Why do you need a US tourist visa? Obviously for a leisure tour to the USA! But getting a visa is only the beginning of a long process. When it comes to a US visa, getting the approval itself is a hardship. You need to ace the US visa interview process. The main part of that process involves proper planning for the application process with all the visa requirements.
Do you really know what all do you need for the US tourist visa application? If you do not, this is where Blinkvisa.com can help you. Blinkvisa provides you with the proper list of required documents and helps right from the application filling to arranging for the visa interview.
This post contains all the information that you need to know about while applying for a US tourist visa.
Blinkvisa is not only for your US tourist visa, you can get a whole custom travel plan done for you to make sure you have an amazing trip while also using the cashback that you just got, to provide you even more savings when you book your flight and hotel from them (via Expedia) and also gain huge discounts on your activities.
US Tourist Visa Information
US tourist visa is also known as American visitor visa which allows a person to visit the country for a leisure trip. It is also known as the B2 visa. This is a type of nonimmigrant visa issued to foreign nationals. Unlike other countries, this B2 visa allows you a stay for a few months in the USA, rather than a few days or weeks.
Here is an enumeration of the basic details about the US tourist visa.
- US tourist visa processing time- 7 working days after the interview
- No.of entries- Multiple
- Stay period- Up to 6 months
- Validity- Up to 10 years
There are not many restrictions when it comes to a trip to the USA with a tourist visa. One can travel freely in this country until its time for you to return.
US visa processing time
The B2 visa processing time is 3-7 days once you have finished the interview.
In fact, you will know right at the interview counter, whether your application is accepted or not. If the visa officer keeps your passport with him/her, it means your application is approved.
The tourist visa will be a sticker type which will be stuck on the passport.
The passport, along with the visa will be couriered to you on the provided address in the application.
B2 visa number of entries
The B2 visa is a multiple entry visa which allows the person to visit the country as many times as wanted.
The number of entries is multiple by default. There are no restrictions or limitations on how many times you may use the visa. The only condition is that one must wait for 6 months until they can re-enter, especially when they have spent 6 months in the USA.
There are no other variations on this factor.
US visitor visa validity
The visitor visa validity will be for up to 10 years. This is the lengthiest validity for any type of visa for any country. The majority of the applicants get this validity by default.
But on rare occasions, there are cases where the validity is cut down to shorter periods of 6 months or so.
US visitor visa duration or stay period
The duration or stay period of a visa is how much time one can stay in the country. The US tourist visa duration allows a maximum stay of up to 6 months/ continuous months in the country.
You may travel to any part of the country within this period. The stay period also depends on the date which will be stamped on the I-94, which the Immigration officer decides.
US Tourist Visa Fees
The visa fee is Rs. 13,090, all-inclusive of the GST as well as the visa/agency charges. This fee is non-refundable under any circumstances.
You must pay the visa fee in order to fix an appointment for the interview. Moreover, the tourist visa fees to the US must be paid in the local currency.
Fee payment modes
The US Consulate does not accept debit cards or cheques for the visa fee payment. The approved modes of payment are as follows.
- A Demand Draft which is drawn in favor of the “American Consulate General” and payable at the intended US Consulate office nearest to you.
- Credit Card for internet transfer (VISA or Master Card)
- Cash in India rupees or Dollar at Axis Bank or Citibank.
For paying in cash at the bank, take a printout of the US visa fee collection slip. You can access the same once you have logged in to your account.
After the payment
Once you have made the visa fee payment, you will get a receipt for the same. The receipt will be valid for up to one year and you can schedule the visa interview anytime within this valid period.
If you fail to schedule the interview within this time, the receipt will be invalid and you may have to pay again for the visa fees.
US tourist visa requirements
This is where the real story begins. You must have all the documents ready with you and must also have all the necessary details filled in the application form.
The documents required may be classified as mandatory, optional and additional. The mandatory documents are common and are must for one and all. The optional documents are necessary to show as proof or evidence while attending the interview. The additional documents are the ones one must choose according to the applicant’s profile.
Here is the mandatory US tourist visa requirements summary,
- Original passport with at least 6 months’ validity and a minimum number of 3 blank pages along with all the older passports, if applicable.
- Printout of the application form DS 160
- The visa fee payment receipt (the fee must be paid before you can attend the interview)
- 2 recent passport-size color photographs taken against a white background with matte-finish
- Covering letter explaining the entire travel plan (Blinkvisa helps with the cover letter)
- Bank statements for the last 6 months with sufficient bank balance (proof of enough amount for expenditure is necessary)
- Personal Income Tax Returns / Form 16 for last 3 years
Documents required- Optional
These are the documents that are not mandatory but you are advised to have them ready with you.
- Supporting financial documents such as Fixed Deposits, Property Investments, Recurring Deposits, or any other Investments, etc (Optional but advisable)
- Flight Tickets and hotel reservations (Use Blink Wallet Cashback to get up to 25% discount on flights and hotels). Having the dates of travel can assure the Consulate that you will be coming back, which increases the chances of visa approval.
The financial documents serve as proof of your funds that enable you for a lengthy stay in the US. Since one cannot earn money while on a tourist trip, having enough funds is a necessity. The officer at the consulate might want to see the proof as well.
The travel documents would also shed light on the fact that you have every intention of coming back and have no plans for staying back in the US.
Additional documents required for US tourist visa
These additional documents are required according to the profile of the applicant. These documents serve as supportive pieces of evidence to assure the Consulate officer that you have roots and reasons back in India and that you will be returning or have to return.
For a tourist visit, returning to your country is the major deciding factor while giving the visa approval.
- Original Leave sanctioned certificate with company seal and signature
- Last 3 months salary slip
- Business Registration License/MOA/Partnership deed/GST certificate/IT returns
- Company’s updated bank statement of last 3 months
- Company’s IT returns for 3 years
If you are retired
- Proof of Pension such as pension pay order certificate
- if retired from a private firm, then last 6 months bank statement
These documents are the leverage that hints that you will be returning. This is because many people who travel on a tourist visa stay back in the US illegally. It is also proof of your funds that allows you to meet the expenses while staying in the country.
- School / College / Institute ID Card
- Bonafide certificates
- Birth Certificate
- NOC from the parents / non-accompanying parent on Rs 100/- stamp paper
- ID proof of parent-like passport or PAN card
If Visiting friends/family
- Invitation letter with sponsorship letter clearly mentioning the passenger’s details with passport numbers, relationship for the passenger, the purpose of the invite, schedule of stay in the country, and who will be bearing all expenses.
- Proof of employment
- Inviter’s ID passport or PR
- Proof of residency. Tenants need to submit a tenancy agreement
- Bank statement last 6 months with sufficient funds
- Pay Slip last 6 Months.
If you are sponsored
- Sponsorship letter
- Sponsor’s national ID proof like Passport, PAN card or Resident permit
- Updated bank statement of last 3 months
- Income tax returns for the last 3 years.
Documents that Blinkvisa helps you with
- Filling up the application form DS 160
- Booking appointment at the Consulate
- Preparing photograph as per US requirements
How to apply for US tourist visa through Blinkvisa
In order to avoid a US visa rejection, one must have everything ready before appearing for the interview. But, how do you find out what to do and what all do you need? Blinkvisa provides all the information regarding the US visa application, pay for the process and arrange for the interview as per your convenience.
US Tourist Visa FAQs
Can I apply for a US tourist visa if I am going for medical treatment?
Yes, the B2 visa or US tourist visa is valid for a trip for medical treatment, leisure and tourism.
How long before can I apply for my US tourist visa?
One must apply for an American visitor visa or B2 visa or the most common US tourist visa at least 3 months before the travel dates. Not only would this help you plan properly but it would also give enough time for the visa processing.
Though the actual US visa processing takes a few days, the background work and getting the date for the visa interview can take long. Getting a visa interview appointment is very difficult. So please plan ahead to avoid any kind of delay in your travel plans.
Can I still travel to the USA with a new passport and if I am having my visa in my old passport?
yes, you can. The US visa in itself determines its validity. Changing the passport does not affect the same. You just need to make sure that you carry both the new and the old passports with you while traveling.
Can I visit Canada with my B2 visa?
If you have a Canada visa, you cna visit that country from the USA when you are on a visit with the tourist visa. It allows you a stay up to 30 days in Canada and back to the USA as long as the B2 visa is valid.
What is I-94?
I-94 is the authorization that each visitor gets at the immigration counter at the US port of entry. It is a stamp that indicates the stay limit. It had a date stamped on the passport/page. One must leave the country on or before that date. It is the I-94 that decides how long you may stay in the USA even if the visa allows you a stay of 6 months.
What if I have paid the US tourist visa fees and am unable to schedule a visa interview sooner due to some personal issues?
Once you have paid the visa fees, you will be getting a fee receipt. The receipt will be valid for one year. One is free to schedule an interview within this period.
There is no compulsion that you must schedule the interview as soon as you pay the fees. But, you may need to show the delay or time gap, if you are scheduling it for later.
Giving proper reasons will be required at the interview and helps the visa officer to access and evaluate. Please note that every single piece of information carries its value during the US visa interview process.
Is it mandatory to give my biometrics at the consulate?
Yes, it is mandatory to give biometrics. The only exemption is children under the age of 14, elders above the age of 79. Applicants coming under these categories need not give their fingerprints at the Consulate.
Are there any chances that I can apply for my US tourist visa extension while on a visit?
One can apply for a US tourist visa extension as long as you have a strong reason to. You must apply for the visa extension to the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). You must fill in the application form named, I-539.
You should not apply for an extension within a few days of arrival and should apply for the same at least 45 days before the visa expiry date.
Is travel insurance mandatory for a US tourist visa?
It is not mandatory to have travel insurance when applying for a US tourist visa. But, it is advisable to get one since medical expenses in the US are very high.