Foreigners who wish to go to the US are required by law to obtain a visa. A visa is a legal document issued by the United States government granting foreigners permission to stay in the country for a specified period of time or indefinitely.
Visas could be issued based on different reasons which could range from business, tourism, study, or permanent residency. The United States, also known as the “Land of flowing milk and honey” is a place where opportunities abound and is a major attraction hub for job seekers, tourists, and entrepreneurs.
Despite the obligate requirement for foreigners to obtain a visa before entering the country, some nationals of select countries are exempted from obtaining a visa before entering the US.
Obtaining a US visa can pose a great challenge, especially to those unfamiliar with the murky waters of the immigration process, however, this article will guide you through a straightforward visa application process.
The following are steps to obtain a US visa:
Confirm if you require a visa
Chose the appropriate visa type
Fill the Non-immigrant form
Pay the required application fee
Schedule a convenient visa interview
Get your documents intact
Attend the visa interview
Be hopeful for the outcome
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CONFIRM IF YOU REQUIRE A VISA
Before starting your application, applicants are advised to confirm if they are required to obtain a visa before entering the country. Nationals of 39 countries are exempted from obtaining a visa before entering the United States and these countries are:
CHOSE THE APPROPRIATE VISA TYPE
The next important step after confirming whether you are required to obtain a visa, is by selecting the visa type that aligns with your immigration interest. This is an important stage, so pay attention.
Your visa application could be rejected if your immigration objective is tourism and you select a work visa.
FILL THE NON-IMMIGRANT FORM
The Non-immigrant form (form DS-60) as the name implies is for foreigners who wish to visit the US for a definite period of time. The form can be obtained on the website of the US consulate you are applying from.
PAY THE REQUIRED APPLICATION FEE
You will be required to pay a non-refundable application fee during the application process. The fee depends on the visa type.
*MRV Fee: $160
*Petition Based Application: $190
*E-1, E-2, E-3 visas: $205.
You may be required to pay a visa issuance fee, in addition to the non-refundable application fees.
Some applicants are exempted from paying the visa issuance fees due to their country’s relationship with the US.
SCHEDULE A CONVENIENT VISA INTERVIEW DATE
The United States Immigration requires a compulsory visa interview for all non-immigrants between the ages of 14-79. As part of the visa application process, applicants are required to book an appointment with the US embassy for an interview.
GET YOUR DOCUMENTS INTACT
As part of the application process, you must submit documents to verify your claims. This is an important stage of the visa application process, so ensure you have all relevant documents intact.
ATTEND THE VISA INTERVIEW
This is the last step to the non-immigrant visa application.
During the visa interview, you will be asked specific questions about your background, education, and other relevant questions based on the visa type you are applying for. It is pertinent to be truthful about your answers.
BE HOPEFUL FOR THE OUTCOME
The processing time for your visa depends on the visa type you applied for. After the visa interview, it is important to be patient and be optimistic about a positive outcome.
The visa processing time ranges from a few days to a few months depending on the visa type.
Onyeka David Ugorji, AIPMA,