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How do I get a Tourist Visa to the US from India?

In 2023, the US welcomed over 80 million international tourists. If you're a foreigner visiting the United States for vacation, you generally need a visitor visa (B-2 or B1/B2) unless you qualify for the Visa Waiver Program.

Tourism includes activities like going on holiday, seeing family and friends, or getting medical care. Read on to learn more about US tourist visas.

What is a Visitor (Tourist) Visa?

A visitor visa is a nonimmigrant visa required for foreign citizens wishing to enter the United States temporarily for business (B-1 visa), tourism (B-2 visa), or a combination of both purposes (B-1/B-2 visa).

Permitted Activities with a Visitor Visa:

Business (B-1):

  • Consulting with business associates
  • Attending scientific, educational, professional, or business conventions or conferences
  • Settling an estate
  • Negotiating a contract

Tourism (B-2):

  • Tourism and vacations
  • Visiting friends or relatives
  • Receiving medical treatment
  • Participating in social events hosted by fraternal, social, or service organisations
  • Taking part in amateur musicals, sports, or similar events or contests (unpaid)
  • Enrolling in short recreational courses of study, like a two-day cooking class, not for credit toward a degree

Which activities are not allowed with Visitor Visa?

Certain activities require different visa categories and are not permitted on a visitor visa:

  • Studying
  • Working
  • Performing for pay or professional performances in front of a paying audience
  • Serving as a crewmember on a ship or aircraft
  • Working as a foreign press in radio, film, print journalism, or other information media
  • Seeking permanent residence in the United States

Note: Birth tourism, where you travel to the United States primarily to give birth and obtain U.S. citizenship for your child, is not allowed on a visitor visa.

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Benefits of Visitor Visa

  • The B-1 visa allows temporary entry for business purposes.
  • The B-2 visa allows individuals to seek specialized medical treatment in the US.
  • The B-1/B-2 visa allows visits to friends and family in the US.
  • With a valid US tourist visa, you can travel visa-free to several countries, including Mexico, Belize, Guatemala, Panama, Caribbean and South American countries, and some European and Asian nations.

Top 5 US Tourist Visa Requirements for Indians in 2024

Eligibility Criteria for a B-1 Visa

To qualify for a B-1 visa, you must meet the following requirements:

  • Trip to the United States is for legitimate business activities.
  • Plan to stay in the United States for a limited period.
  • You have enough funds to cover your travel and stay in the United States.
  • You have a residence outside the United States and other strong ties that ensure your return after the visit.
  • You must be otherwise admissible to the United States.

Eligibility Criteria for B-2 Visa

  • Provide evidence of the purpose of your visit.
  • Show that your stay will be temporary.
  • Demonstrate you have enough funds to cover your expenses during your visit.
  • Prove you have a residence outside the US, along with economic and social ties that ensure you will return home after your trip.

How to Apply for a U.S. Tourist Visa

Image: Create a road with milestones. Add a heading on each milestone with the steps mentioned below. Also, create a destination with a flag that labels US tourist visa approved.

Step 1: Complete the Online Visa Application: Complete the Online Nonimmigrant Visa Application, Form DS-160, and print the confirmation page to bring to your interview. Also, upload a photo that meets the Photograph Requirements.

Step 2: Schedule an Interview: Generally, interviews are required for applicants aged 14-79. Check if you qualify for an interview waiver. Schedule your visa interview at the U.S. Embassy or Consulate in your country of residence. Note that wait times can vary.

Step 3: Prepare for Your Interview: Pay the non-refundable visa application fee. If approved, you may also need to pay a visa issuance fee, depending on your nationality. Also, Collect the required documents:

  • Valid passport (valid for at least six months beyond your stay)
  • Form DS-160 confirmation page
  • Application fee receipt
  • Photo (if online upload fails)

Step 4: Attend Your Interview: Attend your scheduled interview where a consular officer will determine your visa eligibility. Digital fingerprints will be taken. Also, bee prepared to provide evidence of the purpose of your trip, your intent to return home, and your financial ability to cover the trip.

Step 5: After the Interview: If needed, your application may require additional administrative processing. The consular officer will inform you if this is the case. If your visa is approved, pay any issuance fees and arrange for passport and visa delivery.

Entering the United States

  1. Port of Entry: A visa allows you to travel to a U.S. port of entry and request permission to enter. The Department of Homeland Security officials will decide your admission.
  2. Admission Stamp: If permitted, you will receive an admission stamp or a paper Form I-94, Arrival/Departure Record.

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How long can you stay in the USA on a B-1/B-2 Visa?

You can stay in the USA for up to six months at a time on a B-1/B-2 visa. In some cases, you might be able to extend your stay.

This visa allows multiple entries. So you can visit the USA more than once, but each visit's length is decided by border officers.

The B-1/B-2 visa is meant for short trips for business, tourism, or medical reasons, not for living in the USA permanently or staying most of the time.

US Visit Visa: Know all the details to travel to the United...

Difference Between B-1 and B-2 Visa


B1 Visa (Business)

B2 Visa (Tourism)


Short business trips (conferences, meetings, contract negotiations)

Tourism, vacation, visiting friends/family, certain medical treatments, participation in social events/contests (without pay)

Typical Activities

Attending business meetings, conferences, or negotiations

Vacation, sightseeing, visiting loved ones, receiving medical treatment, participating in unpaid social events or contests

Combination Visa

Often issued together with B2 visa (B1/B2)

Often issued together with B1 visa (B1/B2)

Receiving Pay

Not allowed to receive pay from a U.S. source

Not allowed to receive pay from a U.S. source

Expert Guidance

Cost of application of Tourist Visa

The current government application fee for a B visa is $185 (INR 15,433.59). This fee does not cover the expenses for collecting necessary documents, providing evidence, and getting passport photos.

How To Apply For USA B1/ B2 Visa In 2024? (+Interview ...

Required Documents for a US Tourist Visa

Valid Passport: Must be valid for at least six months beyond your intended stay, issued within the last 10 years, and with two blank pages.

Photograph: Recent passport-sized photo against a plain background, with your face covering 50-60% of the image.

Proof of Financial Support: Bank statements from the past six months, attested by the bank, showing enough funds to cover your stay.

Invitation: Copy of the inviter's valid passport or green card, along with an invitation letter explaining the purpose.

Income Tax Returns (ITR): Assessment for the last three years if employed; otherwise, provide the sponsor's returns.

Employment Letter: From your employer on official letterhead.

No Objection Certificate (NOC): From school, institute, or employer, along with an ID card copy for students/minors.

GST Copy: Required if self-employed.

In case of additional screening, you might be asked for:

  • Purpose of your trip: An invitation letter if visiting family or friends, or a tentative itinerary if for tourism.
  • Intent to depart the United States after your trip: An employer letter, employment contract, or proof of family in India.
  • Ability to pay all costs of the trip: Bank statements.

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How long does it take to get a US tourist visa?

After your biometrics and consular appointments, it typically takes 7-10 working days to receive a US tourist visa.

What are common reasons for US visa rejections?

Visa rejections vary case by case. Common reasons include:

  1. Limited travel history outside India.
  2. Weak ties to India, like lacking a job or close family.
  3. Suspected intention to find a spouse in the US.
  4. Absence of an invitation letter from US relatives.

What Are The Documents Required For USA (In 2024)?

How to Extend Your Stay on a B1 or B2 Visa

If your stay in the U.S. is about to end and you want to extend it, you can request an extension to avoid future issues from overstaying.

For both B-1 and B-2 visas, you can apply to extend your stay for up to one year by filing Form I-539. It's best to submit your application at least 45 days before your current visa expires to ensure timely processing.

Can I work in the U.S. on a B-1/B-2 visa?

No, you cannot work or be employed by a U.S. employer on a B-1/B-2 visa. If you want to work for a U.S. employer, you should look into other visa options like the H-1B visa.

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How Can Kansas Help?

Kansas Overseas Careers is India's top immigration consultant with a high success rate. We have served over 20,000 customers and managed more than 3,000 active cases.

You can rely on Kansas for all your visa needs, from profile evaluation and documentation to application drafting and post-visa services.

Our Services

  • Profile Evaluation: Our experts guide you on the best visa options. For this we will look at your travel purpose, profile history, and current policies.
  • Visa Filing: We ensure your application meets all requirements of the immigration authorities of your target country.
  • Documents & Review: We assist you in gathering and reviewing all necessary documents for your visa application.
  • Visa & Interview: We help you prepare the best answers and required documents for your visa interview.
  • Dedicated Case Officer: A case officer will guide you through every step of the process. Hence, we provide a consistent point of contact.
  • Post Landing Service: After receiving your visa, we help you settle in the new country comfortably. We also offer additional customized services.

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Other FAQs

1. What are the interview questions for a US tourist visa from India?

General questions include:

  • What is the purpose of your visit to the US?
  • How long do you plan to stay in the US?
  • Where will you be staying in the US?
  • Do you have relatives or friends in the US?
  • What is your current job, and how long have you been employed there?
  • Who will cover your travel expenses?
  • Have you travelled to the US before?
  • What ties do you have to your home country that will ensure your return?

2. What are the language proficiency requirements for a US tourist visa from India?

There are no specific language proficiency requirements for a US tourist visa. However, you must be able to communicate your intentions clearly during the visa interview, which is typically conducted in English or a local language with a translator.

3. What are the eligibility criteria for a tourist visa for the USA from India?

Eligibility criteria include:

  • Valid passport
  • Purpose of visit is for tourism, medical treatment, or visiting friends/family
  • Proof of sufficient funds to cover expenses
  • Strong ties to home country (job, family, property)
  • Clear intention to return to home country after the visit

4. What is the process to apply for a USA tourist visa from India?

The process covers the following steps:

  1. Completing the online DS-160 form.
  2. Paying the visa application fee.
  3. Scheduling and attending a visa interview at the US Embassy or Consulate.
  4. Providing necessary documents such as passport, photograph, financial statements, and proof of ties to India.
  5. Attending the visa interview and answering questions truthfully.

5. What should you do if your tourist visa for the USA from India is denied?

You can follow these steps:

  • Review the reason for denial provided by the consular officer.
  • Address the issues identified, such as insufficient ties to India or inadequate financial proof.
  • Reapply with improved documentation and/or additional evidence to support your case.

6. How long does it take to complete the US visitor visa application?

The online DS-160 form typically takes about 90 minutes to complete. The entire process, from application to interview, can take several weeks depending on appointment availability.

7. How much does it cost to get a US tourist visa from India?

The application fee for a non-immigrant US visa, including a tourist visa, is $185 (INR 15,433.59).

8. How many months' bank statement is required for the US tourist visa?

Typically, you need to provide bank statements for the last six months.

9. What are the medical insurance requirements for a US tourist visa from India?

While medical insurance is not a mandatory requirement for the visa itself, it is highly recommended to have travel medical insurance to cover any unexpected medical expenses during your stay in the US.

10. What are the travel itinerary requirements for a US tourist visa from India?

You should provide a detailed travel itinerary including:

  • Flight bookings
  • Accommodation details
  • Planned activities and destinations
  • Any invitations or event details (if applicable)

11. What are the restrictions of a US tourist visa from India?

  • You cannot work or study in the US.
  • The visa is for temporary visits only, usually up to six months per entry.
  • You must maintain a residence outside the US.

12. What are the employment restrictions for a US tourist visa from India?

You cannot work for any US employer or receive compensation from a US source while on a tourist visa.

13. What are the reasons for the US tourist visa from India rejection?

Common reasons include:

  • Insufficient proof of ties to home country
  • Lack of financial resources to support the trip
  • Incomplete or inaccurate application forms
  • Prior immigration violations
  • Suspicion of intent to overstay or immigrate

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Topics: Visit, USA, USA-Visit-Visa