There are a few things you need to do in order to apply for a visit visa to the United States. First, you will need to gather all of the required documentation. This includes a passport, birth certificate, and proof of financial stability. Next, you will need to fill out an application form online. After you have submitted your application, you will need to pay the required fees and schedule an interview at your nearest US embassy or consulate.
Having your parents visit you in America can be a dream come true for both you and your parents. However, I know that many parents feel apprehensive about the visa application process. The good news is that you can help out your parents get a visitor’s visa by applying on their behalf.
Before I start, you should know that the B-1/B-2 visitor visa is issued to people traveling to the US for business (B-1) or pleasure (B-2). The visitor visa category that you should therefore apply for is the B-2 since your parents will be traveling to the US to meet family and friends, and do some sightseeing.
In case your parents are traveling to America to seek medical treatment, they too will need to apply for a B-2 visitor visa.
Related: Tips for Indian parents visiting USA
How to apply for visit visa
Here’s a look at the process for applying for the B-2 visit visa for parents.
US Visa Photo Requirements
A photograph is mandatory for every individual applying for a visitor visa. When getting photographed at a studio, make sure you mention that you need it for the US B-2 visitor visa, since there are specific parameters that the photograph should meet, such as print size, resolution, color, and more.
There are a few requirements for a US visa photo, which include:
- The photo must be in color
- The photo must be taken within the last 6 months
- The photo must be taken against a white or off-white background
- The photo must be of the applicant’s full face, with their head centered in the frame
- The photo must have a neutral expression, with the mouth closed
- The photo must not have any objects obscuring the face
- The photo must not have any glare or shadows on the face
Also read: Sponsor documents required for US visit visa
Fill Form DS-160
Form DS16 is an online non-immigrant visa application form that needs to be completed online. After you have filled in and submitted this form, you will receive a barcode number on the Form DS-160 confirmation page. Keep this barcode number safe, since it will be required to schedule the visa interview. You might also want to keep a print of this barcode and bring it to the interview, just in case they ask for it.
Here’s more information on how to fill form DS160.
Pay the Visa Fee
There is no set fee for a US visit visa, as the cost varies depending on the individual’s circumstances. However, the average cost of a US visit visa is around $160.
Before you schedule the US visitor visa interview, you’ll need to pay a visa fee. You can pay the fee either electronically as a bank transfer or in cash at the designated Axis Bank or Citibank branches throughout India.
Get Visa Interview Appointment
The visa interview is a crucial step toward obtaining a visitor visa. The applicant is required to schedule two appointments, one for the biometrics data of the applicant at the Visa Application Center (VAC) for fingerprint and digital photographs. The other one is an appointment for a US visa interview at the applicable US embassy or consulate. Both appointments can be scheduled either online or at the center.
When scheduling a VAC appointment, you have the option to choose from any of the five centers. Try to choose a center in the same city you live in or closest to your residence for both the VAC and personal interview appointments. This will save you from any kind of last-minute hassle or delay.
Related: Checklist for parents visiting USA
If you are trying to make the appointments online, do know that effective from September 26, 2012, all US visa appointments will be done by a third-party organization, www.ustraveldocs.com/in. This organization works to manage the administrative functions related to the visa application process. Using this system, you can also pay the visa fee online, directly through the website.
When scheduling both appointments, make sure the VAC appointment is scheduled at least one day before the visa interview appointment.
The next step would be to appear for both appointments. When appearing for the visa interview, make sure you bring all the necessary documents. The consular officer might ask you for them. Visit this link to know the documents you’ll need for this purpose.
Got questions? Ask me in the comments.