USA Tourist Visa....Why do we think its complicated when actually it's the simplest one to get!

1st Jul 2018
Photo of USA Tourist Visa....Why do we think its complicated when actually it's the simplest one to get! by Sudhir Rai
Day 1

Greetings to all...
I would like to start by mentioning and accepting the fact that this is a travel blog site and most of the articles published here are directed towards ways and means to enjoy a holiday at some of the best scenic destinations in the world. But in order for us to reach there we need the most important thing first and that is a...VISA.

I recently had applied for a USA Tourist Visa and got it within two days. I am taking this opportunity to share my views and what i came across while i was applying for it.

Let's start with what actually is a USA Tourist visa. Whenever someone wishes to travel to USA for leisure or to meet their near and dear ones he or she needs to have a visa. Now, this visa is one of the several categories of visa which the USA border protection control has implemented like for example the L1 or the H1B visa. A person travelling for leisure or to meet their near and dear ones would fall under the B2 category of visa. The mistake what most of us do is we don't READ about it and we very casually hand over the visa applying procedure to some travel agent who in turn charges us an handsome amount for a simple thing which can actually be done by a school kid. I know people who may read this article may feel as to " kya likha hai yaar isne" but belive u me i am writing this after having several discussions with people who got the USA Tourist Visa through agents or self and also who did not get it. The biggest mistake we do while applying for a USA Tourist Visa is NOT READING ABOUT IT.  So here i share a link from the official page of USA border protection control for all of you to read and understand the B2 category.
( I would request you all to copy paste the link if it doesn't open automatically)

Lets start point by point:

(A) The very first step which comes in applying for a USA Tourist Visa is of "believing in yourself". Yes yes i know this is not a moral boosting class but trust me we all somewhere or the other don't do it. I say this because we treat the USA Tourist Visa like mount Everest. Now i know people who got the visa in the first chance must be thinking..oh come on..this guy is writing non isn't so hard to get. But believe you me these very people when had been applying or standing in the queue for the interview would have felt the need of what i wrote in the beginning....BELIEVING IN YOURSLEF. In the next following points this would be more clear.

(B) Now that we all have a firm belief in ourselves we need to understand the procedure of the USA Tourist Visa and believe you me its the simplest and the most uncomplicated visas to get. So here it is. The very first thing one must do is to open the site of the USA Tourist Visa that i mentioned in the beginning and READ. Once you are done reading and now since you know that you need a B2 visa you need to make an account or a profile on the same site. This is how the site page looks like

USA Tourist Visa site

Photo of USA Tourist Visa....Why do we think its complicated when actually it's the simplest one to get! by Sudhir Rai

Now that you have made a profile you need to fill an online application form thats called DS16O. The necessary information and details of the DS160 would look like this


Photo of USA Tourist Visa....Why do we think its complicated when actually it's the simplest one to get! by Sudhir Rai

Now here is the mistake which most of us do. We tend to fill the ds160 either very casually or we offload it to some agent who would fill it as per his wish. Am not saying that the agents who fill the form on someone else's behalf do it wrong but we need to understand the most important point here. What we fill in this form becomes a benchmark for the consulate official who is going to interview us. So filling the DS160 yourself would always make you comfortable in front of the interviewer. Moreover its easier than any other form in the world so why not do it yourself. It would save us all the time and the money in the world.

While filling the DS160 we need to put each and every detail very honestly and precisely. Fill what you are and what you would like to do in the USA as a tourist. Making an itinerary about your travel plan to USA before filling the ds160 can be of great help. Try to be as crystal clear as you can be while filling the ds160. Simple way is to see the ds160 from the point of view of the consulate interviewing staff.

Now there can be two ways to fill the form. One in which you yourself are funding your entire trip( which means you are going solely as a tourist) or you can attach an invitation from your known ones in the USA. Make sure to fill the invite as per the latest format and carry the original ones to the interview. A latest sample format is attached for the reference

USA Tourist Visa invite format

Photo of USA Tourist Visa....Why do we think its complicated when actually it's the simplest one to get! by Sudhir Rai

Once you are done filling the DS160 make sure to take a screenshot or save it somewhere for your reference before going for the interview. After all the consulate staff would know you purely based on your DS160. That is why filling it yourself makes it much more necessary.


Once you are done filling the DS160, you need to do the payment. The one time "non refundable" payment for USA Tourist Visa is Rs 10880( this is the rate i paid. Apologies if it has changed now). One can read in detail about the payment from the link below:

You would have to register their bank as a beneficiary and then do the payment. Please be aware that if you have done the payment on a weekend or a national holiday, it would be validated after the holiday is over  so no need to worry.

Once the payment is done you would be getting a mail wherein you would get the authority code the DS160 confirmation page and the payment receipt. I would request you all to take a printout of the same and keep it for your reference and carry it for the interview too.

Once you get the receipt and the code, you need to schdeule your interview. Please be aware that you would have to select two for the document submission( the DS 160 confirmation page) and your bio metrics and the other date for the interview. Your passport will be glued with a bar code on the back side. Don't finger with it and let it be there till the time your interview is done. Selecting both the dates in succession is good but then one is free to choose what they want. The link on how to schedule an appointment for bio metrics and interview is appended below:

While scheduling the appointment you would be asked about the passport return address. Fill in the address where you would want to get your passport back. This is a free courier service and no extra payment is required for it.

Now once you are done with the scheduling of the dates..just wait and pray and most importantly remember the first thing i wrote in this article....Belive in yourself!! Don't get affected by negativity which is spread by people who didn't get the visa. They would have a lot to say. Just listen and smile but do what you have decided. I know it sounds like a moral boosting class but beleive you me anyone who would have ever applied or would apply for a USA Tourist Visa would have come across this. You know why you are going to USA right? Then why do you need someone else's suggestion on that.

Now, on the day of your biometrics try to reach half an hour before your slot. Look around and feel the air. Keep moving with the line and do what you are told. Make sure to get a good smile on your face while the staff clicks you as this would be the same photo which would be coming on your Visa stamp. Hehehehhe. As i said earlier dont finger the bar code the staff sticks on your passport. All this and you are done with the biometrics part. Phew!!

Now comes the most important day...THE INTERVIEW. NO NO!!! Its not the James Franco movie am taking about..hahahah.

On the D day dress up smartly or i must say rather...dress up your best but don't over do as some people do. For example...wearing a black three piece suit in a scorching may heat of delhi... wear good and be comfortable. Reach half an hour before your slot. Feel the air. Do as you are told and don't argue with anyone. Please be aware that the moment you enter the consulate you are continuously under cctv so take a chill pill. You may see a long line before you. Don't get affected. Be yourself. At this point of time you would be having only your documents and your passport with you. It's recommended to drop your phone and wallet at your house or hotel and carry hard cash with you as phones are not allowed but then one is free to choose what they want. The first time you would come across the USA consulate staff would be at the finger scanning. You would have to give your thumb impression for them to re check your identity. At times the thumb impression doesn't match first time. Don't panic. It would match the second time. Remember. Be yourself. Now you would come in the main area where there would be lot of people waiting for their interview for different visa categories. Try not engaging in talks or giving advices to others. Just stay calm and remember your DS 160. After all its you who wants to go to usa as a tourist not others. So be calm. Once you are about to be comes the most important thing...the person who is getting interviewed before would be able to listen to all the questions asked to him or her....the visa judgement as to whether he or she gets it or is refused a just have to remain UNAFFECTED by that. Its his or her visa that is getting refused or granted not yours. Stam calm and be yourself.

Now...the moment the person in front of you finishes the interviewer would look upon the next person in the line which is YOU!!! The moment the interviewer makes an eye contact with you give him or her a soft smile..walk upto the interview place and wish as per the time with  a smile and firmness in voice. At no point of time you need to be scared or under confident.  It's not a job interview...just a visa interview.

Here come the most important tip. I was told that a visa interviewer in any USA consulate interviews at least 300 to 350 people in a day and that do under various categories. Imagine the amount of frustration and agony he or she must be going through. Out of the say 300 people he or she interviews why not be the one who makes him or her smile or refreshes him or her with the idea of you going to USA as a tourist. What i mean to say here is...PLAN WHAT YOU WOULD BE SPEAKING AND PLAN IT IN A WAY WHICH IS UNIQUE AND THE NOT THE SAME BORING LINES WHICH THE INTERVIEWER MUST HAVE GOT BORED OF LISTENING TO. BE THE PERSON WHO MAKES THE INTERVIEWER SMILE AND REFRESHES HIS OR HER MOOD. AT THE SAME TIME BE HONEST AND PRECISE WITH WHAT YOU WANT. BE CONFIDENT AND YOU DON'T GET ANYTHING IN THE FIRST GO...ASK AGAIN...NO HARM...BUT BE FIRM AND BE YOURSELF AND YOU WOULD BE HANDED OVER A USA TOURIST VISA FOR SURE.

If in the worst case are refused a visa...DONT ARGUE. Just smile and walk away. The discretion of granting a visa solely rest with the consulate and by arguing you would spoil your future chances of getting the same.

There are N number of possibilities which can be penned down for getting a USA Tourist Visa and am sure you all must have read a lot about it on different portals. Here by this article i am just trying to share my experience of how i got a USA Tourist Visa. No harm and offence meant to anyone.

Regards to all.