How to apply for a US visa from another country?

Although it is a common practice, applying for a US visa from another country can be a little bit harder than you imagine.

United States passport on a book



LatinAmerican Post | Yolanda González Madrid

Applying for a US visa is usually a headache for some people, but behind all that hustle and bustle involved in collecting innumerable requirements is the satisfaction of can travel to the United States. This opportunity does not come along every day, whether it is to study, work or do tourism, so it is fundamental to comply with the requirements and even more so if you are an immigrant who has left his origins behind. Do you want to obtain a visa and you are in another country? Here we explain what you should keep in mind.

Whether you are on vacation or have been a resident for some time, to apply for an American visa while in a country that is not your habitual residence, you must follow a series of rules. First of all, keep in mind that this request can be made at any United States consulate, even if you do not have the nationality of the country of residence. Of course, it can be hard to meet all the requirements, but not impossible.

A detail that the authorities expect in these cases is that you manage to demonstrate that you have strong social and economic ties with your country, so you should return after a visit to the United States. However, this point would change slightly for those who apply for a visa for immigration purposes. Keep in mind that this decision will fall to the consul and will depend on the particular circumstances of the case.

What requirements must I have to process the American visa?

Among the essential requirements are having a valid passport, being able to verify the reasons for your trip, showing that you have sufficient funds to cover expenses, passport-size photos, and carrying with you the confirmation page of the DS-160 form. Also, you must have the receipt of the application fee paid and a copy of the appointment letter. In some cases, the different consulates might ask you to provide bank documents during the interview.

Below we will show you step by step what you must do to apply for your American visa.

Step 1: Determine the type of American visa you want to apply for. The most common is the B-1 (for those who travel temporarily for business) and the B-2 (those who go for tourism). Both visas are often processed as one.

Step 2: Fill out the DS-160 visa application form, which is an online form from the United States government. To do this, go to its official portal https://ceac.state.gov/CEAC/ and remember to complete this form before requesting any other service on this website.

Step 3: Go back to the web to complete the following application steps to schedule an appointment. Create a user account, add the requested information, enter the DS-160 confirmation number, select a location where you wish to receive your documents from the Consular Section, pay the visa application fee, and finally schedule your appointment at the consulate.

Step 4: Once you go to the consulate, you must request the Third Country Nationals or TCNs, for its acronym in English, a special request for those who are not in their country of origin.

One point to consider where the application could be denied is when the applicant has been in the United States illegally at some point. Likewise, border countries such as Mexico and Canada have as a general rule not to process visas for foreigners who are neither local citizens nor permanent residents in said country.

Avoid consulate shopping

Several experts have stated that the fact of being able to apply for a US visa while in another country does not mean that it is a recommendable practice. Do not give the impression that you are looking for a consulate that could be a laxer in approving a visa. This practice is known as consulate shopping.

In the past, this was common practice for both kinds of visas. However, over time suspicion began to arise with certain requests, since, for example, a Russian citizen preferred to choose an American consulate in some other European country instead of Russia.

On the other hand, another fundamental requirement to obtain an American visa from another country is to prove strong family or economic ties in the country in which you reside. Therefore, some applications could be more difficult to obtain in these cases if they are not proven. Despite everything, remember that the immigration law is the same and is applied equally in all the consulates of the United States, as well as the requirements to obtain the visa.

Tips to request the American visa and not be denied

Regardless of your condition, it is worth following several tips so that the American visa is approved without inconvenience. Always remember that being informed and obeying the directives of the embassy or consulate staff will reduce the chances that your document will be denied.

Always tell the truth and be consistent. The basic and essential thing in these cases is to be as honest as possible, not only in the interview but also when delivering the requested documents. Explain the reasons for the trip so that the consul considers you a suitable traveler.

Fill in the forms properly. There are several types of visas and the fact of requesting the one that does not correspond to you will cause them to reject you and, even put the consular authorities on alert for a second occasion. Do not forget to mention if you have relatives in the United States, as this could sometimes be considered a failure to meet the requirements.

Check with official sources. Regardless of which country you are in, all US consulates explain that any questions must be resolved by their official sources. Likewise, they emphasize that for any diligence with the forms they should not accept help from third parties, since the registered information will be under your responsibility.

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