Applying for a US Visa

by Julie on April 11, 2017

A visa is a special permit you need in order to enter the US and to travel within the country. Naturally, there are several types of visas, according to the reason for which you want to enter the country. For example, some of them are good for when you want to travel for a definite period of time, while others work if you want to move permanently to the US and live there. But how to get one?

  1. Identify what type you need.

Are you traveling? Looking for work? Moving in with somebody? Depending on the purpose of your visit, you should inform yourself and see what type of visa you need. Most likely you will have to provide a proof for your purpose. You can apply online or you can go personally to the consulate or the embassy.

  1. Apply for a nonimmigrant visa.

One of the first things you need to do if you apply for a nonimmigrant visa is to have your pictures taken. The US State Department has some strict rules for the photos, such as being 2×2 inches, color, be taken in the last 6 months and to reflect your current look, among others. As such, it would be better if you used a visa photo service, since they specialize in this.

Another thing to do is to make sure you have all the documents you need. Some of the documents you may need are the passport, the travel itinerary (if this is the case), the dates of your last 5 recent trips to the US and your resume.

Check the website. You can apply for the nonimmigrant visa directly on the Consular Electronic Application Center page. You will also have to check visa waiver program the ESTA USA, an application form with which the US Government and the Department of Homeland Security determine if you are eligible for the visa before you travel to the country.

  1. Schedule an interview and attend it.

After you apply, you need to go to an interview at the US Embassy or Consulate. Check with the consulate or see the website to find out whether you need to bring other documents or not. Some may even have special instructions for interviews, so you might want to get in touch with them. The interview is basically the opportunity for the officer to decide whether you can get the visa or not.

It is possible that they require you to take some digital fingerprint scans during or after the interview. Bring the confirmation page, one printed picture, the passport and the fee payment receipt, information about the trip and the proof that you can pay for all the costs of the trip.

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