The Visitor or Tourist Visa is a nonimmigrant visa for persons desiring
to enter the United States temporarily for business- (B-1) and for
/pleasure/ tourism/medical treatment- (B-2). If the purpose of your planned
travel is recreational in nature, including tourism, amusement, visits with
friends or relatives, rest, medical treatment, and activities of a fraternal,
social, or service nature, then a visitor visa (B-2) would be the appropriate
type of visa for your travel. If the purpose for your planned travel is to
consult with business associates, travel for a scientific, educational,
professional or business convention, or conference on specific dates, settle an
estate, or negotiate a contract, then a business (B-1) visitor visa would be the
appropriate type of visa for your travel. These visas are generally
issued for a period of 3 months to 10years. While the visitor is
in USA, an additional extension of 6 months can be obtained based on the
approval by the INS.
Note: The new
visitor VISA regulations restricts the change of status from B2 to other status.
Where Do I Apply for a Visitor Visa?
Applicants for visitor visas should generally apply at the American Embassy or
Consulate with jurisdiction over their place of permanent residence. Although
visa applicants may apply at any U.S. consular office abroad, it may be more
difficult to qualify for the visa outside the country of permanent residence.
- Changes introduced shortly after September 11, 2001 involve
extensive and ongoing review of visa issuing practices as they relate to our
national security. Visa applications are now subject to a greater degree of
scrutiny than in the past. So it is important to apply for your visa well in
advance of your travel departure date.
- Foreign travelers who are citizens from certain eligible countries, may
also be able to visit the U.S. without a visa on the Visa Waiver Program.
Review the information below about Visa Waiver.
- Persons planning to travel to the U.S. for a different purpose such as
students, temporary workers, crewmen, journalists, etc., must apply for a
different visa in the appropriate category.
|Based on the new process, applicable from Oct 3rd 2005, following is
a list of documents, applicants needs to carry at the time of visa
Documents needed for interview:
- Completed Non-immigration Visa application
form DS-156. Separate form for each applicant.
Note: Visa applicant in India need not to
fill this form separately; if they have taken appointment through
VFS, after Oct 3rd 2005. Since this information will be taken online
by VFS while setting an appointment.
Applicants (between age 15-and 55yrs) in India taking appointment
through VFS need to fill and provide DS157.
- Copy of interview appointment letter which you get at the time
of setting appointment with VFS.
- Application visa fee - original receipt.
- Each applicant (including children of any age) must have an
individual passport valid for travel to the US with a
validity date of at least six months beyond the intended period of
- Two photographs 2 X 2 in. (50 mm square) for each
applicant, showing full face, without head covering, against a light
background. Make sure Photographs are according to
See the Guidelines for Photos required for the US visa.
- Demand draft or cash for visa issuance fee.
- If the applicant is below 14 yrs of age, Original Birth
Certificate of this applicant (child) is required.
- For parents visiting a child resident in the US:
- If child is an Indian citizen.
a. Childs's original birth certificate.
b. Photocopy of all pages of child’s passport.
c. Where the US visa of child has expired, photocopy of the
renewed petition required.
d. Where child is a legal permanent resident in USA, photocopy
of the green card (front and back) is required.
- If child is a U.S. citizen.
a. Photocopy of bio-data page of US passport or photocopy of
Other supporting documents
Since the basic criteria for Tourist/Visitor (B1/B2) visa is to
demonstrate strong ties back in your home country and to convince the
consular officer that applicant has some bindings back in India/home
country and that he/she will come back after his visit.
The applicant must provide sufficient and convincing proofs and
documents which supports his claim to return back and have no intention
to stay in USA after the visa expires. To support this, one can provide
the following documents, which can be helpful to convince the consular
officer that he/she has strong ties to his/her country and is likely to
Applicants who are not being sponsored by any one and want to
visit USA on their own must present credible evidence to show that
they have sufficient funds. Must carry necessary financial evidence
like bank statement etc which shows their financial position and can
convince the consular officer.
If its a business trip (B1 visa), a letter from employer
requesting the Visa for the applicant addressed to consulate,
indicating the purpose and length of the trip as well as the
company's/ firm's intent to bear the costs of the entire trip,
including lodging , food, medical and other expenses. Also provide
the company's market and financial position with financial records,
sources of funds, Tax papers and any News paper/press coverage or
Advertisement brochures about the company.
- Original property papers like house, shop or business
ownership documents etc. which a person owns in India/home
country. If no papers available make a Notarized Affidavit for
- Family bindings like unmarried children, old aged parents
and other family responsibilities.
- Original Bank statements/Passbook.
- Fixed Deposit/ Share/mutual funds statement.
- Tax returns statements if any.
- If person is an employee, then show proof of employment and
proof of leave grant from the office.
- And any such document like an Affidavit of Assurance, that
visitor's intention is truly for visit and will be coming back,
and have no intention to stay in US for a longer time.
(Note: Carry all Originals for interview. Except the visa fee most
of the other documents will be given back after the interview.)
Applicants should use the same passport to purchase
their receipt ( Or pay fee) as they will use at the time of interview.
If your passport expires within the next 6 - 12 months It is advised
to obtain a new passport prior to purchasing a receipt for a visa
Documents Required for Visitors Visa:
To invite your parents,
friends, or any other relative to USA, you (the
sponsor) need to provide them with a few
documents, which are required in order to get
the visitor visa approval by the USA consulate.
Sponsor in USA needs to
- Completed and notarized Affidavit of
- A letter from Bank/banks (on their
business letter head), stating your account
- Verification Letter which is usually on
the bank's office stationary and should have
the Date of Account Opened and
- Copy of your Bank Statement, showing a
good balance in order to justify your
- Certificate Letter from your employer
(on company's business letter head), stating
that you are a permanent employee of the
company, and also stating your salary.
- 1 or 2 recent pay stub copies.
- Copy of a few recent income tax returns
or last few W2 forms.
- If you are a Visa holder Copies of your
- Visa (H1/L1), H1 Approval Form (I-797),
and I-94. (If visa has expired but has a
renewed petition, a photocopy of the renewed
If Green Card Holder: Copy of Green Card
front and back.
If USA citizen: Copy of certificate of
- A neat photocopy of your complete
Passport, including even the blank pages.
If you are sponsoring your in-laws, photocopies of all
pages including blank pages of your spouse's
passport and your marriage certificate is
- If sponsoring your parents, original
birth certificate of the sponsor child (son
or daughter) is required.
If you are inviting your in-laws, then spouse's birth
certificate is required not yours.
- An Application Letter from you to the US
consulate in India (address it to the
particular consulate e.g. Delhi), requesting
for issuing a visitor visa to the concerned
person, stating that you will be taking care
of every requirement for these people,
including tickets, boarding and other
expenses in USA.
- A formal Invitation Letter addressed to
the person's) you are inviting to US. Also
stating that you will be taking care of all
their needs while in US, including tickets,
boarding and other expenses in here.
If you are calling your parents for arrival of baby then you should also include
following documents along with the above
a) Document of Pregnancy;
b) Your financial capacity;
c) Your parents ties with India - financial and personal;
d) And everything else (within reason) that the consulate requests.