Tourist Visas

Here’s an overview of tourist visas.  Click here to schedule a consultation on your case by Skype, phone or email (or in person in Oregon, US).

Tourist or visitor visas to the U.S. can be almost impossible to get from some countries, especially if the U.S. government believes your country has a high rate of tourist visa fraud, or visitors to the U.S. who don’t return to their country when their visa expires. The biggest challenge when you apply for a visitor visa is to show you intend to return to your country when your visa expires.  By law, the U.S. government presumes you have immigrant intent when you apply. This means you must prove to their satisfaction that you have strong ties to your home country which gives you reasons to return at the end of your stay.

On the other hand, no visa is required from citizens of 38 countries who participate in the Visa Waiver Program, which allows them to visit the U.S. for 90 days.  The Visa Waiver countries include many European countries, Australia, South Korea, Japan, Chile, and others. Visa Waiver Program visitors will still be questioned about their visit when they enter the U.S.

You will have very little time at your tourist visa interview to convince the interviewing officer. It is important for you to be able to explain your case clearly and extremely quickly. Here are some documents to take to your interview to help prove your ties to your country:

  • Proof of residence in your home country that you do not intend to abandon. If you own your own home, take proof of ownership such as mortgage documents and statements and deed of ownership. If you rent, take a copy of your lease and a letter from your landlord confirming how long you have lived there.
  • Proof of employment, including a current letter of employment and recent paystubs.
  • Bank statements of your own account to show you have funds and do not intend to work in the U.S.
  • If you own a business, bring documents proving ownership and your role in day-to-day operations.
  • Evidence of close family ties in your country. If a close relative in your country has medical problems, take proof of those problems, such as a doctor’s letter, and your role in caring for the relative.
  • Evidence of other social and cultural ties to your country. For example, if you hold an important role in your church or faith organization, take a letter from a leader confirming your important role.
  • A brief letter explaining the purpose and specific length and itinerary for your trip.

The non-refundable online application fee is $160.  See the State Department’s explanation of the process for more details.

Contact us if you would like us to review your documents and help you prepare for your interview. We charge a fee.