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Non Immigrant Visa: Travel to the US from Europe?

(Last Updated On: May 24, 2021)

Are you planning to go on a vacation but you don’t have a visa for that? And do you know that there are different types of visas for traveling? When foreign national wants to come to the U.S. for a vacation or have travel plans, he or she should apply for a ‘nonimmigrant visa’. But some people cannot even differentiate between immigrant and non-immigrant visas. But it is no difficulty at all. The basic difference between them is that a nonimmigrant visa is used when a person has temporary travel at a specific destination but an immigrant visa is used for a permanent stay. The reason for both permanent and temporary stay can be various. But each person should know about their difference before applying for it.

If you are a tourist, then this article is specifically for you. As it will help you in learning the importance of nonimmigrant visas and learn how it is accessible. So, let’s start!

Travel to the U.S. from Europe?

In case, you want to travel to the U.S. from Europe, you will need to get your immigrant or nonimmigrant visa according to the time duration of your stay. But there is a whole long procedure before you can travel. And you need to fulfill all the procedures as well as meet the eligibility criteria. If you want to apply for a nonimmigrant visa, then this article is for you! You might have a lot of questions about this visa category, but don’t worry. This article will guide you thoroughly about each step. So, let’s begin your learning!

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Who can apply for nonimmigrant visas?

Since a nonimmigrant visa allows you to stay in a place for a specific duration of time. These include students, tourists for travel plans, and people coming to the U.S. for employment purposes and medical treatment. Moreover, anyone who wants to visit the U.S. or any other country for vacation purposes should also apply for a nonimmigrant visa. You should also confirm before the applying process, whether you need to apply for it or not because the applicants already holding a valid passport/U.S. visa or a national of a visa waiver program participating country do not need to apply for a nonimmigrant visa.

Every applicant including children must have their application form for a visa. In the current COVID-19 pandemic, those applicants who want to maintain social distancing can apply by filling online application forms. Whereas, if a person wants to apply in person, he can visit the passport office, but he must obey the privacy policies and SOPs during his entry set by the government officials for security purposes. Check out our new blog on types of immigrant categories.

Types of Nonimmigrant Visas

Now, when you know about what nonimmigrant visas are as well as the non-immigrant visa applicants, you need to know about its different types. It is very important because the purpose of your travel or other facts will determine what type of visa is required under U.S. immigration laws. As a visa applicant, you need to prove that you meet all the requirements of the visa application to which you are applying. When you apply at the U.S. Embassy or a passport office, the consular officer will determine whether you are eligible to receive a visa or not. And if you are, then he will also determine the appropriate category for you based on your purpose. Though there is a long list of nonimmigrant visa categories for temporary visitors, some of the important visa classifications include:

B-1 (Business Visitor)

This category of visa is specific for the people who wish to enter the U.S. for business days (B-1 visas), for tourism (B2 visas), or both of them. In terms of this visa, you have the permission to consult with business associates, attend a professional, educational and scientific conference, business activities, settle an estate or firm, and negotiate a contract. For tourism, you can just chill with your friends, get medical treatment, a participant in social events and live your life. And no additional approval by the U.S. Embassy or the government is necessary to apply for this visa.

J (Exchange Visitor)

J-1 Visa is for the people who have the approval to participate in the exchange visitor programs in the U.S. It has further categories like a camp counselor, specialist, teacher, student, employee, trainee, professor and research scholar, and many other employment purposes. And there’s a thing that people with these purposes cannot travel on the Visa Waiver Program or the Visitor Visa status.

D (Crewmember)

This visa is applicable for people working onboard commercial sea vessels or international airlines in the U.S., providing services required for normal operation and intending to depart the United States on the same vessel or any other vessel within 29 days. If you travel for this purpose, you will also need to have an additional transit (C-1) visa or a combination of C-1/D visas.

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How can you apply for it?

Due to the current COVID-19 pandemic, the State Department had to suspend all the routine visa services at all the U.S. Embassies and consulates, but you can further take updates from their official website. The applying process can differ based on your purpose of travel. But under normal conditions, the general process for a visa includes:

Visa Application form

The first and the most prior step in applying for a U.S. nonimmigrant visa is to complete your application. Fill it with proper letters. After this step, you can move on to further schedule your appointment for a visa interview.

DS-160 form

Next, you need to complete and submit your nonimmigrant visa electronic application (DS-160) form after reviewing the visa application process. You need to submit it before establishing an appointment at the U.S. Embassy or Consulate. There are few things you should consider while submitting this form:

  • The embassy you select at the beginning of this form should be the same one where you are making an appointment.
  • All the questions you answer should be in English letters except your name, you can write it in your native alphabet.
  • Upload a photograph of which you took within the last six months as it is the part of DS-16 form.
  • Make sure to fill all of this at once, because if you stop working on it for straight 20 minutes, it will expire.
  • The completed form will display an alpha-numeric barcode confirmation page. You need to print it as it is an important document for the S. Embassy.
  • Make sure to keep a copy of this confirmation page for safety purposes. And you can exit the page after that.

Application fee

After determining your visa type and submitting your visa application, you must pay the visa fees. It will be visible in front of the visa category you have selected and it will be available either in U.S. dollars or the local currency. Pay your visa application fee through a bank either online or offline. But make sure to check your status after submitting it. Keep your payment receipt as it is necessary for the visa appointment. Due to security procedures, you should make sure to keep a double check of everything.

Logging In

Now you need to log in with the same credentials you used during the payment process. Once you are logged in to the system, you will see your dashboard from where you need to select the Schedule Appointment on the left-hand side menu. You will need a passport number, payment receipt, and the confirmation page to schedule the appointment. Emergency visa interview appointments can only be scheduled online.

Visa Appointment

Make sure to visit the U.S. Embassy or the Consulate and meet the Consular Officer at the given time and date. And check the status of your profile to see if any changes have been made. If your application is approved, collect your visa from the pickup location you selected while scheduling the appointment. After this step, your visa application process is complete. If your application is taking additional time, please cooperate.

Is Visa enough for entry to the United States?

Some people think that only an official visa is essential for entry into foreign states. But the visa issuance does not guarantee the entry of visa holders. It only indicates that a U.S. Consular officer at an American Embassy or consulate has reviewed your application and he is sure that the individual is eligible to enter the country for a specific purpose. The CBP Officer at the port of entry further determines if the individual is eligible for admission under U.S. immigration law.

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