Online non-immigrant visa application (ds-160) for United States
Citizens of foreign countries who wish to visit the United States must first get a visa from the United States, which is then placed in the traveler’s passport.
A passport is a travel document that is issued by the country of nationality or citizenship of the person who is traveling.
The DS- 160, online non–immigrant visa application form, is for temporary travel to the United States as well as fiancé/fiancée visas for couples who are engaged or engaged to be married in the United States.
The Department of State website accepts electronic submissions of Form DS-160 through the use of the internet.
The United States Department of State created this online application in order to streamline and simplify the application procedure for those who are interested in applying.
The information entered on the DS-160 is used by the consular officials to process the visa application, and this information, together with a personal interview, is used to assess whether or not an applicant is eligible for a nonimmigrant visa.
If you are planning a brief visit to the U.S for various reasons for instance tourism, Business etc. you will have to apply for a visitor or a transit visa. Below are the simple steps to follow:
- Find out if you need a visa
Check to see if your country in the U.S. Visa Waiver Program (VWP). In case you don’t see your country listed, you will need a nonimmigrant visa to visit the U.S.
- Determine which visa you need
For most tourism and Business travelers they use B-1 and B-2 Visas.
- B-1 visa classification is for business travelers to consult with business associates, attend a conference, settle an estate or negotiate a contract.
- B-2 visa classification is for tourists on vacation and people coming for medical treatment, participation in amateur contests for no pay or a social event.
- Transit C visa classification is for people travelling through the U.S as part of their travel to the next foreign destination.
- Transit C-1, D, and C-1/D visas are for crew members of sea vessels or international airlines travelling to the U.S.
However, if you want to travel to the United States for reasons other than business or pleasure, you must apply for a visa in the appropriate category. This includes if you want to study or work temporarily or permanently.
- Apply for a visa
Visa applicants must demonstrate that they meet all of the conditions for the visa category for which they are applying in order to be granted the visa. When applying, the procedure will differ based on the location of the U.S. embassy or consulate where you apply.
You will have to follow the specific instructions for the country that you are in. However, generally you will be required carry out these steps:
- Read the instructions given in the Form DS-160, Online Nonimmigrant visa Application
- Complete and submit online form DS – 160, the nonimmigrant visa application form and schedule an interview at the U.S Embassy or consulate in the country where you live.
- Next, you need to file your online form
- Print and keep the DS-160 barcode page
- Schedule a Visa interview appointment. You are advised to visit the U.S embassy or consulate website where you will be interviewed for country specific instructions.
- You will receive a confirmation page to bring to your interview.
- Pay the Visa application fee
Waiver Program for Tourist and Business Travelers
International visitors planning to visit the United States for business or pleasure may be eligible for a visa waiver. For a visa waiver, you must be a citizen of one of the 39 nations that are members of the United States Visa Waiver Program (VWP), which is administered by the State Department.
An authorized travel approval is required before your trip, if you intend to visit U.S under the VWP. The Electronic System for Travel Authorization (ESTA) determines the Authorization approvals.
How to Apply for ESTA and get approval to travel to the U.S
- Check the 39 countries list that participate in the VWP.
- You must have an e-passport to use the VWP. This type of passport is also known as an electric passport and has an embedded chip in it.
- Fill out the (ESTA) online application. ESTA determines the eligibility of a visitor to travel to the U.S under VWP.
- The processing fee is $4.00 and if you are approved, there is an additional $10.00 authorization charge.
- Once you complete your application, you will get an ESTA application number. Use this number to check the status of your application whether it has been accepted to travel to the U.S.
In addition to that, it is important to note that visitors travelling to the U.S for tourism or business meetings or conferences under the VWP can stay up to 90 days without a visa.
Student and Vocational Training Visas
An international student is eligible to apply for a student or exchange visitor visa only after being accepted by a school certified in the Student and Exchange visitor program (SEVP). Student’s records are kept in the Student and Exchange Visitor Information System (SEVIS).
Types of Education Visa
The exchange program you will be with, the school you plan to attend or your course of study determine the type of student visa you will need. The common ones are F-1 and M-1 visas.
- F-1 visa classification is for a full–time international student perusing academic study.
- M-1 visa classification is for full time student pursuing vocational studies.
- J-1 visa classification is also known as the exchange visitor program (EVP) and is for foreign nationals approved to take part in work or study-based exchange programs. Examples include visiting scholar, camp counselor or research assistant.
It is important to note that the duration of stay for J-1 visa holders depends on the agreement between you and your Department of state approved sponsoring organization.