It is common knowledge that in today’s globalized world, people need to travel to other countries quite frequently.A valid Visa is a must to enter any country in the world. You need to establish certain parameters of your visit or stay. While many countries offer a Visa easily, the ‘American dream’ is not among-est the easy ones. The system is built with many seemingly complicated barriers, leading people to believe the notion that the US visa is difficult to get, especially for Indians. If you have landed onto this article, feel free to close all other tabs because this sole article with answer all your queries and worries. To understand the parameters, we have answers to the most frequently asked questions.
Initially, we need to understand that there are different types of Visa’s that the US provides, depending on the motive of a person to be visiting the country. One needs the non-immigrant Visa, with the intent to level ??the States after a temporary stay to be eligible to enter. The following are the types and purposes for which each are issued-
- A– Foreign government officials and diplomats
- A1, G-1, NATO1-6- Visa renewals
- A-2, NATO1-6- Military personnel of a foreign country stationed in the U.S
- B-1- Amateur and professional athletes who are competing for prize money, business visitors and nannies or domestic employees.
- B-2- Visitors for medical treatment, Tourists, vacationers and pleasure visitors
- BCC- Mexican Border Crossing Card
- C- Transit in the U.S
- D- Crew members serving on aircraft’s and crew members serving on sea vessels.
- E-1-Treaty Traders
- E-2- Treaty Investors
- E-3- Australian professionals and specialty workers
- F-1- Language and academics students
- F-2- Dependents of F-1 Visa holders
- G1-G5, NATO- Designated international organization’s employees and NATO
- H-1B1- Chilean FTA (Free Trade Agreement) professionals and Singaporean FTA professionals.
- H1-B- Physicians and highly specialized occupations requiring specific industry knowledge
- H2-A- Temporary workers for agricultural professions.
- H2-B- Temporary workers for non-agricultural professions.
- H3- Primarily non-employment training programs
- H1-C- Nurses travelling to areas that has shortage of healthcare professionals
- I- Information media representatives and journalists
- J- Exchange visitors and International cultural exchange visitors
- J-1- Au-pairs exchange visitors, Professors, scholars and teachers as exchange visitors
- J-2- Children under the ages of 21/spouse of J-1 holder
- K-1- Finance
- L- Intra company transference
- M-1- Vocational students
- M-2- Dependent on M-1 holders
- 0-1- Foreign nationals possessing excellent knowledge and abilities in the fields of art, science, education, athletics or business
- P- Entertainers, artists and athletes
- Q- International cultural exchange visitors
- R- Religious works
- TN/TD- Mexican and Canadian NAFTA professional workers
- T-1- Human trafficking victims
- U-1– Victims of crimes, criminal activities.
Out of these, the most sort after Visa by Indians are as follows-
Tourists and Business Visa that includes the B-1 and B-2
Work Visa that includes H1-B, H2-A, H2-B, H-3, H-4, L-2, Type O, Type P, Type Q
Student Visa that includes F-1, M-1
Exchange Visitor Visa
Ship crew over transit Visa that includes Transit C and Crew D Visas
Religious worker Visa
Domestic employee Visa
Media and journalist Visa
Further, to understand the process, here we answer the frequently asked questions for TOURIST and BUSINESS VISA APPLICATION (B1/B2)
- The Application process for Indians
- Determination- Indians do not qualify under the visa waiver program and hence you need to determine that you need a visa.
- Application Form- You needs to fill DS-160 form. Be very attentive and read all the answers carefully while filling up this form. Filling up this form properly constitutes almost 60-65% of the entire job to be done. Never ever try to fake any answer in this form. Often the interview questions are also based upon the information that you provide in this form.
- Create a Profile- You need to create a profile and complete steps 1 to 10 to be able to schedule an appointment
- Visa Fees- Payment is to be made as per the Visa policy (depending upon the type of Visa applied for).
- Schedule appointments- usually, applicants schedule two appointments, one for the Visa Application Center and other for the Consular interview.
- VAC visit- To get your bio metric information. You need to carry along the passport, DS-160 confirmation page, Appointment confirmation page.
- Interview- The US Embassy with schedule your interview. (we will elaborate on the interview later in the article)
- Visa Insurance
It is important to note that the US Visa’s are generally the most sought after, and hence should be applied for well before the intended travel date. The wait period is long and the interviews are tough to schedule. If granted, the Visa takes around 7-10 business days for processing, and hence takes 1-2 weeks for the applicants to receive it.
Further, the elaborate on the appointment process, here are a few pointers to remember-
There are 2 ways to make an appointment;
- Telephonic Appointment– you can easily make a call at the call center at
Phone: +91-120-484-4644 or +91-40-4625-8222
For those calling from the U.S.: +1-703-502-2239
During Indian Hours: 8:00am to 8:00pm Monday through Friday and 9:00am to 6:00pm on Sunday.
- Online Procedure– If travelling in a group, book your visa interview during the same day, and attend your visa interview together. It is better to apply for more Visa through the “Add Dependent” option available.
The following is a list of documents you need to carry during your interview-
- Passport (valid for at least 6 months from the date of intended travel)
- 2 photographs
- Details of previous international travels
- B1/B2 Via application and DS-160 Form
- DS-160 application confirmation page
- Visa fees payment receipt
- Proof of purpose of visit
- Proof of employment/study
- Proof of financial means
Kindly expect numerous questions to be thrown at you during the interview process. You need to be confident and answer the questions truthfully. Once the interviewing officer is done asking questions, he/she may grant or deny your Visa application depending on your responses. We have readied a list of questions for you to prepared beforehand-
- What is the purpose of your USA visit?
- Have you traveled to the United States before?
- Do you have relatives in the United States?
- Who will be sponsoring your visit?
- Where will you be residing in the United States?
- What does (the individual sponsoring your visit) do for a living, and how much do they earn?
- Is (the individual sponsoring your visit) married?
- Does (the individual sponsoring your visit) have any children?
- Will your spouse be accompanying you on your visit to the United States?
- Why are you travelling alone? (This question is mainly asked when an individual is applying to the United States.)
- When do you plan to visit the United States?
- What is the reason for travelling at that particular time?
- What do you plan to do in the United States?
- What are the places you wish to visit in the United States?
- Have you booked your tickets?
- Have you booked your return tickets and availed medical insurance?
- What are the expenses you will be expecting to incur on this visit?
- Have you traveled abroad before this trip?
- How long will you be residing in the United States?
- Why do you wish to stay for so long? Can’t you plan a shorter trip? (This question is usually asked when applicants have planned a trip for six months or more.)
- What guarantee do we have that you will return to India?
- Lastly, the Us visa will cost you around $160 to $265, depending upon the type of Visa applied for.
Tricks to ease the process;
- Go through the application process beforehand and make appointments months before the dates of travel.
- Make group appointments on the same day and if possible, apply for Visas under “Add Dependent”
- Arrange for the documents carefully, missing out none.
- Answer all questions confidently, and expect repeated questions.
- Applicants are advised to apply from the country of their citizenship, avoiding the hurdled of the third country national.
- Make sure that your passport has an expired date over and beyond 6 months from the date of your travel.
- If damaged, you need to apply for the US Visa again!
- The US visa cannot be extended, regardless of its type.
- Be aware of the Section 241(b) that says “Every alien shall be presumed to be an immigrant until he establishes to the satisfaction of the consular officer, at the time of application for admission, that he is entitled to a non-immigrant status.”, failure to which will result in a denial of a Visa under the Section. However, the denial under the 214(b) is not permanent.
- Usually, applicants who are unable to prove their intent of returning to their home country or leaving the US after a temporary stay are subject to denial.
- The applicant needs to prove “strong ties” to their native land, proving against their intent of remaining in the country.
- The consular officer has the final say in the sanction of your Visa.
The visa gives you permission to travel to the country, however, it does not assure your entrance or determine the length of time you will be allowed to stay. An immigration officer during the time of entry makes the final call.
The immigration officer at the time of entry will determine the above mentioned, on the basis of your visa, and I-94 arrival and departure card. If you are approved, you are allowed to go ahead to collect your luggage and proceed with the travel.
For more help, you can refer to the official website of the US Embassy at https://in.usembassy.gov/visas/nonimmigrant-visas/