How to Apply for US Visa in India
Although the number of Indians traveling to the US has been growing steadily, India ranks 11th by arrival numbers, according to an article published by The Economic Times in November 2018. The article highlights something even more interesting – India ranks 6th by visitor spend, which is among the many reasons America is so forthcoming in welcoming Indian visitors.
If you’re among those looking to travel to America, the first thing you need to do is to apply for a US visa.
Determine Your Visa Type
The US government issues different non-immigrant visas according to the purpose of one’s visit. These include visa for a business trip (B1), tourism (B2), work on a temporary basis (H1-B, H3 & H4) and study (M1 & F1). So, choose the type of US visa carefully, as this will play an important role is it is approved.
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Complete the DS-160 Form
The next step is to fill out the Nonimmigrant Visa Electronic Application (DS-160) form. Make sure that you’ve properly gone through the guidelines for completing this form since all information needs to be accurate and changes can’t be made once you’ve submitted the form. Consult an immmigration lawyer if you feel you need help in this step. On completing the form, you’ll get a 10-digit barcode number which you’ll need to book your appointments.
Pay the Visa Fee
Next, you’ll have to pay the visa fees. The application fee is different for different visa types, but for the types mentioned above, it is $160. Payment can be made through electronic bank transfer or in cash at designated Axis Bank/Citibank branches across India. For making the payment, you’ll have to create a profile. You must save the receipt number of the payment since it is required to book your visa appointment
Schedule the Appointment
To schedule the visa appointments, you’ll need to log in to the profile that you’ve created in the previous step. You’ll have to schedule two appointments; one for the Visa Application Center (VAC) and the other for the visa interview at consulate or embassy. The VAC appointment will allow you to go to any of the five Visa Application Centers and get your photo and fingerprints taken. Make sure you schedule your VAC appointment at least a day before the one at the Embassy or Consulate.
For the next step of scheduling your visa interview, you’ll need the following:
- Your passport number
- The 10-digit barcode number that you got from your DS-160 confirmation page
- The receipt number for visa application fee
As you go through the process you will be able to select your visa type, enter personal data, add dependents, select your document delivery location, confirm visa payment, and schedule your appointment.
You must bring the following to the Visa Application Centre for your VAC appointment:
- A valid passport for travelling to the United States – the validity dates must extend to at least six months beyond the period for which you intend to stay in the US.
- The appointment confirmation page
- The DS-160 confirmation page
- One photograph adhering to the U.S. visa specifications in case the applicant is below 14 years of age
Next up is the visa interview, a crucial step for applying for a non-immigrant visa to the US. You’ll need to bring the following to the U.S. Embassy or Consulate at the day of your interview:
- A print of your appointment confirmation letter
- The DS-160 confirmation page that you got stamped at the VAC
- Your current as well as old passports
- Supporting documents according to your visa type
Make sure you’re thoroughly prepared for your visa interview. You’ll be asked a variety of questions by the consul. Here are some of them.
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