The United States of America is one of the most visited countries in the world by tourists. However, the US government is very careful about granting tourist visas. The majority of people in the world need to apply for a tourist visa to be granted access to the United States.
Thirty-eight countries participate in the visa waiver program. They can enter the US without a visa. However, they still need to go through a certain procedure to be approved for entrance. Citizens of other countries have to apply for a B-2 visa.
We consulted a New York immigration lawyer to get an idea of a procedure required to get a tourist visa to the USA.
The procedures may vary from one country to another. Below is the list of common steps to take in order to apply for a visa.
1. Get A Valid Passport
Your passport must stay valid for the duration of your planned visit to the United States. Make sure the passport is in a good condition and doesn’t need to be replaced.
2. Complete an Application
The first step to getting a visa is filling out a tourist visa form. You can fill the form out online. Once you are done with the form, you need to print the confirmation out. The barcode on the confirmation is vital for the next application steps. You will need it to schedule an interview.
3. Upload A Photo
In order to complete the application form, you need to upload a digital photograph. You must make sure the picture meets the necessary requirements, otherwise, it will be rejected by the system and your app process won’t be completed:
- Min dimensions 600 px x 600 px
- Max dimensions 1,200 px x 1,200 px
- The image must be in color (24 bits per px)
- It should have .jpg or .jpeg extension
- The file size shouldn’t exceed 240 kb
4. Pay The Fee
You need to pay the fixed amount for getting a B-2 tourist visa. Usually, you can pay the amount electronically. If you don’t have an opportunity to make an electronic transfer, you can pay the fee at a designated bank branch. There are such branches in every country. The payment is valid for a year. The fee is non-refundable
5. Make An Appointment
After the app is ready and the fee is paid, you have to schedule an interview. You will need to make two appointments. The first one is to provide biometrics. The second one is to have an interview at the consulate or embassy.
The interview is done in person. You have to be ready to travel to another city for the interview since embassies and consulates are usually situated in capitals or large cities.
6. Complete Fingerprinting
The fingerprinting appointment is usually scheduled a couple of days before the interview. This procedure takes only a few minutes. You get your fingerprints taken and create another digital photograph.
7. Attend an Interview
An interview is often the toughest and the most important part of the visa application process. The chance of getting a visa depends on how well you answer questions and what the interviewer thinks of you. Make sure to bring all the necessary documents with you.
8. Get The Visa
If the interview goes well, you’ll know about it immediately. All you have to do is wait for your passport to be stamped and get ready to travel to the U.S. In case your application is rejected, none of the expenses will be refunded.