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United States tourist visa for Indians: Detailed step-by-step guide

Last Updated : 21-Feb-2024

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30-Second summary

Indian nationals require a US visa to enter the country for tourism purposes.

    Indian nationals can apply for a US tourist visa at the Embassy or through an authorized agent such as Atlys.

    Once your visa gets approved, the US issues a tourist visa stamped directly on your passport.

    You must attend a US visa interview in person.

    You must submit your passport and other documents to process your visa. With Atlys, you can get your visa within 91 days.

Important Information

US Visa type

Short-term tourist visa.

US visa cost

You can expect to pay USD 185 (approx. ₹15,304)*.

US visa processing time

After submitting your passport, the processing time is 10 working days (excludes the time it takes to find a visa appointment and attend interviews).

US visa appointment waiting time

The waiting time for a US visa is more than 1 year. With Atlys, you can get your visa within 91 days.

US visa validity

The tourist visa for the USA from India is valid for up to 10 years.

Length of stay

You can stay a maximum of 180 days.

Do Indians require a visa for the US?

Yes. An Indian passport holder who wants to visit friends/family or travel to the US for tourism purposes must apply for a US tourist visa from India. The US visa is valid for 10 years, which allows you to visit the country for 180 days. You can apply for a tourist visa for the United States through Atlys.

Is there a US visa on arrival for Indian passport holders?

There is no visa-on-arrival facility for Indian passport holders travelling to the United States. Indian citizens must obtain a visa before travelling to the US, whether for tourism, business, education, or other purposes.

US tourist visa requirements for Indian citizens

You must compile a file containing all the required documents to be submitted at your US visa appointment and interview. The documents you MUST have for your US tourist visa application are:

    Visa application form: The confirmation page with the barcode for the US visa application DS 160 form.

    Valid passport: A passport valid for at least 6 months after you have left the US. In addition, you must submit all previous passports that you possess.

    Passport-sized photos: Digital copies of your passport-size photo that meet the US photo requirements. One 2 x 2-inch photograph (taken within the last six months). When completing the online Form DS-160, you'll upload your photo. If the upload fails, ensure you have one printed photo that meets the format specifications.

    Identification document: Print out a copy of your PAN card or Aadhar card if applicable.

    Proof of sufficient funds: You must submit your bank and tax statements to prove your financial ability to pay for your trip.

    Interview confirmation: Proof of confirmation of your interview appointment. Please ensure that you are well-prepared for the interview questions.

    Proof of visa application fees: Slip of the paid application fees.

Supporting documents to bring to your US interview:

    Travel itinerary: Provide proof of your travel plans, including accommodation bookings and flight tickets.

    Medical visit requirements: If you're visiting for medical reasons, provide proof of your medical condition or a letter from an approved doctor diagnosing your condition. If you have medical appointments arranged, provide documentation of these arrangements. If your medical treatment isn't fully paid, show proof of funds covering the expenses.

    Travel insurance: You must have travel insurance for your trip.

    Event attendance proof: If you're attending a specific event, such as a conference or concert, carry proof of ticket purchase.

    Graduation visit: Bring a letter from the school or university for graduations-related visits.

    Previous US visits: If you've visited the US before, provide documentation such as previous visa copies or entry stamps.

    Strong ties to your home country: Show proof of your strong ties to your home country and your intention to return back to India. This could include documents like job contracts, leases, or property deeds.

    Purpose of visit letter: A letter stating the purpose of your visit.

    Clean criminal record: Provide proof that you have no criminal record.

    Employment proof: If you're employed, bring your pay slips and a letter from your employer.

    Invitation letter (if applicable): If you've received an invitation from someone in the US, present the letter during the application process.

Visa application jurisdiction

When applying for your visa, it is crucial to apply within the correct jurisdiction based on your residence in India. Atlys will facilitate submitting your application to the appropriate US Embassy/Consulate in Mumbai, Delhi, or Chennai, depending on your passport jurisdiction.

The concept of passport jurisdiction refers to the requirement that your visa application be processed by the embassy or consulate that serves the area where you live. It's not possible to submit your application to an embassy different from the one designated for your region. Doing this will lead to a visa rejection.

US visa fees for Indians

The US tourist visa fee for Indians is USD 185 (approx. ₹15304) on the government website*.

*It is important to note that the visa fees are subject to change. Check the official government portal for the most up-to-date information.

You are guaranteed a full refund from Atlys if your visa application is not approved.

US visa application process for Indians

Our main focus is ensuring our readers understand clearly and can navigate easily. When applying for a US tourist visa, you have two choices: apply smoothly through Atlys or manage the application process independently.

How to apply through Atlys

For a timely visa process, let's walk you through what you can expect when applying for your US tourist visa online via Atlys.

    1

    Visit Altys: Start your US tourist visa application on Atlys.

    2

    Upload documents: Submit your digital photo and passport.

    3

    Pay the fees: You will pay and submit your US visa application in local currency.

    4

    Arrange interview date: An Atlys representative will assist you in booking an expedited date for your visa interview.

    5

    Attend your interview: Attend your visa interview at the Embassy and bring all the required documents.

    6

    Visa outcome: Atlys will inform you of your visa decision.

    7

    Visa pickup: You can pick up your passport and visa from the Embassy.

Atlys provides assistance in scheduling an expedited visa appointment and gathering all the correct documents to increase your chances of visa approval.

Why choose Atlys

    Atlys will arrange an expedited US visa interview date.

    A personal visa concierge will assist you with all the visa application steps.

    Atlys saves you time, as searching for a visa appointment can be frustrating.

How to apply through the government website

Applying for a US visa from India is time-consuming, and the entire process can take months. There are several steps that you must follow before you can get your tourist visa for the USA from India. Some of the steps are as follows:

    1

    Apply for the US visa online: Start your US tourist visa application online by completing the DS-160 form. Remember to save your Application ID for future reference. Additionally, once you have submitted the online DS-160 form, you cannot edit or modify it. Here is a guide that will assist you in filling out the online non-immigrant application form (DS-160).

    2

    Pay the US tourist visa fees: Indian citizens can pay online through the CGI Federal portal, send a Demand Draft to the US Embassy/Consulate, use a Credit card or Debit card, pay in cash in Indian Rupees or Dollars at DRUK Bank, AXIS Bank, or Citibank, utilize National Electronic Funds Transfer (NEFT), or make Mobile Payments through IMPS. It's important to keep proof of payment in your file for your visa interview. US tourist visa fees are non-refundable. Please note that there's a 5% surcharge for most international cards for USD transactions, but you can avoid this fee by using Atlys.

    3

    Schedule the US visa interview: Create an account on the CGI Federal portal. After creating an account, you must schedule an appointment at the Visa Application Center (VAC). Additionally, scheduling a separate appointment with the US Embassy or Consulate is essential. The appointment at the Embassy/Consulate should be scheduled at least one day after the appointment at the VAC. The US government appoints the VAC to collect biometric data, photos, and fingerprints of the US visa applicants before submission to the consular section. At the same time, you will go for your visa interview at the US embassy/consulate.

    4

    Submit biometric information: Provide biometric information (fingerprints and photographs) at the Visa Application Center before your interview.

    5

    Attend the US visa interview: Getting a US visa interview date in India can be tough due to high demand. You will have two appointments to attend. One at the Visa Application Center (VAC) and the other at the US Consulate. At the VAC, you'll provide biometrics. Make sure you have all the required documents. If the interview goes well, you'll submit your passport and documents to get your US tourist visa in India.

    6

    US visa approval: Once your US visa from India is approved and ready for pickup, you will be notified via the email address or the phone number you provided. You must pick up your passport within 14 working days of receiving the notification. The passports that are not collected will be returned to the Embassy or consulate. Alternatively, you could pay 650* to have your passport delivered via courier.

Atlys, since it will shorten the whole process by 10 months

Tips to apply

    Make sure the file sizes you upload aren't too large. 51mm x 51mm Digital Photo in JPEG format; Maximum size is 300kb

    Remember that the entire process is not online; you must have an in-person interview.

    Submit your visa application well before your intended travel date to allow ample time to rectify any issues and ensure you receive your visa on time.

    Ensure you have all the required documents; they will deny your application if you miss any documents.

Receive your approved US tourist visa for Indians

Once your visa application is submitted, authorities will process it. Applications can face delays, so apply as early as possible.

Through Atlys:

Upon approval of your visa, Atlys will send you a notification confirming its approval. You can then pick up your visa and passport from the Embassy.

Through Government Portal:

The government won't send emails for visa approval, so you need to check manually. Once your visa is approved, you can collect your passport and visa from the embassy/consulate.

US visa information for Indians

How do you check your US Visa status?

You can check your visa status on the online portal. You will need the following information to track your visa status online:

    Application ID or case number

    Your passport number

    First 5 letters of your surname

Enter the additional code shown on the screen and proceed. Once you access your application, follow the on-screen steps to track and check your US visa status.

US visa processing time

If everything goes smoothly, the Embassy usually takes about 10 days to process your US tourist visa after your interview. After that, it may take around 10 more days for you to get it.

Please note that this timeframe doesn't include the application process or the wait for a visa interview. Visa interview slots are limited, and the waiting time can be around 365 days.

Apply through Atlys and get a visa interview within 91 days.

US visa validity & duration of stay

It can be a single or multiple-entry visa, allowing the holder to stay in the US for up to 180 days.

Visa applicants can be granted a US tourist visa validity of up to 10 years. However, there is no guarantee that all applicants will receive the same visa validity. You can check your visa validity on the visa sticker on your passport.

The US official in India would decide the length of your visa. Additionally, the immigration or border control officer at the US port of entry can determine whether you can stay the entire visa period in the country.

Our commitment to visa accuracy

All the information in this blog is sourced from official government websites, ensuring reliability and accuracy. You can trust the content to be accurate, but remember to stay informed, as changes may happen without notice.

Government fees and processes can change over time. Atlys recommends double-checking the government website for the most current and up-to-date information before applying.

Frequently Asked Questions

Yes, Indian citizens are granted a US tourist visa for a stay of 1- 6 months. However, you can request a visa extension for specific reasons you wish to extend your stay in the US. You must require the extension at least 45 days before the expiration of your visa.

You must meet the eligibility criteria and provide the necessary documents to apply for an extension. Some documents are Form I-539, Form I-94, your valid passport, etc.

For more information on the tourist visa USA extensions, visit the US Citizenship and Immigration Services website.

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