You’ve probably heard a lot of stories about how many people have been denied a US visa requirement, but it actually happens in only 4-5% of cases. Just to make it easier for you, this guide has been prepared explaining the easiest way to get a US visa. Of course, it’s about non-immigrant visa for a tourist visit to the United States. Immigrant visa is much harder to get and there are special requirements for it. In order to get a tourist visa, you must prove the purpose of your journey and the firm connection with your country so they can be sure of your return. To have a valid prove, it is enough to be a student or have a permanent job, own a real estate or have an open bank loan. However, this is not a guarantee that your application will be approved, as well as being denied if you do not meet these terms.
The important question is whether you need to buy a ticket and book the hotel before you get a visa. A non-refundable reservation makes no sense if they refuse your visa application. If you are afraid that your visa will be denied because you have nothing reserved and plan your trip, I suggest you book a hotel with a free cancellation. There are many accommodation units on Booking.com that have this option. If they refuse your visa application, you will not incur any charges, since you can cancel your reservation before the trip. The address of the hotel can be used as a registered address for you to stay in the US. Decision to buy the plane ticket is up to you, but as a rule it is not recommended before you get US visa.
Visa photo 5 x 5 cm (2 x 2 inches)
The photo is a vital part of your visa application. It has to meet all the requirements. Use a professional photo service and they will know what to do, just mention that your photos are for a US visa application. You should also require a digital version, as you will need to upload it to complete the online form.
Fill out the online Form DS-160 – HERE!
Before filling out the form, it is advisable to prepare all the information you will need. The form is in English. It will ask for information about your schooling (start, duration, school and college address), company where you work and their address, military deadline, marital status information (wedding day, divorce), residence address in USA and information about the people you travel with. Filling out the form takes about 2 hours, and the process can be paused and resumed at any time.
Before you start, select your nearest US Embassy location and enter the security code. Then upload the digital version of your photo and test it. If the photo is OK, click “start an application”. Immediately at the beginning you will see an Application ID you need to write down and save. The security question that you will answer, it will be provided to re-enter the form. There are questions about your personal information, contact, travel plan etc. Certain issues do not apply to all the citizens and in that case, you can choose “do not apply”.
Depending on your answers, it can open additional questions, so the look of the form is individual. After providing information about you, follow the safety issues that are recommended to respond with NO if you want your visa. When you fill it out, you will see a confirmation page. Review it before submit, because no subsequent changes are possible. Submit your request and wait for confirmation on your email address. You will get a barcode, barcode number and your application ID number which you’ll need to print out and take to your visa interview appointment. You do not need to print the full application.
Pay the visa application fee and schedule an appointment – HERE!
The next step is to pay a visa application fee. It is important to note that it is non-refundable and non-transferable visa application fee. On the link, select the Nonimmigrant Visa Applicant, select your country, create an account and go to the appointment term. You can pay with a transaction account in a bank or online with you credit or debit card. If you pay online, print your receipt and take it with you to the Embassy. Next thing you need to do is arrange and attend a visa interview. After your payment, you need to choose nearest Embassy and schedule an appointment. The visa application process cannot be completed until you appear for an interview with a consular officer. Next thing you need to do is collect your documents for the interview.
Collect the supporting documents
Once you have completed all online forms, you must collect the appropriate documentation related to the purpose of your travel. Check the website of the embassy or consulate where you will apply to make sure you have all the required documents needed for your interview. These documents may include:
- Passport valid for at least six months beyond your period of stay in the US
- Photograph in the format explained in the photograph requirements
- DS-160 application confirmation page with barcode and application ID number
- Fee payment confirmation receipt
- Printed copy of visa interview appointment letter
When attending an in-person consular interview, additional documents may be requested to establish if you are qualified for the visa. For example, additional requested documents for an in-person interview may include evidence of:
- The purpose of your trip
- Your intent to depart the United States after your trip; and/or
- Your ability to pay all the costs of your trip.
- Evidence of your employment and/or 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 of the costs for your trip.
If you want to be sure, you can also provide a hotel reservation information.
Attend the Consular Section appointment
It’s important to be on time for your visa interview. Late applicants may be asked to reschedule for another day. In most cases only applicants with a scheduled appointment will be admitted inside the US embassy or consulate. The purpose of the visa interview is for the consular officer to determine whether you are qualified to receive a US visa or not. Be prepared to answer questions regarding ties to your home country, your English language skills, your academic background, the purpose of your trip, and proof of your financial resources/employment status.
After your interview the consular officer will immediately tell you if your application requires further administrative processing – this can mean additional time for you to wait to receive your visa. Wait times will vary depending on country. You will also be informed how and when your passport with the visa will be returned to you (usually pick-up or delivery by courier). In some countries the courier company will send you an email with a tracking number which you can use to track the delivery of your passport.
After your interview, please follow specific instructions provided by the consular section or check this website for visa status and delivery information. If an applicant has been denied a visa, the consular officer will give the applicant a letter explaining why the visa was refused. If the refusal letter is marked 214(b), it will generally explain that the applicant does not qualify for a visa at this time under U.S. immigration laws. If the applicant chooses to reapply, the applicant needs to submit a new application, pay a new visa fee, schedule a new interview, and provide information on how the circumstances have changed since the initial visa application. For further information about visa denials, you can read more HERE.