How to Apply for US Tourist Visa?

How to Apply for US Tourist Visa?
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Applying for US tourist visa in Oslo, Norway

It’s been  over a year since I received my US tourist visa and had my first amazing trip to the states. Though it has been a year, I still kept getting a question like, how do you apply for US visitor visa? How long does it take? Is it difficult? How much does it cost? Where do I…, How do I…, When do I…  etc. At first, I was excited to tell everyone, until there seemed to be a lot of everyone’s all the time, and I was explaining the same thing over and over again.

I finally decided to write this guide and hope that this will come in handy as you go through with your visa application. So here is the how and what to do when applying for a US tourist visa.

US Tourist visa

Downtown Chicago

Before I go on with the details, I just wanted to make it clear that this is just based on my application experience, it may vary on a case by case basis like your nationality, your living situation in Norway, etc. The requirements may also differ from the embassy where you’re applying at. In my case, as I’m single, self-supporting and I don't have families and relatives living in the states, so most likely they would think that I don’t have reasons to not leave the country.

This guide is for anyone who is applying in Oslo embassy, and for you who wants to get some idea of how the process is gonna take when applying for US visa.

So, how to apply for US visa when you are living in Norway?

  1. Simply to go their website, apply for US visa. Since you’re going there as a tourist, select Non-immigrant. Then follow the step by step procedure.
  2. After selecting the Business/Tourist Visa, you need to fill out the DS-160 form, and you will be taken to a page like this.US Tourist visa application

3. After you clicked on the start application and filled out the details, you will be given an application ID, make sure you take note of it so you can retrieve your application anytime.

4. Once you submitted your nonimmigrant visa application, you get will a confirmation with the photo ID that you uploaded.

US Touris visa application

Rate of application fee as of April 2016

5. Next is the payment. The Visa fee is not refundable, so make sure your internet is working well when processing the payment.

6. Schedule for an appointment. You will also get a list of the required documents you need to bring to your visa interview.

US Touris Visa application

7. Make sure you visit the US Embassy on the date of your interview on time or at least 15 minutes earlier. Take note that the embassy will not let you in if you come too early, so expect to wait outside no matter what the weather condition is.

That’s it! You will be told to wait for your visa on the mail in 10 days. I got mine in about 7 days. However, when you get denied, you will know right away and they will give you back your passport that same day.

A few tips when applying for US tourist visa:

1. As long as your intention in visiting the US is genuine and you have all the necessary documents with you, don’t be nervous, you are likely to get your visa. People in the embassy might misinterpret your being nervous and will refuse you for a visa even though your intentions are good.

2. Bring all the supporting documents that can help your application. You have nothing to lose, it's better to have everything with you than without anything to show if they asked for it. When I had my interview I was a little disappointed though because I was tired all weekend printing all my necessary documents, but they only take my passport, the permit to stay in Norway and the confirmation receipt of my application.

3. Wear your big smile and be natural. This takes away all the tensions away, makes you sound confident then you can focus more on answering the questions. During my interview, it turned out to be a chit-chat instead of feeling like being interrogated.

4. You will get some guidelines with the particular size of hand carry bags you are allowed to bring and passport ID photo, make sure you follow them too.

5. And lastly, one of the guidelines when visiting the US embassy in Oslo is that you are not supposed to bring mobile phones. I diligently followed this instruction despite my disagreement (because I have everything on my phone including my bus ticket), but I found out that they do allow you to leave it at the gates where you leave your stuff. You are only allowed to bring the documents you need to submit inside and nothing else. The US embassy in Oslo is one of the few places in Norway where I experienced serious security check and guidelines. (Although, I’m used to this back home in the Philippines, it still a little strange to experience it in Norway.;)) Ohh, I almost forget that once you enter the US Embassy, you're technically  in the US territory. 

There you go! Applying for US tourist visa isn’t as difficult as you think. We probably heard many people getting refused for it, but this doesn’t mean that it’s hopeless to try. As the old saying goes, “there’s no harm in trying” and in fact, “you won’t lose anything when you try” (except for the application fee ;). But of course, the chance for you to travel and experience the U.S. is there.

Safe travels everyone!

Pin me here!

US tourist visa

Photo by: Rhon Tamayo (Philadelphia National Museum of Art)

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  • shopannies

    thanks for the useful information. You have created a post that I hope others will find useful. I had to fill out passport information for my son to travel to another country a few years ago. Tutorial like this would have been helpful
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    • Crizzy Kiss

      Thank you! I wished I had read one like this before too when I applied for my visa. I didn’t have somebody I know as well to ask about it, so I know the feeling.. 😉

  • These are awesome pointers especially when you’re planning to go to the US any time soon. I haven’t tried applying for a US visa before, it’s always good to know what to expect.

    • Crizzy Kiss

      Thanks Mai! Yeah, absolutely, especially when applying for the first time. 😉

  • Nicole Cochingco Escat

    I love your tips. I have a friend who applied and got denied for a US tourist visa.

    • Crizzy Kiss

      Thanks Nicole! Ohh, I’m sorry to hear that your friend didn’t get it. I actually have a friend here too who got denied because she got families in the states. But they can always re-apply after some time.

  • Svetoslav Dimitrov

    Great tips, Crizzy, I pinned it! 🙂

    • Crizzy Kiss

      Thank you Svet! So nice of you! 😉