We wrote a guide to US Visa Types that covers all the common visas. This article on the process for US visa application explains the visa process once you know the visa for which you will apply.
If you are working on the process for US visa application, you are by definition outside of the United States. You need to show a visa to gain admission to the United States unless you are visa exempt. Obviously, you do not need a visa when you are a US citizen or lawful permanent resident. Assuming that you are not visa exempt, you need to apply for the US visa type that you have identified that fits your situation best.
Visa Application Process
The process for US visa application starts with completing the DS-160 form. This form is provided by the Department of State (DOS) as the standard application form. The only way to complete this form is online, on the DOS website. Once you’ve completed the form, you can pay for your visa. After you have made the payment, the next step is to register. A lot of consulates will let you use the receipt number for the DS-160 form and your payment to register. Once you register, you can schedule your own appointment.
Now that you have the appointment scheduled, you should gather the required information. You should also gather the documents that support the process for US visa application. For the simplest case, a tourist or business visa, you would want to show that you are not an intending immigrant. The best way to show that is that you own real property in your home country. Moreover, you can also show that you have a job that you can come back to. If you fail to show enough evidence, the consular officer will deny you a visa. For this reason, most visa denials usually reference section 214 be of the Immigration and Nationality Act. A denial with this citation means that you have failed. Unfortunately, you did not overcome the rebuttable presumption that you are an intending immigrant.
Need For Approval From The USCIS
For other visas, you will usually have to have an approval notice from the USCIS first. An example of this requirement is the H-2A agricultural worker visa. If you are intending to come to the United States to work for an agricultural employer, you would have to have a copy of the approval notice that employer received to be successful at the visa interview.
At The Consulate
The consulate usually requires that you first go for a biometrics appointment prior to attending the actual interview of the consular officer. The purpose of this initial appointment is to make sure that you have no criminal record. Once you pass this step, you attend your appointment and make your case to the consular officer, explaining why he or she should approve your visa request. Assuming that you did a good job, consular officer will approve the visa and you will receive your passport back with the visa stamp. Most consulate these days use DHL, and as part of the process you will have designated the address to which it will deliver your passport.
How We Can Help
We can answer your questions about the process for US visa application, we can answer them for you. Perhaps you were denied a visa, we can evaluate the denial letter you received along with your circumstances and advise you on whether it is worth applying again. If any of the services are of interest to you, please contact us.