The United States has been a popular tourist destination for people around the world, and its tourism industry forms a major part of its GDP. In 2018, US received around 79.6 million international visitors, according to US Travel and Tourism overview, which show how much of a tourist hotspot it is.
So, if you’re excited to visit the US and check out its amazing cuisine and landscape, here is the complete process on how to apply for the B2 visa; Indians who want to visit USA specifically for tourist purposes, will have to avail a tourist visa of category B-2.
Eligibility for US Tourist Visa
Before you start off with the process, you must understand the concept of “intending immigrant”. Section 214(b) of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) says that any foreign national who applies for the US visa is presumed to be an “intending immigrant”, unless he or she can satisfactorily prove their non-immigrant status. So, you will need to prove the following to the consular officer to be considered eligible for it.
- The nature of your US trip is temporary and is for leisure or to get medical treatment
- You have the required funds to cover all the expenses, which will incur during your stay
- You have a permanent residence and “social and economic ties” in India, that will make you return to the country, after the end of the visa duration.
Now let’s go through the steps involved in applying for the 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.
Steps for B2 Visa Application
Let’s start with Step 1.
Step 1: Electronic Non-Immigrant Visa Form
This is also known as the DS-160 form. You need to provide various details that include:
- Personal information along with contact number and permanent address
- Passport details; make sure the passport validity extends 6 months beyond the requested visa duration
- Complete details of your US travel, such as places to visit, any travel companions, and contacts in the United States
- Details about your educational background and employment in India.
In addition to this, the form will have several security questions. You can access the DS-160 form from here.
Step 2: Application Fee Payment
You will have to pay a $160 application fee after the form is completed. The payment can be made in 3 different ways; NEFT, IMPS or by cash deposit at select Axis and Citibank branches.
When you make the payment online, a receipt number will be generated. Take a printout of this and keep it safe, as you will need it during the course of visa application.
If you submit cash at any of the branches mentioned above, they will give you an acknowledgement receipt.
Step 3: Biometrics and Visa Interview Appointment
After successful fee payment, log in to your profile and schedule two appointments. One will be for fingerprints submission at the Visa Application Centre and the other for the interview at the consulate. Remember that both these dates should have a minimum gap of 1 day between them.
The following documents are required for fixing these appointments.
- The barcode from your DS-160 confirmation page
- The fee payment acknowledgement receipt number
- Your passport number
Step 4: Go for the Appointments at the Designated Dates
At the VAC (Visa Application Centre), your digital photo and all ten fingerprints will be taken. Ensure that you don’t have any tattoo or injury on your fingers, as this will disqualify you from the process. You will then have to re-apply for the same.
At the visa interview, remember to carry these documents with you.
- A copy of the DS-160 confirmation page
- A copy of the appointment letter
- Your valid Indian passport; and any other passport you own
- One recent passport sized photo in both printed and digital format
- The fee payment receipt
- Supporting documents that prove your financial status, and intent to return back to India.
Ensure that you give clear and concise answers to the consular officer. Any discrepancy in the information provided verbally with in the documents will most likely lead to a visa denial.