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Rasul Shaikh
Last Updated 28 Dec 2023
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A Step-by-Step Guide to US Tourist Visa for Indians
US tourist visa validity:Up to 10 years
Stay Period:Up to 180 days
US tourist visa fees:₹ 15540 onwards
US processing time:Upto 15 Working Days After Appointment

Get Your US Tourist Visa in 3 Easy Steps ▶️Watch Now!

Planning a trip to explore the United States? If you're an Indian citizen, you'll need a US tourist visa. While the process might seem complicated, we'll break it down into simple steps.

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1: Select the right visa for your trip

2: Complete our easy tourist visa online application:  StampThePassport

3: Our Expert will review your application before submitting

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What is a US Tourist Visa? 

The US tourist visa, also known as the B1/B2 visa, is for individuals planning to visit the US for leisure, tourism, or medical treatment. This visa allows holders to explore the country's attractions, visit family or friends, undergo medical treatment, or participate in short-term recreational courses.

The process of obtaining approval for a US visa involves multiple stages. These entail assembling the necessary documents, arranging the interview, and undergoing the interview itself, among other steps.

However, it's crucial to note that completing these steps doesn't guarantee the issuance of a US tourist visa for Indian citizens.

Is a US Visa On Arrival available for Indians? 

Unfortunately, no such provision exists. Indian citizens are required to apply for a visa in advance as the option for a visa on arrival is not available.

Documents required for your US tourist visa:

Passport

  • Your passport should be valid for at least 6 months beyond your travel date
  • Your passport should have a minimum of 2 blank pages
  • Previously issued passports, if you have any
  • Your passport should have been issued within the last 10 years
  • Indian passports with any observations or corrections will not be accepted

Financial Documents

  • Personal bank statement (last 6 months) with seal and signature of the bank
  • Income Tax returns (last 3 years)
  • Salary slips (last 3 months)
  • Financial documents of sponsor and sponsorship letter (if sponsored)
  • GST registration certificate (If self-employed)

Invitation Letter - format provided by StampThePassport

  • If you're visiting friends or family, you'll need a signed invitation letter from them, along with a copy of their passport and visa

No Objection Certificate - format provided by StampThePassport

  • Minors travelling without a parent or guardian, require a NOC or No Objection Certificate from their parents
  • If employed, you require a Leave Sanction Certificate from your employer

Supporting Documents - provided by StampThePassport

  • Copy of US visa confirmation page (DS 160)
  • Appointment Letter Confirmation (Biometrics and Interview)
  • US Visa Fee Payment Receipt
  • Asset documents such as fixed deposits, stocks owned and property papers

Other Documents

  • Marriage certificate (if your spouse's name is not in your passport)
  • Wedding/engagement photos and your wedding card or invitation (for newly married couples)
  • Asset documents such as fixed deposits, stocks owned and property papers
  • School/College Identity card in case the applicant is a student
How To Apply For US Visa For Indians

Getting a US visa involves a lengthy process that can span several months. Before obtaining your tourist visa for the USA from India, there are specific steps you must diligently follow. Some of these steps include:

Step 1: Choose the US Visa Category

To kickstart the process of obtaining a US tourist visa for Indians, it's crucial to define the purpose of your visit. If you're planning a short-term trip for tourism or business reasons, applying for a B1/B2 visa is necessary.

However, there are various other non-immigrant visa options available, each demanding specific documents. It's essential to verify your eligibility for the chosen visa type.

Once you've identified the visa category, gather all the required documents.

Step 2: Apply Online Application for a US Visa

Commence your US tourist visa application through the online portal.

Complete the online non-immigrant application form (DS 160 form) using Internet Explorer 11 or higher, Firefox, or Google Chrome 58. Note that Safari and Microsoft Edge aren't compatible. This form is commonly known as the B2 visa application form.

 

DS 160 Form

Keep your Application ID handy as it's necessary for the entire visa application procedure.

Prepare your travel documents and compile a comprehensive file containing all necessary materials for your application and interview.

Fill out the DS-160 form accurately, providing:

  • Personal information
  • Travel specifics (lodging, contact in the US)
  • Companion details (if applicable)
  • Previous US travel history (if applicable)
  • Address and contact info
  • Work or educational background
  • Family particulars
  • Passport information
  • Security and background data
  • Review the completed form meticulously, ensuring accuracy. You can print a copy for your records.

Sign and submit the DS-160 form.

Save and print the Confirmation of Submission for inclusion in your visa application file.

Upon submission, retain and print the Confirmation of Submission from your DS-160 form for your application records.

Step 3: Payment of US Tourist Visa Fees

Indian citizens have various options to pay their US tourist visa fees, including:

  • Online payment via the CGI Federal portal
  • Demand Draft addressed to the US Embassy/Consulate
  • Credit card or Debit card
  • Cash in Indian Rupees or Dollars at DRUK Bank, AXIS Bank, or Citibank
  • National Electronic Funds Transfer (NEFT)
  • Mobile Payments – IMPS

Ensure to retain proof of payment in your file for presentation during your visa interview. It's essential to note that US tourist visa fees are non-refundable.

Step 4: Scheduling the US Visa Interview for Indian Citizens

To schedule a US tourist visa appointment in India, follow these steps:

Create an account on the US online visa application service via the CGI Federal portal.

Schedule an appointment at the Visa Application Center (VAC).

Schedule a separate appointment at the US Embassy or Consulate. Remember, the Embassy/Consulate appointment should be set at least one day after the VAC appointment.

When making the appointment, gather details like:

Passport number

Visa fee deposit reference number

Barcode number on the DS-160 confirmation page

You'll also be asked for information about the visa type, personal details, dependents, document delivery location, and visa payment before scheduling your appointment.

The VAC is designated by the US government to gather biometric data, photos, and fingerprints of visa applicants before submission to the consular section. Your visa interview will then take place at the US embassy/consulate.

Step 5: Attending the US Visa Interview

Securing an interview date in India can be challenging due to the high volume of visa applications. However, persevere in finding the nearest available US visa interview slots.

As mentioned earlier, you might have two separate visa interviews—one at the VAC and another at the US consular. The initial VAC interview involves providing biometrics, fingerprints, and photographs.

By this stage, ensure you've gathered all necessary documents required for the visa interview with US government officials. During the interview, expect questions related to your trip and be ready to provide relevant documents and information.

The primary aim of the non-immigrant visa interview is to ascertain that the applicant doesn't intend to establish permanent residency in the USA. Additionally, officials seek assurance that the applicant maintains strong ties to their home country and intends to return after the trip.

Upon a successful interview, you'll submit your passport and documents to obtain your US tourist visa from India.

Step 6: Tracking Your US Visa Application

You can track your US visa application through the online portal. Additionally, you have the option to inquire via email or phone at:

Email: UStraveldocs

However, before reaching out about your visa application status, bear in mind that processing times can range from a few weeks to several months. It's recommended to wait at least a few days after the interview or submission of supplemental documents before making an inquiry.

Step 7: US Visa Approval

Upon approval and when your US visa is ready for collection, you'll receive a notification via the provided email address or phone number. Ensure to pick up your passport within 14 working days of receiving this notification.

Passports not collected within this timeframe will be returned to the embassy or consulate. Alternatively, you can opt to pay INR 650 for passport delivery via courier.

Overview of the US Tourist Visa for Indians

Visa Validity: Indian applicants may receive a US tourist visa valid for up to 10 years. However, the granted visa validity can vary for each applicant. Verify your visa validity on the sticker in your passport. The duration of stay is typically up to 180 days for single or multiple entries.

Visa Fees: The application fee for Indian citizens applying for a US tourist visa is USD 160 or INR 12800. From May 30, 2023, fees for certain visa categories will increase to $185.

Processing Time: The embassy usually processes the US tourist visa from India in 3 to 5 days, with an additional 10 days for delivery.

Restrictions: With a US tourist visa, certain activities are prohibited, including work, study, paid performances, press-related work, crew member roles, seeking permanent residency, or engaging in birth tourism.

Visa Types: For tourism or business purposes, Indian citizens must apply for a non-immigrant visa. The B1 visa is for business-related visits, allowing activities like consultations, negotiations, or attending conferences. The B2 visa is for tourism purposes, including travel, medical treatments, social events, and recreational courses.

Other Non-Immigrant Visas: Apart from tourist visas, various non-immigrant visas are available for US travel, including work visas (H, L, O, P, Q), student visas (F, M), exchange visitor visas (J), transit/ship crew visas (C, D), religious worker visas (R), domestic employee visas (B-1), journalist and media visas (I), with processing fees ranging from USD 160 to USD 265.

This overview primarily focuses on the Tourist Visa USA from India or B2 Visa.

Who are we?

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StampThePassport is India’s first and only hybrid (online and offline) visa application platform, designed to streamline your visa application process. With our user-friendly system and the assistance of visa experts, you can now apply for any visa in less than 5 minutes. We guide you through the entire process to ensure that you receive your Visa on time.

Why You Can Count On Us  

Fast and Easy: Easy, traveller-friendly visa application process. Simple and much less complicated than dealing with any foreign government website.

Get Approved: All documents are reviewed by a team of visa experts. Our staff is well-trained to handle all your visa requirements.

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Visas for 180 destinations: Wherever you want to travel, whatever your reason—our team of global visa experts knows how to get you there. 

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VisaPro: VisaPro is our premium service. Choose VisaPro if you don't have the time to apply yourself. Know more.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What types of visas can I apply for as an Indian interested in visiting the US?

Indians visiting the US typically choose from these non-immigrant visa categories:

  • B-1 Visa: For business-related travel like attending conferences, consulting with associates, or negotiating contracts.
  • B-2 Visa: For tourism, leisure, visiting relatives, or seeking medical treatment.
  • B-1/B2 Visa: A combined visa for both business and tourism purposes.

What is the typical validity period and allowed stay duration for a US tourist visa granted to Indian citizens?

US tourist visas for Indians can be valid for up to 10 years. However, the maximum stay per visit is usually up to 180 days. You can enter the US multiple times within the visa's validity period.

How far in advance of my trip should I apply for a US tourist visa?

It's best to start the application process as early as possible. Processing times can vary, and it's wise to allow several months for the entire procedure. Aim to apply at least 3-4 months before your intended travel date.

Can you provide a checklist of the most important documents to have ready when applying for a US tourist visa?

Here's a basic checklist:

  • Passport: Valid for at least 6 months beyond your planned trip, with at least 2 blank pages.
  • DS-160 Confirmation Page: The submitted online visa application form.
  • Appointment Confirmation: Proof of your scheduled interview appointments.
  • **Photographs: ** Recent passport-sized photos meeting US visa requirements.
  • Financial Documents: Bank statements, income tax returns, etc., demonstrating financial stability.
  • Travel Plans: Itinerary, flight bookings (if available), accommodation details.
  • Invitation Letter (if applicable): If visiting family/friends, a signed invitation letter from them.

What is the difference between the VAC appointment and the US Embassy/Consulate interview? Do I need to attend both?

Yes, you typically need to attend both appointments:

  • VAC (Visa Application Center): This is where you'll provide your biometric data (fingerprints and photograph).
  • US Embassy/Consulate Interview: This is where a consular officer will interview you to determine your eligibility for the visa.

Can I work on a US tourist visa? What activities are permitted with this visa?

 No, you cannot work on a US tourist visa. Permitted activities include:

  • Sightseeing and tourism
  • Visiting friends and family
  • Receiving medical treatment
  • Attending short-term recreational courses (that don't award academic credit)
  • Participating in business conferences or negotiations
What is a US Tourist Visa (B1/B2)?
  • The US tourist visa, also known as the B1/B2 visa, is for individuals planning to visit the US for leisure, tourism, business or medical treatment. 
  • This visa allows Indian passport holders to explore the US’s attractions, visit family or friends, undergo medical treatment, or participate in short-term recreational courses.
  • You can usually stay for up to 180 days.
  • Your US tourist visa should be valid for up to 10 years!
⭐ 10% of US visas are granted to Indian applicants. Each year, millions of Indian travellers, visit the US for various purposes. 

Can I (Indian) get a Visa on arrival for a US Tourist visa?

No, unfortunately, there is no Visa on arrival for Indian citizens travelling to the US. Indians need to apply for a US visa in advance.

Skip the US tourist Visa Interview 

If you hold a valid US tourist visa that has expired within the last 48 months (4 years), you are eligible for a simplified renewal through the US Dropbox service. This means no in-person interview is required!

Eligibility Criteria:

  • Your previously issued US Visa should match the same category as the US Visa you want to renew.
  • You’ve got a previous US visa that has expired within the last 48 months.
  • Your last US Visa must be issued after Jan 1, 2008.
  • Your US visa should be issued after your 14th birthday.
  • Adults over 80 years old are eligible for Dropbox.
  • Your last US visa should not be lost, stolen, cancelled, revoked, or marked CWOP (cancelled without prejudice)