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If you want to visit the US for tourism, for a short vacation to visit family and friends, or for medical treatment, you need a Visitor Visa
A foreign national travelling to the United States for tourism needs a visitor visa (B-2) unless qualifying for entry under the Visa Waiver Program.
VISITOR VISA OR VISA WAIVER PROGRAM?
Most citizens of participating countries may travel to the United States for short visits without a visa through the Visa Waiver Program. See my last week’s article
VISITOR VISA FOR WHO?
Generally, a citizen of a foreign country who wishes to enter the United States must first obtain a visa, either a nonimmigrant visa for a temporary stay or an immigrant visa for permanent residence. Visitor visas are nonimmigrant visas for persons who want to enter the United States temporarily for business (visa category B-1), tourism (visa category B-2), or a combination of both purposes (B-1/B-2).
Visitor visas will also not be issued for birth tourism (travel for the primary purpose of giving birth in the United States to obtain U.S. citizenship for their child).
HOW TO APPLY?
There are several steps to applying for a visa. The order of these steps and how you complete them may vary by U.S. Embassy or Consulate. Please consult the instructions on the U.S. Embassy or Consulate website.
Complete the Online Visa Application
Online Nonimmigrant Visa Application, Form DS-160 – Learn more about completing the DS-160. You must: 1) complete the online visa application and 2) print the application form confirmation page to bring to your interview.
Photo – You will upload your image while completing the online Form DS-160. Your photo must be in the format explained in the Photograph Requirements.
Schedule an Interview
Interviews are generally required for visa applicants with certain limited exceptions below. Consular officers may require a discussion of any visa applicant.
You should schedule an appointment for your visa interview at the U.S. Embassy or Consulate in the country where you live. You may schedule your consultation at another U.S. Embassy or Consulate, but be aware that it may be more challenging to qualify for a visa outside of the country where you live.
Wait times for interview appointments vary by location, season, and visa category, so you should apply for your visa early.
Gather and prepare the following required documents before your visa interview:
Additional Documentation May Be Required
Please review the instructions for applying for a visa on the U.S. Embassy or Consulate website where you will use it. Additional documents may be requested to establish if you are qualified. For example, other requested documents may include evidence of:
Evidence of your employment and/or your family ties may be sufficient to show the purpose of your trip and your intent to return to your home country. If you cannot cover all the costs for your trip, you may show evidence that another person will cover some or all costs for your trip.
ATTEND YOU VISA INTERVIEW
A consular officer will interview you to determine whether you qualify for a visitor visa. You must establish that you meet the requirements under U.S. law to receive a ticket.
Ink-free, digital fingerprint scans are taken as part of the application process. They are usually taken during your interview, but this varies based on location.
After your visa interview, the consular officer may determine that your application requires further administrative processing. The consular officer will inform you if this is required.
After the visa is approved, you may need to pay a visa issuance fee (if applicable to your nationality) and make arrangements for the return of the passport and visa to you.
If you need to translate your documents, you can visit my website. Translations
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I'm Natalia Bertelli, an English/Spanish to Italian legal translator. Since 2008 I have been working on contracts, judicial deeds, certificates, corporate translations for foreign clients who want to do business in Italy, get a dual citizenship or simply settle in my beautiful country.