Whether you have personal matters to attend to or require medical treatment in the United States, it is possible to apply for a tourist visa even if you are in Qatar.
There are two ways to apply for this visa. You can prepare the necessary documents yourself and submit them directly to the embassy, or you can hire the services of an agency. It’s important to note that there are various types of visas available, but this article will focus solely on the tourist visa.
What is a US Tourist Visa?
The US Tourist Visa allows individuals to travel to the United States for a short period. There are different qualifications depending on whether the purpose is business or pleasure. Generally, the B-1 visa is granted for business-related transactions or attending conferences. On the other hand, the B-2 visa is intended for visiting family or friends, going on a tour, or seeking medical treatment. Often, the B-1 and B-2 visas are issued together as one.
Requirements for the Tourist Visa
To apply for the tourist visa, you need to prepare the necessary documents:
- DS-160 form and the confirmation page
- Valid passport – Ensure that it remains valid for at least 6 months beyond your planned travel dates and has at least one blank page.
- US visa photograph – The photo should be in color, measure 5 x 5 cm, and have been taken within the last 6 months. If you have already uploaded a photo in the DS-160, there is no need to provide another one.
- Interview appointment confirmation page (if applicable)
- Receipt showing payment of the non-refundable visa application processing fee.
- Previous US visas (if any)
- Medical confirmation of your health status – This document is required if your health condition might impact your need for a US visa.
- Invitation letter for a US tourist visa – The consular officer may request this letter, so it is advisable to have it with you.
- US travel health insurance – While still in Qatar, you can start exploring affordable plans that meet your needs.
Aside from the main documents mentioned above, the consular officer may also request additional documents to support your visa application. It’s important to remember that the officer will take into account various aspects of your personal, professional, social, and cultural background when evaluating your case. Factors such as your family situation and long-term plans may also be considered during the assessment.
Here are some of the documents that you can prepare:
- Proof of income/ income tax return/ or proof of assets
- Travel itinerary and other details about your trip to the US
- Letter from your current employer indicating your position, salary, and years of employment with the company. If your purpose is business-related, your employer can also indicate this information in the letter
- Criminal or court records that indicate whether you are arrested or convicted, even if you have completed your sentence or were pardoned, you also need to present this document (if applicable)
Depending on the purpose of your US trip, you can also bring these documents:
- For working adults, you can bring copies of your pay slip from the last three months
- When visiting relatives, you can also present proof of their status. Whether they are green card holders, or naturalized citizens, etc. You can show photocopies
Supporting Documents for Those Needing Medical Care in the US
- Medical diagnosis from a physician explaining the nature of the case and the necessity of seeking treatment in the US.
- Letter from a US physician or medical facility expressing their willingness to treat the specific ailment. The letter should also include details about the duration and cost of the treatment.
- Statement from the individual or organization assuming responsibility for the payment of the treatment, including transportation and accommodation expenses. This statement may be accompanied by proof of financial capability, such as bank statements or income tax returns.
For all these documents, it is advisable to prepare photocopies to present during the interview. However, the consular officer may request to see the original copies. It is crucial to ensure the authenticity of your documents, as presenting falsified documents can lead to permanent visa ineligibility. If you have concerns about the confidentiality of your documents, you can seal the envelope when submitting them at the embassy.
Qualifications in Applying for the Tourist Visa
When applying for a US tourist visa, you must prove to the consular officer that you qualify for the B-1/B-2 visa. It is often assumed that tourist visa applicants have intentions of becoming immigrants and staying longer. To counter this assumption, you need to demonstrate the following qualifications:
- Your visit to the United States is temporary.
- You have a specific planned duration of stay.
- Your funds are enough to support yourself during your visit.
- You have a residence outside the US and strong ties that will compel you to return.
When applying for a US visa, you will be required to pay the Machine Readable Visa (MRV) fee, which amounts to $160. This fee applies to all applicants, regardless of age, and is non-refundable, even if the visa is not issued. To make the payment, you can visit any branch of the Commercial Bank of Qatar.
To proceed with the payment, you must first create a profile on the online applicant system. Once you reach the payment options section, you can select your preferred payment method. It is important to note that submitting the payment does not guarantee approval of your application. The payment is simply a prerequisite for processing your application.
Once you have paid the fee, you can proceed to schedule your appointment. It is important to retain the bank receipt as it will be required when scheduling the appointment. Ensure that you keep it safe and do not misplace it.
If you opt to pay in cash at the Commercial Bank of Qatar, you will also need to obtain the US visa deposit slip from the system. It is essential to note that the deposit slip has an expiration date, so it is advisable to visit the bank immediately after printing it. Please be aware that an expired deposit slip will not be accepted by the bank.
Please note that the bank only accepts cash payments, and cheques will not be accepted. Remember to bring your identification documents when making the payment.
Your alternative option is to make the payment using a credit card. You can conveniently pay as soon as you log into your profile. However, please note that only locally issued Qatari cards are accepted for the transaction. International debit or credit cards will not be accepted by the system.
Visa Application Procedures
- The first step is to complete the DS-160 form online, which you can access here. It is necessary to print this form for your visa interview. Additionally, remember to take note of your application ID. It is important to save your application throughout the process as the system will time out after 20 minutes of inactivity.
- Pay the Visa Application Fee: You can choose to pay the visa application fee either in cash or by credit card.
- Schedule an Appointment: The next step is to schedule an appointment, which can be done through this link. When accessing this section, you will need to provide the following information:
- Passport number
- Reference transaction number found on the bank receipt
- Ten-digit barcode number from the DS-160 confirmation page
This portal is specifically for those who wish to schedule a visa interview or provide their visa delivery address. If you already have an account, there is no need to create a new one. In case you have forgotten your password, you can retrieve it.
- Go to the US Embassy: On your appointed time and date, go to the US Embassy for your interview. Bring the following:
- Printed copy of the appointment letter
- DS-160 confirmation page
- Photograph taken within the last six months
- Current and old passports
US Embassy Address and Contact Details
- Address: 22nd of February Street, Al luqta District, Doha. Qatar
- Telephone: 974-4496-6000
- Fax: 974-4488-4176
Map of the US Embassy in Qatar
Videos About Applying for US Tourist Visa
In this YouTube video by Pearly Lilian, you will find helpful tips to succeed in your interview. She shares valuable advice, including the importance of arriving at the embassy on time due to potential parking challenges, as well as the significance of dressing appropriately for the interview.
She also emphasizes that during the interview, applicants should avoid mentioning any details that might give the impression of engaging in employment, such as babysitting or caregiving, while in the US. The goal is to convey to the consular officer that the purpose of the trip is solely for vacation purposes.
You can watch the video here:
Disclaimer: The information posted here is based on personal experiences that the OFW shared in the video. Please let this post serve as a guide only. If you have specific questions, you may ask the OFW by commenting on their video or on their social media accounts.
Another video that you can watch is this one from the US Embassy in Doha. The consular officers provide straightforward answers that they receive from their viewers.
Frequently Asked Questions
- How long does it take to get a US visa?
According to the YouTube video from the US Embassy, it takes about two days to get your visa once the application is approved. But there may be other cases that can increase the wait time.
- Can I apply for an interview waiver?
- Yes, the US embassy allows qualified Qatari citizens and residents to submit their visa applications without the need for appointment. You may apply for the waiver if you are:
Previously issued a tourist visa and have given your fingerprints, but your visa has expired in the last 48 months
- Applicants given a crew US visa that expired in the last 48 months
- Official diplomats with their corresponding visa applications
- Visa applicant younger than 12 years old or older than 79
We hope that these information can help you pass your application. Always remember to prepare all the documents needed, and apply early.
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