Many of us who hold a passport and who travel frequently, whether you’re based in the Philippines or here in Singapore, would eventually need a Visa to get to various destinations like the US, Canada, and parts of Europe. But applying for a tourist visa may seem intimidating at first, especially for those who’ve never been to countries which require one.
Related Post: How to Apply for a Schengen Tourist Visa in SG
Before you start chewing on your fingernails, let’s get an inside perspective on how the process takes place so we know what we’re getting ourselves into. In this post, we will look at some helpful guidelines in applying for a US Visa.
Guide to Applying for a USA Tourist Visa in Singapore
#1 Determine the purpose of your visit in the US to apply for the right visa.
Obviously, there are several reasons why people travel to the US. Conveniently, there are specific non-immigrant visas for your travel to the US and it’s important to pick the most appropriate one as follows:
B-1: This is for business-related travels that last for only a short duration of time (i.e. attending business meetings, conferences, conventions and the like) and do not require an individual to conduct actual business or provide actual labor and/or receive payment from a US source.
B-2: If you wish to visit a relative or go on a tour in the US, this is the visa type for you.
B1 / B2: This is a combination of the aforementioned visa types.
#2 Fill out the DS-160 form.
Take a few minutes to complete your online profile in order to proceed with your visa application. You can create a new application, upload a previous application, or retrieve an application you have already completed. Once you have filled out all required information, take note of the 10-digit bar code number as you will need it for scheduling an appointment with the US embassy.
- Be accurate and detailed when filling out forms so that you’ll avoid being interrogated for any incomplete information that could well be addressed in the earlier steps of the application process.
#3 Pay the US Visa Application Fee
The standard application fee for a US Tourist Visa (Type B visas) is $160. If you’re applying and paying from Singapore, that’s around SGD 224. There are also various means of payment available for both online and over the counter transactions. Before you go ahead and pay for your application, remember to download and print a copy of the deposit slip for easy payment through any of the following:
- SingPost Post Office,
- SAM kiosk; and
- SAM Web and Mobile App
Take note of your personal CGI Reference number. Payment should be made before the expiration date as indicated in the deposit slip. Once you’ve successfully completed your payment, you will be issued a receipt. Keep this as this will be required during your interview at the US Embassy.
#4 Set an appointment for interview
You can either do this online:
* Once you access the link, you will be asked to create an online profile for your visa application. After you’ve completed your profile, you will be directed to your dashboard. On the left-hand part of the page, click ’Schedule Appointment’.
This will initiate the process of setting an appointment for your visa application. You will be asked to provide the following info:
- your passport number
- the receipt for your visa application fee
- the 10-digit bar code number from the DS-160 confirmation page
by calling up the US Embassy Call Center in Singapore through (+6531585400).
Similarly, be ready to provide all necessary information as listed above in addition to your personal details and your preferred schedule for your interview.
#5 Go to the US Embassy or Consulate on your scheduled time and date for your visa interview.
What to expect:
- As with all government agencies, expect to line up with other applicants for the security check before you proceed with the interview process. Remember to come in earlier than your scheduled appointment because it’s ‘first-come first-serve basis.’
- Be prepared with the supporting documents such as your valid passport, employment certificate and other relevant IDs as well as your bank statements. Although there are ways through which the embassy can run a check on your individual profile (like through your Foreigner Identification Number or FIN), it’s better to have these documents at hand to avoid any hassle during the process.
- During the interview, most of the questions reflected on the DS-160 form may be asked once again so be sure you remember all important details such as your travel dates, your intended place of stay, and your current employer as you have provided on the form. The interview will basically revolve around the information on your DS-160 form – so the visa officer will just cross-check all this information during the actual interview.