Applying for a visa in a new country is hardly ever simple; however this guide will help you be sure you have all the documents you need to make a smooth migration to the US.
The most important part of the process is gathering the required documents. After you have figured out the correct visa type to apply for, check the requirements and begin the document gathering process.
There are certain required documents that the US consulate or embassy will require from every applicant, regardless of the visa. If you are wondering how to get a US visa, it is crucial to have all of these documents at hand when you begin the visa application.
To begin the process of moving to the USA, make sure that you have prepared these documents:
- First, file the nonimmigrant DS-160 form here.
- A valid passport- Make sure that your passport is valid for at least six months beyond the length of your intended stay.
- One passport photo- You can upload a photo online through the DS-160 form, but you should also bring a physical photo as a backup.
- Receipt of visa application- Bring the receipt to prove payment of your $160 nonimmigrant US visa application.
- Relevant social media- One of the newer visa requirements is to provide a list of your social media accounts for the past five years.
If you are writing these documents in any language other than English, they must be certified by a competent translator.
In addition to the documents above, several other requirements must be met before your visa is approved.
Previous US Visas
If you have any previously obtained US visas in a different passport, you should bring this with you to the consulate on the day of your interview.
Letter of Invitation
This is a letter of intent written by a US citizen or legal resident, that confirms that they can accommodate an individual with family ties or friendship. This also states they have adequate room and board for the visitor for the period of their stay.
Visitor Travel Itinerary
Itineraries should be an overview of the visitor’s plans during the period of their stay. This includes flight reservations for entering and exiting the US.
You should also submit proof of proper accommodation. This can be either where you are planning to stay or proving financial means to pay for a hotel.
Proof of Sponsorship
- To enter the US on a sponsorship visa, you must show proof with these documents:
- Letter for Affidavit- This is a letter confirming that the sponsor has the financial ability to support you.
- Employment Letter- This shows the sponsor’s employment information and salary.
- Paystubs- Generally, three to four recent paystubs are acceptable.
- Bank Letter- Information about the lifespan of the account, deposit dates and present balance.
If you are a property owner in your home country, you will need to bring proof of that. Owning property is very advantageous if you are applying for a nonimmigrant visa. This shows that you have strong ties to your home country and do not plan on staying in the US.
Acceptable proof includes:
- The original ownership documents
- Photos of your property
- A personal affidavit describing your property
You should provide a signed letter from your employer that provides details about your position, length of stay, salary and the period of authorized vacation. You should also bring a pension book if you are retired or a company registration certificate if self-employed.
Family Documents and Physician Note
Family documents such as a birth certificate, marriage or adoption certificate, or close family photographs should be presented at the interview.
You must also schedule a medical appointment with a physician in the country of your interview. An embassy-approved doctor must complete exams.
- If you are applying for a student or work visa, the requirements might be slightly different. It is essential to make sure you have all of the documents required for your specific visa.
A fingerprint sample is a requirement for anyone wishing to obtain a US visa. Depending on your consulate, you will either provide the prints beforehand or at the time of your interview.
Several categories are exempt from fingerprint collection:
- Young children under 14
- Elderly persons over 79
- A-1,A-2, G-1, G-2, G-3, C-3 visas
- NATO applicants
- Those who are unable to give fingerprints
Once you have collected all of the required documents, you are ready to apply. Be sure to double-check the visa requirements and be sure you are prepared for the interview. Most of all, enjoy your stay in the US.