Several myths have been created around the visa procedure to the United States, especially after Donald Trump won the presidency of the country using an aggressive speech against immigration. Many believed that immigration policies would get stricter, nevertheless, after eight months with the mogul in the White House, for the moment, speculations were not as accurate, when they are contrasted with the real figures.
Brendan O´Brien, the United States General Consul in Argentina stated, “98% of the visas for Argentinian citizens are approved. According to official data, last year 791.000 Argentinians traveled to the USA, and this year, that amount is on the rise. Something that had everyone worried was that at the beginning of the year, president Trump signed an executive order to increase security in the visa procedure.
Consuls did state that they are currently going through a worldwide assessment process, nevertheless, they also said that this wouldn´t affect the positive approval rates. Argentina is the sixth country in the world that delivers the most approved visas with an impressive 1500 per day. Plus, during what they call “Super November” that number doubles and places Argentina in the number one spot. According to consulate officials, the most visited cities are Miami and Orlando, followed by New York.
How to get a visa to the USA?
The first thing you need to specify in the US Embassy´s website is what the motive of your trip is. Tourism? Work? Education? That is what will define what type of visa you need. The most requested visa category by Argentinians is “Business and Tourism” (B1/B2), and in Visa USA Now we specialize in just that visa category.
In case that is the visa category you need, you must first fill out a non-immigrant digital application. Once you have done that you must print the DS-160 confirmation sheet, one for every applicant. Afterwards, enter the “Visa information service” in the US Embassy´s website, and create a username and password. You must then select the visa category you wish to apply for and the DHL (delivery service) office you want your passport to be sent to. Then you must pay $160 for the “Business and Tourism” category, and set up an interview date.
Since this year it´s possible to set up the two interviews that are necessary for the visa procedure for the same day. It generally takes up to 40 days to get an appointment and it takes about a week for your passport to arrive with the visa.
Applicant attention center (CAS, according to the acronym in Spanish)
The CAS in Buenos Aires is located in Avenida Santa Fe 4569 in Palermo. Be punctual and don´t arrive too early, since you will be allowed to enter at the established time. Bring your passport and the printed DS-160 confirmation sheet. You must then go through a line where the CAS employees will check that your confirmation form is complete. Then you will go to a room where they will take the photographs that will appear in your visa, and they´ll also take your fingerprints.
The appointment in the Embassy
Everything is set up so that in 45 minutes the person enters the embassy, goes through the interview process and possibly get his visa approved. If the individual meets the renewal deadlines stipulated by the American consulate he or she does not have to return to the Embassy never again; it´s a once in a lifetime process. The Embassy is located at Calle Colombia 4300, in Palermo, just behind La Rural. The first place you enter, after waiting a few minutes at the door, is an outside patio, where the fingerprints of the applicants are taken.
Once the fingerprinting procedure is completed, you will access the inside of the building, where you will have to make a line and wait for the Embassy staff to call you.
There are 17 cubicles in which the interviews are conducted and this is perhaps the part of the procedure that could take up more time. If yours is a family group, you can go together.
Some ordinary questions are:
Do you have relatives living in the United States?
What is his job?
Are you employed or own a company?
Is your company registered in AFIP?
The interview between the applicant and the embassy official is conducted in Spanish. You have to be as sincere as possible and avoid getting nervous since many people tend to get nervous and this could have a negative effect.
Although it is not mandatory it may be a good idea to carry payment receipts or property titles that prove that you have enough economic ties to your homeland.
Informing that you have relatives living in the United States, especially if they are close, becomes another fundamental fact. If it´s your father, mother or sibling, it is necessary to say it, and also to bring some evidence that explains the situation in which that person is living in the US.
The passport with the visa will take approximately one week to arrive by mail, after the interview, and the confirmation that the visa was approved.
Avoid buying plane tickets before the interview in the Embassy. Also, begin the process with at least two months before you have to travel, considering the 40 days the interview appointment takes and the week you have to wait for your passport.