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Guide to US Tourist Visa from India: How to Apply for USA Visa

Updated: Feb 9

Usually, if someone from India wants to visit the USA for tourism, they need to obtain a US tourist visa, also known as a B2 tourist visa. There are two main types of visas for the US: one for a short-term visit (called a nonimmigrant visa) and another for permanent residence (called an immigrant visa).

A B2 tourist visa falls under the short-term visit category. It's for individuals who want to visit the U.S. temporarily for tourism, vacation, visiting family and friends, or medical treatment.

By reading this blog, you will not only learn about applying for a US tourist visa from India but most importantly you will discover the key secrets for a successful application.

Table of Contents: Tourist Visa for USA from India

US Tourist Visa from India, Open?

This would be the first question coming to anyone's mind if the US tourist visa application is currently open or not. The answer is yes, US tourist visa applications from India are currently open. For the latest updates, it's advisable to check the USCIS website.

Situations like COVID-19 can cause delays in US tourist visa applications. During the pandemic, there was a significant delay in obtaining a US tourist visa. However, the situation has improved, and now you can secure a visa appointment more quickly.

Sponsor for US Tourist Visa

The next question that might come to your mind is whether you need a sponsor for a US tourist visa while applying from India. The answer is no; a sponsor is not required to apply for a B2 tourist visa. Even if you don't have any friends, family, or relatives there, you can still apply for a tourist visa to visit the US.

If you have a stable financial background and meet other visa requirements, obtaining a US tourist visa without a sponsor is easily achievable. However, if you have someone in the US who can sponsor you, you can always request them to provide an invitation letter or sponsorship letter. It's optional, though.

US Tourist Visa Cost for Indian

The current cost for a US tourist visa from India is 12,000 INR per person. However, this amount may change in the future. Along with the tourist visa fee, you need to prove your financial stability by demonstrating available funds in your account. It's advisable to show a minimum of 3 lakh rupees in an Indian account associated with the applicant.

US Tourist Visa from India Wait Time

The current wait time for a US tourist visa from India is:

  • New Delhi: 253 days

  • Mumbai: 268 days

  • Chennai: 260 days

  • Kolkata: 240 days

Please note that these wait times can vary significantly depending on when you plan to visit and where you are applying from. India has four visa application centers: Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai, and Kolkata. You can always check the current wait times on the USCIS website.

You can change your appointment date up to four times (not counting the first one) without any problem. But if you cancel the fourth attempt, you have to wait for 90 days before picking a new date.

Moreover, after you schedule your visa interview, you can choose to change the appointment to an earlier date if there are available slots. There's a good chance you might find an earlier date, so it's a good idea to keep an eye out.

US Visa Appointment Available Dates (India)

You can not see the current US visa appointment available dates without completing the DS-160 form and paying the appointment fee. You need to complete the DS-160 form, and pay the MRV fees, and using that receipt number you can move forward to make an appointment for biometrics and an interview.

Note that if you are age:

  • 13 and younger: Generally interview is not required

  • From 14 to 79: Interview required

  • 80 and older: Generally interview is not required

Apply for a U.S. Visa in India

Briefly, to apply for a U.S. Tourist Visa in India, you need to follow these 6 steps:

  • Understand your visa type

  • Complete your DS-160 online application

  • Pay your visa fee of 12,000 INR (per person)

  • Schedule your appointment

  • Attend your interview (in person)

  • Track your passport

If Approved: Book return tickets and make travel arrangements to fly to the US.

If Denied: At the end of the interview, you will receive your passport along with a letter detailing the reasons for the visa refusal. Assess the reasons for denial, consider addressing any issues, and potentially reapply if appropriate.

Tourist Visa for USA from India

US Tourist Visa Requirements

For a US tourist visa application from India, there are five main requirements:

  1. A valid original Indian passport

  2. DS-160 confirmation page

  3. MRV fee payment receipt, Appointment confirmation page

  4. Two passport-size photographs. Generally, it's not required since the photograph is taken during biometrics. However, it's good to keep them just in case the service center faces any technical issues.

  5. Other supporting documents depending on the purpose of travel like Identity, address proofs, employment letters, financial proofs (bank statements), marriage certificates, family photographs, etc.

Always keep in mind three things for a successful Tourist Visa to the USA from India:

  1. Clearly state the purpose and duration of your trip.

  2. Show your intention to leave the United States after your visit.

  3. Demonstrate your capability to cover all the costs of your trip.

Purpose and Duration of Travel

To successfully obtain a B2 tourist visa, it's important to know why you're going (purpose) and how long you plan to stay (duration). Clearly understand your purpose, whether it's for tourism, to see family, or for medical treatment, and make sure to have enough documents to support your reasons when asked during the interview.

Keep in mind that you can stay in the US for up to six months in one go. Despite this, always express your intention to leave the country once your visit is over (even if you are not completing six months).

If you're obtaining a US tourist visa for medical treatment:

  • Get a note from your local doctor explaining your illness and why you need treatment in the United States.

  • Ask a U.S. doctor or medical place to write a letter saying they can treat you. They should also mention how long the treatment will take and how much it will cost, covering doctor fees, hospital charges, and other medical costs.

If you're obtaining a US tourist visa to visit family or friends:

  • It's a good idea to have a sponsor letter with you. Although no one might ask you directly, having this letter can support what you say about visiting someone. Here is an example.

If you're obtaining a US tourist visa for tourism or social events:

  • Know the places you plan to visit, where you'll stay, and how long you'll be at each place. If you have a travel itinerary, it's a good idea to keep it during the B2 visa interview.

Intention to Leave

Show your ties to India, things that connect you to your home country like your job, family, investments, etc. You can use documents such as lease agreements, utility bills, employment letters, tax returns, bank statements, recent pay slips, marriage certificates, and photos that show immediate family members in your home country. Letters from family members confirming your relationship can also help.

Financial Stability

Show proof that you or someone else will pay for your travel, medical bills, and stay in the US. This could be your bank statements, proof of income or savings, or official copies of tax returns from either you or the person/organization covering the trip.

FAQs on Tourist Visa for USA from India

Can I look for a job in the us with a tourist visa?

People with business and tourist visas can now apply for new jobs in the US. You can even go for job interviews with the same visa. However, the US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) says you must change your visa before you start working.

Can I sponsor my friend to the USA for a B2 visa?

Simply put, you can't apply for a B2 visa for someone else. Each person must apply for their visa, and they need to go to the interview themselves. But, if you're a U.S. citizen or a green card holder, you can help and support a family member or friend who is applying for a tourist visa.

How long does it take for a B2 visa to be approved?

Once you send in the DS-160 form, it usually takes USCIS about 1-2 months to review and process the B-2 visa application.

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