(CNN Spanish) — Temporary visitors to the United States are the largest group of migrants. Among the most common nonimmigrant visas are the B-1 and B-2, visas that are granted to travelers who come to the US for business (B-1) or for tourism (B-2) or a combination from both.
In 2019, the US government issued 5,297,439 B-1 and B-2 visasa figure that decreased to 2,164,021 in 2020 due to the suspension of visa services in the face of the covid-19 pandemic, according to figures from the State Department.
Applicants for the B1 and B2 visa must demonstrate their intention to enter the country temporarily, verify that they have the necessary economic funds to cover the expenses of their trip, and must prove that they have social and economic ties in their country of residence. origin to guarantee their return.
Here we tell you how to apply for your temporary visitor visa to enter the United States.
Note: Due to the covid-19 pandemic, the services of the Embassy of the United States have delays in their operations, so we recommend that you carry out this procedure with sufficient time in advance. Check the waiting time according to your country of origin.
How to apply for the visa (procedure)
The first thing you need to apply for a B1/B2 visa is a valid passport.
The second is to fill DS-160 application. This application takes approximately 90 minutes and you will need to have the following information on hand:
- Personal data: name, date of birth, passport information, official identification, current residence address, email, telephone and social networks.
- Travel itinerary: dates of entry and exit, flights, address where you will stay and purpose of the trip.
- Data of your companions: name and relationship of your companions.
- Previous travel information: dates of arrivals and departures to the US.
- Contact in the US: name, relationship and contact in the case of having a relationship with someone who lives in the North American country.
- Family information: name, date of birth and address of your mother, father, spouse and children. You must also indicate if you have family in the US.
- Education and work: name, address and contact of your current and past work. The same information is requested about your schooling.
- Security questionnaire.
- Information about the type of visa you are applying for.
Once you have finished filling out the application, you will need to print the confirmation page with the barcode.
The cost of a B1/B2 visa It is US$160 and is valid for 10 years. The cost for minors under 15 years of age is US$ 15, a visa that will expire in 10 years or when the minor turns 15.
Schedule an appointment at the embassy or consulate
On some occasions the applicant will be asked to upload a photo as part of the DS-160 application process. However, most will be required to schedule an appointment at the Applicant Service Center (CAS) to which they must attend prior to their consular appointment. The CAS will take the biometric information (photo and fingerprints) of the applicant.
Documentation for the interview
On the day of the interview, the applicant must bring the following documents to the consulate or embassy:
- Valid passport or previously issued passports.
- DS-160 application confirmation page with barcode.
- Receipt of payment of the visa application.
Minors must bring a recent photograph (taken in the last six months) in passport size on a white background.
After the interview
If the visa is approved, it will be delivered via courier within 3 to 4 weeks.
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Publisher’s note: This note was originally published in May 2021 and was updated in 2022.