US Visa Explained

“Hollywood, The Statue of Liberty, The Golden Gate Bridge or Las Vegas.”Are you excited to travel to the US to soak its one-of-a-kind environment witnessing remarkable landmarks?

Or are you seeking higher education in one of the top-most universities in the US? Whether your purpose is higher education, work-related, medical, or recreational, you will require a US visa to travel to the United States. Anyone who is not a USA citizen and wishes to go there must obtain a permit through a visa. Visas depend on the purpose behind the trip, the nationality of the applicant, and the duration of the stay. The application procedure is simple and direct. While planning your trip, always remember to work according to your budget. And so, before applying for a suitable Visa, learn how much it will cost. As you progress through this article, by the time you reach the end, you will be able to understand everything about the US Visa, including its types, the procedure involved, the eligibility or qualification required to get your application approved, and much more. 

What Are the Various Types of US Visa?

The United States of America grants Visas to millions of foreigners yearly. Widely there are two types of US Visas:

  1. Non-Immigrant Visa
  2. Immigrant Visa

 Non-Immigrant Visa: Issued to foreigners who are permanent residents of another country and wish to visit the US for a specific period. A non-immigrant visa can be of the following types:

  1. B1 and B2 Visa: These are visitor visas. The B1 visa is for people who want to come to the US for:
  •  Business
  •  Consulting an associate
  •  Any scientific or professional convention or conferences
  •  Buying or selling a property, etc

The B2 visa is for medical treatment or travel-for-pleasure purposes taken for a short duration. It includes informal purposes like tourism, visiting relatives or friends, amusement, medical treatment, rest, social or service-related activities, etc.

  1. F1 and M1 Visa: These visas are for students who desire to pursue a full-time course in the United States or plan to visit for practical training in their field.
  2. J1 and Q1 Visa: These are Exchange Visitor Visas. Anyone in an exchange programme is eligible for this type of US Visa. It includes exchange programmes for universities, scholars, professional trainees, research associates, official visitors of the state, etc.
  3. K1 Visa: These visas allow a fiancé or fiancée of a US citizen from another country to gain entry and get married in the USA. A petition should be filed by the US citizen asking for a permit, after which the fiancé(e) should marry the spouse within 90 days. Only then can the foreigner apply for permanent residence.
  4. K3 Visa: These are marriage-related US Visas and apply to the spouses and children of a citizen of the United States to reunite with their partner or parent. The petitioner needs to file Form I-130.
  5. L1 Visa: These are usable by companies for the internal transfer of their employees across countries. Employees holding an L1 US Visa can apply for permanent residency without producing any labour certificate.
  6. O1: This US Visa is for foreign workers with extraordinary skills and abilities, like athletes, artists, etc.
  7. P1: The P1 visa is for artists, athletes, and entertainers.
  8. H-1B Visa: This work visa allows citizens of different nationalities to gain entry into the US to work. The applicant should be recruited and sponsored by an employer based in the US. It offers a 3-year validity period and is the most complicated one, requiring thorough strategy and preparation.
  9. H-2B Visa: This Visa type allows untrained and inexperienced workers to work in the US for a short time. Though this Visa type is prevalent, a US-based employer must sponsor the applicant.
  1. Immigrant Visa

It serves the purpose of granting its applicants immigration to the USA. A citizen of the USA should financially support the immigrant. Generally, an employer or a relative with US citizenship sponsors and files the immigrant’s visa application. In exceptional cases, extraordinarily skilled individuals, investors, etc., can file a petition for their immigration application. 

 Eligibility Check for A US Visa 

A US Visa enables you to enter the USA by requesting permission from the Customs and Border Protection (CBP) and the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). You can make the Visa application to the US Embassy in your country. To seek admittance, you should have enough eligibility for a US Visa. Here are some points the US consulate will consider:

  • The applicants must have a valid passport from their country.
  • There should not be any criminal cases in the past.
  • Spouses or dependents must apply for a US Visa separately.
  • They should be able to provide valid proof of their financial resources.
  • They should have a valid medical certificate provided by an approved physician.
  • They should have a clear purpose for travelling to the United States.
  • Screening for any infectious diseases is essential for any applicant, for example, Tuberculosis.

The List of Prerequisites for A US Visa

To apply as a non-immigrant, you must submit a list of documents and applications to the US Consulate in your country.

  1. Should fill out a DS-160 form to apply for a US Visa
  2. Have a valid passport having a six-months extensive validity over and above their planned stay in the US
  3. Coloured photographs
  4. Receipt of payment of the application fee
  5. Previous Visas in case you are not a first-time traveller
  6. Some Visa types require an invitation letter from the US sponsor of the applicant as a confirmation of admittance along with proof of accommodation
  7. Sponsorship paperwork proves that the sponsor is financially capable of supporting an applicant.
  8. Proof of property in your country
  9. Professional and employment documents
  10. Family documents include marriage, certificate of birth, adoption certificate, family photographs, and certificate of spouse’s death

 How Much Does A US Visa Cost?

The basic cost of applying for a US Visa is 160 USD. You can make the payment through cash or major credit cards. Online payment options are also available. Other than this, you may have to incur some additional costs, such as

  • Doctor’s fee
  • Fee for issuance of Visa (varies with nationality)
  • Fee for proof of a clean criminal record and character

      Under What Circumstances Is A US Visa Application Rejected?

        You might face rejection for several reasons, which can be tough to process, especially when you aspire to live the “American Dream.” Double-check to make sure you are not the one with the following shortcomings:

  • An incomplete application for US Visa
  • Absence of supporting documents
  • Eligibility criteria for Visa application not fulfilled
  • Have a criminal history
  • Lack of financial support for your stay in the US
  • An unclear intention of going back to your home country
  • Uncertain purpose of your visit
  • Have not used the Visa issued to you earlier

        Some Tips to Keep in Mind for A US Visa Interview

  • The most critical step in the US Visa process is the interview, in which the US Consulate will ask you several questions to check if you deserve to go to the USA or not. Therefore, a smiling face, correct body posture, and good body language are crucial. 
  • Being well-dressed and using fluent, if not proficient, English language will help them decide in your favour. 
  • Make sure your documents are well-maintained in a file and be quickly available whenever required.
  • Be ready with a confident and honest reply when asked about your purpose behind going to the US. Do not use previously scripted lines. Be as original as possible. Showing any anxiety will not help, so it is essential to relax. 

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