Previously, we’ve shared how you can apply for a Schengen visa that would enable you to travel around different countries in Europe. Today, we’re going to talk about another type of visa… a tourist visa that would allow you to travel across the United States (US).
Unless you are a citizen of a country that is part of the US Visa Waiver Program (see below), you will need a visa before traveling to the United States. Emiratis, as well as certain Abu Dhabi residents who are foreign nationals, need to apply for a US visa before going there.
Guide to Applying for a US Tourist Visa in Abu Dhabi
Basically, there are two types of UAE visit visas: the B1 visa for business visitors, and the B2 visa for tourists. This article focused on the B2 visa, which enables people to enter the US for tourism purposes, visit family and friends, enroll in a short course, or get medical treatment.
To get a B2 visa, you will need to apply and submit an application to the US Embassy in Abu Dhabi, which is located at Plot 38, Rabdan Street, Airport Road Embassies District, Sector W59-02, Abu Dhabi. Its main telephone number is +971 2 414 2200.
Before applying for the B2 visa, please take note of the following prerequisites, required documents, and procedure first:
To obtain a B2 visa, you should be able to prove that:
- Your intention for visiting is compliant with the B2 visa allowed purposes
- You have adequate financial means to cover your visit to the US
- You do not intend to stay in the US and that you will leave as soon as your visa expires
- Valid passport
- US visa photo
- Form DS-160 confirmation page & code
- Interview confirmation page
- Receipt of paid visa fees
- Letter describing your purpose for travel
- Invitation letter from family or friends in the US
- Photocopies of relative’s status in the US
- Proof of financial means (e.g. bank statements, payslips, etc.)
- Ties to your home country (e.g. job contract, property deed, etc.)
- Letter from authorities stating that you don’t have prior convictions
- Diploma or transcript of records (for students)
- Letter from doctor on your diagnosis & treatment (for medical patients)
- Complete and submit Form DS-160. The first part of the form contains questions about personal information, while the second part focuses on security and background information. Click here to fill up the form online.
- Pay the visa fees. The application fee is USD 160, although you may have to pay other fees, such as the visa issuance fee, which varies from country to country.
- Schedule your visa interview. This is done upon submission of your Form DS-160. After setting an appointment, you will receive a confirmation page, which you should bring on the day of the interview.
- Gather your B2 visa document file (i.e. required documents stated above).
- Attend the visa interview. Be sure to arrive ahead of time!
- The processing time for B2 visas could take a few weeks up to a few months, depending on the workload at the US Embassy where you applied in.
- The B2 visa is valid for a maximum of 6 months. As soon as your visa expires, you will need to leave the country.
- In case your B2 visa application gets denied, you can still re-apply. However, your visa fee will not be returned, and you will need to pay it again when you re-apply. Also, be sure to present proof to avoid visa denial.
- As mentioned earlier, there is a US Visa Waiver Program that exempts certain nationalities. If you are a citizen of any of the following countries, you only need a US Electronic Travel Authorization to enter the US: Andorra, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Brunei, Chile, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Monaco, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Portugal, San Marino, Singapore, Slovakia, Slovenia, South Korea, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Taiwan, and United Kingdom.
ALSO READ: How to Use Ferry Services in Abu Dhabi
DISCLAIMER: The above guide is presented for information-sharing purposes only. To know more about how to apply for a US tourist visa in Abu Dhabi, please visit the official website of the US Embassy & Consulate in the UAE.