Visa in the USA.
A couple of years ago I really wanted to visit the United States. I planned a trip mentally, mentally prepared for a rather complicated and lengthy procedure for preparing the documents for a visa and decided to still go. As a traveler and never refused a visa, on the appointed day I solemnly went to the US Consulate to file my appeal. Slightly agitated by the fact that in a couple of weeks I'll go to the country, a trip to which for many remains on the brink of fantasy, I approached the visa officer. I had to leave with an open mouth and an attempt to comprehend what had happened: the passport was returned to me with the words that young and unmarried, I can stay in the US. It is still a shame and do not want to try to get a visa again - to stay there and in my thoughts was not.
Despite the fact that without a visa itself, I still take the liberty of describing the process of obtaining it and various pitfalls. I think someone will benefit from my experience.
I will tell you about the most popular visa - visa B1 / B2, requested for travel of tourists, as well as business. It is also issued to citizens wishing to receive medical care in the States. The most common visa is a combined one: in the line the type of visa will be "B1 / B2" even though B1 refers to business trips, and B2 to tourism and those trips when a person goes to the States to receive medical assistance. The visa is given mainly for 3 years with the possibility of multiple entry.
If you still decide to go to the United States and, accordingly, to make a visa, you need to start moving at least 2 months before the date of travel. Further it will be clear why.
Where can I get an interview for a visa in the US.
The first time you will have to get a visa through a personal interview. Unfortunately, there is little where you can do this, so you'll have to find the nearest embassy or consulate of the United States of America. They are located in Moscow, St. Petersburg, Vladivostok, Yekaterinburg.
If, by results of the interview, you need to hand over any documents in addition, it can be done at the offices of the courier service "Pony Express". Representatives of the United States cooperate with this service.
The Bible for those wishing to obtain a visa in the United States.
On the Internet, there are many different information resources, companies offering their services in preparing documents for a visa to the States. Eyes run up. But all the help of the agencies comes down to the fact that they fill out the questionnaire, consult the list of documents and help to register for the interview. And the consulate will have to go on their own, the maximum that employees of the helping company can do - to take you to the door of the consulate. Further they will not be allowed.
So I am for an independent visa. Everything that companies do is quite possible to repeat independently, without paying an additional commission to the agency, because a visa to the United States is so expensive. It's enough just to follow the algorithm, which I'll discuss below. Everything is quite simple: all the information, advice and advice can be obtained on one single site here. On the same site, a questionnaire is filled in, a personal cabinet is created, a recording takes place for the interview.
Although, as far as I know, many choose the help of agencies for psychological reasons: they need someone guiding.
Payment of consular fee.
Since they decided to make a visa, they will have to pay. And it is not enough to pay: $ 160 - this is the real amount of the consular fee. At the current rate, even in rubles do not want to translate. Fortunately, the rest of the fees for Russians canceled. You will not have to pay any more.
Payment can be made on this site, as well as all other manipulations on the US visa. This is very convenient, because you only need a credit card.
To pay by credit card, you only need a website. And you can pay the fee in any branch of the "Post of Russia". Condition: separation must be computerized. To do this, you will need to download a receipt in advance on the site, corresponding to the amount you pay.
After making money, you must print / take in the post office a receipt for payment. It will definitely be needed when you go to the consulate. She will be assigned her registration number, it is important at the time of recording for the interview. The receipt can be used within a year from the moment of payment, that is, during this period you can register for an interview.
If you receive a visa refusal, then, of course, you will not get the money back.
Filling the visa application form DS-160.
It seems to me that filling out the DS-160 questionnaire is not as difficult as it seems at first glance. The most important thing is to prepare in advance to fill out the questionnaire:
know the approximate time of the trip (when applying for a visa in the US it is not necessary to have a hotel reservation and a ticket, it is enough to want to go there and preferably at least approximately know the flights and the hotel that you will book in case you are given a visa), know your financial situation in advance specify the name of the position and the company where you work. It is also important to have old passports with you, as they will be asking for trips over the past 10 years.
The condition, which can become a stumbling block for some applicants - the application form must be filled in English in English letters. There will be a single point where Russian letters will be needed: a field with the recording of your name and surname in your native language. Everyone applying for a visa must have their own separate completed questionnaire, including children.
When you record, you do not get lost. If you are not active for more than 20 minutes, the form is closed, and all data disappears. Be attentive, since the process of filling the DS-160 is laborious enough! It is very insulting to lose all the data after an hour of filling out the questionnaire. For the first time I constantly came across this, I had to fill in the same one several times.
By the way, in this regard, another tip: try to find a time when no one will distract you. That was at least an hour and a half. A lunch break or daytime sleep of a child is not suitable for such a case. And try to save the data as often as possible - there is such a button.
You will also need to prepare your electronic photo in advance. She should be no older than 6 months, on a light background, with a neutral facial expression. The head should fit in the photograph completely and be 25-35 mm (50-70% of the photo). The photo sizes should be from 600�600 to 1200�1200 pixels.
The questionnaire itself consists of several blocks:
determining your location, choosing the language of the questionnaire; photo upload; personalization procedure (answer to a secret question, you will also need to remember the number of your application); Personal Information; address; passport data; data on the forthcoming trip to the USA; data on who you are traveling with; previous trips to the US and other countries; data of a person or organization in the US where you are going; parent data; your work is study; list of compromising questions: whether you were engaged in terrorism, prostitution, violence and other issues.
In order to be able to record in the interview for the future, it is necessary to send a questionnaire through the site in advance. And also remember the number of the barcode, which will also be necessary when writing.
Recording for an interview.
To enroll, you need to have in the reach of 3 documents: a passport, a receipt for payment of the collection and confirmation of the filling of the DS-160. Entry for the interview is carried out here.
If you sign up for an interview today, it does not mean that there will be free time for tomorrow. Usually the next date for the interview is about 2 weeks later, and this is at best. On holidays, this period may increase.
When I signed up for an interview, the next dates were only available in 3 weeks. It did not bother me, because I was puzzled by this issue more than 2 months before the proposed trip.
If suddenly the trip has arisen unexpectedly and urgently you need a visa to the United States, then after you have chosen the date of visiting the consulate, that is, you registered for an ordinary interview, you need to send a request for an urgent visa. In this case, a window will be opened, where it will be necessary to explain the reason for the urgent recording. It is important to attach a scanner document confirming the need to be in the US as soon as possible. This can be a business invitation or medical documents. After a while, permission or refusal will come. In the event of a permit, it will be necessary to re-register for the interview, but earlier dates will be opened - in 1-3 days.
Required documents for a visa in the United States.
You do not need to submit many documents. Much more important is how you will answer questions: suspiciously or not.
Here is a list of documents that are required. Without them you will not even be accepted:
letter with an invitation for a certain date of the interview; page with the confirmation of the application DS-160 (the questionnaire is not necessary to bring, the employees see it in the system); receipt with payment of consular fee; One photograph measuring 5x5 cm, made not earlier than 6 months, colored against a light background; valid international passport; previously issued, no longer valid passports.
Without these documents, the application will not be considered! You will be sent home.
In addition, you can bring any documents to your discretion, which make it clear that you do not plan to stay in the US at all. The US Embassy recommends the following papers:
financial guarantees, including tax payments, availability of property, shares in business and any other documents proving financial solvency; information about the planned trip, reservations, tickets for events, any other documents; certificate from the place of work, study; a certificate of the presence or absence of a criminal record.
I recommend bringing as many documents as possible: certificates from work, marriage certificates, birth certificates of children, financial guarantees, copies of documents confirming that you have a real estate reservation. The consular worker is basically guided by how you answer the questions. The documents are also important, although this is just one of the factors that can help make a decision on issuing / refusing a visa, it is better to bring everything to the maximum.
Students can present diplomas, certificates from the institute, financial guarantees. However, the documents are very well written on the embassy's website.
When I collected my papers, I had a whole decent folder of documents. There was everything that could be brought: references from two works, documents for real estate, a driver's license, a hotel reservation, an air ticket reservation and much more. But in my case they did not even look at this folder.
Visit to the US Embassy.
You can get into the embassy building only without dangerous things, including knives, tweezers, scissors and any other piercing-cutting objects. You can not carry phones, tablets and other computer equipment. Headphones, charging for phones are also not allowed. You can not carry large bags. And not all items will be left in the storage room, which is located right in front of the entrance to the consulate.
I filed documents in Moscow, so my experience is based precisely on this representation. Yes, and all my staff visas are also always done here.
The US embassy will need to spend an average of about an hour from the moment when you become queued at the entrance, before leaving the building. I submitted my documents in the season, so I spent just over 3 hours.
Interview is the final stage. Before that, it will be necessary to hand over fingerprints. This is a digital scan procedure, ink is not used. At the same time, children under 14 and pensioners older than 79 years do not pass fingerprints.
After the passport is accepted, the visa is put in a short time. Usually for a week. Of course, delays can always be. Then the passport brings the courier service to the address you specified in the questionnaire. If you are refused a visa, then the passport is returned to you on the spot, without putting any seals.
What can influence the decision on issuing / refusing a visa.
There are many factors that together influence decision making. Not only the documents submitted can be a key moment, behavior, sincerity of answers, financial well-being and many other things also influence.
Often they deny a visa to young unmarried girls, lonely travelers, people who could not prove that they have something firmly held in their homeland. Therefore, at the interview, you can ask any questions about your plans for the future, about what you plan to do in the US. Can even ask for the cost of tickets to Disneyland, if you say that you want to visit it. May ask what temperature will be on the dates of your trip. Prepare for anything is impossible, but you need to be on the alert.
In general, embassies and consulates of any country consider any applicant as a potential immigrant. You have to try to prove that you have a home for what to come back for.
What to do if you are refused a visa.
If you were refused a visa, then you should not despair. You can, on the same day when you have returned the passport, already pay the fee again and sign up for a new interview. In the passport nothing is put, however employees of representation of the USA now always will know, that refusal nevertheless was.
I did not do anything again, because a lot was lost. Yet the process is long enough - it takes at least a month. For me it remains a mystery what is still the main factor in deciding whether to issue a visa or refuse. Of course, there are obvious points, but in general, the refusal depends on each individual employee to whom you fall.
The next time you can bring additional documents that can convince the US representative that there are still many reasons to stay in Russia.
My friend pair had 2 consecutive refusals for absolutely, in my opinion, an incomprehensible reason. The first time they were given passports, saying that they are going to permanent residence. Immediately after the first time they went to a second interview - about a month or a half later. And on this interview they said that for two they earn little money. Although at that time each of them had more than a decent salary. And they said that you have no special reasons to stay in Russia. Well, for example, a child!
Re-issuance of US visa.
Well, the situation with the repeated receipt of visas is very convenient! All my employees, whose visa was not the first, did not even guess that they were getting a new visa, until I asked them to bring me a passport.
If earlier in your passport you already had a visa to the States, but its term has expired, then you can get a new visa without contacting the US office personally. But in this case there are a number of conditions:
It is necessary that the last visa is completed no earlier than 47 months ago; you apply for a visa of the same category; you apply for a visa in the territory of the Russian Federation; previously all fingerprints were removed.
If you are allowed to submit documents without personal presence, then they need to be brought into the Pony Express visa service. You should pay a visa fee on the embassy's website, fill out the application form - everything, like before the personal submission. However, when you register for an interview, you will be given permission to submit documents through the Pony Express office.
It will be necessary to collect a similar package of documents, as during the interview. In addition, you will need to provide a letter that comes to the post office as a confirmation of the submission of documents without an interview, the original of the previous visa to the United States, a new photo. If the embassy requests any new documents, then Pony Express will inform you.
Visa in the USA for children.
A child under 14 years of age can obtain a visa in a simplified procedure. This means that he does not need a personal interview. A visa for a child can be obtained from a valid parent visa.
If the child is going to visit the US as part of a school group, then the application is submitted through the Pony Express. And if a child receives a visa together with a parent who needs to pass a personal interview, the child will have to register with the parent for the interview. However, the child may not appear.
Since the age of 14, it is necessary to pass fingerprints and pass an interview, even if previously the child's visas were.
Even if the child goes without parents, it is necessary to provide as many documents as possible revealing the status and position of his family in the territory of Russia. In this case, parents can be summoned for an interview if something seems suspicious or something needs to be clarified.
If parents do not go with a child under 14, then one of the parents must appear for the interview. But if a child is traveling only with one of the parents, or even with a third person, then it is necessary to take care of permission to leave the parents who are not accompanying the child, which must be notarized.
The US is very loyal to the travels of the child compared to some other countries. My friends quietly sent two of their children, under the age of 14, to friends in the States. Just for practicing the language for the summer holidays. And problems never arose.
Need to know.
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Visa in the USA.