Getting a Visa to Visit the United States
Generally, US visas -- or authorization documents -- must be secured by those wishing to enter the United States from another country to temporarily visit or work within American territory. A US visa is usually a stamp or authorization inside a passport. When a traveler approaches a border crossing, airport, or another port of entry, the American visa can be requested. You may need to show it to officials from Customs and Border Protection (CBP) or the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) in order to enter the United States. US visas show that a consular official has determined that a traveler is eligible to enter the US for the purposes outlined in the visa.
It is important to note that a US visa does not guarantee entry into the US. Travelers can still be denied entry if DHS or CBP officials determine that a traveler is not eligible to enter the country. On the other hand, travelers from certain countries who wish to enter the US on a temporary basis may not need a visa at all. However, for most people hoping to enter the US to live and work, a USA visa is an important first step.
Types of visas available
There are two basic types of US visas: immigrant visas and nonimmigrant visas. Immigrant visas allow travelers to enter the US in order to live and work permanently in the US. Non-immigrant visas allow travelers to enter the US temporarily for a specific reason, such as tourism or business. Within these two general categories, there are many types of visas. For example, the K1- Fiancé visa allows a traveler to enter the US in order to marry a US citizen or permanent resident. A B-1 or B-2 Visitor visa allows a traveler to enter the US for general tourism or certain medical reasons. A B-1 Business Visitor visa is designed to allow people to enter the US for business reasons. There are many other ways to enter the US through a US visa.
If you want to enter the US, determine whether you need a visa. You may ask at a US embassy or consulate in your location as to whether you need a visa to enter the US. If your home country is part of the Visa Waiver Program (VWP) and you hope to enter the US temporarily without working or living in the US, you may not need a USA visa at all. If, however, you will need to live and work in the US, or if your country is not part of the VWP, you will need a visa. Review the types of visas available in order to determine which visas you may be eligible for.
Applying for visas
Whether you are applying for a Fiancée visa or B-2 Visitor visa, apply for your visa well in advance of your travel date. Different US visas have different wait times. In some cases, there is a limit on the number of visas issued each year; this may mean that you'll need to wait until a US visa becomes available for you. It's important to smartly navigate the visa process to enter the United States of America; immigration is highly regulated. Filing documentation, completing the appropriate forms, and paying the correct fees will be required. Also, for many types of visa applications, you will generally need to attend an interview at a US consulate or embassy and submit to fingerprinting.
Applying for a visa is a completely different and separate process from the application for US citizenship. When processing a visa, it is important to file for the correct visa in the correct manner. No matter how small, mistakes can delay your visa application considerably, especially if you are applying for US visas with long wait periods. If your application is rejected, you may need to wait a long time for a US visa to again become available to you. Ensure that you get your visa application correct the first time. To that end, US-Immigration.com can help. US-Immigration.com provides a number of kits for visas which can help you complete your visa application correctly. Each kit contains everything you need, including the latest forms to fill out as well as clear and easy-to-understand step-by-step directions that can help you fill out visa application forms. For example, the B-1 Business Visa Application kit contains everything you need to apply for a business visa. The US-Immigration.com K1- Fiancé Visa application package contains the application forms, a glossary, and simple instructions. US-Immigration.com even has a Fiancé(e) (K-1) Visa & Marriage Visa Interview Guide DVD available which can help couples understand how to navigate the sometimes-stressful visa interview.