Early this year, the family was granted USA visitor visa. I am beyond thrilled of course, especially for my son who will get another Disneyland trip this time for his 6th birthday. He is a December boy and is quiet fond of Mickey Mouse nowadays. We thought of giving him a Mickey themed party. But we held back, decided to have a quiet blow the candle at home and then a January play date with his schoolmates. All these activities while we prepare our visa application in the background.
While researching on the process, I read so many queries online. Hence today, I decided to put together our experience. I hope that you will find this useful one way or another for I know a lot of us dream to visit one day the Land of Milk and Honey.
1. Prepare your ID/digital photo. It must be colored taken in clothing and articles you wear on a daily basis. My Husband wear glasses and this was worn also when his photo was taken. Size is 22mm and 35mm. Keep the soft copy on standby.
2. Visit http://usvisa-info.com. Click non-immigrant then create an account on the Visa Information Service. Enter the details asked.
3. Each applicant must complete the Visa Electronic Application or DS-160 at https://ceac.state.gov/genniv/ . At the end, you will be asked to upload your photo.
4. Print the DS-160 confirmation barcode. You will bring this for the interview.
5. Go back to Visa Information Service to pay your application or MRV fee via credit card or cash at Empost at 590 AED per applicant. If paying through Empost, make sure to print the deposit slip for each applicant. Wait two working days then enter the receipt number. Once confirmed, schedule your interview appointment. If you can find time to print copy of your appointment, do so. Should you have any queries regarding MRV contact contactus_en_AE@visaops.com with your reference ID.
6. While waiting for your interview date – it takes about two weeks – prepare additional documents to support your ties with your resident country. These include salary and employment certificate, six months bank statements, property deeds, etc.
7. Arrive on schedule on the date of your interview. Park at the opposite side of the road for there is no designated parking for visitors of US Embassy. A purse will be allowed along with your supporting documents but everything including your mobile phone will be put in a locker by the security. If you can leave these in your car, the better.
8. You will pass through five queues which all lasts for about two hours.
1) Security/physical check before you enter the US consulate building;
2) A line to put sticker with bar code at the back of your passport;
3) Another queue to confirm your DS-160 application;
4) Line up for finger prints;
5) Queue for interview. All these happen with around 105 people inside that hall.
9. The questions: what do you do, do you have relatives in the US, where have you traveled as a family,…we were asked about seven questions before the lady said, “Congratulations your visa applications are approved.”
We were not asked to show any supporting documents but I do highly recommend bringing them all just in case. I still saw plenty of applicants asked to present their papers.
10. After five working days, you passport will be ready for pickup at Empost. Bring your Emirates ID for identification.
It is not as complicated as you think. I find this one cheaper, easier, and a lot more quicker than when we applied for France and Italy travel. Everything is done online and only on the interview date that you make physical appearance. Right there, you know if you are approved or not.
And the visa payment is worth it for you get 10 years of visitor visa. Think of the convenience when you see a seat sale next time.