How to Get an American Visa

By Kelly Gray
There are many types of visas including those for exchange students, members of the military, foreign nationals and medical professionals.
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U.S. visas are needed when a citizen of another foreign country wants to enter the United States. The visa is put with the individual's passport and allows that person to enter a port, land border crossing or airport. There are two types of visas: nonimmigrant and immigrant. Nonimmigrant visas are used for individuals who are entering the country temporarily, while immigrant visas are designed for those who wish to remain in the United States permanently. (See References 1)

Research what is needed to obtain a U.S. visa. Many countries have different requirements to what is needed to apply. Review the requirements before proceeding with the application process.

Make an interview appointment. Interviews are required for applicants between the ages of 14 and 79 years old. Interview waiting times vary depending upon the country and number of visa applicants. An application processing fee also is associated with applying for a visa. (See References 2)

Prepare the required documentation. This documentation includes a nonimmigrant visa electronic application, a valid passport and one 2x2 photograph. It is possible, depending on the country, that more documentation will be required. Visitors must explain why they are wanting to enter the United States, when they intend to leave the country and how they plan to pay for the trip.

Go to the application appointment. Bring all of the necessary documents and applications. An ink-free, digital fingerprint scan also will be taken. If the visa is accepted, the visa will be put with the passport and returned. Processing times vary by country.