How to Immigrate to the United States? See everything you need to do
At this moment, a very common question is: can I travel to the United States now? Regardless of the reason, whether for the purpose of internationalizing companies, creating commercial relations with the United States or just for tourism, the answer is yes.
However, to enter the United States in 2023 it is necessary to pay attention to the requirements that are being demanded, such as having a valid passport and visa, as well as complying with the current health rules and Covid prevention measures imposed by the country.
If you are interested in the topic and want to find out how to travel to the United States for work or for other reasons, continue reading this post as we have prepared a complete guide with everything you need to know about the subject.
Requirements for Immigrants
To enter the United States, the current requirements for Immigrants are to have a valid passport and American visa and only present proof of complete vaccination against Covid-19. Since June 2022, the American government has removed the requirement to show a recent negative test to enter the country. In this sense, there are some documents that must be presented to obtain a visa to the United States, they are:
- Valid passport;
- Previous passports containing the last United States visa (if you have already visited the country);
- Printed confirmation page and scheduling instructions;
- Form DS-160 printed with barcode;
- Original receipt of payment of the visa application fee;
- Income tax declaration;
- Bank statements;
- Last paychecks.
It is worth noting that, for studies, in addition to these documents, form I-20 or DS-2019, provided by the educational institution, duly completed and signed, must also be presented.
What are the different types of visas?
There are different types of visas, and each person must apply based on what they want to do in the country, such as traveling for business, pleasure, studying, etc. Below, we will present information about some of them.
B-1 (business/ au pair)
The B1 visa must be requested by individuals who wish to go to the United States for professional reasons, such as to carry out voluntary work, act as a researcher, give lectures or classes, do an internship, etc.
It is also suitable for nannies/domestic workers who will travel to practice this profession.
A person who has a US business visa can also negotiate contracts, execute wills, consult their partners in the US and participate in meetings, conferences and professional events.
It is worth noting that those who visit the country on a B-1 visa cannot receive payments for their services, nor should they put the employment of an American citizen at risk.
B-2 (medical treatment)
People who wish to go to the country for specialized medical treatment must apply for a visa in this category. With it, it is also possible to study, but only in courses with a small workload.
The B1/B2 visa is the most common and is usually the most requested, as it is the visa for people who want to visit the United States for pleasure or tourism. In general, this visa lasts for 10 years.
J-1 (stay exchange)
Anyone wishing to do an exchange in the USA needs a J1 visa to enter the country and study at an American educational institution for a maximum of 6 months. With this visa, it is possible to carry out internships and some paid activities during the period of stay. Thus, the J1 visa is intended for:
- postgraduate students;
- English courses
- some internship professionals;
- academic invited to work as a temporary professor at universities.
The F1 visa, in turn, is aimed at students who have been admitted to an American school or university approved by the immigration service. The institution must have permission to process the I-20 — a form that is used by American academic institutions and which determines whether or not an individual is able to study in the country.
Furthermore, it is important that the student demonstrates that they have ties with their country of origin and that they intend to return at the end of the course. It is also necessary to prove that you have the financial means to support yourself throughout the course, as this type of visa does not allow paid work.
C-1 (transit through the United States)
The C1 visa is only a transit visa and is intended for travelers who will be on flights that will make a temporary stopover in the USA.
How to Obtain a US Visa (Step by step)
As we have seen, to travel to the United States, all immigrants need an American visa, whether for business, tourism, living, connecting flights or studying in the country.
However, in order to obtain it, there are a series of steps that must be followed. Check out the next topics step by step.
Fill out the request form – DS-160
The first step to obtaining an American visa is to access the United States Consulate website and fill out the DS-160 form, which, in turn, must be filled out correctly and in English.
On the consulate’s website it is possible to translate information from English to your local language (and vice versa) automatically. However, the ideal is to count on the help of specialized assistance, as, by filling in incorrect data, the entire procedure could be compromised.
When filling out the form on the consulate website, try to clear your browser’s cache (history), close all other windows that are open on your computer, have your documents at hand and save each page answered so that it does not expire and you Don’t have to answer everything again.
Pay attention to the expiration time of the DS-160
It is necessary to pay attention to the expiration date of your DS-160, since after paying the fee there is a period of 12 months to schedule the interview at the American Consulate. It does not need to be during the 12 months, but rather scheduled during this time. If you exceed this period, you will need to fill it out again and pay a new application fee.
Pay the application fee
The American visa costs US$160. Payment of this fee can be made with a credit card or through a bank slip paid at any bank.
This value is the same for travelers who go to the country for business, for pleasure, for academic studies, for medical treatment, for transit through the United States and for exchange visitors. The exception is for the American work visa which, in turn, has the highest value of US$190.
It is worth noting that the fees paid are not refundable, even in cases where the American visa is denied. Furthermore, as mentioned, there is a period of one year to request a face-to-face interview.
Schedule your interview at the American Consulate
After paying the fee, you must wait 48 hours (2 business days) to schedule an interview at the American Consulate. This appointment can be made online, via the American government website, or by telephone.
Gather Required Documents
A valid passport, completed application form (DS-160), visa fees receipt, and a photo meeting specified guidelines. Prepare supporting materials like invitation letters, travel itinerary, employment verification, and financial proof. Depending on the visa type, additional documents might include educational records, marriage certificates, or sponsor information. Schedule a visa interview via the U.S. embassy or consulate website, paying the necessary fees. Attend the interview with all documents, be honest, and answer questions confidently. Await the decision, and if approved, follow any additional instructions. Keep in mind each visa category may require specific documents.
It is worth noting that, the process may vary based on the type of visa you’re applying for and the country you’re applying from. Always refer to the official U.S. Department of State website or consult with the embassy or consulate for the most accurate and up-to-date information.