US Visa Application Guide 2018: Basic Requirements and How To

This article is aimed at helping you get a better understanding of how to apply for a US visa and how to go about getting a US Visa; Nigeria.

Basically, as a non-citizen, you need a US visa to get into the United States, however it is still not enough. Contrary to what most people think; a visa alone doesn’t guarantee you entry into the US. It is just one necessary and fundamental step or requirement to gaining entry to the United States. A visa is proof that you are eligible to apply for entry to the US.

You should also know that there are types of visas you can apply for; the type of visa that would be most suitable for you would depend on how long you intend to stay in the US. And also why you are going to the US. There is the Non-immigrant Visa and the Immigrant Visas.

How to apply for a US

Non immigrant US Visas

This visa is best suited for people who are going to the US for purposes like tourism, business or schooling. You can apply for this type of Visa in Nigeria at the U.S. Embassy in Abuja and the U.S Consulate General in Lagos.

If you enter the US with a non-immigrant visa, it means your stay is temporary. So if you continue to stay in the US after the time stipulated for you stay has expired, you automatically become an illegal immigrant and you risk deportation.

Immigrant Visas

This visa is for people who have plans to live permanently in the United States. The immigrant visa gives you eligibility to apply for entry in to the US as a Legal Permanent Resident. And consequently also makes you qualified to acquire a U.S. Citizenship. You may or may not be able to successfully apply for and be granted this type of visa on your own. Having a family member who is already a U.S. citizen or a Legal Permanent Resident make the process significantly easier for you. The said family member would have to submit a request on your behalf to the U.S. Citizenship & Immigration Services (USCIS) in the United State.

An employer in the U.S can also submit a request on behalf of a foreign national whom he (the employer) wants to hire for a permanent position in the US. However, the U.S Embassy in Abuja, Nigeria does not process immigrant visa applications. If you are in Nigeria and want to apply for this visa, you should visit the U.S. Consulate General in Lagos. You can also reach them with your questions through this email-

Now, here’s how to successfully work out a US Visa Application…
To make this easier and fun, let’s run on an assumption. Mr A is an average Nigerian and he wants to travel to the US. What steps does he need to put in place? He would have to go through the US visa application; Nigeria process. This means if he is in Nigeria, then this article will tell him how to get it right.

How to Apply For US VISA – Step By Step

  • Step One: Identify the US visa application type

The first thing you should get out of the way is knowing exactly what type of visa you need to apply for. Thankfully the visa types has already been explained in this article. The reason you wish to go to the United States will determine the kind of visa you should apply for. So if Mr A desires to permanently move into the US (with his family), then he needs an immigrant visa, or, a non-immigrant visa if he is staying for only a period of time (perhaps for an academic programme or tourism).

Basically, a non immigrant visa only requires you to stay for a period of time while an immigrant visa is for a permanent residence in the US.

  • Step Two: Pay the US visa application fee

You would be required to pay a stipulated visa fee. The fees vary according to the visa type and because the fee is stipulated in US dollars, it would depend on how much it is worth in your country’s currency at the said time. After paying you can then book a visa appointment. Be sure to keep your receipt number safe.

  • Step Three: Complete and Submit us visa application ds-160 form

DS-160 form is the American visa application form. After you must have paid the fee, you would be required to complete and submit this form. Read and understand the instructions and guidelines first. And then carefully complete and fill in the details required according to the instructions stated. You have to be very careful with this part because after submission, you cannot make any changes. So if you made a mistake, you may not be able to correct it. It may be better for you to consult an immigration lawyer or translator to help you with completing the form, so you won’t make any mistakes because the call centre cannot help you out with completing the form.

  • Step Four: Visit the U.S Visa Application site and create a profile.

You will have to visit the US visa application site and create a profile for yourself in their system. Fill in every detail required and choose a password for yourself. When you are done, you can then schedule a visa appointment.

To schedule the appointment you will need;

  • Your passport number
  • The receipt number for the GT Bank receipt.
  • The ten (10) digit barcode number from your DS-160 confirmation page.

While going through this process, you will be able to choose your visa type, fill in your personal information, add dependents, choose your document delivery location, confirm visa payment and schedule your appointment.

Read Also: 10 common Visa Interview Questions Nigerians Must Know

  • Step 5: Go for your Visa Interview

To help you out with the step we have listed out 8 tips to make this your interview successful.

If successful, your visa would be sent to the location you chose while scheduling the appointment.

And then…

Because this article is supposed to cover everything; from getting your application right down to boarding a flight. To finally get on a flight and go to the US for that job or scholarship or vacation. Visit Travel Start to book your flight tickets at the really affordable and budget-friendly rates.


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