The USA is one of the largest nations in the world, with over 50 States making up the varied terrain and huge landmass. Impressive national parks with vast snow covered mountains, along with stunning coastlines that merge with forests of green, are in stark contrast to the numerous metropolis cities with their soaring skyscrapers, thriving business centres and cultural scene. It is no wonder then, that the US has been a popular location for many who wish to visit and see the sights or simply have a relaxing break.
However, entry to the USA is highly regulated and restrictive, with nearly all foreign citizens having to obtain a visa to enter the country, whether under the non-immigrant category (for those wishing to enjoy a temporary stay) or through the immigrant visa category (for those who require permanent residency). There are numerous categories and classifications of visa applications depending upon the type of visit and length of stay required. Utilising the services of a professional immigration consultant will reduce the confusion and stress involved in selecting the appropriate application which is best suited to your requirements.
When visiting the USA temporarily, there are several variations based on the purpose of your trip, with those planning to conduct business requiring a B1, whereas those entering for the purpose of pleasure, tourism or medical treatment requiring a B2 classification. However, the visa waiver program permits those citizens from approved countries to enter the US without a visa for the purposes of tourism or business, with the prescription that individuals are not allowed to stay over 90 days. According to the US Bureau of Citizenship and Immigration Services, international travellers with visitor visas comprise a large proportion of the temporary visitor travel to the United States every year.
To qualify for a temporary visa, applicants must show that they qualify under the provisions of the Immigration Act, as well as proving the purpose of their trip is to enter the USA for business, pleasure, or medical treatment. Applicants are required to prove that: they plan to remain for a specific and limited period, they have the necessary funds to cover expenses in the USA, they have evidence of compelling social and economic ties abroad, they have a residence outside the USA as well as other binding ties that will insure their return abroad at the end of the visit.
The process of application can be quite rigorous, with even a greater degree of review being completed than in the past. For this reason, it is advisable that you apply for your visa well in advance of your travel departure date. An interview at the USA embassy is required by most applicants as a matter of course. During the visa application process, usually at the interview, an ink-free, digital fingerprint scan will be quickly taken. Some visa applications require further administrative processing, which takes additional time after the visa applicant’s interview by a Consular Officer.
The documentation required to complete the application is lengthy. If time is of the essence, or you want to make the process hassle free, consult an immigration professional who is experienced in immigration applications to the USA. They will know all the legitimate shortcuts and be able to file the application for you, addressing any issues that may arise during the process.