All you need to know about US visas as Joe Biden administration likely to bring respite for Indians


New Delhi: Joe Biden administration’s announcement on Friday (March 12) stating that they are willing to reconsider the objections or adverse decisions to foreign workers on visas like H-1B, due to the three policy memos by the previous Trump administration, brought a sigh of relief for the Indian aspirants.

US visa is an official permission which allows a non-American citizen to enter the United States of America. It is a permit that grants its holder access to enter, travel and stay within the US for a short or indefinite period of time or shift permanently. 

Foreign nationals, from over 156 countries, are granted a US visa in accordance with the US immigration laws and it is granted by the Consular Department of the US Embassy & Consulates. 

The United States gives out over 15 nonimmigrant visas, including tourist visa, business visa, student visa, work visa, exchange visitor visa, transit or ship crew visa, religious worker visa, domestic employee visa and journalist & media visa. 

US Business Visa A is meant for people traveling to the United States for business-related purposes like meeting business associates, attending educational, scientific, professional or business conferences, settling an estate or negotiating contracts. 

US Tourist Visa is useful for people traveling to the United States for the purpose of tourism or meeting family and friends. 

US Student Visa is meant for people traveling to the United States to obtain education. This type of visa is further divided into two categories, students seeking academic education should apply for F1 visa, while those looking to pursue vocational studies should apply for the M1 visa category. The candidates should apply for a student visa only after getting an acceptance letter from the concerned education institution.

US Work Visa is meant for people who wish to work temporarily in the US as a non-immigrant. As per the nature of job and specialization, applicants can choose the appropriate category of US work visa which range from H1B1, H2A, H2B, H3, H4, L1, L2, O, P and Q.

Exchange Visitor Visa is, ‘Jʼ category, available for people who are traveling to the US to participate in an exchange program. 

US Journalist and Media Visa is meant for journalists or representatives of the media who are traveling to the country to cover a story, incident or event. 

Here are the steps to apply for a US Visa:

1. Decide the type of US visa that you need to apply for as per the purpose of your travel 

2. Fill up the DS-160 form or the nonimmigrant visa electronic application form at the official website of the US Consular Electronic Application Center and submit it 

3. Pay the application fee for US visa online through NEFT Print the confirmation page of DS-160 form 

4. Log in to your profile and book an appointment for Visa Application Centre (VAC) and at the US Embassy or Consulate

5. Enter your passport number, 10-digit barcode number mentioned on your DS-160 confirmation page and the visa application fee receipt number 

6. Complete your profile and choose a pickup location to receive your passport 

7. Visit the Visa Application Centre to let the authorities take your photograph and fingerprints 

8. Visit the US Embassy or Consulate on time for your interview along with all the required documents and appear for the interview 

9. The US visa will be provided if you successfully clear the interview

10. Collect your passport from the pickup location



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