How to apply for the US Visitor Visa (B1/B2)?

Daljot Singh
March 22, 2022

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Disclaimer: This is not a professional advice or document. This document is intended to provide a generic overview of the visa application process from writer's personal experience and knowledge. To get the official up-to-date information, visit The writer does not claim accuracy of the information provided and is not liable for any results obtained upon using this information.

What is a B1/B2 visa?

The US visitor or non-immigrant visa, as it is called, is for temporary visits to the United States. You are not allowed to study or work permanently while visiting under this visa. B1/B2 visa is a combination of B1 visa and B2 visas.

B1 visa

B1 visa for short-term business engagements such as attending a conference, workshop, or meeting, negotiate a contract or settle an estate. No permanent employment is allowed under this visa.

B2 visa

B2 visa is for tourism, visiting friends or relatives, medical treatment, participation in social, musical, or sports events, or a short (say 1 or 2 day) course or activity which doesn't count towards a degree. You must not be getting paid to do any of these activities while visiting under B2 visa.

What are the steps for applying a B1/B2 visa?

There are two steps to the application:

  1. Submit a DS-160 form.

  2. Pay fees and schedule an interview.

NOTE: Kids under 13 and seniors over 80 generally do not need an interview.

What is a DS-160 form?

DS-160 is the name of the Online Nonimmigrant Visa Application. It is submitted to the US Department of State online. DS-160 is required for all non-immigrant visa categories including the B1/B2 visa.

How to submit the DS-160 form?

Follow these steps to submit a DS-160 form:

IMPORTANT NOTE — To avoid losing data, keep on saving your application time to time as you fill out the form. If your session gets timed out or internet stops working, you can safely retrieve your application by going to > enter the location and security code > click RETRIVE AN APPLICATION > Enter your application ID > click Retrieve Application > Enter first 5 letters of Surname (LNU if no surname), Year of Birth, and the Security Question > Click Retrieve Application again.TIP — For the best experience, use Google Chrome or Mozilla Firefox on a laptop or PC.
  1. Go to

  2. Select the location where you will be applying for visa and enter the security code.

NOTE: If you are an Indian citizen currently living in Canada and want to apply for the US visa from the US Vancouver Consulate, select CANADA, VANCOUVER instead of INDIA.

  2. Agree to the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act Notices.

  3. In the Application Information section, click Print Application ID and save the document in a secure place.

  4. Set a security question of your choice.

  5. Click Continue.

  6. Enter your personal information. If your passport doesn’t have first or last name, enter FNU or LNU respectively (First/Last Name Unknown).

  7. click Next:Personal 2.

  8. Enter further information related to your nationality. If you don’t have a national identification number, click Does Not Apply.

  9. Click Next:Travel.

  10. In the Travel Information, under Purpose of Trip to the U.S., select TEMP. BUSINESS PLEASURE VISITOR (B)

  11. Under Specify, select BUSINESS & TOURISM (TEMPORARY VISITOR) (B1/B2)

  12. Enter your travel plans. If you haven’t made any specific plans yet, answer No to the question. It will still require you to enter an estimated Intended Date of Arrival.

  13. Under the Intended Length of Stay in U.S., select LESS THAN 24 HOURS. If you do have an address to provide for stay in the U.S., you can select any other option.

  14. Fill out who is going to pay for the trip?

  15. Click Next: Travel Companions.

  16. Select whether you intend to travel with someone or alone and enter the requested details.

  17. Click Next: Previous U.S. Travel.

  18. Enter your previous U.S. travel history, if you have any.

  19. Click Next: Address & Phone.

  20. Enter your home address (this doesn’t need to be the address on your passport). You can also provide your social media presence information, but it is not mandatory and is not recommended.

  21. Click Next: Passport.

  22. Select Regular in the Passport/Travel Document Type unless you are an official diplomat.

  23. Enter other passport related information

  24. Click Next: Family.

  25. Enter family information. If you don’t know the date of birth of any of your parents, click Do Not Know.

  26. Click Next: Spouse.

  27. Enter spouse related information.

  28. Click Next: Work/Education/Training.

  29. Enter your occupation and provide further information as asked.

  30. Click Next: Work/Education: Previous.

  31. Enter your previous employment and education history.

  32. Click Next: Work/Education: Additional.

  33. Enter the languages you know, any skills or training you have received, if you volunteered with any organizations and other information.

  34. Click Next: Security and Background.

  35. Answer the health related questions.

  36. Click Next: Security and Background Part 2.

  37. Answer the crime related questions.

  38. Click Next: Security and Background Part 3.

  39. Answer terrorist activities related questions.

  40. Click Next: Security and Background Part 4.

  41. Answer deportation related questions.

  42. Click Next: Security and Background Part 5.

  43. Answer U.S. Citizenship related questions.

  44. Click Next: PHOTO.

  45. Upload a photo conforming to the U.S. visa digital image requirements.

TIP — If you already have a Canada visa photo, you can use that. However, you will need to bring two printed photos to your interview which must conform to the US requirements.
  1. Click Next: Upload Selected Photo.

  2. If your photo passes the quality standards, it will show a success message.

  3. Click Next: Continue Using This Photo.

  4. Confirm the photo that you uploaded.

  5. Click Next: REVIEW.

  6. Review the Personal, Travel, Family, Work, Security, and Location information.

  7. Click Next: Sign and Submit.

  8. Read the information, enter your passport number and security code.

  9. Click Sign and Submit the Application.

Warning — You cannot make any changes to the application after hitting submit.
  1. Click Next: Confirmation.

  2. In the confirmation page, click Print Confirmation and save the document in a secure place. You will need this document at all stages of your application. You can optionally also print the application, but that is not needed for further processing. You will need the Confirmation Number for visa appointment.

How to book an appointment?

TIP — For the best experience, use Google Chrome or Mozilla Firefox on a laptop or PC.
    1. Go to

    2. Sign-in or create an account if you don’t already have one.

    3. In the Non Immigrant Visa tab, click Add Applicants and click Continue.

    4. Click Add Applicant.

    5. Enter their name, surname (enter LNU if passport doesn’t have a surname), and passport information.

    6. For DS-Number, copy the 10-digit Confirmation Number from your DS-160 form and paste here.

    7. Under Visa Class, select B1/B2 Business & Tourism (Temporary visitor)

    8. Enter date of birth and other personal information.

    9. Confirm the information and add other applicants if you want.

    10. In the Courier section, Enter the province and branch for courier pick-up.

    11. Enter the details of the person who is going to do the pick-up. The parcel will only be released to this person.

    12. Click Continue.

    13. In the Payment section, pay the visa processing fee.

    14. Click Continue.

    15. Schedule an appointment.

How much is the appointment wait time for the US visitor visa?

To check the appointment wait time at your nearest embassy or consulate, go to the Appointment Wait Time section of the US visitor visa page.

How much is visa application fee the for the US visitor visa?

To see the visa application fee for your country of nationality, go to the Select your nationality to see Issuance Fee section of the US visitor visa page.

Hope this blog gave you a good overview on how to apply a B1/B2 visa.

Suggestions/critique welcomed through the Contact form.