What is Needed for a USA Tourist Visa?


People from all over the world visit the United States. Its large size and diverse geography and population make it an attractive target for many foreign tourists. However, not just anyone can travel to the U.S. The State Department requires visas for foreign travelers. This process can be tricky, but knowing the requirements helps greatly in the process.

Interview and Application

The first thing a foreign traveler needs to do is to make an appointment for an interview at the U.S. Embassy or Consulate office in his country. This interview is required if the traveler is age 14 to 79. The traveler also needs to fill out form DS-156, Nonimmigrant Visa Application form.

Supplimental Application

If the traveler is male between the ages of 16 and 45, or is from a state sponsor of terror (Iran, Syria, Cuba or Sudan) and is 16 or older, irregardless of gender, he also needs to fill out and submit form DS-157, Supplemental Nonimmigrant Visa Application. This gives the U.S. more information about travel plans.


The traveler must have a valid passport from her country of origin. This passport must have a validity of six months after the scheduled departure date from the U.S.


All applications must have a 2-inch by 2-inch photograph. It must be a full-faced photo, taken in the previous six months. The head must be centered in the frame and should measure 1 inch to 1 3/8 inches. The face should cover at least 50 percent of the photo. Only color photos taken against a white background are accepted


There may be several fees associated with an application. There is always an application fee, and the principal applicant also must pay a fraud and detection fee. Depending on whether the country of origin makes U.S. citizens pay for a visa, there may be a visa reciprocity fee in the same amount.

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