For many NRIs residing in US, having their parents come and visit them in USA is a joyous occasion, especially if a person is graduating or expecting a child and so on. There are several others employed in US, who feel homesick, and yet do not have holidays or approved leaves for visiting their parents in India.
If you have similar reasons, and would love to see your parents in US, you will need to apply for a B2 visitor visa for them. Not only will it let you see them after a long time, it will also let your parents experience a new country; the rich cultural and culinary heritage of US.
Here are the steps for getting a B1 visa for parents:
A digital photograph is a mandatory requirement for B2 visa application. Also, the photograph needs to meet certain parameters, like print size, color, resolution, etc. Make sure that your parents are well-aware of this. When they go to get photographed at a studio, they would need to mention that the photo is for US B-2 visa.
Don’t forget to get insurance.
It is recommended that you get travel insurance when traveling to USA, as medical expense (even for common flu) can run into hundreds of dollars! Here are some of the best insurance for US visitors.
Completed Form DS-160
DS-160 is the non-immigrant visa application form that needs to be filled out for obtaining a B-2 visa. The form is completed online and a barcode number is generated upon doing so. This barcode number needs to be saved, since it is required for scheduling the visa interview. It would also be a good idea for one to have a print of this barcode with them, when they go for the interview since the interviewer may ask for it.
Visa Fee Payment
In order to schedule the visa interview, a visa fee needs to be paid. The payment can be made either electronically via a bank transfer or in cash at designated Citibank and Axis Bank branches across India.
Schedule the Appointment
Two appointments are needed to be scheduled by the applicant. The first one is at the Visa Application Center (VAC) for biometrics data, including a digital photograph and fingerprint. When scheduling this appointment, one has the option to choose between five different centers. If possible, your parents should schedule the appointment in the city they live in, to avoid any last moment hassles.
The same goes for the other appointment which is for the visa interview. The visa interview takes place at an applicable US consulate or embassy and is the most important step for obtaining a B-2 visa.
The two appointments can be scheduled either at the respective centers or online. In case you opt for the online mode, you must know that all US visa appointments are done by a third-party organization. This organization manages the administrative functions and the visa application process. It also allows you pay the visa fee online. When scheduling the two appointments, make sure that they are spaced apart by at least one day.
Appear For the Appointment
This is the last step for applying for the B-2 visa. Make sure that your parents are aware about all the necessary documents they’ll need to bring with them for the appointments since the consul might ask for them.
Your parents should also be well-prepared for all the questions that will be asked in the visa interview. They will mainly be related to purpose of visit and whether they have sufficient financial resources to cover their trip. If you are sponsoring their trip, make sure to send them a signed sponsorship letter/invitation letter, which they will furnish with their visa application.
All the best!