American visa online: The Ultimate Guide in 2021
If you plan to travel to the United States, you should already know that your first step should be to obtain an American visa. But do you know how to apply for this type of visa? It may seem simple, but the fact is that it is a very bureaucratic process.
But do not worry. In today’s article we will guide you step by step on how to get your American visa online, whether for vacation, business travel or even stopover in the United States.
First, the most important
- The American visa is mandatory for travelers who intend to spend a few days on vacation or work, and even for those who are just passing through the country.
- There are different types of visas to enter the USA and each one can cost a different price.
- It is possible to apply for an American visa online, either through the United States Embassy or through agencies that carry out this process for you.
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Visitor’s Guide: Everything you need to know about the US visa
Although tourism is the main reason for someone to plan a trip to the United States, the fact is that there are several other reasons why you have to go to any American city.
You can, for example, organize a trip to the USA to study, do business or even to undergo medical treatment. Precisely for this reason, the United States government created several types of American visas.
And each of them, besides having a different purpose, can have different rules and prices. Therefore, in addition to having an advance plan, you need to understand how the procedures work to obtain the American visa. And that’s what we’re going to talk about next.
Who needs a visa to enter the USA?
The American visa, required to enter the United States of America (USA), is mandatory for every citizen, including children.
And that goes for all travel goals, whether on vacation, on business, to study or to undergo medical treatment.
You will not only need the American visa if you have dual nationality, having a valid passport that meets the criteria of the countries participating in the Visa Waiver Program.
The US government’s Visa Waiver program allows citizens of 36 countries, including several European countries, to enter the United States without a visa, for tourism or business trips of up to 90 days.
In other words, if you but also have a European passport, it is possible that you will be eligible for this program. Otherwise, you will necessarily need an American visa to enter the USA.
Do I need a visa to enter the USA if I am going to another country?
Yes. All passengers in transit, that is, who are only stopping over in the United States bound for another country, require an American visa.
However, in cases like this, there is a specific American visa for this purpose, and it is known as a transit visa.
Although the transit visa is different from the conventional American visa, it is also mandatory.
In addition, you need to be aware of other conditions if you are just going to be in the United States.
If you have the United States as your final destination, you will not need to provide proof of vaccination against Yellow Fever.
But if the country of destination has as a rule of entry the presentation of proof of Yellow Fever it is possible that you may be required to do so still on American soil.
What are the types of American visas?
According to the United States Embassy , the purpose of your trip will determine the type of American visa you must apply for.
The most common visas are for business travel and tourism.
The most common visas are for business travel and tourism, being specified by the following nomenclature: B-1 and B-2, respectively.
But, in addition to these two types of visas to enter the United States, there are also specific visas that vary according to your purpose.
Some examples are visas for students who intend to exchange (J-1), for athletes (P-1) and even for journalistic purposes (I) or non-profit religious (R).
You can consult the list of American visas on the website of the United States Embassy. But then you check the main American visas according to the reason for your trip. Look:
What is the step by step to get the American visa?
The American visa application process is the same for all any type of visa.
According to the United States Embassy, all applicants, including children and babies, must follow the following step by step to obtain the American visa:
1st step: DS-160 online form
The first step is to complete all fields on the online form DS-160. This form is located on the official website of the United States Embassy and must be completed in English.
For those who do not speak the language, the site has a mechanism that translates the questions on the form into Portuguese, which can facilitate the completion.
The main tip here is that when you are filling out the DS-160 form you should save it at the end of each page and keep the “Application ID” number. When you finish filling out, you need to print the confirmation page.
2nd step: Pay the fee
Then, you need to pay the fee that is charged for applying for an American visa.
It is worth mentioning that the price of the American visa may vary according to the purpose. We will talk about this in more detail later in this article.
The US visa fee can be paid by credit card, online or over the phone. But it is also possible to pay for the American visa using a bank slip.
Important: If the US visa fee is paid by bank slip, it is necessary to wait for payment confirmation before scheduling the interview.
3rd step: Schedule the interview
After completing the DS-160 form and paying the US visa application fee, you must then schedule the interview.
And here, you must make two appointments: one at the Visa Applicant Service Center (CASV) and another at the US Consulate or Embassy.
At CASV, the visit must take place beforehand and serves to collect your data, such as photos and fingerprints. At the Embassy or Consulate, this is where the US visa interview will take place.
You should only buy tickets to the United States when you have a passport with an American visa issued.
To book in both locations, you must access the booking website or call the Call Center using one of the local numbers that you find on the embassy website.
In addition, to make the appointment you will need the confirmation page number of your DS-160 and your passport number.
Where can I apply to apply for an American visa?
As we have seen, the first part of the American visa application process is all done online, on the official page of the North American Embassy.
However, as you can see, it is a laborious process and, for those who do not speak English, it can be much more complicated.
And the fact is that, any mistake or slip in this process can prevent or hinder the obtaining of the American visa.
To avoid this and to facilitate the entire process of the American visa, you can count on the advice of specialized agencies such as, for example, iVisa.
Companies like iVisa carry out the entire process of obtaining a visa to enter the United States for you, from filling out the form, collecting documents to submitting them to the Embassy.
That is, you can rest assured and save time to plan your trip, since all the bureaucratic part will be done by the company.
How to prepare for the American visa interview?
In the entire process of applying for a visa to the United States, the interview is the most feared step. But the most important thing is to stay calm and answer all questions clearly and honestly.
In the interview of the American visa, in general, you will need to confirm the data you presented in the application form.
The duration depends a lot, but if you are prepared and equipped with all the documents it can last up to 5 minutes.
Therefore, as soon as the date of the interview is set, you must already prepare the necessary documentation.
Among the paperwork, there must be your personal documents, documents indicating links with financial proof.
But later in this article we will talk in detail about the documents required to obtain an American visa.
Who doesn’t need to schedule a visa interview?
People over 66 or up to 15 years of age are exempt from fingerprinting.
In such cases, US visa applicants or their representatives must deliver the photograph and the confirmation page of the DS-160 form to the service center.
Minors under 14 or over 79 may also be excused from the interview.
American tourism or business visa applicants who are under 14 years old or over 79 years old can also be excused from the interview.
However, even so, they can be invited to the interview. This decision is actually left to the embassy or consulate.
In addition, in general, people who are just renewing their visa are also exempt from the US visa interview.
Does the American visa guarantee entry to the USA?
According to the US Embassy, the visa does not guarantee entry into the country. That is, even though the American visa is a mandatory document for those who wish to travel or even pass through the country, their entry into the United States may be denied.
This is because, when you arrive in the USA, you must go through customs and be evaluated by immigration agents who will check your documents. At that time, agents can even open their suitcase for inquiries.
If there is any irregularity, with you, your documents or your luggage, even if you have an American visa, your entry may be denied.
Taking out the American visa: Details to take into account
Okay, now that you have an overview of how the American visa application takes place, it’s time to start the action.
But before starting the process, we suggest that you take into account the following details when taking the visa to the USA.
- CASV and Embassy
- Required documents
- How much
- Approval time
- Delivery place
- Shelf life
Below we will explain each of these factors.
CASV and Embassy
As we have seen, you will need to go to two locations to obtain an American visa. First at CASV and then at the Embassy or Consulate.
And as the two bodies are located only in some capitals, you need to plan to have time to go to both. It is worth noting that, in general, it is not possible to schedule to go to both places on the same day.
There are CASV units for those who will obtain an American visa in the following cities:
- Belo Horizonte (MG)
- Recife PE)
- Porto Alegre (RS)
- Rio de Janeiro – RJ)
- Sao Paulo-SP)
The interview to obtain the American visa takes place at the Embassy, or at the consulates in São Paulo, Rio de Janeiro, Porto Alegre and Recife
To apply for an American visa, you will also need some documents and a photo.
You must provide the originals and copies of all documents requested for all travelers and which must be presented on the day of the interview. See which are the indispensable documents:
- Receipt of the visa application fee;
- Passport valid for at least 8 months:
- Confirmation page of the electronic form DS-160;
- Photo according to the specifications of the American government.
But in addition to these documents, there are other requirements and demands that you need to fulfill if you want to obtain an American visa. Most of these demands must be supported by official documents.
Therefore, stay tuned to all documents that you must present on the day of the American visa interview. You should check the complete list on the US Embassy website or with your dispatcher.
But, for you to have an overview, we have gathered the main documents that you must take in the interview of the American visa:
- Sufficient resources: You need to demonstrate by document that you have sufficient financial resources to cover travel and living expenses in the United States.
- Proof of residence: You also need to prove that you have a permanent residence in your country, where you intend to return after the season in the United States. This evidence is usually established through family contacts, employment relationships and properties on your behalf.
- Birth and marriage certificate: You must present either the original or certified copy of the birth and marriage certificate, if you are married.
- Termination of previous marriages: In order to obtain an American visa, you also need to show the final divorce, death certificate or annulment note if this is the case.
- Military certificate: If you were a member of the Military Armed Forces of any country, you must also present a copy of your Military Certificate on the day of the US visa interview.
- Police certificates: Every applicant over 18 years old must present two certificates of good record: one from the Public Security Secretariat and another from the Federal Police.
In addition to these documents, you need to be aware if you have been convicted or acquitted for an offense, or have already been deported or had a problem with the US Department of Homeland Security.
In cases like the ones mentioned above, it does not mean that your visa will be denied. But you need to bring documents and / or official reports that prove your situation for the day of your interview.
Did you know that lost, stolen or damaged visas to the United States cannot be replaced?
If you lose your passport, get stolen or even have a damaged visa page, you will have to apply for a new American visa at a US Consulate or Embassy.
The visa application fee for entering the United States may vary depending on the type of visa you apply for.
There are basically four different prices. Check below the price of the American visa for each category:
Remembering that there are still other categories of visas. And that for each one, extra fees ranging from $ 40 to $ 500 may or may not apply.
Most applicants who have their application approved will receive the US visa within 10 business days. However, some requests may require a longer evaluation time.
Therefore, it is essential that you plan and apply for your American visa in advance.
To check the status of your application you can access the US Department of State’s visa status page.
You can receive the passport with the American visa at your home or at the CASV of your choice. The delivery location option must be determined at the time you are scheduling the interview.
With that, you will be notified by email when the American visa documents are ready to be removed in a CASV.
As a rule, the American tourist visa is valid for 10 years. But that does not mean that you can enter the United States and stay in the country for 10 years.
The validity of the American visa actually means that you have the necessary documentation to enter the USA several times during the 10-year period.
Even so, just as the visa does not guarantee entry into the country, the period of stay in the United States is also defined by the immigration agent.
That is why it is also important to bring documents that prove your stay, your financial resources, your ties with the return ticket.
Another detail that you must take into account is the renewal of the American visa. It is possible to renew or extend the visa, but there is a criterion depending on the type of visa and your situation.
For example, if you have B1, B2, C1, D, F, J or M visas to renew without an interview, the visa must still be valid or have expired in up to 12 months.
The American visa is, in fact, one of the most bureaucratic to obtain. So it takes planning and advance.
To obtain an American visa, you must collect several documents and complete the entire process online, in English, through the website of the United States Embassy.
But if you want more ease and agility and, especially, if you don’t have the command of the English language, you can count on the help of an adviser who will carry out the entire process of the American visa for.