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A U.S. visitor visa is a nonimmigrant visa that allows you to stay in the U.S. temporarily. The most popular visitor visas are B-1 Business Visas, B-2 Tourist Visas and J-1 Exchange Visas. The purpose of your visit will determine which visa you should apply for.
B-1 Business Visa
B-1 Business Visas are issued for the purposes of:
Learn more about B-1 Business Visas.
B-2 Tourist Visa
B-2 Tourist Visas are issued for the purposes of:
Learn more about B-2 Tourist Visas.
J-1 Exchange Visitor Visa
J-1 Exchange Visitor Visas are issued for the purpose of participating in an exchange visitor program. There are exchange visitor programs for:
Learn more about J-1 Exchange Visitor Visas.
Step 1: Determine which U.S. visitor visa you should apply for.
The three most popular types of visitor visas are B-1, B-2 and J-1. Your reason for visiting the U.S. will determine which visa you should apply for.
Step 2: Determine if you are eligible for the visa.
The eligibility requirements for each visitor visa type are different.
Step 3: Complete Form DS-160, Online Nonimmigrant Visa Application with the U.S. Department of State.
After completing the application online, be sure to print the confirmation page. You will need this for the visa interview. You must upload a passport-style photograph with this application.
If you are applying for a J-1 Visa, you will also need to be accepted into a qualified exchange visitor program. Learn more about the Holiday Work Visa, Au Pair Visa, Student Exchange Visa, Internship Visa and Trainee Programs.
Step 4: Schedule an interview with a U.S. embassy or consulate in the country where you live.
If you are under the age of 14 or over the age of 79, you may not be required to have an interview.
Step 5: Pay the visa fees.
The application fee for a visitor visa is $160 USD. While some applicants are required to pay before the interview, others may be allowed to pay at the interview.
Step 6: Collect required documents for the visa interview.
You will be required to bring the following documents to your visa interview:
The U.S. embassy or consulate where your interview will take place may request you to provide additional documentation, such as evidence of:
Step 7: Attend the visa interview.
The visa interview will take place at the U.S. embassy or consulate in the country where you live. You will be interviewed by a consular officer who will determine if you are qualified to receive a visa. He or she will review you documentation and visa application, ask you questions about your personal history and the reason for your trip to the U.S.
If the consular officer approves you for a visa, he or she will take your passport and have a visa placed in it. When your passport with visa is ready, you will notified to pick it up or it will be sent to you.
Step 8: Pay the visa issuance fee.
Depending on your nationality, you may have to pay a visa issuance fee if your visa is approved.
The visa interview is required for all U.S. visitor visa applicants between the ages 14 and 79. After your visa application has been accepted, you are required to attend a visa interview at the U.S. consulate or embassy in your country. Here, a consular officer will interview you concerning your:
If the visa interview goes well, the consular officer will grant you a U.S. visa. If the visa interview does not go well, your visa application may be denied. If your application is denied, ask your consular officer if you may apply for a waiver of ineligibility. You may reapply for a visa in the future.
Most nonimmigrant visa-holders can apply for an extension of stay, lengthening the amount of time they are able to remain in the U.S. To apply, File Form I-539, Application to Extend/Change Nonimmigrant Status before your current visa expires.