USA Visa FAQ
Planning to visit the USA? In this article we have collected the most popular questions and answers regarding the U.S. visa.
This is the first time I am applying for a U.S. visa. For how long will it be issued?
U.S. visitor visa B1/B2 in most cases is issued for a period of 3 years. In more rare cases, this term may be 1 year.
How do I get a U.S. visa on my own?
You will need to pay the visa fee, fill out a DS-160 form in the U.S. State Department website, sign up for an interview at the nearest embassy. The detailed process is described in the article How to apply for a U.S. visa: step-be-step guide.
Can I apply for a U.S. visa in a third country, being a citizen of another country?
Yes, you may apply for a U.S. visa in any country in which you are legally located.
How can I apply for a U.S. visa for my child?
If you or your spouse have a valid U.S. visa, a visa for a child under 14 years of age is issued without an interview. Simply pay a fee, fill out the DS-160 form and attach a copy of your visa to it. Documents together with the original passport and a photo are submitted through the courier service.
How do I apply for a new U.S. visa?
Usually it is very easy to get a second visa to the USA. A U.S. visa can be reissued without an interview if the following conditions are met:
- you apply for a B1/B2 (Visitor/Tourist), C1/D (Crew), and I (Journalists) visas;
- the category of the old visa and the new visa coincide;
- the last visa expired not more than 11 months ago;
- the last visa is not marked with "clearance received".
You need to pay a fee and submit another DS-160 form. Your next step is to login at Ustraveldocs.com and click at “Schedule appointment”. You will answer the interview waiver questions which will evaluate your eligibility to apply for a visa without an interview.
Do I need an invitation to apply for a U.S. visa?
No, an invitation is not required. In the DS-160 visa application form you just need to specify the host's contacts, including address, phone number and email. If you are going to stay in hotels, it is enough to tell about the planned route at the interview.
What are the minimum wage requirements for a US visa?
There are no such requirements, but your confirmed income must be sufficient to get the approval.
How much does an US visa cost?
The fee for tourist, student and business visa is $ 160. When applying for a work visa the amount is $190. Please note: the paid fee is not refundable, regardless of whether the visa was issued or not. The fee can not be transferred to another person.
I have a transit through New York to Canada. Do I need a US visa?
Yes, definitely. You must have a transit or tourist visa if you transit through a USA airport to a third country.
What is the remaining validity period of a passport when applying for a U.S. visa?
You must have at least six months of your passport's expiration date after your intended period of stay in the United States.
What documents should I provide at the U.S. visa interview ?
Most applicants must be provided the following documents: a printout of the appointment letter for the interview, a confirmation page of DS-160 form, one 2x2 inch photo (taken no more than 6 months ago), a valid passport, previous passports (if any). You may also provide any evidence of strong ties with your home country. Keep in mind, however, that what matters most in an interview is not the number of documents provided, but clear and truthful answers about your planned trip to the United States and your intention to return back from the USA.
What are US visa photo requirements?
Uploading a photo to the DS-160 form is important stage of its filling. Problems with the photo may be a reason for visa denial. So, the list of requirements includes:
- size - 2x2 inches. Digital image dimensions are not less than 600x600 px and not more than 1200x1200 px, not more than 240 KB;
- Photo should be made not earlier than 6 months prior to application;
- JPEG format;
- The head should occupy at least 50% and not more than 69% of the image area.
- The background should be monochrome white or off-white.
- Other objects in the photo are not allowed.
- A person should not smile, it is necessary to keep a neutral expression.
You will need both a printed and digital version of the photo. The easiest way to get a U.S. visa photo is to use the Visafoto.com service. Take a photo in full-face on your camera or smartphone and upload it by clicking the link. Service will crop the image, placing the head correctly within allowed limits, clearing background and making sure everything else meets requirements. Photos taken through Visafoto.com fully comply with the official requirements.
My passport has expired but my visa is still valid. Do I have to get a new visa?
No. If your visa is still valid, you may visit the United States with two passports (old and new ones).
My B-1/B-2 visa expires shortly after my expected date of arrival in the United States. Do I need to get a new visa before the trip?
You can enter the United States until the last day of your visa validity. Your visa may expire while you are in the United States. Only make sure that your stay does not exceed the period of time specified by the officer on entry.
Can I study while in the United States on a tourist visa?
As a rule, you need a student visa to study in the USA. However, if your degree program does not include a diploma, and your studies take less than 18 hours per week, you may participate on a tourist visa (B2).
How long can I stay in the U.S. with a tourist visa?
You can spend 180 days in the U.S. on every trip. However, it is not recommended to stay much longer than the period specified in the DS-160!
What happens if I overstay my U.S. visa?
If you overstayed for a period not exceeding a year, you will be denied entry for 3 years. If you are overstayed for more than a year, you will be automatically banned from entry to the United States for 10 years.
How can I extend a U.S. visa?
To extend the permitted period of stay, you must apply for a B1/B2 visa extension package to USCIS and pay a fee of $370. An application for an extension must be submitted before the authorized period of stay expires.
How do I apply for an U.S. visa during the Coronavirus Pandemic?
to sign up for interviews vary by country. Check the Official U.S. visa information and services to find out current information about the operation of U.S. consulates in your country.