If you’re thinking about planning a trip to the U.S, you’re more than likely going to need a visa—unless your country is on a visa waiver list. If not, here are some steps you’ll take when it’s time to get a visa:
Know what kind of visa you’ll need
What are you visiting the U.S. for? This will determine the first step you’ll need to take, which is looking into the type of visa you’ll need and how you’ll apply for it. Are you hoping to work in the U.S., or are you just going on a road trip around the country? Will you eventually need an F1 visa extension, or are you just visiting for a few months? Consider these details before you set out to apply.
Look into the documentation you’ll need to be accepted
Prior to applying for the visa, make sure you have everything you may need to be accepted. From biometric photo requirements to your travel documents, a completed form, details of any criminal history, there are several things you’ll need to have ready for your visa application and interview.
Fill out the non-immigrant form
The non-immigrant form document is very important and something you have to fill out to get approved for your visa. The application form takes about 90 minutes to complete and is quite extensive, so you’ll want to have enough time to complete it. Also, make sure you have the information and documents on hand for it.
Be prepared with quality pens and paper to make sure you save the information of your application ID, should you accidentally get knocked off of the site. Don’t forget that you should save as you go because if you get distracted for more than 15 minutes while filling it out, you could lose all of the information you’ve already typed in.
If you need help with your application form, you can get it. It’s important to get information right when filling out the application, so only get going on it when you’re ready with the pertinent info and documents.
Pay the fee
There is, of course, a fee accompanying your visa, which is between $160.00 to $205.00, depending on the type of visa you may need. While the cost is relatively high for a visa application and is non-refundable (meaning you won’t get your money back), as long as you have everything to be accepted, then it’s worth it. Save some money for the application fee as well as for your trip to make sure you’re prepared.
Schedule the interview
Before you go in for the interview, you may want to consider speaking with an immigration lawyer who can help you understand what to expect and the best way to approach your visa interview. Schedule your interview as soon as possible so that you can start preparing.
Be prepared to answer questions about your history and what you hope to do in the U.S. as well. Visas for work or student visas may take a little longer than simple tourist visas.
If you’re hoping to spend some time traveling comfortably in the U.S., you’ll need a visa. Most people with a stable income and no former deportation or criminal history in the country qualify for a tourist visa to the U.S. So, if you’re hoping to visit, you’ll more than likely get accepted. However, it does take time and money to get a visa for the U.S.; make sure you plan your trip and visa application accordingly.