How to Apply for a US Tourist Visa

How to apply for a US tourist visa

Over fifty percent of temporary visa applications to the United States are for tourist visas. It is, therefore, important to learn how to apply for a US tourist visa to lessen the chances of making a mistake. In fact, failure to follow instructions is the number one reason a consular officer refuses an application.

The US tourist visa categories.

The visa category of a US tourist visa is “B” since the US temporary visa types follow the letters of the alphabet. There are two sub-categories of the B visa, though a consular officer will often issue both. These visas are:

  • B-1 visa for short business visits.
  • B-2 visa for brief stays for pleasure.

A consular officer may issue you a B-1/B-2 visa if you:

  • Submit proof that you are likely to visit the US often.
  • Have the funds for frequent visits.
  • Have a clean visa or immigration record.

You must apply for another visa category if you intend to engage in the following activities:

A consular officer will refuse your visa application if you are applying to give birth in the country. 

How to Apply for a UK Tourist visa

Are you going on a tour? Get information about the UK Standard Visitor Visa or the Australian Tourist Visa classes.

Dual Intent Motive.

With some exceptions, US immigration law considers all temporary visa applicants as intending immigrants. Thus, consular or visa officers are stricter with tourist visa applications. 

This assumption is the “dual intent” motive. You must overcome this bias by proving in your application that you:

  • Have strong ties to your country of residence. 
  • Intend to leave once the period of your visit is over.

Seven Steps to Apply for a US tourist visa

We’ve listed the seven basic steps for you to learn how to apply for a US tourist visa on your own.

  1. The current application fee is USD160. The actual amount may vary depending on the exchange rate on the date you download, print, and submit the visa deposit slip to an RCBC bank branch closest to you. Safeguard the receipt! You’ll be needing it later on.
  2. In the Philippines, present the deposit slip to an RCBC branch. Include your current and valid passport. The bank will issue you an official receipt number. Keep this number for scheduling your appointment.
  3. Book an appointment for the interview. Select your desired appointment date within four to 24 hours after paying your fee.
  4. Complete the DS 160 Nonimmigrant visa application form. When you have finished, submit the form.
  5. Upload a photo with your application.
  6. Prepare the documents required of you. The consul will interview you, not your documents. So, even if you completed all the requirements, the consul may not ask to see them.
  7. Be at the US Embassy at least 15 minutes before your appointment date and time.

You may be inadmissible, but not know it! Read up on the other reasons why your U.S. visa application could be disapproved.

Reasons for refusing a US tourist visa application.

Your US tourist visa application may be refused if you fail to prove you have permanent “ties” in the Philippines. These ties include:

  • Family.
  • Business
  • Financial
  • Community
  • Membership in organizations. 

Be careful when applying for a tourist visa. Some reasons a consular officer may find you ineligible are that you

  • did not complete the visa application.
  • failed to prove that you are not an intending immigrant.
  • did not provide all documents required of you.
  • misrepresented a material fact or committed fraud.
  • Overstayed in the U.S. during a previous visit.

Important tips at the Embassy.

The following are more tips so you will know how to apply for a US tourist visa.

  • There are two waiting areas to which a guard will direct you. The first is after you pass the X-ray inspection at the non-immigrant visa applicants’ entrance. The second is at the waiting area inside the consular interview section of the Embassy. 
  • Embassy personnel will fingerprint you at the second waiting area. Be alert, watch the queue screen, and listen to announcements. 
  • Approach the consul only when it is your turn. Then, listen to any question the consul may have and give a comprehensive answer.

Do you need additional guidance for the tourist visa application? Review IVC’s Premium Services.

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