The U.S. travel visa, sometimes referred to as tourist visa, is intended for those traveling to the United States for short periods of time for the purpose of leisure, sightseeing, visiting friends or family or for purposes of medical treatment. The visa application is a standard online application form for all peoples of the world and does not vary by location. However, additional required documents vary by location, therefore it is crucial for you to consult the U.S. Consulate General in your region to verify if there are any country-specific requirements.
Things You'll Need
- Visa photo
- Valid passport
- Application fee(s)
- Evidential documents
Schedule a visa application appointment with your nearest U.S. Consulate General. All visitor visas require an interview, the only exceptions being those younger than 14 or older than 79, who do not require an interview. Visa application appointments can be made online through the website of your specific consulate. (See Resources.)
Complete and print the DS-160 form. All tourist visa applicants regardless of their country of origin must now (as of April 5, 2010) complete the online Nonimmigrant Visa Electronic Application known as DS-160. The application is a step-by-step procedure that requires you to submit personal information as well as specific information regarding your upcoming travels. The form must be completed in English with no exceptions. You also must upload a digital passport-style photograph to your application (see Resources). When completed, print application form, as you will be required to present it at your interview.
Compile all the necessary documents to take with you to your interview. Along with the printed DS-160, you will need to present your passport, valid for at least six remaining months; a 2-inch-by-2-inch visa photo set against a white background with nothing obstructing the face; evidence of intent which includes the purpose of your trip; detailed itineraries of your stay; connection to a family member or friend or evidence of other purpose for travel; proof of intention to return to your home country, including property ties, employment, family ties or other assets; proof of financial support while in the United States (bank statements or employee pay records) or proof that you will be sponsored while in the United States. In general, you must convince the consular officer that you are indeed returning to your country, so the more evidence you have to prove that the better.
Pay the visa application fee. You will need to go to a qualified bank to pay the visa application fee and receive a receipt prior to attending your appointment. Check the website of the consulate you are applying through for payment detail information. The basic non-immigrant visa fee for a travel visa is $140, but certain countries are required to pay an additional reciprocity fee on top of the initial fee. Check your specific consulate or visit the website of the U.S. Department of State to verify if your country is required to pay a reciprocity fee. (See Resources.)
Attend the interview. The interview will be conducted in English (if possible) and will will include questions about your intentions for travel as well as any other information the consular officer deems pertinent. If your visa is approved, it will be mailed to you along with your passport.