Traveling to the USA is notoriously nerve-wracking for many. Stories of being searched by the NSA, denial of entry, and people being held for hours whilst security tries to find out if you’re there for more than just a holiday are common. It’s well known that to travel into the USA, you’ll need to apply for a tourism or visitor visa to get into the country for a vacation.
Here we’ll discuss everything you need to know and consider when applying for your USA visa, and answer some frequently asked questions to make sure your journey goes as smoothly as possible.
Why do I need a visa?
You may be wondering if this process is even necessary. Well, you won’t get very far in your journey if you haven’t received your visa yet. The main reason you will be applying for a visa is so that the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) can be confident that you’re visiting for the reasons you’ve stated. They need to know that when you claim you’re visiting the country for a two week holiday, you’re not planning on disappearing to work cash-in-hand over on the other side of the country!
If you’ve been denied, then it isn’t the end of the world, but you’ll need to be sure as to why you’ve been rejected before you apply again after 3 business days. It may be as simple as being unable to prove where you’ll be staying, for example.
How do I apply?
Sending off your visa application doesn’t need to feel as stressful as it may do. You will need to set some time aside to go through everything though, so make sure you’ve got no distractions. It takes roughly 90 minutes to go through the initial application process so get comfortable! You’ll need to visit the official U.S. Visa Service website, linked at the start of this article, and follow the steps provided.
What else should I consider?
Some other things to remember when planning your travel are things like booking your accommodation. This will give you proof of where you’re planning to stay before you apply for your visa. Things such as travel insurance, whilst not compulsory for traveling to the USA, should not be forgotten about. Especially today, making sure you have Coronavirus travel insurance can help to protect you and your money should you have to cancel or even need medical treatment if you were to catch Covid-19 abroad.
Why would I get denied?
There are a number of reasons why people will be denied their visas. A very common issue is that people provide ‘illegitimate documents’ such as invalid bank statements or payslips. Some of course, go further than this and try to give altered/forged documents. It never works out for these people, so don’t try it! Other reasons that people get denied range from accidentally applying for the wrong type of visa, not being clear enough on why you’re visiting. Having insufficient finances to prove you can support yourself whilst visiting, and in extreme circumstances, being considered an enemy of the state.
What types of visas are there?
Whilst most people apply for a Non-Immigrant Visa, for short, temporary visits to the country, there is also the option to apply for an Immigrant Visa if you are in fact planning to stay permanently. This second option can get slightly more complex, but there is a wealth of information and guidance on the steps to take. Again, it’s a lot to take in, but it’s also crucial that you understand the process, so that you can both make the right decision and increase your chances of success during the application process.