According to a report published in Statista, approximately 1.25 million Indians visited the US in 2016, a number that is forecasted to rise to above 1.94 million in 2021. The huge number reveals how popular America is with Indian travellers. I mean, who would not want to experience all the magnificence this country holds within its borders. From the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco to the Times Square in New York, from the Las Vegas Strip to the wilderness of Yellowstone National Park, this country provides a lot of spots on our bucket list.
What do you need to visit America?
A B-2 visa is issued to people who want to enter the country for tourism purposes. Here are the five steps you need to complete to get a B-2 tourist visa.
Pay the visa fees after creating a new profile here. The fees of $160 or Rs10,880 can be paid by NEFT transfer, mobile payment or cash at Axis, Citi, and Druk PNB banks. Note your receipt number after paying the fees and use that number to schedule your appointment with the embassy of the United States of America after logging in here. You will be required to schedule two appointments, one with the Visa Application Centre, where your fingerprint scans and photo will be taken, and one for the visa interview at the embassy or consulate. Make sure the appointment with the Visa Application Centre is at least one day before the visa interview appointment.
Make sure you have following documents to support your visa application:
♦ A passport valid for six months beyond your intended period of stay in the United States
♦ Your visa application (MRV) fee payment receipt
♦ Your DS-160 confirmation page
♦ Proof of funds in the form of tax returns, bank statements and sponsorship document
♦ Proof of employment in the form of a leave letter from your company or invitation letter from your host in U.S, if you are a dependent
♦ Carry other supporting documents you might need such as your resume, copy of property papers if any to show monetary strength along with liquid cash in account
♦ Medical costs in America are pretty steep. So make sure you buy appropriate travel insurance for the period of your stay before travelling to the US
On the day of the appointment, show up at your chosen location for fingerprint scans and to get photographed.
Attend your visa interview at the embassy or consulate selected by you. This process is on a first-come-first-serve basis so make sure you go early. The interview process takes around five to 10 minutes. You will be asked questions such as:
◘ Why do you want to travel to the US?
◘ How are you going to fund your travel?
◘ Do you have any relatives there?
◘ When will you come back?
The interviewer will try to figure out if you have sufficient funds to cover your expenses in America and if you have enough reason to come back to India.
If you are successful in your interview, the visa officer will inform you about it there and then, and will retain your passport for further processing. This usually takes up to two days. You can track your passport status here. You can collect your passport from the centre you chose in your application, within 14 days.
If your visa application is declined, the officer will return your passport right away. Before you reapply for the visa, which should ideally be after three months unless urgent, make sure to re-check your financials and documents. If you reapply immediately, chances are your visa will be rejected again.
The most common reason behind visa rejection is failure to show enough funds or a dicey travel plan.
Tips to secure a US visa
→ Make sure you carry all the documents to substantiate your visa application
→ If you have relatives in the US, get information from them about their stay, job, income and other details that prove your relationship. Carry family pictures with you
→ Have sufficient evidence to show you won't overstay your visa and have reasons to come back to India. This could be in the form of an employment letter, property papers, marriage certificate etc.
→ Answer all questions honestly and confidently
→ If you are not comfortable with English, you can choose Hindi in your application
→ Have a significant amount of money in your account in the form of savings for at least three months before applying
→ Hotel and flight bookings are not mandatory but if you have a return ticket with a date and your stay planned, it definitely helps to support the application.
Have you successfully got a US visa? Offer your own tips in the comments section below or share your own story with the 25 million travellers on Tripoto.