group-2line-73

Blog

Get started

US Tourist Visa Guide: Requirements, Application Process, and Fees

Last Update: 15-05-2024

US Tourist Visa

⚡Quick Summary

Is a Visa Required for the USA

Is a visa required for the USA?

Yes, all Indian passport holders require a visa to visit the USA.

US Tourist Visa Processing Time

US tourist visa processing time

6-12 Months

US Tourist Visa Fees

US tourist visa fees

US$ 185 (~ ₹ 15,540)

US Tourist Visa Validity

US tourist visa validity

10 Years

US tourist Visa Stay Duration

US tourist visa stay duration

6 Months

How to Apply for a USA Tourist Visa

How to apply for a USA visa

  1. Apply through Teleport
  2. Apply through a US government portal.
Documents Required for USA Visa

Documents required for USA visa

  1. Passport
  2. Photograph
  3. DS 160 Confirmation
  4. Cover Letter
  5. Invitation Letter
  6. Bank Statement
  7. Income Tax Return
  8. Other supporting documents
USA offer Visas on Arrival

Does the USA offer visas on arrival?

No, the USA does not grant visas on arrival to Indians.

Do Indians Require a Tourist Visa for the US?

Yes, Indians need a tourist visa to visit the USA for recreational or tourism purposes. This visa is known as the B-2 visa. With a B-2 visa, Indians can engage in tourism, sightseeing, visiting family or friends, or receiving medical treatment. B-1 Visa is for people travelling to the United States for business-related activities such as negotiation of contracts, and attending educational, scientific, and professional conferences or conventions, and seminars. Generally, B-1 and B-2 visas are combined and issued together as one called B-1/B-2 visa. 

Table of Contents


  1. Introduction
  2. US Tourist Visa Requirements - Documentation
  3. US Visa Photo Specifications for Indians
  4. How to Apply for a US Tourist Visa from India?
  5. USA Tourist Visa Processing Time
  6. US Tourist Visa Fees for Indians
  7. US Tourist Visa Validity and Duration
  8. Can Indians Extend US Tourist Visas Validity?
  9. How to Check US Tourist Visa Status?
  10. Reasons for USA Visa Rejection for Indians
  11. Do I Require a Transit Visa for the USA?
  12. What to do Upon Reaching the US Airport?
  13. Conclusion
  14. FAQs

Introduction

Planning a trip to the USA can be exciting! But navigating the visa process can be equally overwhelming. So, in this comprehensive blog, we share everything you need to obtain your US tourist visa from India. 

From essential documentation to in-depth application procedure, visa fees, validity, practical tips and more, we’ll cover all the details. Whether you're a first-time traveller or a seasoned globetrotter, our goal is to make your journey to the USA stress-free.

If you have any questions, reach out to our dedicated team of visa experts. Call us on 073148 52914 or drop us a message on WhatsApp

Let's go to the USA, leaving all our visa worries behind!

Is There a USA Visa on Arrival for Indian Citizens?

No, Indians cannot get a USA visa on arrival. Travellers from India need to obtain a visa before arriving in the United States. The USA visa for tourism is the B-2 visa or B-1/B-2 visa and requires an application process and approval before travel.

US Tourist Visa Requirements - Documentation

Mandatory Documents

Passport

  • Original passport for biometric appointment
  • Old Passport (if any)

Recent Photograph

  • Required for Dropbox applicants
  • White background
  • 2 X 2 inches (51 X 51 mm) in size
  • Without specs and sunglasses

Bank Statement

Last 6 months' bank statements

Income Tax Return

Income Tax Return for the past 3 years

Cover Letter

  • Clearly state the purpose of the trip
  • Specify the travel duration and passport details

Invitation Letter

If visiting friends or family, outline trip details, accommodation, and the immigration status of the host in the USA

DS 160 Confirmation

A Nonimmigrant Visa Electronic Application Form or DS 160 Form

Supporting Documents

If Employed

  • Employer NOC or Leave Approval Letter
  • Last 3 months’ salary slips

If Self-Employed

Company registration licence, business registration certificate, GST registration with annexure A & B, partnership deed, or proof of proprietorship

If Sponsored

  • Sponsor cover letter detailing the support provided
  • Sponsor bank statement with a balance of at least 50-150 euros per day of the trip per traveller

US Visa Photo Specifications for Indians

Recentness: The photo should be taken within 6 months of submitting the visa application and should reflect your current appearance.

Size Specifications:  

  • Dimensions: 2 X 2 inches (51 x 51 mm). 
  • Head should be centred and sized between 1 inch and 1.4 inches (25 and 35 mm).
  • The applicant should directly face the camera with a neutral expression. 

Background:

  • The photograph should be sharp without any visible pixels or printer dots. 
  • It should be printed on glossy or matte-quality paper.
  • The background should be white or off-white, without shadows, and without texture, objects, or lines.
  • The background should not be cropped using a photo retouching tool, changing the outline of the head, face, and neck.

Eye wear:

  • Eye glasses are not allowed in visa photos except in rare circumstances such as when eyeglasses cannot be removed for medical reasons; e.g., the applicant has recently had ocular surgery and the eyeglasses are necessary to protect the applicant's eyes. 
  • A medical statement signed by a medical professional/health practitioner must be provided in these cases. 

Headwear:  Hats and head coverings are prohibited, except for religious or medical purposes.

Photo guidelines for children:

  • There should be no other person visible in the child’s photo. 
  • The child should be facing the camera with eyes open. It is acceptable if an infant's eyes are not entirely open.

US Visa Photo Specifications

How to Apply for a US Tourist Visa from India?

How to Apply Through Teleport

Teleport makes applying for a USA visa super straightforward and completely stress-free. Simply follow the steps below-

Step 1: Start Your USA Visa Application

Go to Teleport's USA visa application page and select 'Start Application.' 

Step 2: Enter Basic Information and Make Payment

Provide digital copies of the front and back of your passport. Teleport allows you to either automatically populate your data or enter it by hand. Opt to pay the visa fee either in full or partially upfront.

Step 3: Collect Your Documents

A dedicated Teleport relationship manager will guide you through collecting all the necessary B-1/B-2 visa documents for your USA visa application. 

Step 4: Appointment Booking

Your Teleport relationship manager will schedule an US tourist visa appointment at the visa application centre.

Step 5: Visit the Visa Application Centre 

Visit the visa centre and the US Embassy to submit your biometrics, and documents, and for your interview, all with your relationship manager’s guidance.

✅ Teleport thoroughly checks your application and documents before submission with the visa authorities.

✅ We will keep you updated on your visa application status through regular WhatsApp messages and emails.  Upon approval, you can also download your visa from the Teleport Dashboard.

How to Apply Through the Government Portal

Step 1: Know Your Visa Type

Determine the type of visa you need based on the purpose of travel. For tourism and recreational purposes, Indians typically need a B-1/B-2 visa.

Step 2: Complete the Visa Application Form

Complete the Nonimmigrant Visa Electronic Application (DS-160) form. You will need your DS-160 number to book your US tourist visa appointment. Read the Guidelines for Completing the DS-160 Form before starting the application. You can’t make changes to the form once it is submitted. 

Step 3: Pay the Visa Fee

Visa applicants are required to pay a non-refundable, non-transferable Machine Readable Visa (MRV) application fee, whether or not a visa is issued to them. 

To ensure the proper amount is paid timely, create a profile and choose the Schedule Appointment option. On the payment confirmation screen, you will be presented with payment options and further details for initiating payment. It can take up to 1 business day from the time of payment for your receipt to be activated. 

You can pay the MRV fee using NEFT, UPI, debit or credit card, etc. 

Step 4: Schedule Your Visa Appointment 

To schedule your US tourist visa appointment, login to your profile with the same credentials you used to pay your visa fee. On the dashboard, select the Schedule Appointment button. This will start the process of scheduling your appointment.

Applicants need to schedule two appointments, one for the Visa Application Center and one for the visa interview at the Embassy or Consulate 

You will need the following to schedule your US tourist visa appointment-

  • Your passport number
  • The visa application fee receipt number
  • The 10-digit barcode number from your DS-160 confirmation page

As you go through the process you will be able to select your visa type, enter personal data, add dependents, select your document delivery location, confirm visa payment, and schedule your appointment.

Step 5: Attend Your Visa Appointment

For your Visa Application Center appointment, you must present the authorities with the undermentioned-

  • Passport to the United States with a validity date at least six months beyond your intended period of stay. 
  • Your DS-160 confirmation page.
  • Your appointment confirmation page.
  • One photograph as per U.S. visa specifications if the applicant is under 14 years of age. You can refer to the ‘Photo Specifications’ section below, to know more about the photo you need to present.

US Visa Application Centres in India

Visa Application CentreAddress

Delhi

S-1 American Plaza (Hotel Eros managed by Hilton), International Trade Tower, Nehru Place, New Delhi - 110019

Chennai

No. 3, Cenotaph Road, Teynampet, Chennai - 600018

Hyderabad

502, Gowra Grand, S.P. Road, Begumpet, Secunderabad - 500003

Kolkata

Jasmine Tower, 31, Shakespeare Sarani (1st Floor), Kolkata - 700017

Mumbai

Trade Center, Gr. Floor, G Block, Bandra Kurla Complex, Bandra East, Mumbai - 400051

Note

Children under 14 years of age are not required to attend the appointment at the Visa Application Center or visa interview at the Embassy/Consulate. Parents, guardians, and authorised representatives can present the documents above.

Step 6: Track Your Application

If your visa application is approved, your passport and visa can be collected from the pickup location you selected when you scheduled your interview appointment. When your passport is available at the selected location you will receive an email and an SMS that your passport is “Ready for Pick Up”. Domestic and international delivery services to the applicant’s address are available as a premium service.

USA Tourist Visa Processing Time

The processing time for a USA visa for Indians can vary depending on factors such as the workload at the US consulate, time of the year, etc. Generally, it takes around 7 to 10 working days to get your visa processed upon submission of necessary documents at the visa application centre.

However, the appointment at the visa centre can take 6-12 months. So, effectively, the processing time for a US B-2 visa can range anywhere between 6-12 months. 

It's recommended to apply for a USA visa a year in advance of your intended travel dates to allow for potential delays in processing. Using fast-track processing services may expedite the visa processing time. 

Teleport offers an express US visa appointment service that can help you reduce your appointment time from a mammoth 6-12 months to merely 30 days at an additional charge of ₹ 20,000 per application. 

US Tourist Visa Fees for Indians

Visa TypeFee TypeAmount

B1/B2 Visa

Embassy Fees

USD 185 (INR 15,540/-)

This fee is non-refundable and subject to change. Additional fees may apply depending on factors such as foreign exchange fluctuations, expedited processing service, or courier delivery if availed.

US Tourist Visa Validity and Duration

Your US tourist visa or B-1/B-2 visa is usually valid for 10 years from the date of issuance and allows for a stay of 180 days or 6 months. It is a multiple-entry visa.

However, please note that the validity granted depends on various factors, including the consular officer's discretion, the purpose of the visit, and the applicant's circumstances. And even though a visa is valid for 10 years, the duration of stay allowed during each visit is determined by the Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officer at the port of entry and is conveyed via Form I-94. Typically, CBP officers grant entry for a period of up to six months on a tourist visa.

Can Indians Extend US Tourist Visas Validity?

No, Indians can’t extend their US tourist visa. Note that the validity of a US visa cannot be extended regardless of its type. You will always have to apply for a new visa when your old visa expires.

However, when re-applying for your US visa, you may proceed without a consular interview. For this, you should have an existing U.S. visa in the same class as the visa for which you wish to apply, and that existing visa should still be valid or should have expired within the last 48 months.

How to Check US Tourist Visa Status?

Stay Updated About Your USA Visa Application With Teleport

If you've applied for your US visa with Teleport, expect to get real-time updates via WhatsApp, email, or directly within the Teleport Dashboard.

Here's how to check your application's progress:

  1. Log in to the Teleport Dashboard.
  2. Go to 'Your Applications.'
  3. Select your application to know its current status.

Monitor Your USA Visa Application Through the Official Government Portal

For an alternative way to keep track of your USA visa application, you can use the official government portal

  1. Visit the website of the US Consular Electronic Application Centre.
  2. In the ‘Visa Application Type’ field select ‘Nonimmigrant Visa (NIV)’
  3. Select your ‘Location’ as India with the city where you applied from.
  4. Input your ‘Application ID or Case Number.’
  5. Type in your passport no., and the first 5 letters of your surname.
  6. Put captcha and hit ‘Submit’

Monitor Your USA Visa Application Through the Official Government Portal

Reasons for USA Visa Rejection for Indians

Knowing what could lead to US visa denial is important for strengthening your application and increasing the likelihood of getting your visa approved. Here are points to keep in mind:

  1. Lack of Proper Documentation: Submitting incorrect information or misrepresenting a material fact can lead to immediate rejection and potential bans on future applications. All US tourist visa documents you submit must be authentic, complete, and satisfactory and be supported by proper documentation.
  2. Lack of Funds: Inadequate proof of financial stability and inability to cover the cost of your stay in the USA can also lead to application rejection.
  3. Criminal and Related Grounds: Being convicted of a crime involving moral turpitude, drug violation, having criminal convictions for which the total sentence of confinement was 5 years or more can all lead to visa rejection.
  4. Intentions Under Scrutiny: Unable to convince the visa authorities about the reason for your visit to the US and its consistency with your planned activities arouses suspicion. For example, expressing plans to work on a visa that doesn't allow employment could result in visa denial.
  5. Weak Ties to India: US authorities may question your intentions to return to India if you cannot demonstrate strong ties, such as family, property, or employment here.
  6. Questionable Travel Record: A history of overstaying visas in other countries could be seen as a red flag by the US visa authorities.

Do I Require a Transit Visa for the USA?

As per the US’s Visa Waiver Program (VWP), Indians seeking to enter the US for business or tourism for less than 90 days and holding a valid US business visa (B-1) or tourist visa (B-2) are normally eligible for visa-free entry into the US and don’t need a transit or C1 visa.

If you do not have a B-1/B-2 visa, you will need a US transit visa in these cases-

  • You’re travelling to a country other than the US and will have a brief layover in the United States when the only reason for entering the United States is to transit.
  • You are embarking from a foreign port on a cruise ship or other vessel which is proceeding to another country, but during the course of the journey, the vessel makes port in the United States with no intention of landing in the United States.

What to do Upon Reaching the US Airport?

When you arrive at a US airport, here are key points visitors should keep in mind:

  1. Prepare your travel documents: Ensure you have the necessary documents like passport, visa, etc. handy. This fastens the immigration process.
  2. Advice for minors: Minors travelling alone should remain with the airline staff assigned to them for security. Upon landing, locate the pre-arranged adult who will meet you, ensuring a seamless arrival.
  3. Familiarise yourself with the USA's regulations: Head to the customs area if you need to declare items or if your baggage requires inspection. Understanding the customs rules at US airports is crucial to prevent any complications.

Note

A US Customs officer attaches Form I-94 to your passport upon entry to the U.S. You must exit the U.S. on or before the departure date stamped on this Form I-94. This is the “Admit Until Date” on the electronic Form I-94. The Form I-94 number also is known as the Departure Number or Admission Record Number.

Conclusion

Securing US visas can pose challenges. Through this blog, we aim to simplify the process of obtaining a USA tourist or B-1/B-2 visa. Should you have any questions, \reach out to us on 073148 52914 or drop us a message on WhatsApp

Opt to apply with Teleport for a no-fuss US tourist visa from India. Our intuitive and user-friendly platform simplifies the entire process so you have one less worry thing to worry about - your visa!

Wishing you safe travels and unforgettable adventures in the US!

FAQ

logo