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The United States of America (USA) is the supreme power of the world. It holds a dominant position in economic, technology, military, and cultural strengths well as soft and diplomatic influence. Many people of the world want to visit or need to visit the USA for either their traveling purpose or for their business propose.

Before visiting a country, you must obtain a visa. You can get a nonimmigrant visa for a temporary stay or an immigrant visa for a permanent residency purpose. Visitor visas are generally nonimmigrant visas. It is for the people who wish to travel the United States of America (the USA) for business purpose (B-1 category of Visa), for tourism purpose (Category B-2).

To Obtain B-1 Category Visa, following criteria is must be fulfilled by the candidate:

  • Consult with any business associates
  • Need to attend an educational, scientific, professional or business meeting / conference or convention.
  • To settle an estate agreement
  • Negotiate any contract

For B-2 Category Visa, you must meet the following criteria:

  • Wish to visit the USA for tourism purpose.
  • Enjoy Vacation (your Holidays).
  • Visit Friends or Relatives
  • Any Medical treatment
  • Participant in social events hosted by services organization or fraternal.
  • For participation in musical, signing, sports, or similar kind of events or contests but only if you are not being paid for participating.
  • Enrollment in a very short recreational course of study but not for a credit such as a degree. (Example of short recreational- 2-day musical class while on vacation).


How to Apply for Visitor’s Visa?

A plenty of options or steps are available to apply for a visa. Though the order of these steps may vary at the U.S. Embassy or Consulate where you wish to apply. Please view the instructions available online on the official website of the U.S. Embassy or Consulate.

You can apply for the visa using online method. An applicant must fill Form DS-160 to get visitor’s visa.

Apply Online for Non-immigrant Visa:

  • Go to the official web page of the U.S. Embassy.
  • Select your city and country and fill the security code asked for.
  • Click on the application you want to apply for.
  • Answer the security question and then continue.
  • Now you need to fill your personal details such as name, surname, DOB, Marital Status, address, phone number, passport details, travel, work/education/ training, etc.
  • Upload your photo as per their prescribed format.
  • Complete your visa application.
  • Take a print of the application form and carry it at your interview.


Schedule an Interview for Visa:

Most of the people generally don’t need to schedule an interview for a visa. But some need it as per their age or requirement:

People who come in the following age group do not need to go for an interview:

  • 13 and younger
  • 80 and older


Only 14 to 79 years old people need to schedule an interview but with some exceptions like for renewal of the visa.

You must schedule your appointment for a visa interview. You can do it from the U.S. Embassy or Consulate located in your region or country.


What’s the Visa Fee?

You need to pay $160 for a visa fee. The fee is non-refundable. Once your visa is approved you may also need to pay a visa issuance fee, if it is applicable in your country.


Do I NEED TO PAY Issuance Fee?

In India, you need not pay any Issuance Fee. But if you are from any other country you will have to enter your country and check if issuance fee is applicable in your nation.

Now Collect Your Required Documentation:

Before you go for your visa interview, make sure you have gathered all your important and required documents. Given are the documents that you need at the time of your visa interview:

  • Passport allowing you to travel the USA. – You must possess the passport that is valid for at least 6 months beyond your stay in the United States of America.
  • Hard Copy of Form DS-160 confirmation page for Nonimmigrant Visa Application.
  • Application fee payment receipt.
  • If you failed to upload your photo in your online application then you must carry a photo in the required format.
  • Some additional documentation may be required such as the purpose of your trip, and ability to pay all costs during your travel, etc.


Attend the Final Stage- Your Visa Interview:

A consular officer will determine your qualifications and will declare if you are eligible to go to the USA or not. He will decide which category of visa suits you the most based on your purpose to travel.

An applicant will need to give his/her Ink-free (digital) fingerprint scan.

And once the consular states that you are eligible to get a visa. You will receive it within a certain time-frame.


Now you’re ready to visit the home of Hollywood – THE USA

Your visa permits you to travel to the United States but it doesn’t guarantee your entry. The DHS (Department of Homeland Security), CBP official have to the authority to allow or deny your entrance to the country. If you are permitted to visit the United States of America, the CBP (U.S. Customs and Border Protection) official will give you an admission stamp or may be a Form I-94, Arrival/Departure Record.


Wants to Extend Your Stay??

You can extend your stay in the USA but only if you have any valid legitimate reason. You must fulfill some of the eligibility criteria as per their rules to get extensions. Learn more from the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) website about it.

Here are some documents that you need to extend your stay in the USA:

  • Complete I-539 Form (PDF) Online or Offline.
  • An application stating a valid reason for the request.
  • Proof of financial support during your extended time.
  • Return Ticket’s copy (as a proof of your temporary stay).
  • Pay $290 as an extension fee on Visitor Visa (B1 or B2).
  • Copy of I-94 of every person (Not the original one).

When to Apply for Visa Extension?

As per USCIS recommendation you should apply for the visa extension at least 45 days prior to your authorized stay.



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