US Visa Application

How and where to apply for a U.S. visa

Our company is specialized in visa consulting and processing of U.S. visa applications. We are pleased to advise you about the different types of U.S. visa and inform you where and how you can apply for an American visa. In case you need any assistance with your visa application, please do not hesitate to contact us.

 

U.S. Visa Requirements

First of all, you should know that not every person is eligible to apply for a U.S. visa. Therefore, the first question you should ask yourself is whether you need a visa for the USA or not.

You don’t have to apply for a U.S. visa if

Two crucial aspects you have to keep in mind when you want to find out if you need a visa are also: 

  • the reason why you want to enter the USA and 
  • for how long you want to stay.

On top of that, the following information is importnat to decide what kind of visa you will need: 

  • your nationality
  • previous trips to the USA (including when and how long you entered)
  • potential entry issues in the past.

Since there are more than 50 different visa categories, it is not always easy to know what type of visa you need to apply for. Wir are happy to assist you - contact us today!

 US visa application requirements

Where can I apply for a U.S. visa?

The place of application depends on the type of visa you want to apply for. This will be the U.S. consulate in your home country and, in some cases, the U.S. immigration authority USCIS (United States Citizenship and Immigration Services).

Depending on the visa category, the application process consists of several steps. In the end of each process you usually have to go through the so called consular processing in any one of the U.S. consulates around the world. Here you will get your actual visa in your passport, no matter if you apply for work, visitor  or student visa. You can only get this visa stamp from U.S. embassies.

To find your nearest U.S. embassy, please check out this list with all U.S. embassies around the world.

 

Which consulate is responsible for me?

The easiest way is to go to the U.S. embassy in the country of your residence. Please note, that not all consulates in your country are responsible for every visa category and some embassies don’t process visa applications at all. Depending on the country there are certain local competencies. Therefore, you have to find out which consulate is responsible for your individual case before you start your application process. 

Important: Since 2001 all applicants between the age of 14 and 79 have the duty to appear. That means that these applicants must come to the U.S. consulate for an individual interview to hand in their documents. You cannot send your documents via post upfront.

Only exceptions: The applicant is younger than 14 or older than 79 years of age and for the Visa Reissuance Program, which was introduced in some U.S. consulates in 2011.

Apply for an U.S. visa today!
You have questions about your potential visa category or need assistance when applying for a visa? Our visa experts are happy to help applicants around the world with their visa application process.

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Where to Apply for US Visa 

How can I apply for a U.S. visa?

As just mentioned every applicant has to go through several steps to finally get an approved visa. For example, certain work visas, such as L-1 or H-1B, require the U.S. employer to file a petition to get an Approval Notice. Only after this approval the consulate can process your visa application.

No matter what type of visa you apply for, you always have to go through the consular processing, if you apply from outside of the USA (exception: Visa Waiver Program/ESTA).

Although, the visa process is mostly standardized, there might be regional differences. Information about the procedure can be found on the website of the respective U.S. embassy. 

 

Consular Processing

All applicants for a non-immigrant visa have to hand in the U.S. visa application form DS-160. They also have to create a visa profile on the website of the visa information service CGI Federal Inc. to be able to make appointments and pay the visa administration fee.

Step-by-Step U.S. Visa Application

1. First you have to hand create an online profile.
2. Now you need to send our online application DS-160, incl. digital passport picture.
3. Pay the administration fee. Please note, that you won’t get a refund in case you visa application gets denied. You can pay this fee via:

  • Wire transfer,
  • Debit card,
  • Cash at a bank, or
  • SOFORT Überweisung (an electronic transfer in Germany/Switzerland/Austria).

Other payment methods might be available depending on your country. As soon as your payment is received, you will get an e-mail informing you that your account is activated, and you can make appointments.

4. Now you can schedule an interview appointment in your online visa profile or call the service hotline of the U.S. consulate in your home country. If you schedule an appointment online, you are able to see and pick available dates in your city. You will receive an appointment confirmation and a payment confirmation of your visa application fee.

You can reschedule or cancel your appointment anytime. However, you will have to do the whole process again and also pay the visa application fee again, if you reschedule your appointment more than twice.

 How to Apply for US visa

Visa interview procedure

For your interview appointment you have to make a personal appearance and bring certain documents (only exceptions: Visa Reissuance Program and applicants between 14 and 79 years of age).

Depending on your visa category the requirements vary greatly. The minimum documents you have to present are:

  • Passport
  • Appointment Confirmation
  • DS-160 form Confirmation Page

Please make sure to organize and prepare you required documents early enough. We are happy to help you should you have any questions.

During your interview appointment, all of your documents are screened and you get interviewed. Normally, the consular officer decides straight away if your application is approved, needs further supporting documents, or is denied.

In case it is approved, you have to leave your passport in the embassy for further processing. It will be returned to your provided address within three to seven working days and includes the visa stamp. A personal pick up is usually not possible but could be arranged in exceptional cases.

 

How long are the U.S. visa application processing times?

It is hard to give a general statement about what visa processing times you can expect. The entire visa application processing takes somewhere between two weeks and four months, depending on the type of visa.

Please check what visa category you are going to need to have enough time left for the application process. 

In general the U.S. visa processing times strongly depend on

  1. The visa category you want to apply for,
  2. When you apply for a visa, and
  3. Additional factors.

 

1. THE VISA CATEGORY YOU WANT TO APPLY FOR

There are more than 50 US visa categories which strongly vary in terms of:

  • Effort
  • Application method
  • Official jurisdiction, and
  • Costs.

Many US visa, for instance visitor visa (B-1/B-2), can be applied for during a personal interview appointment in an US consulate. Depending on the country where you want to apply for your visa, interview appointments are usually fairly easy to get, i.e. within one to two weeks. If your application is approved, your passport will be returned to you within one week.

Please note, that some US visa categories, for example work visa, require extensive procedural steps before you can get an interview appointment. Depending on the category, these steps can take two to three months (sometimes even longer).

Our visa experts are happy to assist you in your individual situation.

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2. WHEN YOU APPLY FOR A VISA

There are significantly more visa applications during peak travel seasons. Consequently, the individual visa processing times increase during the summer and winter months.

Moreover, there is an increase in student visa applications (F-1) during the months of summer.

That means that the usual waiting times for an interview appointment can increase to up to three weeks.

If you want to travel during these peak seasons, you should start your visa application process early enough. Due to their workload, the US consulates are not able to consider individual cases (not even in emergency situations).  

 

3. ADDITIONAL FACTORS

Besides the visa category and the season, there are other factors that can influence you visa processing time.

a) Administrative Processing / Security Check

Normally, you get your visa approval or denial during your interview appointment. However, the consular officer has the right to initiate a so called Administrative Processing, which is basically an additional, internal security check. In that case, your passport will be returned to you straight away and you get contacted, as soon as the additional examination is completed.

During the Security Check your data will be checked again with the help of several security data bases.

These internal processes can take very long, often several months. During this time, you are not allowed to enter the USA, not even on the Visa Waiver program. Often, the affected applicants come from certain nationalities, have a criminal record, have previous immigration law violations, or work in sensitive areas.

 

 b) Incomplete Applications

Many applicants are not sufficiently prepared when they come to their interview appointment. Their applications are either incomplete or they do no have enough substantial reasons to apply for the particular visa category.

The consular officer has the right to demand further supporting documents or proof. During the interview appointment, they usually get a list of all the details they have to hand in, often via E-Mail.

Only after a careful evaluation of these documents the officer will decide about the application. This process can take up quite some time. Therefore, it is crucial to start preparing your application and interview appointment early enough and with professional help, if needed.

 

If you assign the visa application to our company, we will guarantee you an easy process the fastest way possible. Contact us now!

US Visa Application

U.S. visa application fee

The fees for a visa application through our U.S. visa service include the following:

 1. Consular Visa Application Processing Fee

For every visa application the U.S. consulate asks for a processing fee that every applicant has to pay. How much that is depends on the visa category. You can find the current visa fees on our website. 

Please note that there can be further visa application fees depending on you visa category. For instance, the work visa H-1B or L-1 require your U.S. employer to file a petition for you. For this petition the USCIS will charge you an additional fee.

Moreover, you have to keep in mind that there will also be costs for translation of documents, notarizations, or evaluations. 

 

 2. Consulting and Processing Package Price

Depending on the type of visa and the involved workload we ask for a consulting and processing package price. We can also offer hourly rates on demand. In case you are in a rush, you can use our express service for an additional fee. Please note, that our consulting and processing rate does not include any fees that are demanded by the U.S. authorities, translation fees or any other potential fees. We can also disburse consular fees for you if required. 

 

Conclusion

Applying for an U.S. visa can be tricky sometimes and takes quite a bit of effort. The requirements must be verified for every single visa category and every individual case. We are familiar with current U.S. visa regulations and are happy to assist you with our expertise.

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