Visiting the United States of America is really a wonderful experience. Who amongst us doesn’t’ want to see that one of the most developed countries of the world? But we can’t go to US without a visa. If you are neither a student nor a qualified immigrant applicant then you can simply visit the US to see its grandeur, to meet your relatives, to take part in any amateurish activity, to attend a business meeting, to participate in a conference or to get the medical treatment there or for any other purpose similar to them. You need a US visit visa to go to America for such purposes.
What is a US visit visa?
A US visit visa is a non immigrant visa which is issued to those foreigners from all across the world to go to and stay in USA up to 90 days but they are neither allowed to do any kind of job there nor to do any formal studies and have to stick to the purposes mentioned in the visa application to visit that country.
Types of the US visit visa
There are two types of the US visit visa; one is the business visit visa and the second one is the visit visa for pleasure or for medical care. The requirements for both of these types of visa are a little different but privileges and facilities in the US for the holders of both types are more or less similar.
Purpose of the US visit visa for business affairs
If you are a businessman and want to go to America to attend a business meeting or a conference, to have meeting with a business associate, to negotiate with an affiliate, to strike a business deal, to ink a trade pact or any other work related to business; you have to apply for the US visit visa for business affairs. Under this category you have to show the purpose of your visit to the US with documentary evidences more particularly any evidence from America which confirms your need there for any business related work. Technically this type of visa is called B1 visa.
Purpose of the US visit visa for pleasure
You may visit America to make a tour of few cities of US, to meet your relatives there, to take some rest, to participate in a voluntary activity, to settle any family dispute, to spend vacation on an American resort, to enjoy free time with family or to make honeymoon etc. For all these purposes you have to apply for US visit visa for pleasure which is also called B2 visa. Its reasons are purely of personal nature but you have to convince the US visa issuing authority in your country that your purpose is quite genuine and not merely a pretext to enter into the US. The most powerful justification of your claim is your financial strength which endorses your claim that if you once enter in its territory you would surely be in no mood to stay longer or forever in US. So the show of your wealth should also be so logical and convincing to make the visa issuing authority believe in the veracity of your claim.
Do you want to go to America for your or one of your family members’ medical treatment? An attendant of the ailing person is also eligible for the US visit visa. For this purpose too you have to get US visit visa for pleasure even though it sounds little strange but the purpose of medical treatment is also permissible under this category.
Requirements for the US visit visa
For all types of the US visit visa following three requirements are primary:
- Online Non immigrant Visa Electronic Application, Form DS-160. To fill this form, visit US embassy’s DS-160 webpage to learn more about the DS-160 online process.
- A passport valid for traveling to the United States with a validity-date at least six months beyond the applicant’s intended period of stay in the United States (unless country-specific agreements provide exemptions). If more than one person is included in the passport, each person desiring a visa must make an application.
- One (1) 2×2 photograph. See the required photo format explained in Photograph Requirements of visa section of US embassy’s website of your country.
Secondary requirements for the US visit visa
For the US visit visa for business affairs: The documentary evidence of you being a businessman duly supported by your tax number and your membership in a concerned business association of your country.
Document showing the need of your presence in US for any work or activity related to your business. It may be an invitation to attend a conference or a letter from a supplier to check the quality of the raw material personally or any other work of such nature.
For the US visit visa for pleasure: The nature of the required documents for this category depends upon the purpose of the visit to US. If the purpose of the visit is just for enjoyment then your financial strength and your strong fraternal bonding in your native country are the main requirements. If the purpose of your visit is to see some relatives there, then evidence showing the presence of your relatives in US is required.
For the US visit visa for medical treatment: Your diagnosis from a doctor of your native country describing the nature of disease you or your dependent is suffering from and the justification for its treatment in the US
A letter from any hospital or a doctor from the US consenting to treat the ailing foreign visitor and the description of the entire cost of medical treatment including that of medicine, hospitalization, surgery, diet etc
A letter of sponsorship from an individual or from an organization is required to take full responsibility to bear the entire medical expenditures of the ailing person intending to visit the US for the medical treatment. In case of individual sponsor there should be a documentary evidence of his or her sound financial position duly supported by a bank or assets statement whichever is acceptable to the US visa issuing authority.
How to apply for the US visit visa?
Like the seekers of the other types of US visas, the applicants of visit visa should also preferably apply in an American embassy or consulate of their home country. If you are living temporarily in a foreign country you may apply for the US visit visa there but the processing of your application may take more time because it would first be forwarded to your home country for the primary scrutiny and after that it will be routed back to the country where your are living temporarily for the further verifications of the latest information provided by you.
The US visit visa process
After the submission of the online electronic visa application form DS-160 for the US visit visa of any type along with necessary documents, you have to wait for an interview call by the US visa office of your country. There is no specific waiting time for an interview. It varies from case to case and country to country. Therefore, it is better to apply for the visa well before, keeping size able time margin for the issuance of your visit visa.
To appear for the visa interview you have to take, along with you, your DS-156 form which describes supplementary details about you and your passport. There are lots of other dos and dons you have to follow to perform well in your visa interview. Please read our article US Visa Appointment to know the requirements for a visa interview in detail.
How to get a US visit visa?
This is really an important question. American visa authorities presume every US visa seeker as an intended US immigrant. There are thousands of cases when a foreigner visited US but settled in the US legally under the shield of various legal justifications or by getting extension over extension in his or her visit visa on various pretexts and then obtained the citizenship rights under different legal provisions. Therefore, US visa authorities remain so cautious about every visa seeker and minutely check his or her details mainly from that point of view.
Therefore, to get a US visit visa, applicants should convince the visa officer that:
- They plan to remain in US for a specific and limited period
- They have sufficient funds to cover expenses in the United States
- They have compelling social and economic ties abroad
- The purpose of the visit visa is genuine and cannot be challenged in any way.
- They are quite affluent in their home countries.
- They have strong cultural and fraternal bonding in their native countries.
This video will help you understand US visit, the layer of security that uses biometrics, such as digital fingerprints, to establish and verify international travelers’ identities. US visit procedures apply to international travelers holding a non-US passport or visa.
Interesting facts about the US visit visa
- A foreigner in US on visit visa can do any training course of short duration (not more than 18 hours a week) while staying in America but it must not add credit to his or her regular studies.
- A visitor to US cannot attend a conference of a single day which may add any plus point in his or her formal education.
- Even with a US visit visa, a person cannot enter the US territory unless allowed by border security authorities of the US.
- A visitor in US if stay more than the allowed period, he or she can become ineligible for any type of the US visa in future.
- The citizens of 36 countries in the world enjoy US Visa Waiver Program to get the US visit visa and they don’t have to fulfill lot of formalities nor have they to be subject of the strict scrutiny.
- A foreign visitor in US should not dream to convert the status of the visit visa into a student visa or work visa while staying in US because it needs a lot of requirements and stringent checking by the visa issuing authorities. Therefore, take this step after full preparation to achieve this objective.