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B1/B2 Visa for Parents - Documents Checklist and Application Process

Updated: Apr 4


Steps to apply for a B1/B2 visitor visa for parents (India) while on a J1, L1, F1, H1 visa, or green card with a documents checklist, and an end-to-end US visitor visa application process.


Tourist visa for parents

When I applied for my parents' US visitor visa for the first time, I was on a J1 visa. I went through the US visa application process and successfully obtained their US visitor visa. After that, I helped my family and relatives apply for a US visitor visa. In these cases, the sponsoring party held either an F1 visa, an L1 visa, an H1 visa, or a green card.


My experience has given me valuable knowledge about the entire process of obtaining a US visitor visa, from beginning to end. I am eager to share the step-by-step process for applying for a US visitor visa for parents. If you haven't read my previous post on B1/B2 visitor visas, you can begin here to catch up.


Once your parents get a B1/B2 visitor visa they can typically stay in the USA for up to 6 months (in most cases) in a single stretch. I have explained the B2 visa length of stay in detail earlier, and I have provided the link below if you want to read about it.

Usually, a US visitor visa is granted for 10 years, but in some cases, it may be issued for a shorter duration; this varies on a case-by-case basis. Also, don't assume a US visitor visa is always approved, I have seen multiple cases of B1/B2 visa rejections. Roughly 3-5% of B1/B2 tourist visas from India are rejected.



Table of Contents: B2 visa documents checklist for parents


Fill DS-160 Form Online

The first step is to fill out the DS-160 form online. Click on this link, which will take you to the USCIS website. Select your country, enter the code (captcha), and start your DS-160 application process.


Fill DS-160 form online

When you start your DS-160 application, an application ID will be generated for your case. You will be asked to fill out all the information. The entire DS-160 application process typically takes around 1-2 hours if you have all the required details at hand.


You should save your DS-160 application at each step and retrieve your application later by using your application number. Keep saving your progress otherwise your information will be lost and you might have to rework.



The details you would need to fill out in the applications are name, address, passport details, travel details, contact information, family information, work, education details, etc.


At the end of the DS-160 form, if you are filling out this form for your parents then you can add your information in the preparer section. If your parents have filled out the form themselves, then they should add their details.


Once the DS-160 form is completed, you can submit it. No changes can be made after submission so make sure all the information is correct.


You would need to fill out separate DS-160 forms if you are planning to apply for both parents' visas (mother & father).


DS-160 Confirmation Page

After submission, the DS-160 confirmation page will be generated, please save this PDF since you need it for the interview later. While it's possible to print or save the entire application form for future reference, keep in mind that you only need the DS-160 confirmation page for the interview.


DS160 confirmation page

The confirmation form will have a barcode and your DS-160 application number. This page is important and you need to take this confirmation page to the visa office. I have provided a sample above for your reference.



Schedule a US Visa Appointment (India)

Next step, You need to schedule an appointment for the US visa interview and biometrics here. Choose the alphabet with which your country starts. In my case it was India, you can click the link here for India.


Schedule US visa appointment India

Choose a non-immigrant visa and then click on login, at the end, you will be taken here.


You need to register here and a login will be created. Once you log in you can choose the place where you would like the interview to happen. If you are applying from India, the appointment will be available in New Delhi, Mumbai, Hyderabad, and Kolkata. You can choose the location that is convenient for your parents.


You can also choose the language in which you need the interview. For example, if your parents are not comfortable in English you can choose Hindi or any other language as well.



US Visa Fee Payment

After that, you can fill out the other information and at the end, it will ask you to pay the MRV fee for booking the appointment, which was 12,000 INR (per person) in my case. This might change in the future.


I added my mother's name in the same login I created for my father and I had to pay a total of 24,000 INR. You do not need two accounts, you can add your parents as a family in the same account and book visa interview appointments.


There will be several ways to make the payment like online or by going to the bank. I used the online method where I transferred the MRV fee to the account number provided.



B1/B2 Visa Appointment

Once you make the payment a receipt number will be generated. Using that receipt number you can move forward to make a B1/B2 visa appointment for biometrics and interviews by logging back in here. You need to make two appointments which will happen on different days at different locations.


Once you log in, it will ask you to make an appointment. The first appointment will be given for Biometrics and the second date will be booked for the interview.

The first appointment to give biometrics is usually at the Visa Application Center (VAC) or Offsite Facility Center (OFC). Second appointment for the visa interview at the US consulate. Usually, a VAC appointment should be done a few days before the interview date.


Tip: You can reschedule the appointment up to four times; after that, rescheduling will not be available for you.



On the Day of the US Visa Appointment

Go to the VAC appointment where biometrics and pictures will be taken for you. Then attend the visa interview, where you will be interviewed by a US consular officer.


They can ask you anything related to your application, your job, your plan of traveling, and the details of your child/relative living in the US who is sponsoring your trip, etc. I explained all the interview questions in the previous blog. You should go through it once.


At both places make sure to take all the supporting documents applicable to your case since they can ask you for this. At the end of the interview, they will keep your original passport to issue the visa.



B2 Visa Documents Checklist for Parents

List of supporting documents of sponsor like J1, L1, F1 or H1B visa holders for B2 visa application

  • The last 3 months of pay stubs

  • Bank statement for proof of funds

  • Employment verification letter

  • Copy of passport and visa pages

  • Copy of latest I-94

  • I-129S approved letter (for L1) or DS2019 (for J1) or I-797A (for H1B) or Copy of green card



B2 visa documents I asked my parents to bring in

  • Original passport

  • Employment letter (In case parents are working)

  • Bank statement with sufficient balance (parent’s)

  • Aadhar card (I have asked my parents to take all the useful IDs they can bring in)

  • DS-160 confirmation page

  • Appointment confirmation page


B1/B2 Visa Status Check

You can check the status of your US visitor visa here. Hopefully, you find this blog helpful. Please drop me a line in the comments section below if you have any queries. I have added a few more topics below which will help you.



B1 B2 Visa Interview Questions for Parents

B2 visa interview questions for parents visiting the US. Consulate officers might ask you questions about five main topics. These questions will be about the same thing but phrased differently to understand your reason for traveling. These five topics are:


  • Travel Purpose: Why are you traveling to the US? Who do you plan to visit, and what activities do you intend to do during your stay? For instance, if your trip is for tourism, you can mention the places you'd like to visit.


  • Duration of Stay: How long do you intend to stay in the US? You can simply explain that you plan to spend time with your family in the US and then return.


  • Accommodation: Where will you be staying during your visit to the US? Simply tell me you will be staying with your son or daughter in so and so city. If you can remember their city or complete address, it's good.


  • Financial Situation: Who is funding your trip, and do you have sufficient funds to cover your expenses? Can you provide evidence of your financial stability? Are you currently employed? These questions help them ensure that you have the financial stability to visit the US.


  • Travel History: Have you previously visited the US or any other countries? Do you have a history of international travel?

Make sure to give truthful answers to these questions. If you can't remember something, it's okay to tell the officer you don't know. For instance, if you can't remember where your son works or his complete address, it's alright to say so. You can read about the B1/B2 visa interview questions in detail in the link provided above.



But it's a good idea to have this information with you if you can. Having a copy of the invitation letter can also be helpful in these situations because the invitation letter will contain this type of information, which you can then show to the officer. I have provided the link below if you have missed it.


FAQs on US Visa for Parents from India

Can I fill out DS 160 for my parents?

Yes, you can fill out DS 160 for your parents. I have done it several times and obtained their US visitor visa successfully.



How to apply B1/B2 tourist visa for parents?

To apply for a B1/B2 visa for your parents (visitor visas for business and tourism), you'll need to follow these 8 steps:

  1. Complete the DS-160 form online

  2. Pay the visa fee

  3. Schedule the visa appointment

  4. Gather the required documents

  5. Go through biometrics

  6. Attend visa interview

  7. Wait for visa approval

  8. Travel to the U.S.


What can I not do on a B1/B2 visa?

You won't have the ability to work, pursue studies, establish permanent residency, acquire a driver's license, or enroll a child in school.


How to retrieve the DS-160 form after submission?

  1. Visit the CEAC website

  2. Choose your location and enter the captcha

  3. Select "Retrieve an Application"

  4. Enter your DS-160 confirmation number

  5. Complete the security questions

  6. Retrieve your application


Should I select B1 B2 or B2 for parents?

Choose the B1/B2 visa, even if you're going for business or tourism. Typically B1/B2 visa is issued for 10 years, so you can use it whenever you need to visit the US for either reason. In addition, selecting B1/B2 can save you from extra questions at the entry point. Sometimes, even if you pick B1 or B2, the consulate might give you a B1/B2 visa.


Can I sponsor my parents to visit the USA?

You can sponsor parents to visit the USA on a B2 visa. However, sponsorship is not mandatory to apply for a US tourist visa.


How can I bring my parents from India to the USA?

You can bring your parents from India to the USA in the following ways:

  • They can come on a US tourist visa, usually allowing a 6-month stay in one go.

  • If you want them to permanently live in the USA, you must apply for their green card. To do this, you need to be a U.S. citizen and at least 21 years old. Read more.



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11 comentários


Mahi M
Mahi M
5 hours ago

Hi


Applying B1\B2 Visa Renewal Interview Renewal for parents, seen the below details on the US Visa Scheduling portal effective 1st April so seeking the clarification.

""""Regardless, of the location of the consular post for which the interview waiver appointment is scheduled, applicants can still submit their documents free of cost at any of the five Visa Application Centers in Chennai, Hyderabad, Kolkata, Mumbai, or New Delhi""""

As currently only New Delhi VAC is having appointments for B2 Visa Renewal - Interview weaver category, Pls. suggest if the applicants can submit the documents at Chennai VAC at the same time for which appointment is booked at New Delhi.

For example if the applicants book B2 Visa Renewal Interview Waiver case…


Curtir

Hi,

Can you tell me if the process is same for US green card holders who is bringing their parents to USA from India?

Curtir
Hina Singh
Hina Singh
02 de abr.
Respondendo a

Hi Jijo, yes the process is same for the US green card holders. Thanks.

Curtir

Prasad S
Prasad S
10 de mar.

How much minimum account balance require ?

Curtir
Hina Singh
Hina Singh
11 de mar.
Respondendo a

Hi, There is no set rule for this, and it really depends on your plans while on a tourist visa, as well as the state you are visiting. However, it's advisable to keep an account balance of Rs. 3 lakhs or more if you are covering your own expenses (show only if the interviewer asks). If your child is taking care of your expenses, showing an account balance of $5,000 to $10,000 would be a good figure. Thanks.

Curtir

Vijay Kumar Sharma
Vijay Kumar Sharma
06 de dez. de 2023

Hello Hina

You have done a wonderful service to new visa applicants like myself by giving such meaningful and helpful information.

Just wanted to know how will my son, who is currently in the US on a L1 visa, sign the Invitation Letter AND the Sponsorship Letter which he will be giving me to place before the visa officer when I go for the interview.

Your take in the matter will be highly appreciated.

Regards

Vijay Kumar Sharma

06/12/2023

Curtir
Vijay Kumar Sharma
Vijay Kumar Sharma
13 de dez. de 2023
Respondendo a

Thank you Hina so very much for your prompt reply. Thank you once again.

Curtir

Arunima Sikdar
Arunima Sikdar
03 de jan. de 2023