Below is information taken from the U.S. Department of State website. To assist you with finding out how to obtain a visa for entry into the United States, we have pulled key information from their website. For the most up to date information, please go directly to travel.state.gov/visa.
If you require an invitation letter, please email email@example.com.
Please provide your full name, mailing address, passport number, date of birth, passport validity duration (date issued to date of expiration), country of citizenship, telephone number, and mobile number (include country code for both phone numbers).
Visitor Visas are nonimmigrant visas for persons who want to enter the United States temporarily for business (visa category B-1), tourism, pleasure or visiting (visa category B-2), or a combination of both purposes (B-1/B-2). For ICPS 2014, all non-US citizens who need a visa to enter the US will be applying for a Visitor Visa (visa category B-1).
- Consult with business associates
- Attend a scientific, educational, professional, or business convention or conference
- Settle an estate
- Negotiate a contract
There are several steps to apply for a visa. The order of these steps and how you complete them may vary at the U.S. embassy or consulate where you apply. Please consult the instructions available on the embassy or consulate website where you will apply. To find your local US embassy or consulate, please click here and look for your country of origin.
Important Note: When applying for a visa, you’ll need to meet all requirements for the visa for which you are applying. The consular officer at the U.S. Embassy or Consulate where you will apply for your visa will determine eligibility for a visa, including type of visa required, based on your application, interview, individual facts presented and on U.S. immigration law.
While interviews are generally not required for applicants of certain ages outlined below, consular officers have the discretion to require an interview of any applicant, regardless of age.
If you are age:
13 and younger
Then an interview is:
Generally not required
You must schedule an appointment for your visa interview, generally, at the U.S. embassy or consulate in the country where you live. You may schedule your interview at any U.S. embassy or consulate, but be aware that it may be difficult to qualify for a visa outside of your place of permanent residence.
Wait times for interview appointments vary by location, season, and visa category, so you should apply for your visa early. Please click here to see what the interview wait time for the location where you will apply will be.
Gather & prepare the below required documents before your visa interview:
- Passport valid for travel to the U.S. Your passport must be valid for at least six months beyond your period of stay in the U. S. (unless exempt by country-specific agreements, please click here for list of exempt countries). If more than one person is included in your passport, each person who needs a visa must submit a separate application.
- Nonimmigrant Visa Application, Form DS-160 confirmation page. Click here to fill out the online version for Form DS-160. (Please note, you can only fill this document online, there is no downloadable form.)
- Application fee or payment receipt (if you are required to pay before your interview).
- Photo. You will upload your photo while completing the online Form DS-160. If the photo upload fails, you must bring one printed photo in the format explained below for the Photograph Requirements.
Your photos or digital images must be:
- In color.
- Sized such that the head is between 1 inch and 1 3/8 inches (22 mm and 35 mm) or 50% and 69% of the image's total height from the bottom of the chin to the top of the head. Please see below for more size requirements details in the section titled “Photo Composition Requirements.”
- Taken within the last 6 months to reflect your current appearance.
- Taken in front of a plain white or off-white background.
- Taken in full-face view directly facing the camera.
- With a neutral facial expression and both eyes open.
- Taken in clothing that you normally wear on a daily basis:
- Uniforms should not be worn in your photo, except religious clothing that is worn daily.
- Do not wear a hat or head covering that obscures the hair or hairline, unless worn daily for a religious purpose. Your full face must be visible, and the head covering must not cast any shadows on your face.
- Headphones, wireless hands-free devices, or similar items are not acceptable.
- If you normally wear glasses (without tinted lenses), a hearing device, or similar articles, they may be worn in your photo.
- Dark glasses or glasses with tinted lenses are not acceptable.
- Glare on glasses is not acceptable in your photo. Avoid glare by a slight downward tilt of the glasses or by removing the glasses or by turning off the camera flash.
Please click here for the Photo Examples to see examples of acceptable and unacceptable photos. Photos copied or digitally scanned from driver’s licenses or other official documents are not acceptable. In addition, snapshots, magazine photos, low quality vending machine or mobile phone photos, and full-length photographs are not acceptable.
Photo Composition Requirements:
- The photo must present the full head from the top of the hair to the bottom of the chin.
- Center the head with the frame.
- The person in the photo should have a neutral expression and be facing the camera.
Paper Photo Head Size Template
- Photo must be 2 inches by 2 inches.
- The height of the head (top of hair to bottom of chin) should measure 1 inch to 1 3/8 inches (25 mm - 35 mm).
- Make sure the eye height is between 1 1/8 inches to 1 3/8 inches (28 mm – 35 mm) from the bottom of the photo.
Digital Image Head Size Template
- The top of the head, including the hair, to the bottom of the chin must be between 50% and 69% of the image's total height. The eye height (measured from the bottom of the image to the level of the eyes) should be between 56% and 69% of the image's height.
- Image pixel dimensions must be in a square aspect ratio (meaning the height must be equal to the width). Minimum acceptable dimensions are 600 pixels (width) x 600 pixels (height). Maximum acceptable dimensions are 1200 pixels (width) x 1200 pixels (height).
Review the instructions for how to apply for a visa on the website of the embassy or consulate where you will apply. Additional documents may be requested to establish if you are qualified. For example, additional requested documents may include evidence of:
- The purpose of your trip;
- Your intent to depart the U.S. after your trip; and/or
- Your ability to pay all costs of the trip
- Invitation letter from conference organizer
Evidence of your employment and / or your family ties may be sufficient to show your trip's purpose and your intent to return to your home country. If you cannot cover your trip's expense, you may show evidence that another person will cover some or all of the trip costs.
If you require an invitation letter, please email firstname.lastname@example.org. Please provide your full name, mailing address, passport number, date of birth, passport validity duration, country of citizenship, telephone number, and mobile number (include country code for both phone numbers).
During your visa interview, a consular officer will determine whether you are qualified to receive a visa, and if so, which visa category is appropriate based on your purpose of travel. You will need to establish that you meet the requirements under U.S. law to receive the category of visa for which you are applying.
Ink-free, digital fingerprint scans will be taken as part of your application process. They are usually taken during your interview, but this varies based on location.
After your visa interview, your application may require further administrative processing. You will be informed by the consular officer if further processing is necessary for your application. If further administrative processing is required, it will be additional time after the visa applicant’s interview by a Consular Officer. Applicants are advised of this requirement when they apply. Most administrative processing is resolved within 60 days of the visa interview. When administrative processing is required, the timing will vary based on individual circumstances of each case. Visa applicants are reminded to apply early for their visa, well in advance of the anticipated travel date.
Important Notice: Before making inquiries about status of administrative processing, applicants or their representatives will need to wait at least 60 days from the date of interview or submission of supplemental documents, whichever is later.
When the visa is approved, you may pay a visa issuance fee if applicable to your nationality, and will be informed how your passport with visa will be returned to you. Review the visa processing time, to learn how soon your passport with visa will generally be ready for pick-up or delivery by the courier.
*Above information is sourced from the U.S. Department of State website.