US Visa Application Process – A Step-by-Step Guide

HomeUS Visa & ImmigrationUS Visa Application Process – A Step-by-Step Guide

Here is your complete guide to the US visa application process. The type of visa you apply for will depend upon the purpose of your trip to the US, e.g. visitor visa application, business visa application, or H1B visa application, etc. This is a general overview of the process which applies to many different types of visas.

Step

Get a Digital Photograph of Each Applicant

A digital photograph is required when applying for a US visa. The photograph must meet certain requirements. You can typical find services that offer photographs for US visas or passport.

US Visa Application Process - A Step-by-Step Guide

The digital photograph must meet the following requirements:

  • The digital photograph must be square.
  • Minimum dimensions must be 600 pixels by 600 pixels.
  • Maximum dimensions must be 1200 pixels by 1200 pixels.
  • Image must be in color (24 bits per pixel).
  • Image must be in the JPEG format (.jpg or .jpeg file extension).
  • File size of the image must be less than or equal to 240 kilobytes.

Step

Complete US Visa Application Form DS160

US Visa Application Process - A Step-by-Step Guide

Visitor visa application (form DS160) must be completed online, over the internet. You can complete the application here.

After successfully completing the application, you will receive a confirmation with a 10-digit barcode. Print this page for your records. This will be needed for setting up your visa interview appointment.

Step

Pay the US Visa Application Fee

US Visa Application Process - A Step-by-Step Guide

The fee can be paid either electronically as a bank transfer or in cash at designated CitiBank or Axis bank branches throughout the India. In order to ensure the proper amount is paid in a timely manner, first create a profile on the US Visa Service website and choose the Schedule Appointment option. On the payment confirmation screen, you will be presented with payment options and further details of how to initiate payment. The fee is good for a year from the date of payment. You must take an appointment within a year for your visa interview.

Step

Take Appointment for Visa Interview

US Visa Application Process - A Step-by-Step Guide

Make an appointment for your visa interview online (www.ustraveldocs.com/in).

Step

US Visa Fingerprinting at Visa Application Center (VAC)

US Visa Application Process - A Step-by-Step Guide

After taking an appointment with the consulate or embassy for your visa interview, schedule your fingerprinting appointment at least a day or two before the interview at the consulate. Previously, fingerprints were taken during the personal interview. However, under the new rules, you are required to give your Biometrics information at your VAC appointment. This measure has been introduced to reduce congestion at the US consular facilities and to speed up applicant processing. Schedule your visa interview appointment at the Consulate or Embassy prior to your VAC appointment.

Step

Go for Visa Interview at Designated US Consulate

US Visa Application Process - A Step-by-Step Guide

On the day and time of your scheduled interview appointment, go to the consulate where your interview is scheduled. Carry all mandatory and supporting documents and originals.

Carry the following to your interview:

  • Your passport (and your old passports if any)
  • Your photograph
  • The DS160 barcode page (you will not need the full application)
  • The visa application fee receipts (applicable for application in US consulate in India)
  • Visa appointment letter
  • Petition-based visa applicants (H, L, F, J, M, R visas) should also bring petition-related documents
  • Supporting documents, based on what kind of visa you are applying for
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