An increasing number of young Indians are getting jobs and settling down in the US, where both the children and parents are forced to stay thousands of miles away from each other. Parents with the wish to spend more time with their children therefore need to plan a visit to America. However, when you start planning, there are lots of questions that might come to mind, such as how to plan travel, how to apply for a visitor’s visa, how and where to buy visitor’s insurance, etc. Let us try to highlight the main things that need to be taken care of when you plan your travel.
The first thing you should know is to enter USA, you’ll need to apply for the B-2 Tourist Visa, which is a non-immigrant visa meant for persons entering the US for pleasure or medical treatment. In many situations, the B-1 and B-2 visas are combined and issued as one visa: the B-1/B-2.
Apply for the B-2 Visitor Visa
Step 1: File the DS160 Form
In the Nonimmigrant Visa Electronic Application (DS-160) form, you’ll need to fill your personal, educational, US contacts details and work background information, etc. Read the Guidelines for Completing the DS-160 Form carefully before you start filling the form. Most importantly, make sure you enter your name in exactly the same manner as it appears on your passport, where other information must be accurate as well, since you will not be able to make changes once the form is filed.
Step 2: Pay the Application Fee
After completing the DS-160, you need to pay the visa fee, for which you can choose an NEFT online transfer, which is very convenient. You can also pay it over the counter at select Citibank and Axis Bank branches. Click on the link to find out about the list of visa fees in US dollars and native currency correlating to the visa types.
Step 3: Scheduling the Interview
To schedule a visa interview, you will need to register and create a profile online. The interview includes a two-part appointment process, which consists of firstly, an appointment with one of the five Offsite Facilitation Center (OFC) to give biometric information (photograph and fingerprinting), and secondly, an appointment with the Consulate or Embassy for a personal visa interview, scheduled at least a day or 2 after the fingerprinting appointment.
Step 4: Documents Required for the Biometrics Appointment
The biometrics appointment takes place at the Visa Application Center where your photo and fingerprints will be taken. You should carry your passport, appointment confirmation letter, receipt of the application fee to the designated VAC, DS 160 confirmation page, and do not carry your phone, water and or any sharp metal object.
Step 5: Preparing for the Visa Interview
Visit the US Embassy or Consulate on the date and time assigned to you for your visa interview. Take with you the appointment confirmation letter, original passport and photocopy of the passport, I-134 affidavit of support, DS-160 Non immigrant Visa – Confirmation Page, Letter to the consulate, invitation letter, payslip for the last 6 months from your office and bank statements for the last 6 months. Without all these items, your visa application will not be accepted.
If your visa is approved, the consulate will keep the passport for stamping the visa, which will then be shipped to your preferred location within 5-6 business days, which you can track as well.
Choose Visitor’s Insurance
Medical costs being pretty high in the US means that you should carefully choose visitor insurance. You should know that most of the insurance companies do not cover an existing ailment. However, there are plans and coverage policies including Patriot America Plus, VisitorCoverage.com and Atlas America, which also cover an pre-existing conditions at a slightly higher premium, which most visitor insurance companies don’t cover.
So, there you have it. Here are some more tips on selecting the best insurance for parents visiting USA for the first time.