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B2 Visa (Tourist Visa)

To travel from one country to another one requires a passport and a visa. Visa is an endorsement on a passport that indicates the holder is allowed to enter, stay or leave for a specified period of time in a country. In order to travel to the US there are different types of visas—B1 or B2 visa, C1 visa, E1 visa, E2 visa, and many others. Each visa defines a purpose. Here in this article we will discuss at length about B2 visa.

When to apply for a B2 visa?

If one is travelling to the US for one of the following reasons, then they should opt for a B2 visa:

  • Travel to the US for tourism—visit US with family or friends
  • Medical treatment
  • Amateurs participating in various social events, but they should not be paid for participation
  • Enrollment in short courses, but not for a degree

Requirements

Once decided on which visa the applicant wants there are some basic documents that the applicant must have in order to apply for a visa. Below is the list:

  • Passport that should have a validity period of 6 months from the date of travel to US
  • Photo
  • Nonimmigrant visa application—Form DS-160  confirmation page
  • If the fee for the interview was paid then the fee receipt needs to be produced during the interview. 

Apart from the above mentioned documents, certain supporting documents may also be required. Below is the list:

  • Purpose of the visit—in case of official trip an invitation letter from the employer is required that mentions the nature of visit and the duration.
  • For business owners, documents such as—bank statement, copy of passbook, tax returns, etc that demonstrates their ability to pay the travel expenses.
  • Travel itinerary
  • Students need to provide their latest school results, degree or diploma
  • Visitors travelling to their relative place should provide photocopies of your relative's proof of status
  • In case applicants are attending business or professional seminars they must produce the event registration proof or the letter of invitation.
  • Individuals applying for visa on medical grounds will need to produce:
    • Medical diagnosis from a local physician and reason for treatment in the US
    • Acceptance letter from a physician or hospital in US expressing a willingness to treat the patient
    • A letter declaring the financial responsibility and the ability to make payments for all the expenses

Eligibility Criteria

To be eligible for a B2 visa, the applicant must fulfill the following criteria:

  • Individuals intent to depart from US after completion of work
  • Ability to bear all costs of the trip. In case individuals are not able to pay all their expenses during their trip they can show that their trip is being sponsored by another individual.

Application Process

The following steps explain the application process of a B2 visa:

  1. In case of a Nonimmigrant Visa applicants should determine the type of visa they need. This can be done by visit the visiting Common Nonimmigrant Visas webpage (http://www.ustraveldocs.com/in/in-niv-visatypeinfo.asp)
  2. Various countries participate in the Visa Waiver Program. The applicant before applying for a visa can check if their country participates in the Visa Waiver Program. 
  3. Once decided on the type of visa, the applicant needs to fill the DS-160 online form. The applicant must read through the guidelines before filling in the application form. Once submitted the application form cannot be edited. In case, the applicant requires any assistance they may consult an immigration lawyer or a translator. This DS-160 form is required to book an appointment.
  4. After the visa type is decided and the DS-160 form is filled, next step is to pay the visa fees. There are various banks who take visa fee via their cash counters. Visa fees can also be paid online. For more details on which banks take visa fees and how to make payment check the link: http://www.ustraveldocs.com/in/in-niv-paymentinfo.asp
  5. After the visa fee payment the applicant is ready to schedule an interview for visa appointment. The applicant needs to login to their profile to pay the visa fee. Once logged in the applicant can schedule an appointment. Applicant needs to schedule two appointments—one the Visa Application Center (VAC) and another, the visa interview at the Embassy or Consulate. During the interview at Embassy or Consulate, finger prints and photos are taken of the applicant. The appointment for the interview at the Embassy or Consulate must be at least one day before the visa interview. The following three information is need to fix an appointment:

    • Applicants Passport number
    • The date of payment of fees
    • The 10-digit bar number code from the DS-160 confirmation page
  6. When the applicant is at VAC they need to carry the following documents:

    • A passport which has atleast a validity of six months from the date of travel
    • Form DS-160 confirmation page
    • Appointment confirmation page
    • One photograph as per visa specification
  7. During the visit to the U.S. Embassy or Consulate the following documents are required:
    • Printed copy of appointment letter
    • DS-160 confirmation page
    • Current and old passport
    • All supporting documents

In case you are denied a visa, all the above process needs to be followed again.

Fee

The application fee for a B2 visa is $160. The applicant may pay the fees either through National Electronic Fund Transfer (NEFT), Mobile Payments, at Axis bank and Citibank cash counter, or at the DRUK bank cash counter.

Application Form

In order to apply for a B2 visa, DS-160 application form needs to be filled. It is an electronic form provided by the US government and has to be completed online.

Rejection Reasons

An applicant could be refused a B2 visa for many reasons. One could be incomplete documents, or if an applicant did not demonstrate to the officer's satisfaction that meets the qualifications for the visa category or the planned activities in the US are allowed by that category.

Validity and duration of stay

A B2 visa has a validity period of 1 year to 10 years. It allows one or multiple entries to the US. B2 visa are valid for a period of 6 months. Extension of visa is possible, provided the individual has not violated any conditions of their admission.  

For more information on B2 visa visit http://travel.state.gov/content/visas/english/visit/visitor.html

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