If you’re planning a trip to the USA, one of the most important steps is to get a valid visa. All Indian citizens must apply several weeks before the journey as the processing times can reach up to 60 days in some cases. Getting it right from the very beginning helps with speeding things up. Check out the tips below for a smooth application process.
Choose Your Visa Carefully
The purpose of your trip determines what type of visa you’ll need. They can be divided into 2 big groups:
- Immigrant. It’s relevant if you plan to relocate to the States. The most popular visas are diversity or fiancee ones. It involves a more complicated process due to a high income of potential migrants. The government looks very cautiously at each applicant and the screening is hands down one of the harshest for applying individuals.
- Non-immigrant. It includes all travel permits issued for temporary trips. It’s meant for students, employees, tourists, and entrepreneurs.
A tourist e-Visa is the most frequently applied for among travel permits. It can be issued from 30 days to 5 years.
- An international passport with empty pages for a new visa
- A photo
- A plan of your trip in a free form
- A confirmation of booked hotel rooms
- A bank statement showing your ability to cover the trip
- A medical insurance
It’s also vital to provide documents that show your ties to your home country. It can be:
- Possession of property
- Your employment contract
- A notice from work stating that you must resume work on a certain date
- A marriage certificate
The more documents you tick off this list, the more chances for approval you have.
Make Sure the Photo is 100% Compliant
Getting your photo right doesn’t specifically mean you have to go to a professional photo centre. Save time and money by choosing the online photo services and trusting them with editing your image to suit the requirements. Best thing about it is that you can take the photo yourself, ensuring you will definitely like what you see in the final result.
Take a shot with your smartphone. Upload the picture to a US visa photo editor. Pay the fee of 350 rupees and have it altered to the right measurements. Additionally, the software will automatically remove the background without compromising the quality of the picture. In the end, you get a file with a digital version of your image, as well as a convenient template for printing.
Applying for Your Visa
Submit your DS-160 form on the U.S. official website. It’s a user-friendly portal where you can find all the necessary information. You’ll need to fill in your application, attach the documents and book an appointment for the interview.
Remember to pay the fee before you go to the Embassy. The price varies from $10 to $80 U.S. dollars. Print out the confirmation of payment. If you fail to provide this document and the confirmation ID your application might get annuled.
5 Common Tips for the U.S. Visa Interview
Submitting the application is 50% of success. If you want to increase your chances of getting the approval, prepare for the interview in advance. Read the most frequent questions and rehearse the answers. Meanwhile, check out these tips and avoid the most common mistakes:
1) Make sure you have everything you need on you
You can get a rejection if your documentation is incomplete. Read the official requirements and check everything before heading to the Embassy to avoid unnecessary delays.
Additionally, study the documents. Consular officers look into the papers you submit and may come up with unexpected questions. You don’t want to contradict whatever’s written in your papers.
2) Never lie
If the consular officers find out that you deliberately provided wrong information, you risk being refused a visa. You’ll also have problems when applying in the future. In the worst case, they’ll start legal action against you.
3) Be confident
The consul will pay attention to your body language, reaction to questions, the authenticity of your answers, pauses, etc. So, control yourself to form the right impression.
4) Brush up on your English
If you feel your communicative skills are not enough, request an interpreter’s services. You don’t have to know the language in case you’re going as a tourist. But it is a bonus if you do.
5) Stick to the required list of documents
Don’t bring the consular officer piles of unnecessary papers. This can raise extra questions and you don’t want that.
Obtaining a U.S. visa from India is easier than most people think. It may be confusing at first, but once you’re done with the procedure, there’s not much left but to wait for your trip in anticipation. Apply online, pay the fee, adjust the photo with a digital tool and go through the interview is all it takes.