What to Expect During the Visa Application Process

If you’re coming to the United States soon, you may need to obtain a visa to travel here. However, the process can be confusing, especially if you’ve never done it before. By learning more about what to expect during the visa application process, you can be prepared to apply and have a better chance of getting your visa. 

What Is a U.S. Visa? 

A visa is a travel document that your country will issue you so that you can come to the United States. This will be placed in your passport. 

Keep in mind that your country may not require you to get a visa to come to the U.S. under the U.S. Visa Waiver Program (VWP). There are 40 countries that participate in the VWP. You can find the full list on the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s website

If your country is not on the list, then you’ll need to secure a nonimmigrant visa by following these steps.

Determine What Visa You Need

Typically, business and tourism travelers to the U.S. will need either a B-1 or B-2 visitor visa. The B-1 visa is for business travelers; for instance, you may need this if you are coming to the U.S. for a conference or to meet with prospective clients. A B-2 visa is for people visiting the U.S. on vacation, coming to the country for medical treatment, and attending social events. There are also transit visas available, but they are less commonly used.

Apply for a Visa

You will have to follow the steps based on the U.S. Embassy or Consulate you’re applying through to get your visa. But generally, you will fill out form DS-160, the nonimmigrant visa application form, which you can find online, get your photo taken, pay the visa application fee (fees vary but are around $160-$190), and then schedule an interview.

Go in for an Interview

During your visa interview, you will arrive at the consulate near you. You’ll need to show your passport, receipt for the fees paid, and your appointment letter. You will go through fingerprint verification and attend your interview. The representative may ask you questions and verify the validity of your documents. You will know immediately whether or not you get approved. 

How Long Can You Stay in the U.S.? 

When you’re approved for your visa, you will be able to stay in the U.S. for a certain amount of time. It all depends on the type of visa you have.

For example, with the common B visitors visa, you will usually get six months to stay in the U.S. and no longer than a year at a time. If you have valid reasons to stay, you can apply for extensions in six-month increments. 

In another scenario, let’s say you have a K-1 fiance of U.S. citizen visa. You will only get 90 days, with no exceptions. However, if you have a K-3 spouse of U.S. citizen visa, then you can get up to two years or until your spouse files the I-130 visa petition for you. You can extend your visa if you’re still waiting for an answer about your I-1130 visa petition from the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). 

Contact a Florida Immigration Attorney

Do you have questions about getting a visa to come to the U.S.? Then contact Florida Immigration Law Counsel through our website or by calling 1-800-666-4996. We deal with the government so you don’t have to. We look forward to assisting you.


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Attorney Saman Movassaghi, Esq.

Caring and compassionate, Saman Movassaghi Gonzalez is a Florida immigration attorney dedicated to producing the results her clients need. She has over 17 years of experience helping both corporate and individual clients with an emphasis in employment/investment cases and family adjustment cases.

As the Managing Attorney at Florida Immigration Law Counsel, Saman Movassaghi Gonzalez and her team are capable of representing and helping individuals looking to attain a Family VisaWork Visa, and Citizenship/Naturalization. Her experience successfully representing clients in front of the Department of Justice for cases involving Deportation/Removal Proceedings will lead to success in your case.

Her experience and expertise in immigration litigation has led to multiple Avvo awards and other accolades, including the Clients’ Choice for 2017 Immigration Attorney. Her clients also consistently post positive reviews on her Facebook page. Her experience has also allowed her to teach a new generation of lawyers as an adjunct professor of law at Nova Southeastern University, and she also regularly gives speeches on immigration matters.

Counselor Gonzalez is also experienced in helping corporate clients through the process of filing for Employment Visas, Labor Certifications, and Business and Investment Visas with the Department of Labor. She takes on the entire case from start to finish, simplifying the process for her clients and allowing them to focus on their business.

Fluent in English, Spanish, and Farsi – Saman Movassaghi Gonzalez is dedicated to making her clients feel comfortable and assured in making her their go-to immigration attorney in Florida. Her goal is to ensure that those who want to live the American dream have a professional fighting for them and making the process as painless as possible.

Saman’s passion for immigration law stems from her personal life as the daughter of immigrants. Her parents were recipients of the student F1 visa in 1971. Her father came into this country with the goal to improve his life and the life of his children. He earned a PhD in Civil Engineering and Business, instilling in his daughter a strong work ethic that she carries to this day. Saman saw firsthand what it means to be an immigrant and achieve the American Dream.

Saman Movassaghi Gonzalez can personally understand the struggle of immigrants and the children of immigrants navigating through the bureaucratic process of immigration law. Because of this, she dedicates herself fully and provides her personal attention to every case. She prides herself on developing a strong relationship with each and every client, and she is not afraid of pushing the envelope and looking for answers where other attorneys have failed.

Saman Movassaghi makes it her goal to provide you with only the best representation for immigration matters because she believes it’s time for you to live the American dream!