Things To Know Before Applying For A US Visa

Visa Free Countries For African Passport Holders

The reasons for travelling differ in individuals just as their faces, it varies from visits for tourism or business, working, studying or permanent relocation.  Whatever the reason may be, you will need a US Visa before you can be allowed into the United States. In this post, we will discuss the things to know before applying for a US visa

Steps to Apply for a US Visa

Application for a US visa should be conducted in a US Embassy/ Consulate in
resident country adhering strictly to the easy guidelines below:

  1.  Verify if visa is a necessity.
  2. Select the US visa type you desire to make application for.
  3. Fill in the visa application form DS-160 for non-immigrant
  4. Payment of US visa application fee
  5. Interview for visa should be scheduled
  6. Document file compilation
  7. Attend interview for visa
  8. Wait for it to undergo prescribed procedures


Verify if visa is a necessity: there are about 40 visa waiver countries whose
citizens need not make application for non-immigrant visa to pay visit to the
United States. Nonetheless, you can make research to know if application for
a US visa is a necessity for you, by making use of the visa checker below:

State purpose of visit to the United States

  • Tourism
  • Relation visitation
  • Medical treatment
  • Transit
  • Attending an event or conference
  • Attending a business meeting
  • Negotiation of business deals
  • Study
  • Work

Select the US visa type you desire to make application for: next stage of
US visa application is to make a choice of the US visa type you desire.

Meanwhile, there are varying US visa types depending on applicants wish,
therefore, additional attention should be paid to making the right choice for
visa application.

Fill in the visa application form DS-160 for non-immigrant: form DS-
160, Non-immigrant visa online application is a required form an applicant
must fill if applying for a US non-immigrant visa. The form is located in the
online website of the US consulate from which applicant is applying.
the DS-160 online form can be filled through:
a. By self (applicant) through Consular Electronic Application Center
b. By assistance of a third party company, that is recommended, such as

Learn More: Visa free Countries for African PassPort Holders   

How to fill in the form DS-160

The DS-160 application form consists of two parts. The first part, involves
questions about applicants personal information which must be answered with
honesty. Questions such as:

  •  Full name
  • Marital status
  • Nationality
  • Date and place of birth
  • Address
  • Resident Country
  • Mobile number
  • Email
  • Passport number
  • Passport book number
  • Family information
  • Education
  • Work, e.t.c.

The second part of the application form online consists questions based on security
and background information as follows:
a. Ever have you been arrested or convicted for a crime or an offense.
b. Ever engaged in a conspiracy to violate, any stipulated law relating to
controlled substances.
c. Ever been involved in money laundering.

d. Ever ordered, encouraged, committed, assisted, or otherwise participated in
genocide, etc.

Payment of US visa application fee: The next stage in the application of a
US visa is making payment for the US visa application fee.
The Machine Readable Visa Fee for visa applicants is dependent on the type of
visa application is desired. The schedule is ranked as:

  • MRV Fee – $160
  • Petition Based Applicants (H, L, O, P, Q, R) – $190
  • E-1, E-2 & E-3 visa applicants – $205

Bearing in mind that visa fee is non- refundable if appointment is terminated or
application is disallowed.
Apart from US visa application fees, US visa issuance fees payment could be
requested for. The relationship that the US has with applicant’s home country is a
determiner of the amount to be paid for visa issuance fees. As regards to the
aforementioned some applicants will have to pay them and some will not have to
pay. The amount to be paid differs from country to country.
For continuation of application, applicants must tender evidence of payment for all
recommended mandatory fees and preserve the receipts.

Interview for a visa should be scheduled: It is prerequisite for all US non-
immigrant visa applicants between 14 and 79 years old to undergo a visa interview.
To have this mandatory interview, an appointment must be scheduled with the US
consulate or embassy from which applicant is applying. There’s every possibility
that their workload is much and necessitate delay which can range from days to
weeks, applicant must make sure to schedule an interview appointment as early as
possible. However, if certain terms and conditions are fulfilled or met, applicant
may be able to get an emergency US visa appointment.
At the instant of form DS-160 submission, applicant should make an appointment
for interview. Furthermore, applicant gets an interview confirmation letter which
must be tendered on the day of the interview.

Document file compilation: In addition to application form or Form DS-
160: applicant must also submit vital documents for US visa application which is
an evidence to the US consulate that you meet the requirement for the non-
immigrant visa you are applying for.

Attend interview for visa: The last stage in the US visa application process
is the interview. It is essential for applicant to be seen on time at the interview with
all supporting documents. The official who interviews, ask vital questions about
applicant’s background and other relevant details based on the visa applied for. If
applicant is going to the US to work, the interview might take longer time than that
of visitation.

Wait for it to undergo prescribed procedures: After the visa interview,
you must wait for your application to be processed. Processing time ranges from a
few days to a few months. When visa is processed, applicant will find out whether
it was approved or denied. Travel arrangements should be carried out after visa is
approved and not risk making expenses in case it is denied.
For better chances of having a successful US visa interview. Employ the services
of VisaExpress for visitor application.
Is it necessary for visitors to the United States to purchase Health Insurance?
Visitors to the United State are not obliged to purchase health insurance. However,
due to the high costs of the healthcare system in the United State, it is strongly
recommended to have some health insurance coverage purchased before visiting.
The treatment of a broken leg or broken arm will cost you $2,500, while staying
at a US hospital for one night may cost over $10,000, on average.

Applying for a US Visa from Different Countries

Applicants from Australia

Australian residents who are not citizens of a country that participates in the Visa
Waiver program, have to apply for a visa for USA from Australia.

Applicants from the UK

Citizens of the United Kingdom can travel to the US without a visa. However, this
does not cover for UK residents.

Applicants from UAE

UAE is not part of the Visa Waiver program, therefore, its citizens need to apply
for a US visa. 

Applicants from Qatar

Qatar is not part of the Visa Waiver program therefore, Qatari citizens, as well as
residents; might have to apply for a US visa. 

Applicants from Canada

Although Canadians do not need visa nor an ESTA to travel to the US, Canadian
residents who are not citizens of one of the 40 Visa Waiver Countries, need to
apply for a US visa from Canada to visit the US.

Applicants from India

India is not part of the Visa Waiver program therefore Indian citizens need to get a
visa for US.

Applicants from the Philippines

To be able to travel to the US, Philippines citizens and residents need to obtain a
US visa. 



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