A report by the Department of Homeland Security states that 701,900 out of nearly 52.7 million tourists and business travelers overstayed their visa in 2017. Keeping such facts in mind, the US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has several eligibility requirements for individuals who wish to obtain a tourist visa.
The responsibility of the USCIS is to not allow any traveler to become a liability for the nation, either by overstaying their visa or by being unable to fund their stay. Due to this, you need to prove a number of things to the consular officer during your visa interview. One such key proof is that of your ability to support yourself financially during your stay in the US.
What Makes a Person Eligible for a Tourist Visa?
A number of validations and confirmations need to be provided to get the tourist visa. Some of these include:
- Proof that your trip is for leisure, medical treatment or business purposes.
- The nature of your trip is temporary, and you intend to return to your home country after it ends.
- You own a residence in your home country and have important social and economic ties that will make you return at the end of the trip.
- You have sufficient funds to cover your expenses during your stay in the US.
Are Bank Statements Important?
The last eligibility criterion mentioned above is actually of prime importance, since the USCIS doesn’t want you to overstay due to financial difficulties. They also wish to eliminate the possibility of you looking for employment in the country.
To prove that you have the required capital to sustain yourself without any trouble, you need to submit a copy of your bank statements for at least the past 6 months. So, yes, bank statements are an important set of documents for the US tourist visa.
Other Supporting Documents
Apart from bank statements, there are other supporting documents that you might need to carry to your visa interview, such as:
- Proof of employment, income, tax payment, asset or business ownership
- A letter from your company that explains your role, salary, duration of employment, any previous vacation for personal or business purposes to the US
- Pay slips from the last three months
- Your complete travel plan, along with accommodation details
- Criminal or court records related to any conviction or arrest that occurred in your home country or anywhere else
- If you are a student, carry your latest degrees, diplomas or school results, along with financial documents, such as fixed deposit slips.
If you are seeking medical care in the US, apart from the above-mentioned documents, you need to provide a medical diagnosis from your doctor that shows the nature of your illness and the need for treatment in the United States. You will also need a letter from a US practitioner, agreeing to provide the necessary care and giving details such as duration of treatment and the total cost involved. This includes hospitalization fees, doctor’s fee and other related expenses.
In case your trip is being sponsored by a friend or relative, you will need to provide documents to prove their financial stability. Copies of bank statements, income tax returns, W2 forms, and employment and residency proof of the sponsor will be needed in such a scenario.