We answer your basic questions about applying for a Visitor Visa for your parents in their home country if you want your parents to visit you in the US.
Visa processing center/US consulate backlogs are prolonging the visa application process. India, which receives many visa applications, has been severely affected.
Post the pandemic, Since September 1, 2022, the US Embassy and Consulates in India have been accepting first-time B-1/B-2 visitor visa appointments.
Visa renewals within 28 months of their expiry are eligible for an interview waiver. You must apply for a Visitor Visa early for your parents if this would be their first time getting a US Visa.
The US Visitor Visa application process can be done without a lawyer. Get legal help for services if you’re short on time.
The B1 B2 Visa is popularly known as the Visitor Visa OR the Tourist Visa. Non-immigrant visas or visitor visas allow temporary entry for:
B-1 – Business Visa under the category of non-immigrant visas
B-2 – Tourism Visa under the category of non-immigrant visas
A visa under the B1 B2 category is generally issued for a period of 10 years validity and is a multiple entry visa. There are stipulations for its usage and travel to the USA. There are several other visas in the non-immigrant visa category.
Parents wanting to visit the United States temporarily to meet their children and family members can apply for a b1 b2 visa aka a Visitor Visa
Business travelers who want to travel to the USA for business meetings, to meet business associates, or to attend a business convention also need to apply for a b1 b2 visa. Even tourists can apply for this visitor visa category.
There are many US Visa Types, and permitted activities under each visa category.
For parents’ visa type for visiting the USA is concerned the Visitor Visa and activities allowed under them are:
In order to submit an application for a B1/B2 visa, you must first gather all the documents required to be submitted along with the visitor visa application. This will help you in the Visitor Visa Application Process
A valid passport for 6 months beyond the planned period of stay in the USA. If the passport of your parent is nearing the end of its validity, it would be advisable to first renew their passport and then start the visitor visa application process.
All the documents needed to provide and show proof of sound financial standing like bank account details, a bank statement & other financial-related documents. Availability of funds in the bank to show that all costs for the planned trip can be undertaken sufficiently. The funds available in the bank account should be >= $5,000 -10,000 or more. A bank letter /bank statement can be proof.
To support the application further documents can be included. Additional documents like
To demonstrate ties to the home country. Address proof for your permanent residence.
Other documents that may be required can be an invitation letter, an employment verification letter if any of the parents are employed, and a confirmation stating that their leave is granted for the trip.
Evaluate your parents’ circumstances and situation and collect documents accordingly. You can support their application with an invitation letter from you to them.
Get the details on how to write a letter to a consulate for a visitor visa.
The eligibility requirements for a b1 b2 visa include a planned trip to the United States for eligible activities permitted under the US visitor visa:
Other requirements are documents for the visa category you are applying for. Displaying financial stability and access to funds in your bank account that will fund the trip.
Strong ties to your home country ensure you will leave the USA once your trip ends.
If your parents visit you in the United States temporarily on a b1 b2 visa but need to extend their stay beyond the time that they were approved for, it is extremely critical that you file an extension of stay application.
Follow these basic steps to apply for a US tourist visa OR the Visitor Visa:
Note that if your parents are eligible for visa interview waiver then you can submit the application documents at a drop-box location. A visa officer may approve and grant you a visitor visa, and your entry into the United States is ultimately approved by border protection officers at the port of entry by Homeland Security and US Customs and Border Protection (CBP).
Form Ds-160 is required for your parents’ visas. The DS-160 form is mandatory for all non-immigrant visa types. The DS-160 form is available online, provide contact information as well as information on why you are visiting.
Once the form DS-160 is submitted, You will receive a verification confirmation page and code, keep it for your document file, you will need it.
Pay the applicable visa fees known as visa issuance fees, and they differ from one nation to the other.
Once the visa fee payment is done you will receive an application fee payment receipt. You will need this to proceed further with the application.
Organize all required documentation in a file that can be taken for the visitor visa interview.
Visa applicants between the ages of 14 to 79 must attend a visa interview at the US Embassy. Considering delays and extremely high volumes of applications in some countries, start the process early for applying for a visitor visa.
Make an appointment with the US Embassy in your home country for your parents, to attend the visa interview. An interview in the local language may be available if your parents are not comfortable with English.
You will receive an interview confirmation letter when you make an appointment. The visa applicant must carry this interview confirmation letter to the interview.
Having all the documents in one place will help during the interview. It will also help to avoid last-minute hassles in finding documents. The visa interview only lasts a few minutes in most cases and having documents handy to provide to the consular officer if asked,
Keep all the additional supporting documents in the file and carry the file for your visa appointment, all required paperwork must be brought with you to avoid any disappointments.
Documents to Submit
You need to submit the following required documents/paperwork when applying for a B1/B2 visa:
Please note that this is not an exhaustive list for parent visitor visas, documents and paperwork may depend on a case-to-case basis.
Attend the visa interview and be on time or early, to avoid any chance of getting late for your appointment.
A consular officer will interview you and ask the reasons you wish to visit the USA.
Frivolous responses ensure that the visa officer rejects the visa, it would be advisable to prepare for the visa interview questions and go prepared for the interview.
Although the interviews are short and kept brief, it is extremely important to provide all important and relevant information.
The consular officer will examine your papers to make sure everything is in order.
The visa officer is highly trained and deals with applications daily, if you do not understand a question do not hesitate and request the visa officer to repeat the question rather than trying to answer without understanding what is asked. Being clear and specific will help.
The visa officer or consular officer decides to approve or reject a visa application on the merits of the case the usual decisions are: 1. visa approval 2. denial or 3. needs more information. If the visa is approved then the passport will be mailed back with the visa stamped on the passport.
Note: For those who don’t speak English or are not comfortable communicating in English, a local language interview appointment option is usually available.
Check out these useful links:
If your parents are planning to visit you in the U.S. Consider getting travel medical insurance for them
You need a Tourist Visa (Visitor Visa) to visit the United States. The only exception is people from countries that are part of the US Visa Waiver Program.
You must apply for a tourist visa/visitor visa/b1-b2 visa to visit the USA if you are a citizen of a country that is not part of the US Visa Waiver Program.
The processing of the B1/B2 visitor visa could take a few weeks to a few months, depending on the country you are applying in. Check with the local US Embassy in your country for the current timelines.
A B1 B2 visa allows for a stay of up to 6 months OR as approved at the port of entry by the CBP officer.
You are free to go anywhere in the US or for any other reason during that period. You must go back to your country of residence nonetheless after your visa expires.
If you want your parents to stay longer consider filing for a stay extension before their approved stay expires.
Hope that you now have enough information to help you through the entire process for a B1/B2 Visa.
This is the most commonly issued visa do bear in mind that many parents have had their visas rejected due to lack of preparation and the application being satisfactory.
In some cases, the visa is approved for one parent but rejected for the other, especially when the appointments are scheduled on different dates for each parent.
Those who are Well-traveled internationally may not need hand-holding but parents who have not traveled internationally may need help.
We hope your parents are granted a visa and they visit you soon. Apply for a visitor visa for parents.
If you are considering Travel Insurance for Parents Visiting the USA, Compare Travel Insurance Plans.