Just like I shared in a previous post, one of the advantages of being a Permanent Resident of Canada is being able to visit several countries visa-free, and also secure a US Visa with little or no hassle. Let’s not also forget that having a US Visa also allows you access into many countries as well. You’d be able to travel as much as you want and tick off several destinations off your travel list. This is a topic I’ll be sharing more on in another post but for now, let’s focus on just how you can get a US Visa from Canada.
I recently applied for US non-immigrant visa from here in Canada and the process was pretty much a breeze. I’ll be sharing how you can go through the process as well and useful tips that could help you nail the visa interview as well.
The US non-immigrant visa process is in three stages:
- Filling the DS-160 non-immigrant visa application form
- Pay the application fees online
- Schedule an interview date
- Attending the interview
Filling the DS-160 Non-Immigrant Form: The DS-160 for is the application form you will need to fill and enter all the information required to process your visa. Before you begin filling this form, you need to be sure you have the following:
- An international passport with up to 6 months’ validity.
- Passport photograph that meets the required specification
- Information of where you’d be staying during your visit. If you indicate you’d be staying with someone, you will be required to state your relationship with the person, what he or she does for a living, their address and contact details.
There are many other important information you’ll be requested to provide while filling the form. Try dedicating at least 30 minutes to complete your application process. You will have 30 days to complete it if for any reason you are not able to complete it after you begin. Just make sure you save the application form to allow you continue when you’re ready to. After filling the application form, print this out.
Paying the Application Fee: The application fee for the US visiting visa category is $160 (USD) as of the day of this post. To proceed to with making this payment, you will be required to create an account at the Official Visa Services of the United States of America in Canada here then you can proceed to make payment with your Credit Card.
Scheduling Your Interview: After you’ve paid the visa application fee, the next step is to schedule an interview date. Depending on what province you’re in, the available interview dates may vary. Some provinces such as Ontario are known to have longer wait times for available interview dates than the others. It’s advisable to apply well ahead before your travel date.
Attending the Interview: After you have chosen an interview date, the most important part of the process is attending the interview. Whatever you do, it is advisable to never miss a US Visa interview or arrive late. Arriving 15 minutes before the interview time is what is expected. While attending the interview, it is advisable not to take electronics, cell phones, bags or any other prohibited item as you will be turned back. You can check here for a comprehensive list of items you are not allowed to take to the interview and those you are. Even though you might not be able to take your cell phone and other personal items, to the interview, there are convenience stores close to the venue that allow you keep your personal items in a locker for $5 there about. This is the case with the US Consulate General in Toronto. You will be asked to bring your DS-160 form, international passport, PR card or any other documents they might request you bring along.
Preparing for the interview: You will probably be asked questions on some of the information you have already provided like
- What you do for a living
- Your reason for visiting
- Length of your trip
- Who you will be staying with
- How long you’ve lived in Canada
- More information about your host (if you have one) etc.
The most important thing you can take to your US visa interview is your confidence. Dress properly and answer whatever questions you might be asked confidently. If your US visa is approved, you will be told there at the end of the interview. You will also be given a piece of paper with instructions on how to pick up your visad passport.
You can click here to begin your US visa application.
All the best!