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US Visa for Indians - A Complete Guide

Team AckoOct 27, 2022

What comes to your mind when you think of the United States of America? Maybe the Golden Gate Bridge, the Hollywood Sign, or the famous Statue of Liberty. Apart from the popular landmarks, you will find America to be rich in hospitality and natural beauty as well. So, it won’t matter if you visit the country for the first time or the tenth time, you will definitely gain some unforgettable moments. 

To begin your journey to the USA, you will need a visa as per the duration and purpose of your visit. A visa will serve as the official document permitting you to visit and remain in the foreign country for a specified period of time. So, keep on reading this article to understand the process of getting a US visa from India.

US Visa for Indians

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Things to know before applying for US visa

Before applying for a US visa, you must remember the following things about the visa application process.

  • Be clear with the type of US visa required in your case and select the same.

  • Check your US visa eligibility and compare the same with your present credentials.

  • Add the requested information and fill up the form.

  • Visit the required documents at the selected embassy for your visa interview.

How to apply for a US visa? 

Here are the steps you can follow to apply for an Immigrant US visa.

Step 1: First, you must get a police clearance certificate from the Regional Passport Office (RPO). Check the validity of tenure. Usually, this period is of 1 year.

Step 2: Next, you need to complete the required medical examination test and fulfil the respective parameters.

Step 3: Fill up the DS-260 form with the invoice ID and beneficiary number.

Step 4: The next step requires the applicant to pay the mandatory visa fees. Choose one of the available payment modes to pay the necessary fees for your application.

Step 5: After the DS-260 form application is submitted, you can proceed with the visa interview appointment booking and choose the date as per your schedule and interview slot availability.

 Here are the steps to follow to apply for a non-immigrant US visa.

Step 1: Choose the visa type based on the travel purpose.

Step 2: Carefully fill up the non-immigrant visa application via the DS-160 form.

Step 3: Pay the required fees according to the visa type.

Step 4: Schedule an interview with the Visa Application Centre as well as the US Embassy.

US visa requirements for Indian citizens

The following are the eligibility criteria that you will have to fulfil to get a US visa.

  • The applicant or interested candidate must have a valid passport for at least 6 months.

  • No history of criminal activities or ongoing criminal cases related to the respective individual.

  • Spouses or dependents travelling together must apply for a separate visa.

  • The applicant must show the financial capability to fulfil their and the dependant’s expenses in the foreign country.

  • The applicant must undergo a medical test and fulfil the healthcare checklist required to travel or stay in the respective country. Apart from this, the candidate must not have any infectious diseases that should be confirmed in the medical report.

  • The applicant’s country must have a positive tie with the respective country.

  • The applicant must have a valid reason to travel to the United States. The respective US embassy has the right to check the reason for the same and ask for valid documents during the verification process.

In case a candidate is not able to fulfil the eligibility criteria for the US visa for Indians, it will lead to rejection of the US visa application from the respective government authority.

US visa types for Indian citizens

The United States of America’s embassies primarily issue two types of US visas for Indians. This includes immigrant US visa and non-immigrant US visa.  

1. Immigrant US visa

It is the ideal US visa for Indians who plan to settle in one of the cities in the United States. This type of visa is more valuable, and the respective embassy scrutinises each document of the applicant before finally approving and allotting the US visa to the applicant.  

2. Non-immigrant US visa

If one plans to visit and stay in the United States of America for a predetermined period, then a non-immigrant US visa is the visa that one must apply for to visit the US. Depending on the individual’s goal and stay duration, the US visa type is classified as follows:

  • Employment visa

  • Business visa

  • Medical treatment visa

  • Tourism visa

  • Education visa

Therefore, these are the different types of non-immigrant visas that are available for candidates who are interested in visiting the United States of America.

Some subclasses associated with the non-immigrant American visa for Indians include:

  • Work visa

  • Religious worker visa

  • Domestic employee visa

  • Media and journalist visa etc

Apart from this, some of the visa types, such as work visas, are further divided into:

  • H1B

  • H2A

  • H2B

  • L1

  • H4

Documents required for US visa from India

Here are the major documents required to apply for a US visa from India.

  • A passport valid for a minimum duration of six months (The applicant must remember that this time frame is from the time of entry to the applied city in the United States)

  • Coloured passport-size photographs

  • Marriage certificate (This applies to married individuals who are travelling with their spouse)

  • Divorce or spouse death certificate (Depends on the marital status of the applicant)

  • Applicants who are going ahead with the dependent visa must keep the documents confirming the legal relationship with the respective individual  

  • Birth Certificate

  • Police Clearance Certificate

Apart from the mentioned documents, the applicant must also prepare court records and military records, depending on the individual’s case, for successful completion of the US visa application process.

Documents required in US visa interview

The documents required for a US visa for Indians include the following.

For immigrant visa applications

  • The Visa Application Centre should stamp the confirmation page of DS-260

  • Current and all old passports

  • Police Clearance Certificate granted by the RPO or Regional Passport Office

  • Medical examination report that indicates fulfilment of the required medical parameters

  • Supporting documents according to the visa type

Please note that you need to check the guidelines associated with the visa application.

For non-immigrant visa applications

  • Copy of appointment confirmation letter

  • The confirmation page of the DS-160 confirmation page by the US visa Application Centre

  • Current and old passports

  • Supporting documents required for the respective visa type

Fees and validity of different types of US visa for Indians

The following table shows the fees and validity of different types of US visa for Indians. However, the fees may vary depending on the sub-categories, urgency and other factors related to visa applications.

Entry limit Duration of stay Validity Fees (in Rs.)
Multiple entries 2 years 2 years 14,060
Multiple entries (Normal/Urgent) 6 months 10 years 11,840
Multiple entries (Normal) 2 years 2 years 14,060
Multiple entries (Normal/F1) 2 years 2 years 11,840
Multiple entries (Normal) 6 months 10 years 11,840
Visa 5 years 5 years 11,840

US visa fee exemptions

Here are the US visa fee exemptions for certain Indian applicants.

  • Applicants who hold a diplomatic passport don’t need to pay a fee for US visa, regardless of the visa type and travel purpose.

  • Applicants who hold an official passport are also exempted from paying the fees for an official visa.

How to pay US visa fees in India? 

Indian candidates applying for a US visa can quickly pay the visa fees online without facing any hassle. Some of the payment modes include payment via mobile apps and NEFT. The fees, once paid, are non-refundable.

Therefore, you need to take wise decisions during the application process to avoid loss of fees. The fees start from 13,000 INR and vary with the visa type the candidate chooses while applying for the US visa. 

How to schedule an appointment for a US visa? 

Thanks to the steady advancement in the past decade, interested individuals can schedule an appointment for a US visa using these steps.

Step 1: Login into your profile using the same credentials you used to pay the fees while completing the application process.

Step 2: Click the ‘Schedule Appointment’ button and schedule your appointment for a US visa.

You will need to schedule two interviews for a US visa for Indians, one with the Visa Application Centre and another with the United States of America Embassy. The Kentucky Consular Center or National visa Centre carries out the further steps of issuing US visas for Indians.

First, you must schedule an appointment under Category 1 with the visa Application Centre to record your fingerprint and photographs.

Applicants must ensure that they reach at least 15 minutes before the specified time of the scheduled appointment. The visa authorities have added an option in the application form for US visas for Indians. With this, you can reschedule or cancel the appointment in case of any medical emergencies. You must read the guidelines well before cancelling the application process.

What to do if I need an emergency US visa interview appointment?

In some instances, the United States of America’s embassies allow candidates to apply for emergency US visa interviews.

This is mainly accepted in the case of medical emergencies and humanitarian situations. This is not applicable when you are attending marriages, helping pregnant relatives, on leisure trips, or educational and business conferences. 

Therefore, set your goals right, plan properly, and step toward a fruitful journey in the United States of America. 

USA visa processing time in India

Usually, the processing time for US visa applications is 7 to 10 working days from the date of submission. But, this may differ from applicant to applicant based on the visa type, urgency, embassy workload, etc. 

US visa and travel insurance

Along with the American visa for Indians, you should also consider buying travel insurance for your international trip. It will protect you against potential financial loss due to medical emergencies, flight cancellations, baggage delays and other potential issues. If you need travel insurance before visiting the USA, check out ACKO Travel Insurance today.

Frequently Asked Questions

Common Questions on US Visa

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Can I Get a Replacement If I Lose My US Visa?

No. You need to apply for the US Visa again if you lose it for any reason.

Do I Need to Carry My Original Documents for the US Visa Interview Process?

It is recommended to carry all the original documents for the US Visa interview process. This will help you to avoid last moment panic before the US Visa interview.

What to Do If My Visa Gets Stolen?

You must report to the Indian Police immediately and get a police report. Also, you need to provide details such as name, email address, and photocopy of the lost US visa with the reason for loss to the Fraud Prevention Unit.

How to Renew My US Visa?

It is possible to renew the US Visa online. You require information such as name, email-id, and phone number. The time needed for the entire process varies from one application to another, depending on the respective case and appointment with the US Embassy.

Can I reschedule my interview appointment for US visa?

Yes, you can get the US visa interview appointment rescheduled. 

Will I need to carry original documents when going for a US visa interview?

While it depends on the type of visa you have applied for, it is always advisable to carry your original documents when going to attend a visa interview.

Disclaimer: The information mentioned on this page is compiled from different websites and government sources. The information may be updated from time to time. Hence, please refer to the respective government websites and verify before making any passport-related decisions.

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