Do you dream of expatriation and the American dream? Do you want to live in the United States or just go there for a simple tourist visit? Before leaving and being able to set foot on American soil, you must apply for a USA tourist visa.
There are almost as many visas as there are situations (to do an internship, to study in an American university, to do a linguistic stay…) but we will come back in this article to the procedure of requesting a visa for the USA for a temporary stay.
Who should apply for a USA visa?
The U.S. government is very strict about immigration, even temporary. Whoever wants to work in the United States or just visit the streets of Miami must meet a number of eligibility criteria. Eligibility criteria are verified during the US visa application process.
There are 3 types of US visa applications: the US Visa Waiver Program (VWP) Travel Authorization, the Temporary Resident Visa and the Permanent Resident Visa.
The procedures and the price of the USA visa vary depending on the category of the document desired, but anyone planning to travel to Uncle Sam’s country must have a travel authorization or a USA visa.
The most frequently requested is for tourism, business, study, exchange program and temporary employment.
When to apply for a visa to the United States?
To avoid any disappointment, the answer is unequivocal: as soon as possible! The processing time depends on the type of application but also on the consulate where you apply for your USA visa. Also, the process can sometimes take longer than the announced deadlines if the U.S. authorities deem that additional investigations are necessary.
It is therefore recommended to wait until you have your USA visa in your pocket before booking your plane tickets and your hotel for the United States, because without a visa, you can say goodbye to your trip to Florida.
More generally, and this information is especially for globetrotters, make sure you have a valid electronic or biometric passport before applying for a visa and check the expiration date. Also, if you are a frequent traveler, wait until you are in your country of residence before applying for a USA visa as you will need to go through a physical interview.
How to apply for a visa for the USA?
But then, how to get a visa for the United States? The application for a USA visa is made directly to the American embassy or consulate closest to you.
To obtain a visa for the United States, you must first go to the official government website, i.e. the website of the embassy and consulates of the United States of America to fill out an online form. Please note that if you have any questions regarding the USA visa application process in your home country, you will find the embassy’s contact information (phone number and email address) directly on the website.
Once you have completed your online application, uploaded your photo, paid the visa application fee, and gathered the necessary documents, you will receive a notification of what documents you need to gather and present at your interview at the U.S. Embassy (or Consulate) with a U.S. government official. During this meeting, you will be invited to present yourself and your personal or professional project on the American territory. Without being tied up in every detail, it must be defined in broad terms, particularly concerning your motivations and the estimated duration of your stay.
Once you have passed this interview, the time required to receive your U.S. visa is quite fast (between 3 to 5 days), but it is subject to postal constraints and to the time required to process your file, depending on the number of visa applications in your country.