If you are a resident of Dubai, and you don’t belong to the countries that are listed with US Visa Waiver Program (VWP), you’ll need to apply for a visa to the USA. Those that belong to the WWP countries need not apply for a US visa if they plan to travel for less than 90 days. The rest of us, however, have to meet the US Visa requirements as detailed in this guide. Follow our guide carefully to know how to obtain a US Visa while in Dubai.
Things You Should Know About US Visitor or Tourist Visa
- You could apply for a US visa for a number of reasons such as medical treatment, employment, tourism, family obligations and so on.
- If your visit is for business, then you need to apply for the B1 US visa online.
- If your visit is for tourism or family obligation, then you must apply for B2 visa. You cannot use this visa for employment or educational purpose.
- Whether you are a B1 or B2 visa, you can stay in the US for a maximum of six months. You can get the visa extended for another six months subject to approval.
Note: While the US Embassy in Dubai can grant you the visa, being allowed to enter the United States of America rests solely on the airport’s immigration authorities.
List of Documents Required for US Visa from Dubai
Make sure you have the following documents ready and in good condition for your application and subsequent interview at the US Embassy.
- Your Dubai residential passport valid for 6 months after your return from the US. Please ensure there are several blank pages for visa, entry and exit stamps.
- Copy of your return flight tickets
- US visit visa application payment receipt.
- Copy of your US accommodation booking details.
- A letter from a friend or relative or company in the US inviting you to visit for whatever purpose.
- Your bank statements for the last 6 months, detailing all your incomings and your outgoings. If you have multiple bank accounts, present their statements as well.
- A No Objection Certificate (NOC) from your employer stating they have no objection to your travel to the US for the stipulated period.
- Detailed Salary Certificate on company letterhead signed and sealed by your Human Resources
- If you’re visiting for business purposes, then a copy of your trade license as an investor.
- If you’re visiting a company in the US, then provide a specific agenda of your visit, including trainings and conferences and where they’ll be conducted.
- If you are a UAE resident, then a copy of your UAE Visa
- Proofs of your education right from school to the highest grade you’ve passed.
- Statement of your monthly income, including salary and any other income you might have.
Steps for Applying For A US Visa
1. Obtain A Good Visa Picture: Your USA tourist visa picture should conform to the following requirements:
- The digital photograph’s shape should be square
- Your photograph should be in colour against a white background.
- Your digital photograph should be in JPEG format, of min size 600 pixels x 600 pixels and max size 1200 pixels by 1200 pixels, less than or equal to 240 kilobytes
2. Fill the DS-160 application form:
Be sure to fill out the form carefully. Cross check your passport for the correct spellings of names and surnames. Cross check other documents and spell everything as printed. Mismatches in information can cause immediate rejection. In the Security and Background Information section, read carefully before selecting the YES or NO options. You’ll be asked if you have any criminal background or known involvement in any terrorist activities. Read the questions carefully before ticking the right box.
Upload the following details on to your digital application form:
- Your digital photograph
- Your family particulars
- Passport details
- Your address while in the US, plus details of the friends or relations who have sponsored your visit.
- Particulars of any relatives you have in the US
- Address of the consulate where you will interview
Once you’ve filled out the application form, you’ll get an Application ID which you’ll need in order to obtain an interview appointment with the US consulate.
Make sure that the information you provide in the form are all true and checked twice. Upload your digital signature and save the file first before submitting it.
3. Submit Your Visa Registration Fee
Once you’re done applying for US visa from Dubai, it’s time to submit your visa registration fee. If you are in Abu Dhabi, you can pay your US visa application fee to a few National Banks authorized by the US Consulate. If you are in Dubai at the time, pay your fee to one of the few agencies authorised to collect the fee from applicants. Be sure to present your passport to the bank or the payment agency while making the payment.
4. Make An Appointment For The US Visa Interview
Once you’ve submitted your form online and paid your fee, make an appointment for an interview with the consular officer. Note that if you have children under 14, you don’t need to take them to the interview with you. Otherwise, anyone who’s applying for their visas to travel with you must appear for the interview.
5. Attend The Visa Interview
On the day of your interview:
- Be sure to reach the U.S. Consulate on time
- At the first line, when your application documents are register in their computer, the Consulate will assign a number to you.
- After this comes the fingerprinting, when prints of all your fingers will be taken and stored digitally.
- After this, you’ll have a fairly long wait till your number is called. During your interview, be sure to conform to the following guidelines:
o Answer questions honestly and briefly.
o Do not volunteer information
o Do not look angry, guilty, or fearful if you are unable to answer something.
o Do not be nervous – shifty, nervous behaviour gets the consulate thinking you’re hiding something.
o Stand straight, look into the interviewer’s eyes and answer in a polite, clear voice.
After interviewing you and evaluating your supporting documents, the consulate will inform you right then and there whether your application is approved, refused, or pending.
When you go over this guide, it would appear as though obtaining a US visa is the easiest thing in the world. That is not true, however. If you are not accustomed to applying for visas, it’s best you approach an experienced visa consultant in Dubai who will be able to process your documents without any issues. You’ll still have to attend the interview, but your visa consultant will provide thorough coaching as to how to answer questions as well.