For a Vietnamese passport holder, visiting the United States for the purposes of tourism, visiting relatives or friends or for business, requires a B1/B2 tourist visa. However, before you go ahead and fill in the application form, make sure your passport is valid for at least 6 months beyond the date of your US trip. If not, the first step would be to renew your passport.
Once you’ve got a valid passport with at least a couple of empty pages for the visa stamp, here’s what you need to do.
Fill in the Electronic Visa Application Form
First, you need to fill the DS-160 Form, available online on the US Department of State website. On the screen, you will be shown a dropdown menu that asks you to “Select a location where you will be applying for this visa.” From this menu, select either Vietnam Hanoi or Vietnam Ho Chi Minh City, depending on what suits you the best. Remember, you will need to visit the embassy or consulate at a later point, so choose accordingly.
In the DS-160 Form, you will need to enter a number of details, such as:
- Personal information, including your address and telephone number
- Related details, such as complete travel itinerary, your contact in the US, travel companions, etc.
- Details of your Vietnamese passport, including passport number, date of expiry, etc.
- Your educational qualifications and employment details of your job in Vietnam.
In addition to this, there will be several security questions that need to be answered in Yes or No. After the form has been successfully submitted, you will receive a DS-160 number. Keep it safe, since this number will be needed while booking an interview appointment at the US embassy in Vietnam.
Pay the DS-160 Form Fee and Schedule Visa Interview Appointment
The fee for a B1/B2 visa is $160, which you can pay in the Vietnamese Dong (VND). Make sure you check the current exchange rate before paying the fee. You can pay the visa fee at any branch of Vietnam Post. But before that, you need to register on the application site to gain access to the payments page.
Here are the steps for making the fee payment:
- Create your profile on the online applicant system.
- Select the “schedule your appointment” option on the left side. Complete the required steps for Visa Type, Post, Visa Class and Visa Category.
- On reaching the payment screen, select “Payment Options.” Print the CGI Deposit slip and take it to a Vietnam Post branch.
- Pay the required amount at Vietnam Post and get the cashier receipt. This will contain the CGI Reference Number that is needed to schedule your appointment.
Finally, log in to your profile once again on the online applicant system and schedule your visa interview appointment, using the receipt number.
Visit the US Embassy in Vietnam
For your interview at the US embassy, you will need to carry documents, such as:
- A copy of the DS-160 confirmation page and the appointment letter
- Your current passport, along with any other passports that you might have
- One 2×2 passport-sized photograph, both in printed and in digital format.
- The DS-160 fee payment receipt
In addition, bring along other key documents such as bank statements for the past six months to establish financial stability, intent to return to Vietnam after the trip, etc.
Be honest and confident in the answers you give during the interview, since this can have an impact on your chances of getting the tourist visa.
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