US Visa Guide For Indian Citizens

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America is one of the top most visited destinations in the entire world. And while a lot of us dream of visiting the US or planning a vacation to states, it is very important to know about the procedure for US Visa.

There are numerous types of visas that one can obtain for the US visit. If you wish to go on a business trip there is a separate kind of visa, whereas if you just want to visit for the purpose of tourism, then there is a different kind of visa.

Thus, it is very important for one to know about the visa type and requirements before applying for it. Let us take a look at 2 of the most important visa types for the US.

1) Business Visa (B1) – The B1 Visa is generally offered to individuals who are travelling for the purpose of business meetings, conferences, attending of scientific, professional or educational conventions, etc. This visa is generally offered for a brief period of time in order to fulfill the requirement of work.

2) Tourist Visa (B2) – This is the most popular Visa that is given to the majority of people for the purpose of tourism in the US. The B2 Visa is offered to people who are travelling for the purpose of recreation in nature, tourism activities, visiting friends or relatives, medical treatments or activities, etc. This visa is generally offered for a longer period of time ranging from 1 year to 10 years, however, the period of stay during one trip is maximum six months where multiple entries to the US are allowed. 

Once you have a fair idea of which type you need to go for, the second most important step is collecting the supporting documents that are required.

1) Passport – You must have a valid passport with at least 2 blank pages for the stamping purposes. Also, the passport must be valid for at least 6 months beyond your period of stay in the United States.

2) One does not need photos for the USA visa, it is taken at the consulate visa center itself. 

3) Complete visitor visa application form DS-160 online.

4) Application Fee Payment – This is required in case you have to pay the fees before an interview.

5) Take appointment for the visa interview.

Some additional documents may be required for you to show while the interview, which includes;

1) The purpose of your trip.

2) Documents supporting your ability to pay all the costs on the trip. If not, then you may show the evidence that another person will cover some or the whole cost for you on the trip.

3) Your tour details including the hotel bookings and flight bookings.

Thus, it is very important to know well about all the supporting documents before applying for US Visa.

Read more: List of documents for US tourist visa

Once you have collected all the documents that are needed for US Visa, you have to apply for it through the online portal. You need to fill an online Non-Immigrant Visa Application form which is also known as Form DS-160. Once you have filled the form correctly, you need to attach your photo online.

This is the mandatory step for US visa application. After filling up the form and submitting it, you need to fix your visa interview appointment at US Embassy or Consulate. Also, while fixing the appointment, it is mandatory to pay the application fee of $160. This fee is always a non-refundable fee. Fixing your appointment is the final step in the procedure for applying online.

The applicant has to stay for 2 days at the interview location which either Mumbai, Delhi, Kolkata, Chennai or Hyderabad. First day is the bio-metrics i.e. finger printing and photograph and next day is the personal interview with consulate. 

The visa decision is informed to the applicant on the spot after the interview, if approved the passport is retained at the consulate and sent to the requested VFS center in a weeks time. If not approved the passport is returned to the applicant immediately after the interview.

The applicant majorly needs to concentrate and prepare for the interview as the visa decision depends on the interview, the Consulate might or might not see even one document.

The applicant needs to be confident and answer all the questions truthfully during the interview, as the US consulate approves visa to applicants who are able to prove the below points to the Consulate - 
  1. The purpose of travel is genuine
  2. The applicant is financially strong enough
  3. The applicant will surely return to home country after the specified trip duration
If you are able to positively prove the above to the Consulate your visa should be approved.

The US visa mostly is granted for 1 years multiple entry to Indians with multiple entries. One can stay maximum for 6 months in each entry to the US. (This stay period is generally maximum 6 months but the exact would be decided by the immigration officer)

Thus, it is very important to know well about the visa process and visa services regarding US visa before applying. Also, if you are finding it difficult doing it yourself, you can always opt for visa consultants who help you to get through the process quite easily.