You probably heard all the horror stories too. That the US visa was denied even to people with land titles, cars, credit cards, bank statements, invitations from relatives living in the USA, among other catastrophic stories. The elusive US visa has supposedly even been denied to frequent international travelers. You may even have read or heard stories about US consuls that are extremely strict and don´t even care to review the other documents you have that prove that you are not a threat to the United States and can pay for your temporary stay.
I bet more than one of you hasn´t begun the tourist visa procedure to the United States because of sheer fright to some of the mentioned horror stories. Well, let me tell you that all the procedure is quite simple. I will give you four secrets you must know in order for your visa application procedure to be a success. In this post, I will focus on sharing my interview experience with you, and also other parts of the application process. I hope it´s useful, that you can solve any doubts or worries you may have, and the main thing, I hope it gets your visa approved.
I was actually one of those who thought that getting the visa approved, the first step towards my dream trip to the USA, was going to be mission impossible. That was precisely why I decided to hire Visa USA Now´s services since they specialize in the tourist visa procedure. I had heard some positive comments about the whole organization and something that really interested me was they say their clients have had a 98% approval rate. I didn´t want any bad surprises, so I decided to get some help from professionals that would probably increase my chances of accomplishing my goals.
Even before I paid the fee I contacted the organization. The first thing the advisor said is I had to have complete clarity regarding the purpose of my trip. I told them I was traveling for touristic reasons and they answered I needed a B2 tourist visa. There are several other categories and some embassies combine the B1 category with the B2 category, which creates the B1/B2 category. The B1 category is for business reasons.
Make sure you:
- Check the validity of your passport
- Have your passport nearby while you complete the DS-160 form
- I recommend you go to a place that takes professional photographs since many of those places have “US visa” packages and have the whole process standardized. If you insist on taking it yourself or by someone close to you, make sure you have a camera with a high resolution and that there´s a good lighting. You or the person assisting you should also know something about digital photography, considering the necessary measurements.
You have to pay a $160 fee on the US State Department website, through your bank´s online service. You must have opened a personal account if you want to be able to do this. In some cases, you can pay the fee in local banks. For choosing the date appointment you must enter the US State Department and log into your account. The website will automatically inform you about which are the available dates. That time I remember none of the dates worked for me so I decided to wait a while. I accessed the website the next day and noticed there were available places in the date that worked for me, so I seized the opportunity. So what I did next was to confirm the interview date and to print that confirmation. Once you choose the date you also have to choose the date you find available.
So remember, you need:
- A valid passport (take the former passport where you had your visa if that´s your case)
- The DS-160 confirmation sheet
- The interview confirmation
- The payment receipt
Mind the details. Some embassies won´t require an interview, especially if you are traveling to the United States for the first time, and have never had a visa. According to the procedure, they will give you specific instructions and it´s best you follow them exactly. If they ask for a specific type of envelope, or if they want the photograph to have specific measurements, or if they want details regarding your economic activity, or if they ask if you are related to any terrorist-related activity, best comply with the whole procedure.
Even if the questions seem ridiculous or unnecessary, you must answer every one of them seriously. Funny answers or answers that take the procedures lightly are frowned upon and can negatively affect the result of your application. If you don´t want to have any trouble, then it´s best you keep that rebel in you locked, at least temporarily. Read all the rules very carefully. All the information you need you´ll find at the Department of State´s website. Nevertheless, if you have any questions you can also call a local embassy or consulate for more information.
Remember to always answer truthfully and to be precise with those answers. Only answer what they are asking. Don´t talk too much or answer questions that haven’t been asked. It´s simply not necessary to provide information that hasn´t been requested. Also, truth be told, officials don´t care about those stories, however sad, tragic or entertaining they may be. There are a series of standards they need to comply with, and also a lot of people in line waiting to go next, so they expect direct answers to their specific questions.
You can take some support documents with you the day of the interview, if you like, such as bank statements or income certificates. Just let me tell you that I didn´t need any of those additional documents. My interview was a whole other experience, which I will also share.