How to book a US visa appointment 

How to book a US visa appointment 

Book a US visa appointment if you plan on visiting the United States for business, tourism, study, or temporary employment in the US. This type of visa is generally referred to as a nonimmigrant visa. It covers various categories of applicants who intend to visit the US for a temporary assignment or tourism and then return to their home country. This article gives you a step-by-step guide on how to apply and get your US nonimmigrant visa.

Determine the Type of Visa You Need

There are several types of nonimmigrant. You will need to choose the exact visa type in accordance with your purpose of travel. Some of the visa classifications under nonimmigrant category include:

  B-1 Visa for Business Travelers: For those visiting the US to attend a conference, consult with business associates, negotiate a contract, or settle an estate.

  B-2 Visa Classification for Tourists: This classification includes those visiting for tourism, vacation, social event, medical treatment, or to participate in an amateur contest for no pay.

  Student Visa: This is for those going to the US to study. There are several visa types under this classification. Examples are M-1, F-1, and J-1 visas.

  Exchange Visitor Visa: This visa classification is for foreign nationals going to participate in work-and-study-based exchange visitor programs. It covers various categories of people, including professors or scholars, students, research assistants, trainees, teachers, Au pairs, and camp counselors.

  Employment-Based Nonimmigrant Visa: This includes various temporary work visas for those going to work for US-based employers. It includes H-1B, L-1, and O-1 visas.

NOTE: Some of the above classifications, such as student, exchange visitor, and employment-based, are petition-based visas that require having a U.S. based organization as a sponsor. This means you will have to work closely with the organization sponsoring you to complete the process. For business and tourism visas, you really don’t need a sponsor. You can begin the process all by yourself.

How to book a US visa appointment

Now that you know the appropriate visa classification for your visit, you can proceed to apply for that very visa. The process may vary depending on the U.S. embassy or consulate you are applying from as well as your visa type. For instance, the eligibility requirements for a business visa are quite different from that of a student visa. In general, however, all US nonimmigrant visa applicants will need to complete the following processes:

Complete Online Nonimmigrant Visa Application, Form DS-160

This is the first step to book a US visa appointment. It will take you approximately 90 minutes to complete the DS-160 application form. Once you are done answering the questions in the form, you will need to electronically sign and submit it. Before you start filling the form, ensure that you have all the required documents with you.

Documents Needed to Complete the DS-160 Form

The following documents must be made available:

  Your Passport

  Travel itinerary

  Dates of your last five trips or visits to the US, if you have previously visited the United States. You may also be asked to answer some questions on your international travel history for the past five years.

  Curriculum Vitae or Resume: You may also be required to give some information about your previous and current academic and work history.

  Other Information: Depending on your exact purpose of travelling, you will also be asked to provide some visa-specific additional information when completing your DS-160 form.

  Sponsored Visa: If you applying for a petition-based work visa, you will need to provide a copy of your I-129 petition. for student and exchange visitor visas, you will need to provide your SEVIS ID, as printed on your I-120 or DS-2019.

To boost your chances of visa application approval and avoid delay, you will need to complete the form following the instructions. Keep in mind that any mistake or omission of an important item can jeopardize the entire application process.

NOTE: After completing the DS-160 form, you will need to print the barcode page. Keep the print-out safe because you are going to need it to complete the application and attend your visa interview.

Register and Create a Profile Online

Now that you have completed the DS-160, you will need to Book a US visa appointment. Before you can do this, however, you will need to register and create a profile online. This can be done on the website of the U.S. embassy or consulate where you wish to attend your visa interview. The best thing is to choose the closest US embassy or consulate in your country of residence.

You can also get premium service and help on your application by applying with US visa appointment premium service.

You will head over to this US Travel Docs webpage and select from the map the exact country you where you would like to schedule your appointments. Once you clicked the map, you will be taken to the website.

Ensure that you follow the instructions on the website and provide every document required of you. You will be asked to provide some personal details, such as telephone number and valid email address, and your DS-160 form confirmation barcode page.

Pay Your Visa Application Fee

You will need to pay a non-transferable, non-refundable visa application fee. This is compulsory for all visa applicants, including children. This fee is sometimes referred to as the Machine Readable Visa (MRV) fee. Depending on the visa classification you are pursuing, the majority of nonimmigrant visa applicants will pay either $265 or $190. You will need to use one of the accepted payment options on the website to make your payment.

Schedule Your US Visa Appointment

Now that you have provided all the required documents and fees, you will be able to book a US visa appointment. All visa applicants between age 14 and 79 must appear in person for a one on one interview with a consular officer. For those below the age of 14 and older above 79, they are generally not required to be physically present at the interview. They must, however, complete their applications.  

Your visa interview appointment will be scheduled on the website based on the available dates at the embassy or consulate. The estimated wait times for the interview may vary depending on the visa type and the staffing and workload at the embassy or consulate. In general, however, it is on a first-come-first-have basis. This means the earlier you book a US visa appointment the better.

Attend the Nonimmigrant Visa Interview

After you book a US visa appointment, you will receive a notice detailing your interview date, time, and location, as well as the items to bring to the interview. Ensure that you gather those documents and double-check to be sure none is missing.

On the date of your interview, be sure to be at the venue 15 to 30 minutes before the scheduled time. Once it is your turn, you will be invited for the interview. The consular officer will ask you some questions that will help them make a decision on your application. If all goes well at the interview and the officer is convinced that you deserve the visa, your application will be approved.  

Receive Your Documents and Travel to the US

If your application is approved after you book a US visa appointment, your visa will be prepared and it will be sent to you along with your passport and other travel documents within a few business days. You can now book your flight and make other travel arrangements and then travel to the US with your nonimmigrant visa. After arriving in the US, at the airport or border, the officials will check your travel documents to determine your eligibility to be granted entry.

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This site is not affiliated with the United States Government in any way, we are not a law firm, and are not a substitute for an attorney or law firm. US visas can be obtained through traditional Government channels without our assistance and without paying our service fees by visiting the state department website.