Travelling to US on Visitor Visa? Know the Dos and Don’ts


With a US Visitor Visa, an individual can enter the United States as a tourist. Referred to also as B2 Visa, it is a non-immigrant visa granted to people entering the US temporarily for tourism, recreation, medical treatment, to visit friends, relatives and so on. Any foreign national can apply and obtain a visitor visa.

Citizens of certain countries do not need a visa if their visit is for less than 90 days as the US has a waiver programme with certain countries. Citizens of these countries do not need a visa if they enter America for short durations.

Dos and Don’ts

There are two types of visitor visa/ tourist visa:  B1-B2 or B2 visa.

A visitor visa, subject to the discretion of the US authorities, needs to be stamped on the individual’s your passport.

A person entering the US on a tourist visa must not be involved in business, study or work during his/her stay. (People wanting to visit the US for doing business must apply for Business Visa, aka B1 Visa.)

An individual entering the US on a visitor visa can stay for only up to six moths, depending on its grant at a US airport’s port of entry on his/her arrival. This visa may be extended for six months more subject to certain requirements. For seeking an extension, individuals must submit a visitor visa extension application to the USCIS (United States Citizenship and Immigration Services).

Requirements for Visitor Visa for the USA

To get a Tourist Visa to the USA, an applicant should have a valid passport. The individual then needs to submit the application form at an Embassy/Consulate in person or online by paying the fee and appearing for an interview there.

A digital photograph is a must to before submitting an application for a Visit Visa for the USA. The digital photograph should be a coloured one in a square, must measure 600 pixels by 600 pixels, images resolution must be 24 bits per pixel, should be in the JPEG format and must not exceed 240KB.

Make note of the fact that some embassies or consulates no longer need you to upload a digital photograph while filling the application form.

For a tourist visa to the US, one must fill its form DS160 (US tourist visa application). Once an individual completes the application, she/he will receive a confirmation alongside a 10-digit barcode. It is suggested that applicants take a printout of this page as it would be needed for fixing a visa interview appointment.

The US Visitor Visa application fee can be paid electronically as well as via bank transfer or through  cash at a designated Axis bank or Citibank branches all over India.

It is suggested that individuals ensure that the amount has been received by the US embassy or consulate. An individual can create on US visa service website a profile and choose the Schedule Appointment option. An individual can view the details on the payment confirmation screen where payment options and other details are given.

After an individual pays the fee, she/he will have to schedule two appointments, which is a component of the visitor visa process. The first part of the process entails an appointment with an OFC (Offsite Facilitation Center) where the individual has to provide biometrics information, which includes fingerprints and photographs. In the second part, an appointment is fixed with the Consulate/ Embassy to fix a personal interview for the visa.

If you need a visitor visa to the US in addition to more clarity on it, avail assistance and the help of Y-Axis, a premier Immigration Consultancy firm of India, and apply for it from one of its several offices located all over the country.

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