US Visa – How to Apply for a US Visa

us flag

The United States of America is one of the most sought after countries in the world. It is in North America, and the most spoken language there is English language.
Citizens of other countries would need to apply for a visa to come to the U.S. To get a U.S visa, applicants would need to be abreast of the following information.

Types of Visas to U.S

Whenever a citizen of another country wants to travel to the U.S – the United States of America, a U.S visa must be presented. The only exceptions to this fact are the citizens from countries where the Visa Waiver Program (VWP) is enabled. They are allowed 90 days travel duration.
For citizens of countries that do not qualify for the VWP, a US visa must be obtained.

There are two major visa types, and they are:
Non-immigrant Visas
Immigrant Visas

US Non-immigrant Visas

This non-immigrant US visa is issued to persons who intend to travel to the U.S for a stipulated period of time in order to fulfill a purpose.
There are several types of non immigrant visas, and they are dependent on the purpose of travel.
An applicant is issued visa based on the reason for travelling

Reason for Travelling Nonimmigrant Visa Type
Athletes, amateur and professional (competing for prize money only), B-1
Business visitors
Domestic employees or nannies (must be accompanying a foreign national employer)
Athletes, artists, entertainers P
Australian worker – professional specialty E-3
Border Crossing Card: Mexico BCC
Crewmembers (serving aboard a sea vessel or aircraft in the U.S.) D
Diplomats and foreign government officials A
Employees of a designated international organization, and NATO G1-G5, NATO
Exchange visitors J
Exchange visitors – au pairs J-1
Exchange visitors – professors, scholars, teachers
Exchange visitors – children (under age 21) or spouse of a J-1 holder J-2
Exchange visitors – international cultural J, Q
Fiancé(e) K-1
Foreign military personnel stationed in the U.S. A-2, NATO1-6
Foreign nationals with extraordinary ability in sciences, arts, education, business or athletics O-1
Free Trade Agreement (FTA) professionals: Chile H-1B1
Visitors for Medical treatment B-2
Tourism, vacation, pleasure visitors
Nurses traveling to areas short of health care professionals H-1C
Physicians J-1, H-1B
Religious workers R
Intra-company transferees L
Specialty occupations in fields requiring highly specialized knowledge H-1B
Students – academic and language students F-1
Student dependents – dependent of an F-1 holder F-2
Students – vocational M-1
Student dependents – dependent of an M-1 holder M-2
Temporary workers – seasonal agricultural H-2A
Temporary workers – nonagricultural H-2B
Training in a program not primarily for employment H-3
Visa renewals in the U.S. – A, G, and NATO A1-2, G1-4, NATO1-6


US Immigrant Visas

The US Immigrant Visa is issued to persons who intend to stay in the U.S permanently. The persons with immigrant visas are permitted to apply for admission as Legal Permanent Residents, and eventually can become U.S citizens.


American Visa Requirements

These visas (immigrant and non-immigrant) are not issued to persons that just desire it, rather, they are issued to persons who meet the necessary requirements.
The non-immigrant visa applicants need to convince the officers at the Consular office that they do not intend to permanently stay in the U.S, but that they have a lot of reasons to want to return to their home country.
The immigrant visa applicants need a petition on their behalf from either a qualified family member in the U.S or a U.S employer who wishes to hire for a permanent position.
us passport

For either the immigrant visa and non-immigrant applicants, there are certain documents that are required and they include:

  1. A Non-immigrant Visa Electronic Application (DS-160) Form.
  2. A passport valid for travel to the United States with a validity date at least six months beyond your intended period of stay in the United States.
  3. One (1) 2″x2″ (5cmx5cm) photograph.
  4. A receipt showing payment of the visa application fee.
  5. An approved Form I-20 (if you are applying for a student visa)
  6. Your latest school results, transcripts and degrees/diplomas (if you are applying for a student visa).
  7. Your interview appointment letter.
  8. Proof that you cam financially sustain yourself.
  9. Your travel itinerary (if you need a tourist visa)
  10. Criminal/court records pertaining to any arrest or conviction.

It is always advised that every document or information given must be authentic, as there are measures meted out for fraudulent activities which include permanent visa ineligibility.


How to Apply for a U.S Visa

visa application
The steps to apply for a U.S visa include:

  1. Be certain about the type of U.S visa you need.
  2. Pay the fee.
  3. Carefully fill and submit the DS-160 form (mistakes made in the DS-160 form cannot be corrected).
  4. Create a profile through the main U.S visa application site.
  5. On the dashboard, click on Schedule Appointment.
  6. Visit the U.S Embassy on the date and time of your interview.


Where to Get a U.S Visa Application Form

The application form is filled online. There are two main sites designated to that effect.
It is on this same site that your profile would be created, and your visa appointment made.


How to Schedule a U.S Visa Appointment

To schedule a U.S visa appointment, you would need to visit the site where you created your profile, fill the necessary
The following information would be required

  1. Your 10 digit DS-160 confirmation number
  2. Your U.S visa application fee receipt number
  3. Your passport number
  4. SEVIS number (for F, M students and J exchange visitors)
  5. Petition number (for temporary work visas)
  6. Case number (for immigrant visa)

You will need to first schedule a fingerprinting and photograph appointment before scheduling an interview.


How and Where to Pay U.S Visa Fees

A non-refundable and non-transferable Machine Readable Visa (MRV) application fee is to be paid by every applicant whether the issue is eventually gotten or not.
The fee is dependent on the type of visa being requested for.
The U.S visa fee can be paid online or at  the bank.
All visa applicants except the type K visa applicants can pay their visa application fee at any GTB branch.
Applicants can also pay through GTBank’s online bill pay service.


How to Submit U.S  Visa Application

Since most of the processes are online, once the application form is filled, they should be submitted via that platform.


U.S Visa Processing Time

When a  U.S visa application is submitted, it might take a while to get an appointment. It is therefore necessary to  apply at least 3 months before the intended date of travel.


How to Collect your U.S Visa

Once an applicant’s visa is approved, it is sent to the document pick-up location specified by the applicant during the appointment scheduling process.
There are no charges for this service.

For further information, you can visit the official US embassy website.

Address and Location of the US Embassies in Nigeria

Abuja US Embassy Address

Embassy of the United States
Plot 1075 Diplomatic Drive
Central District Area, Abuja
Telephone: (234)-9-461-4000
Fax: (234)-9-461-4171


Lagos US Embassy Address

United States Consulate General
2 Walter Carrington Crescent
Victoria Island,
Telephone: (234)-1-460-3400
Fax: (234)-1-261-2218


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