Are you planning to visit the United States to visit relatives, sightsee, etc.? If so then you’ll likely have to secure a tourist visa. There’s one main exception you should be aware of. However, as with the other types of US visas, it’s critical to have all the critical information you need in order for the process to be as effective as possible.
If you’re a citizen of a foreign nation and you want to enter the US you must first secure a visa. That includes a non-immigrant visa that’s required for a temporary stay or an immigrant visa that’s required for permanent residence.
A Visitor visa is a non-immigrant visa that’s required for people who want to enter the US for a temporary period. That’s included for tourism, business (B1), visiting (B2) or pleasure. There’s also a B1/B2 visa that combines the functions of both Visitor visas.
There are various activities that are allowed with a US Visitor visa and they include the following ones:
- Business (B1)
This includes various activities such as settling an estate, negotiating a contract, attending a convention or conference, or consulting with your business associates. These are types of activities that involve the business world but don’t require you to conduct labor. Make sure to know the exact business activities that you need to conduct in the US so you’ll know whether you require a B1 visa or another type.
- Tourism/Visit (B2)
This includes activities like tourism, vacation, medical treatment, visiting friends/relatives, social events, short recreational course, and amateur events like music or sports. These types of activities are related mostly to visiting or touring in the US. However, you might also be attending some events or completing courses that don’t involve earning money or earning credits, for example. In those types of situations having a Tourism/Visiting, visa is the right one for your particular activities.
It’s important to also be aware of activities that aren’t permitted if you secure a Tourist/Visitor Visa. The reason is that they fall under other categories of visas. They include the following activities:
- Paid performances
- Permanent US residence
- Ship/Aircraft crew-member
- Information media like press, film, radio, journalists
Applying for a Visitor Visa
It’s important to make sure that you follow the right steps when applying for a Visitor visa. The order of the particular steps might vary based on the US embassy or consulate where you submit your application. It’s critical to make sure that you know which requirements apply for the particular embassy/consulate where you’ll be applying for the tourist visa. This will make sure that you’re meeting all the requirements. However, here are the basic steps you must take:
- Complete the non-immigrant Visa Application
This is Form DS-160. You can complete the form online then print the application form confirmation page to verify your application.
- Schedule an interview
You must schedule an interview with your nearest US embassy or consulate. They’re generally not required for applicants of certain ages although sometimes consular require them.
- Prepare for the interview
- Attend the Visa interview