Visiting Visa for Parents – Complete Guide

The process of getting a visa for your parents to come to visit the United States can be daunting, but it doesn’t have to be. With a little bit of research and planning, the process can be relatively simple. Here are the basic steps you’ll need to take to get a visiting visa for parents to visit the United States.

Requirements for Parents to be eligible for visiting visa

There are a few requirements that your parents must meet in order to be eligible for a visiting visa.

First, they must have a valid passport.

Second, they must have a reason for wanting to visit the United States, such as tourism, business, or visiting family.

Third, they must have enough money to support themselves during their stay.

Lastly, they must be in good health and have no criminal history.

If your parents meet all of these requirements, then they should be able to get a visiting visa.

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How to Get Visiting Visa for Parents: Checklist

Assuming your parents are foreign nationals, they would need to obtain a visitor visa (B-2) to come to the United States for a temporary stay.

The first step is to complete the online visa application form (DS-160). Along with the DS-160, your parents will need to submit a passport photo, passport, and other documentation as required.

After the DS-160 is complete, your parents will need to schedule an interview at the nearest U.S. Embassy or Consulate.

At the interview, a consular officer will determine whether your parents are eligible for a visitor visa. If approved, they will be issued a visa and can then make travel arrangements to the United States.

If your parents are from a country that participates in the Visa Waiver Program (VWP), they may be able to come to the United States without a visa.

However, they will still need to obtain an approved travel authorization (ESTA) before they can travel.

Take Photographs

A digital photograph is a mandatory requirement for a visiting visa application for parents.

Also, the photograph needs to meet certain parameters, like print size, color, resolution, etc.

The photograph must be 2 inches by 2 inches, and it must be taken within 6 months of the date of your visa application. It must be in color, and you must be facing forward with a plain background. You cannot wear a hat or sunglasses in the photograph, and you cannot have anything obscuring your face.

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 visiting visa.  

Submit 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.

Here are detailed instructions on how to fill the DS160 form.

Pay Visa Fees

In order to schedule the visa interview, a visa fee needs to be paid.

The Visa Fee for Parents Visiting Visa is $75. The ways it can be paid are by check, money order, or credit card.

The payment can be made either electronically via a bank transfer or in cash at designated Citibank and designated bank branches across India.

It might also be a good idea to buy temporary health insurance for parents visiting USA.

Schedule an Appointment for the Interview

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 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 visiting visa for parents (B1/B2 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 to pay the visa fee online.

When scheduling the two appointments, make sure that they are spaced apart by at least one day. 

The first step is to visit the official website of the United States Embassy or Consulate where you will be applying for your visa.

On the website, you will need to create an account and log in. Once you are logged in, you will be able to schedule an appointment for your visa interview.

When scheduling your appointment, you will need to provide some basic information about yourself, such as your name, date of birth, and contact information. You will also need to select the type of visa you are applying for and the reason for your travel.

Once you have scheduled your appointment, you will need to prepare for your interview. This includes gathering all of the required documentation, such as your passport, application forms, and supporting documents.

You will also need to review the questions that are typically asked during a visa interview so that you can be prepared to answer them.

Also read: Invitation Letter for US Visa – How to Write + Free Sample

Proof of funds required

There are a few different types of proof of funds required when applying for a visit visa for parents.

  • The first is a bank statement from the past three months that shows enough money to cover the cost of the trip.
  • The second is an employment letter from the applicant’s employer stating that they will continue to receive their salary while on vacation.
  • The third is a letter from a friend or family member who is willing to support the applicant financially during their trip.

How much money should you show in your account?

There is no definitive answer to this question, as each case is different and the amount of money required may vary depending on the country of origin and other factors.

However, as a general rule of thumb, it is always advisable to show a healthy bank balance when applying for any type of visa, as this will demonstrate to the authorities that you are financially capable of supporting yourself during your stay.

Appear For the Interview

This is the last step in applying for a B1/B2 visa. Make sure that your parents are aware of 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 the purpose of the 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!

Let’s look at some frequently asked questions.

What Visa is Required for Parents to Visit the USA?

There are a few different types of visas that parents can apply for in order to visit the United States.

The most common type of visa for parents is the B-2 tourist visa. This type of visa allows parents to stay in the United States for up to six months.

If parents want to stay longer than six months, they can apply for a different type of visa, such as an immigrant visa.

What to Do if Your Parents’ Visit Visa is Denied

If your parents’ US visa is denied, there are a few things you can do to help them. First, you can help them gather any documents that the embassy or consulate may have requested.

You can also help them schedule another interview if they are eligible. Finally, you can contact your local congressional representative to ask for help.

How much bank balance should I show for my parent’s visiting visa?

Every family’s financial situation is unique, and each family will have different expectations and requirements for their visiting parent’s visa.

That said, as a general rule of thumb, it is always best to err on the side of caution and to show a higher bank balance than might be strictly necessary.

This will give your parents the best possible chance of being approved for their visa and will help to put their minds at ease.

How to sponsor my in-laws for visiting USA?

If you would like your in-laws to visit the United States, you will need to apply for a B-2 visa on their behalf. The first step is to complete the online visa application form, which can be found on the U.S. Department of State website.

Once the form is complete, you will need to schedule an appointment for your in-laws at a U.S. embassy or consulate.

They will need to bring with them all of the required documentation, which includes a passport, birth certificate, and evidence of financial support.

After their interview, they will be issued a visa, which will allow them to stay in the United States for up to six months.

How long does the visit visa process take?

The US visit visa process can take anywhere from a few weeks to several months. The length of time it takes to obtain a US visit visa depends on a number of factors, including the country of origin, the purpose of the visit, and the applicant’s criminal and immigration history.

How much does visiting visa for parents cost?

A US visit visa costs $160 for most applicants. However, there are a few categories of applicants who must pay an additional fee. These include applicants who are from countries that are designated as high-risk for terrorism or who have been previously denied a US visa.

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Mani Karthik

About the Author

Mani Karthik

Ex “NRI” and Founder of the “Back to India” movement. I share my experience about immigrating to USA here.