How to Visit the United States Safely
Let's learn about visas
A visa is a permit issued by a government for a person to travel to its territory and stay for a specific period and for a specific purpose. A citizen of a foreign country seeking to enter the United States generally must first obtain a visa that is placed in his or her passport.
During the early stages of the COVID-19 pandemic, U.S. embassies in the region temporarily suspended issuance of visas, but by mid-2022 the situation has been regularized, which means you could begin the process of applying for yours.
Keep in mind that this is the only way in which you will be guaranteed all your rights when visiting the U.S. on a temporary basis and in this article you will learn in general what is the process you should follow.
There are different types of visas:
-Non-immigrant: include tourist, student, temporary worker, business, diplomatic, airline workers, person in transit or even victim of human trafficking.
-Immigrant: includes various types of family reunification, religious workers and people who have been sponsored by their employer to relocate.
Let's learn about the process!
The most common visa is the B-1/B-2 nonimmigrant visa, called the Business/Tourist Visa and granted to persons traveling to the U.S. on a temporary basis for purposes of tourism, visiting family or friends, medical treatment, attending scientific, educational, professional or business conventions/conferences.
Step 1: You must verify that you meet the requirements and documentation required for this type of visa application.
Step 2: You must create a user to enter the embassy's system, you must have your passport handy, as the data must match the DS-160 form.
Step 3: Fill out the DS-160 form. All information must be correct and accurate, with the support of someone who speaks English very well. However, keep in mind that, although many people provide the service of help, it is not a requirement to hire someone to fill out your form. With patience, it can be done at home.
Step 4: Once you have the code generated by the system you can complete the visa fee payment, corresponding to $160.00 in U.S. dollars, usually paid in local currency, at the exchange rate indicated by the system.
Step 5: Attend the interview with the consul at your country's embassy according to your scheduled appointment and bring the required documentation for the application and all supporting documents you have. Supporting documents usually include proof that you are employed.
Step 6: If your visa is approved, the embassy will hold your passport and send it to the address you provided when scheduling your appointment. The visa looks like a card printed on one of the pages of your passport.
Want to learn more? For more information on the visa application process, you can visit the following link according to your country (Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras, Costa Rica and Mexico).