US Visa Appointment

US Immigration recently announced that all visa applicants must have a compulsory visa interview to determine their low risk status as visitors to the United States.

If you are not a citizen from a country with a visa waiver agreement you must apply for a US visa before you travel to the United States. If you are aged over 13 and under 80 years old, you MUST attend a compulsory visa interview at a US Embassy or Consulate.

You do not need to attend an interview if you are from one of the countries participating in one of the Visa Free travel programs.

You may interview in any country outside of the United States, but the US government strongly advise applicants to interview at a US Embassy or Consulate in the country where you live or where you were born. Applicants currently residing in the United States must attend a visa interview in neighboring Canada or Mexico. All dependent family members must also attend your US visa interview. Dependents are classed as children, parents, spouse i.e. close family members. Every member of your family must have a DS-160 confirmation number and must have paid a separate government visa application fee.

 How to Apply

To apply for a US visa appointment with IVT, you must complete the following the steps;

  1. Pay the IVT service fee for checking, processing and scheduling an appointment;
  2. File a non-immigrant visa application form known as form DS-160, each member of the party must file this form including child applicants;
  3. Pay the visa issuance fee each member of the party must pay the fee including child applicants;
  4. Attend an interview at a US Consulate or Embassy of your choice.

All non-immigrant visa applicants including children must complete a DS-160 visa application form and pay the visa issuance fees before applying for a US visa appointment. You will not be able to book an appointment without a DS-160 confirmation number.

Visa appointments are extremely hard to find. Remember the more flexible you can be with the location of your visa appointment the more chance you have of obtaining it.

Inaccurate or incomplete US visa application forms may lead to you being denied a US visa.

Visa Fees

There are several fees that must be paid in order to apply for a US visa if you want to apply with IVT:

1. IVT service fee: $199.99 paid through PayPal for application review, checks, processing and interview scheduling

2. US government MRV fee: This ranges from $160 non-petition visas, $190 for petition based visas and over $200 for other visas. This fee is paid with the credit card provided on the application form. It is non-refundable irrespective of whether a visa is granted or not.

 3. US government reciprocity fee: this fee varies from country to country and is only payable at the interview if a visa is issued.


The Visa Interview

The US visa interview lasts around 30 minutes. The interviewing officer will check your documentation and take an inkless fingerprint scan.

Under US law, the interviewing officer must assume that you intend to stay permanently in the United States and the onus is on the visa applicant to prove with precise, original documentation that your visa application is genuinely for the purpose stated.

Being well prepared for the visa interview will help you feel more relaxed and confident about your chances of getting a US visa.

Questions revolve around several topics and vary between immigration officers. In each case you should try to bring documentary evidence to support your answers. Most interviewing officers start off by asking questions about your reasons for travelling to the United States and how you will afford to live in the USA during your stay:

US Immigration officers also want to check your ties to the United States and will ask questions about relationships you have there to determine if your ties are strong enough to make you stay in the country once your visa expires. You must answer truthfully. Many non-immigrant visas are granted to people who go to visit their family in the US, admitting that you have family there will not jeopardize your chances as long as you can adequately prove that you have sufficient ties to the place you live when applying (e.g. this may be your country of birth or another country where you are registered as a permanent resident.)

Applicants for non-immigrant visas must prove that they have sufficient ties to their home country or their place of permanent residence in order to get a US visa.


Visiting the U.S.
Holding a valid visa does not guarantee entry into America; this is decided at the port of entry by the U.S. immigration officer reviewing your documents. On arrival, the immigration officer will inspect your passport and visa and present you with Form I-94. On this form, the officer will record the length of time you can stay in the US, this may be different to the term specified on your visa. You must leave the US on or before the date logged on the I-94 document. Failure to do so will prevent you from obtaining future entry into the US.

Visa Process
The non-immigrant visa process consists of two steps; Filing an application form with a US Embassy or Consulate in your country of permanent residence and attending a mandatory visa interview with a Consular official who will decide your eligibility for a visa. applicants aged under 14 or over 79 do not have to attend an interview. Some countries require two interviews.
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