might stay either with their relatives or friends should also provide invitation letter & other related documents.
Also Read: Tips to apply for US Visa
Validity of US Visa
The US visa is usually issued anywhere between 1 to 10 years with multiple entries. Once a visa stamp is obtained at the US embassy or consulate, you would need to present yourself to a US immigration inspector at the US port of entry who will determine the length of your stay in US which is normally up to 6 months. The length of stay is indicated on Form I-94 arrival/departure record, which is a white card that will be placed into the passport. Individuals are advised to carefully note the expiration date on this card.
What is the US Visa processing time?
US visa applications are processed as quickly and efficiently as possible. The embassies and consulates try to keep the wait times for US visa appointments as short as possible. The sooner applicants can book their appointments, the better.
The average processing time for a US Visa is three working days. This time may vary due to circumstances and any individual requirements. Applicants for nonimmigrant visas are encouraged to apply at least three months in advance of their date of travel to give yourself enough time to secure an interview, prepare the documents and attend the interview. Applicants below the age of 14 or older than 79 typically are not required to go to the consulate for an interview, unless specifically requested to do so.
Emergency US Visa Appointments
Emergency appointments can be scheduled for very few reasons. Emergency appointments are granted only for medical or humanitarian emergencies.
Steps to take – How to apply for a US Visa
- Determine the type of US Visa you need to apply
- Fill out & create the DS-160 form
- Pay the US visa application visa fee
- Schedule your appointment
- Gather the documents required for the interview
- Visit the OFC for biometrics & digital photo
- Attend your Personal Interview
- Receive your US visa
Documents necessary for a US Visa interview
- Printed copy of your appointment letter
- Printed DS-160 confirmation page
- Application fee receipt
- One recent photograph
- Your current passport and all old passports
Here are the supporting documents you must carry to complement your application. The Consulate officer may not ask for your documents, nevertheless, make sure you have everything ready. These documents will serve as evidence of ties and financial capability to support your trip to the United States. Note that everything should be original.
- Current proof of income (bank statements, Fixed deposits, stock & investment certificates, etc.), Income Tax Return (ITR), property or business ownership, and any additional assets owned by you.
- A letter from your employer detailing your position, salary and pay slips from the most recent three months, how long you have been employed, any authorized vacation, and the business purpose, if any, for your US trip.
- If you’ll be visiting a relative, photocopies of your relative’s proof of status (e.g. Green Card, passport, naturalization certificate, valid visa, address proof of relative etc.).
- Your travel itinerary and/or other explanation about your planned trip.
- If you were previously in the United States, any documents showing your immigration or visa status, and passport to show entry/departure stamps.
How do I increase my chances of obtaining a US Visa?
State your circumstances and highlight the most important facts that support your case. Important factors include:
- Family ties in India
- Your reason to travel
- The financial ability to fund your stay
- Having a paid job in India (it shows that you have strong ties to come back to India)
Planning a trip to US soon?
You now know how to get a visa– but how can you make sure you won’t face any problems along the way? it’s important to smartly navigate the visa process to enter the United States of America; as immigration laws are highly regulated. Filing documentation, completing the appropriate visa forms, and paying the correct fees will be required. Many are unaware of the great difficulty required to get a US B1/B2 visa and so they themselves apply online themselves, go down to the Embassy on the day they are scheduled and are horrified when they get denied.
Here at Akbar Travels, we will walk you through each step and ensure correct procedure is being followed. We are experts in handling USA visas since 1978 – ensuring the best services with fruitful results at all times.
Get help to plan your dream USA trip today!
Read more about US Visas:
- US Visa for Indians: Visa Types, Application Process & Fees
- Types of US Visas – Immigrant and Nonimmigrant Visas
- Step by Step guide to US Visa application
- How to apply for a US Visa
- Procedure to renew a US Visa
- List of countries you can visit on a valid US Visa
- Everything you need to know about US Visa
- Tips to pass the US Visa interview
- The US visa application process
- Reasons for US Visa rejection
- Know what to expect at the US Visa interview
- US transit visa application and requirements
- How to apply for US Student Visa
- US Visa interview questions and answers