Preparing documents for the USA B1/B2 visa process can be a challenging task. There are quite a number of documents required and missing a key document can lead to visa refusal.
In this blog post, I will attempt to simplify this process for you and give you a comprehensive document checklist. This checklist will help in supporting your purpose of visit and at the same time demonstrate your financial stability and ties to your home country.
I have classified these documents into four categories:
1 – Essential
2 – Financial
3 – Travel
4 – Personal
1 – Essential documents
These are the documents you must carry with you for the process because without these you will not be able to submit biometrics or attend the visa interview.
Here is a list of the essential documents:
The passport is the most important document you need to carry. You also need to bring all your old passports along with the current one as it might be asked by the visa officer to verify your travel history.
If your visa is approved, the embassy will take the latest passport and return the old one to you.
b) Copy of DS160 form
DS160 is an online application for the US visa process. Once you fill out the DS160, make sure to save a copy on your drive or laptop, print this copy and carry it with you for the visa interview. During the interview, the embassy officer will also have a copy of your DS 160 and the questions asked are based on what you have filled in the form.
c) Copy of your appointment letter
Your appointment letter which indicates the date and time of your visa appointments is necessary for both biometrics and visa interview.
2 – Financial documents
Financial documents help to establish your financial ability to travel to the USA. The purpose of these documents is to show that you have enough liquidity for the duration of your trip. This reduced the risk of the visa application attempting illegal immigration or taking up illegal jobs.
Here is a list of the financial documents:
a) Bank statement for the last six months. Always better to get this signed and attested by your bank.
b) Salary slip of the last three months on the company’s letterhead, or with the company’s seal and stamp on it
c) ITR returns of the past three years
d) Proof of investments [ Mutual funds, FD, Shares, etc. ]
e) Proof of property or long-term assets in India
3 – Travel documents
For this B1/B2 visa process, It is not necessary to book your flight or hotel accommodation before applying for the USA VISA. But it is advised to carry certain travel documents to support your purpose of visit and increase your chance of visa approval.
Here is a list of the travel documents:
a) Travel itinerary
A travel itinerary is a day-by-day plan of what you plan to do during your stay in the US. Let’s say that your trip is for 10 days, you can prepare a table that will have the date or the day number in one column and your plan for that particular day in the second column. Take a printout of this document and carry it with you.
b) List of the hotels
Prepare a list of 2-3 probable hotels you plan to book during your stay. Make sure you have the complete addresses and phone numbers of these hotels with you. If you are unsure of the hotel names, shortlist and remember the names of the area you plan to stay in. In case you are staying with relatives or friends, remember to keep their full name, phone number and address handy.
c) Personal/Business event details
If you’re planning to travel to attend a personal/business event, then you must carry proof of the event. It could be an email invite, invitation letter or event brochure in your name. Also, make sure you know all the other details of the event, such as time, date, venue, place, sponsorship details, etc.
Though not compulsory , invitation letters can be used for personal and business purposes and can support your visa application.
If you’re traveling for business purposes on behalf of your company, then you need to get an invitation letter from the USA office of your company. This invitation letter should mention details such as travel purpose, travel period, accommodation and expense details.
If you are traveling for a personal purpose such as visiting close family members, like parents, children, or siblings in the US, an invitation letter from them can help your visa application.
4 – Personal documents
The list of personal documents is different for each person and depends on their profile. But there are some personal documents which will apply to most of us.
Here is a list of the personal documents:
a) Letter of NOC or Leave approval from your company is your purpose of visit is tourism or holiday
b) Proof of business ownership if you are a business owner
c) Proof of your work if you are a freelance
These four categories will cover almost all the documents you will need to carry with you for the USA B1/B2 visa interview. I hope it is useful and makes this process easier for you. To get a personalized document checklist for yourself, get in touch with me via a consultation session. Details are below.