If you are planning to visit the US, you need a tourist visa, your visa grants you entrance to the United States for a stipulated period usually not longer than 180 days per entry.
If you haven’t applied for a visa before, the application process can be daunting especially if you do not have anyone to guide you which is why we are here, this guide will show you exactly how to apply for a US tourist visa from any country of the word.
US Tourist Visa Application Process
Your tourist visa is an entrance authorization that says you’re allowed to come to the United States for a limited time, just for fun and sightseeing. It’s like an invitation from the US government saying, “Hey, come and enjoy our beautiful country from this day to that day”.
The US tourist visa is often referred to as the B-2 visa and it’s a non-immigrant visa, it is only issued to individuals traveling to the United States for leisure, tourism, or visiting friends and family.
So, with your tourist visa, you are allowed to stay for a short duration, usually up to six months, and it doesn’t permit you to work or study during your stay.
How to Apply for a US Tourist Visa
To apply for a US tourist visa, you need to meet the visa application requirements and complete the application process.
During the application process, the US government wants to make sure that you have good intentions for coming to the US and that you have plans to go back home when your visit is over. If you have good intentions for going to the US, you have to prove that in your application process, below is how.
Determine your eligibility
Before starting the application properly, you need to check if you are eligible for a tourist visa. To be eligible, you must demonstrate the following.
- Intent to return: You must prove that you have the intention to return to your home country after your visit.
- Financial capacity: You also need to prove that you can support yourself financially during your stay in the US.
- Valid purpose: Finally, you have to show that your visit to the US is for tourism, family visitation, or similar non-work or non-study purposes.
Complete the DS-160 form
The DS-160 form is the Online Nonimmigrant Visa Application form, the US immigration authority requires you to fill out this form properly as part of your application process.
To get the form, you need to:
- Visit the Consular Electronic Application Center (CEAC) website.
- Down and fill out the DS-160 form accurately with your personal information.
- In your profile (on the CEAC website), you will see where you should upload a passport-sized photo.
- You also need to pay a non-refundable visa application fee, (the amount varies by country) and submit.
Schedule a visa interview
After submitting your DS-160 form and paying the fee, you need to schedule an appointment for a visa interview at the US embassy in your home country.
On the interview date, come with the following:
- DS-160 confirmation receipt.
- A valid Passport, your passport should be valid for at least six months beyond your intended stay.
- Visa application fee receipt.
- Appointment confirmation page.
Attend the visa interview
The visa interview is an important part of the application process. Be sure to arrive on time, dress appropriately, and bring all the required documents.
During the interview, the visa officer will ask you questions about your planned visit, your ties to your home country, and your ability to financially support your visit.
You should be ready to provide answers to the questions, you have to convince the visa officer that you are a genuine traveler and that you have no intention to stay beyond your approved date.
Visa approval or denial
After the interview, the consular officer will determine whether to approve or deny your visa application. If approved, you’ll receive a stamped visa in your passport. If denied, the officer will explain the reasons for the denial.
Plan your trip
Once you have your US tourist visa, you can get on with your trip. Before you leave for the US, make sure you have travel insurance, accommodations, and a clear itinerary.
While in the US, ensure you do not stay beyond your approved date, overstaying your visa comes with severe consequences. You don’t want to be in the bad book of the US immigration authorities. It is better to leave before the end of your stay than to overstay for a second.