What You Need To Know When Applying For A US Tourist Visa

Q. I have tried to get a tourist (B1/B2) visa to visit my family in the United States, but was denied. I want to apply again, so what documents guarantee the consular officer will approve my application?

A: The only documents required at your visa interview are your one-page DS-160 confirmation page with barcode, a passport-sized photo, and a valid passport.

You will upload your photo while completing the online Form DS-160. We also ask for an additional photo that meets the State Department’s photograph requirements at the time of the interview, in the event that the upload fails. You are welcome to bring whatever information you feel demonstrates strong economic, family or professional ties to your country of residence. However, the consular officer will view such documents at his or her discretion.

Bottom line, as each applicant’s situation is different, there is no standard “set” of documents you can present to ensure a tourist visa. Nevertheless, presenting a consular officer with fraudulent, altered or misleading documents will lead to a visa denial and possibly a permanent ineligibility for a US visa. (See April 2017 article: Lying on a visa application may permanently disqualify you)

The consular officer may request additional documents to establish if you are qualified. For example, additional requested documents may include evidence of:

• The purpose of your trip;

• Your intent to depart the United States after your trip; and/or

• Your ability to pay all costs of the trip.

Note: Evidence of your employment and/or your family ties may be sufficient to show the purpose of your trip and your intent to return to your home country. B1/B2 visa applicants must qualify based on the applicant’s residence and ties abroad, rather than assurances from US family and friends. B1/B2 visa applicants do not need a letter of invitation or an Affidavit of Support to apply for a non-immigrant tourist visa. If you do bring a letter of invitation or Affidavit of Support to your interview, please remember that the consular officer will not use it to determine whether to issue or deny a B1/B2 visa.

Applicants are encouraged to review the instructions for how to apply at: https://jm.usembassy.gov/visas/nonimmigrant-visas/


Q. Why did the consular officer refuse me without even looking at all my documents?

After you hand your passport to the consular officer, he or she reviewed your electronic DS-160 application. That information, along with the information obtained orally during the interview, is typically sufficient for a decision. If the interviewing officer believes a document (such as a job letter from your employer) will be informative, he or she will request it. It is important to note that any documents presented during the interview are only one of many factors a consular officer considers when determining an applicant’s eligibility for a non-immigrant visa. (See June 2017 article: ‘Why was my application denied?


Q. How should I submit the supporting documents for my B1/B2 visa case? Do I need to translate and/or notarise them?

Applicants should submit all supporting documents at the time of visa interview. The embassy does not accept any supporting documentation before the interview for a B1/B2 visa case. Applicants are not required to translate documents into English or notarise the translations for non-immigrant visas. Nevertheless, an applicant may wish to bring officially translated documents in an effort to speed up the visa adjudication process.


Q. I changed my name. Is my US visa with my old name still valid?

If your name has legally changed through marriage, divorce or a court ordered name change, you will need to obtain a new passport. Once you have a new passport, the Department of State recommends that you apply for a new US visa to make it easier for you to travel to and from the United States.


Via Jamaica Observer