US Visa for Indians
US Visa for Indians is a coveted Visa as it makes the rather weak passport moderately stronger for traveling. US Visa opens the door to multiple countries esp. if you’re planning a trip to Latin America. Saves time, money, and a lot of trips to the embassy.
Fortunately or Unfortunately I have two separate experiences of getting US Visa on my Indian passport in two different countries – Ecuador and Colombia. It is recommended though that one applies for US Visa from their home country.
Here is the Common information:
Cost: USD 160
Mode of Payment: Online
Processing Time: It depends on the availability of interview slots but once the Visa is approved it usually takes 5 working days
Visa Type: B2 Tourism/Medical Treatment
Documents: Form 160, photograph
- Fill the form 160
- make a payment
- submit your form online
- choose a date to submit fingerprints and a date for interview (It happens on the same day in Ecuador)
- passport would be retained by the embassy only in case Visa is approved
Embassy Quito, Ecuador:
Visa Requested: 30 days
Visa Issued: 6 months with two entries permitted
Validity: 6 months
Also Read: Ecuador Visa for Indians
- ‘Who is sponsoring your trip’
- ‘What if you run out of money’
- ‘Why US’
- How long have you been traveling (5 months then)
- How long in Ecuador
- When do you plan to go back
- Why did you quit your job
- What did you do back in India
- How are you funding your trip
- How much have you saved (had about $3700)
- What does your family do
- Where do your parents live
- Where do you live, do you live with them?
- Where in US are you going to travel (I had given a friend’s address in Tennessee)
- How do you know this friend in US (Met while traveling and hosted him for a few days in Mumbai)
Visa approved. Within 5 working days I got an email asking me to collect my passport.
I was excited about the Visa, the family I was staying with were equally happy and we had a tiny celebration as well, the day i got my Visa approved.
It was fairly easy to collect my passport but what I noticed upon getting my passport was disheartening. Unlike the usual Visa, I had gotten only 6 months on my Visa with two entries allowed.
It was still good enough for my plans though.
Embassy Bogota, Colombia:
After getting mugged in Colombia, I had to do the entire process again of getting the US Visa. It was essential for me as I wanted to go to one more country from here and I couldn’t have entered Colombia again without a valid US Visa.
After much thought I applied for a fresh US Visa. There is no other way out even though I had a copy of the previous Visa.
I filled the form, got a date for submitting finger prints then another date for interview.
Both these dates were difficult to get as all the slots seemed to be full. I checked everyday to see if there was an earlier date available. This way I lost less time in the process.
The interview revolved around the mugging incident. The lady was empathetic and kind.
In the end, she told me my Visa is approved.
I collected my passport after five working days and to my surprise I had received a 10 year Visa this time.
Owing to the US Visa I was able to travel to below countries Visa free:
- Colombia (90 days)
- Mexico (180 days )
- Belize (I got Visa for 10 days but one could apply for 30 days)
- Guatemala (90 days)
Tips for any Indian applying for a US Visa –
- The fingerprinting and interview slots were not available for the next month or so. I took the earliest date and kept checking everyday to see if an earlier date was available. I was able to save a lot of time this way.
- Everyone was dressed very smartly (most people were in business formals) but I’m not sure if it makes any difference. I went there in my backpacking clothes and hiking shoes.
- Be honest and confident in your interview. They are experienced in this and can see through lies.
US Visa in both countries was a very comfortable experience. Everyone spoke english, the processes are in place so nobody is lost upon seeing an Indian passport. The email ids are very responsive and they even have a skype number one could call for any questions. Makes life so much easier for a traveler.
NOTE: I offer personalised Visa consulting service where I can help you with your Visa interview, cover letter, and make a custom itinerary for you as per your requirements. Drop me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org for information.