A Comprehensive Guide to Apply for USA Tourist Visa

The United States is spread across a vast expanse comprising of 50 states.  The massive territory of the USA subsumes tourist attractions in profusion to keep the vacationers captivated and crave for more. Reaching the USA requires you to walk through the daunting task of applying for the USA visa. The thought of it is enough to give you chills down the spine. The USA tourist visa or USA B1 / B2 visa is for travelers planning a trip to the USA for recreational purposes or visiting friends and family members or for medical treatment. The USA B2 visa is specifically designed for visitors entering the USA for leisure. USA B1 visa is strictly meant for business travelers. Though these visas are applied as separate categories, both the visas are issued by the Embassy combinedly known as USA B1/B2 visa. Travelers holding Indian passport must have a valid USA visa to be able to gain access to the country for travel.

From the amazing coastlines of the Bay area, the vibrant metropolis of New York to the arid desert landscape of Arizona and the happening nightlife of Vegas, the USA is a thrilling mishmash of motley sights and sites. Traveling across the continent requires proper planning and research about all the work related to the trip. Applying for the USA tourist visa is one such core task to be completed before you confirm your travel plans. The horror stories of many may make you apprehensive about the process. And indeed, it is not a cakewalk. But a systematic approach and the right knowledge can help you crack the visa process with a bang. Bottle up all the energy for exploring this massive country and focus on applying for your USA tourist visa. Keep reading the blog to understand the tips and tricks to complete the US visa application process effectively and on time.

USA B1 /B2 Visa Blog

USA Tourist Visa Document Requirements for Indians

The USA visa application process intimidates a lot of travelers from even planning a trip there. The stories of visa rejections from various sources are enough to break your confidence. And to top it, the bundle of paper works required for the visa process makes the fear worse. A scope to travel to a country like the USA must not be avoided due to visa worries. Rather adopt the tactics to be well conversant with the visa application process and learn how to cross it hassle-free. Jotting the steps to be accomplished point by point can be helpful. That way you can create an organized process of your own to follow and tick them off one by one. If you are not so sure, do consider taking professional advice from a USA visa consultant. You can certainly gain from their years of experience and knowledge. Side by side continue your own research and make yourself aware of the visa process to avoid falling in unanticipated potholes. Learning about the USA visa document checklist is the foremost task to start with. Documents requirements differ for each candidate according to their background and travel purpose. Here we present a snapshot of the general document requirements for USA visa. The list must be further customized as per the candidate’s profile:-

Applicant’s Documents

  • Current Passport along with the previous passports
  • DS 160 application form
  • Bank statements having adequate funds validated by the bank with seal and signature
  • Appointment letter copy
  • Pay Slips
  • Income Tax Returns
  • Hotel bookings or accommodation covering the whole duration of the intended stay.
  • Flight reservation of return or round ticket.
  • Leave approval letter
  • Marriage Certificate copy of married people

Inviter/Sponsor Documents

  • Passport first, last and visa pages.
  • Green Card or Naturalization certificate [if any]
  • Invitation letter stating the purpose of inviting the applicant, relationship to the applicant, etc.
  • Payslips and bank statement if sponsoring.
  • Wage/Tax statement

How to Apply for USA Tourist Visa?

In this section, we will provide a brief guideline about the US tourist visa application process from its inception to completion.

Create DS 160 Form – To initiate your USA visa application you must create your DS 160 form online. The form generates a unique application number. Fill up all the details in the online form and check everything thoroughly. If all the details are not available, you can save the application and retrieve it later to fill up the rest of the details. But it is recommended to complete the application in one go or at least within 2-3 days after the initiation. At times the application gets locked and you need to fill up a fresh new form from the beginning again. Once the form is completed and finalized, submit it online and take a print of the DS 160 confirmation page.

Visa Fee Payment and Appointment Booking – Next you must create your account in US Travel docs with your email ID. Registering in the US travel docs portal gives your access to the US visa fee payment and scheduling appointment thereafter. In this account, you must link your DS 160 application number. You can make the visa fee payment online or take a print of the Stanley receipt and pay the fee in cash in the US Embassy authorized bank. Post-payment it may take 3-4 hours or sometimes even a day for the available dates to open. After the activation select the slot for biometrics and Consulate interview as per the availability and your convenience. Print out the appointment confirmation page and check all the details.

Biometrics and Interview – Attend the biometrics with your original passport, the DS 160 confirmation pages, and the appointment confirmation. The first day you are required to submit your fingerprinting along with these documents. Next comes the appointment day when you must carry these documents along with the entire set of documents. Attend the interview with confidence. If your visa is approved the visa officer will take your passport. You will get it back within approximately 5 to 6 days after the visa stamping on the passport by the Embassy. If your visa is denied, the visa officer will return the passport back to you.

US Visa Process Time

Stating a specific process time for USA visa is difficult as it depends on a number of factors like your purpose of documents, availability of interview slots, documents, etc. On average it may take 2 to 3 weeks for the entire process to be completed. During the rush period getting the slots become difficult and may extend the process time. You have the option to reschedule a slot after booking it if earlier dates are available due to someone’s cancellation. Looking at the slots routinely may often help you get better slots on earlier dates and reduce the visa process time.