US visa for Indian citizens

In all cases, Indian citizens need a visa to visit the United States.

US visa for Indians

It is advisable to start a visa application process in advance from the intended date of your trip, as the whole process may take up to 60 days.

Table of contents

Let us tell you how to apply for a U.S. visa in India on your own in a few steps!

What type of US visa to choose?

When applying for an American visa in India, you need to correctly specify the purpose of your trip. All types of US visas for Indian citizens can be divided into two categories:

No matter what type of visa you need, the visa application process will be similar. Only the type of application form, the list of supporting documents and some individual procedures will differ.

If you are traveling to the USA for tourism, private visit, or a business meeting, and so on, your choice must be a B1/B2 visa: visitor visa. The recommendations given in this article refer primarily to this visa type.

US visa application in India

The process of obtaining a U.S. visa in India consists of the following steps.

Registration at CGI Federal

To make an appointment for an American visa interview in India, go to CGI federal website. Create a new account by clicking New User at the bottom of the screen. When signing up for an account, enter your real first and last name as it appears in your passport.

Visa fee payment

The U.S. visa fee for Indian citizens (as well as those from other countries) is $160 (approx. 11,800 Indian rupees). This is the fee for all nonimmigrant visas.

How to pay a US visa fee in India? After logging into your CGI profile you will get an account number to which you must send the visa fee in one of several ways:

The National Electronic Funds Transfer is provided by most banks in India. You may pay the fee directly through the online banking system.

You must already have a valid MPIN at your bank for this option. You can send an IMPS payment via SMS to your bank or via the m-banking facility.

To pay at the bank, you must bring a printed US visa fee collection slip from your online application profile.

Be sure to keep the receipt number, issued after payment: you will need it for further appointment at the interview.

Fill out Form DS-160

This questionnaire is required when applying for a non-immigrant visa. To access the form, enter the 12-digit receipt number you received after you paid the visa fee. Detailed instructions for completing the form can be found at this link.

Each applicant - including children - must fill out their own Form DS-160.

US visa photo

The DS-160 form must be accompanied by a digital photograph that meets US photo requirements:

Here is an example:

US visa photo

To instantly get a US visa photo in India, just upload any of your photos, taken in full-face, here. Visafoto will instantly edit the background, format and image quality. It is recommended to learn more about the US visa photo requirements before uploading your image.

Sign up for an interview

After completing the application form, click the "Schedule My Appointment" link and follow the instructions. In most cases Indian citizens need to do two appointments in order to get a visa to the United States:

To sign up for a U.S. visa interview in India, you will need the following information:

Where is it possible to be interviewed for a U.S. visa in India? There are U.S. consulates in the following Indian cities:

Visit the Visa Application Center (VAC)

This is necessary for taking biometric data. In India, visa application centers are located in the same cities as consulates. You must bring the following documents with you:

If you are renewing your previous visa, skip this step: you can head directly to the consular interview.

Pass the visa interview

You need to come to the consulate for an interview at the appointed time.

Documents to take to the interview for a U.S. visa in India:

For a successful interview, you can also take documents confirming your financial well-being and ties to your home country:

You can read detailed tips on how to pass the interview for a U.S. visa in this article.

If the consular officer approves a visa for you, you will need to wait another 3-4 days for visa processing.

How long can an Indian tourist stay in the US?

US visa validity period for Indian citizens varies from one to 10 years. The visa is a multiple entry visa. If it is a visitor visa, you can stay in the US for 180 days per entry.

Get a correct photo for a US visa

Take a selfie under daylight and turn it into a US visa photo in 2 seconds:

Take an image with a smartphone or camera against any background, upload it here and instantly get a professional photo for your visa, passport or ID.
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