Tourist visa to USA is also known as USA Visitor Visa or B2 Visa. It is a non-immigrant visa that is issued to people who want to travel to US temporarily for the purpose of tourism, pleasure, visiting friends or relatives, participating in social events hosted by service, fraternal, or social organizations or for medical treatment.
B2 Visas are usually granted for a period extending from 1 to 10 years. During this period the visa holder is allowed to make multiple visits to the US for the purpose of carrying out the above mentioned activities. Each of these visits must be for duration not exceeding six months. In some cases this duration of stay may be extended by an additional 6 months.
Eligibility Criteria for Obtaining a USA Tourist Visa
To be eligible for USA Tourist Visa you need to prove to the immigration authorities the following things:
- You intend to enter the United States for a temporary visit for the purpose of tourism or medical treatment
- You plan to remain in the States for a specific and limited period of time
- You have the monetary means required to pay for your expenses while in the States
- You have a residence outside the USA and other binding ties that will ensure your return home after your visit to the States
Steps to follow to apply for US Tourist Visa
Before you apply for USA tourist visa, go through the document for Common Non-immigrant Visas to be sure that you are eligible for the same. Once you are sure that you are eligible for application, you can go ahead with the following procedure:
Step 1: Complete the tourist visa application form
Complete the Non-immigrant Visa Electronic Application form (DS-160 form). Fill the application form after reading the specified guidelines and in a correct manner. Remember, you will not be able to make any changes in the application form once you submit it for further processing.
In case you have been denied visa previously, you will need to submit a new Non-immigrant Visa Electronic Application form.
Step 2: Pay the tourist visa application fee
Make payment for the tourist visa application fee. You will be required to pay the correlating visa fee in US dollars and native currency. Check the bank and payment options before you make the payment. You will have to create an online visa application profile in order to pay the visa application fee.
Remember to preserve your receipt number for payment in order to book your visa appointments.
Step 3: Schedule appointments for tourist visa interview
To complete the tourist visa application process you will have to login to your online visa application profile and schedule two appointments. One of the appointments is for the Visa Application Center (VAC), where you will be required to provide Biometrics information about yourself. The second appointment is for a personal visa interview at the Embassy or Consulate.
You will require the following information in order to schedule your visa appointments:
- Your passport number
- The date on which you paid your visa application fee
- The ten digit barcode number from your DS-160 form confirmation page
Remember to schedule your appointment at the VAC at least one day prior to your visa interview appointment at the Embassy or Consulate.
Step 4: Carry the relevant documents for your scheduled VAC appointment
Make sure that you appear for your appointment at the Visa Application Centre along with the required documents needed as per U.S. visa specifications.
At the VAC you will have your photograph and fingerprints taken. For your VAC appointment you will be required to carry the following documents:
- A valid passport for travelling to the United States that has validity dates at least six months beyond your intended period of stay in the United States (unless there are exemptions provided by country-specific agreements).
- In case there is more than one person included in your passport, each person desiring a visa must submit an application for the same.
- Your DS-160 form confirmation page.
- Your appointment confirmation page.
- One photograph as per U.S. visa specifications if the applicant is under 14 years of age.
Step 5: Appear for your visa interview along with the required documents
Visit the U.S. Embassy or Consulate on the date and time of your scheduled visa interview. You will be required to bring along the following documents:
- A printed copy of your appointment letter
- Your DS-160 form confirmation page
- Your current passport as well as all old passports
- Supporting documents related to your visa type
Remember that applications without all these relevant documents will not be accepted. Also note that children under 14 years of age are not required to attend the appointment at the Visa Application Centre or visa interview at the Embassy or Consulate. The above documents can be carried by the guardians or parents of the children.
Required Fees for USA Tourist Visa
Visa Fees for USA Visitor Visa or B2 Visa – 160 USD (INR 9,781.75)
- Your application fee will not be refunded if your visa application is refused.
- The rate in INR is based on current conversion rates which may change.
Renewal of USA Tourist Visa
The process for renewal of US tourist visa is generally the same as applying for a new visa. You will be required to go through the complete visa application process each time you want to apply for a visa, regardless of your visa being still valid or it has just expired. It is better to check out with your local embassy for exact requirements for renewal. There are some situations where a visa applicant is not required to be interviewed when renewing a tourist visa.
USA Tourist Visa Waiver Program
As per the USA Visa Waiver Program, nationals of participating countries are allowed to enter the United States for a period of up to 90 days without a visa. However, they are required to possess a machine-readable passport and a non-refundable return ticket or a ticket to a subsequent destination, with the exception of Canada.
The countries participating in the USA Visa Waiver Program are as follows:
|NAME OF THE COUNTRIES|
|Portugal||Republic of Korea||San Marino|
|Singapore||The United Kingdom||Slovenia|
Dos and Don’ts for USA Tourist Visa Application
Remember the following dos and don’ts while applying for US tourist visa.
- Fill up your visa application form carefully and accurately
- Bring along all forms and supporting documents to your visa interview
- Always bring your original documents to your visa interview
- Carry a photograph of yourself that is not more than six months old
- Show on time for the interview and remain calm during the interview process
- Do not present false documents
- Do not hide or misrepresent facts in your application or during your interview
- Do not fax, email or mail any supporting documents to the Embassy or Consulate
- Do not lie to or argue with the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) officer
- Do not argue with your family members during the interview process
- Do not lose your patience or refuse to answer questions