Updated May 09 Student Services Centre International Advice Team Student Services Centre, Burlington Street The University of Manchester, Oxford Road, Manchester M13 9PL Telephone 0161 275 5000 (option 1) Fax 0161 275 7860 Email email@example.com Travelling to the US and getting a visa The International Advice Team (IAT) cannot send your application for a US visa for you, but here are some guidelines to assist you. If you are going to the USA to visit family or friends or if you are going to attend a conference you need to apply for a non-immigrant visa from the US Embassy in London. A non-immigrant visa can be granted for a maximum of 90 days. There are certain categories of people who are exempt, please study this website for details. http://www.usembassy.org.uk/cons_new/visa/niv/index.html There are many different types of non-immigrant visas depending on why and for how long you are going to the USA. The above website gives clear guidance to the various types of visas. We will concentrate on the B-2 holiday visa which is the one that you are most likely to need. There are other requirements for certain categories of people; please follow the information on the website. For example, males aged between 16 and 45 are required to complete a supplemental non- immigration visa application form: http://www.usembassy.org.uk/cons_new/visa/niv/add_males.html Things to check before you apply: • Your passport MUST have at least one blank page and be valid for 6 months after you return from your trip to the USA. The website has no information about the length of time that your UK immigration permission should be valid. We recommend a minimum of 3 months valid UK permission on return from the US (IAT can assist you to extend your UK student immigration permission, but not to obtain your visa for the USA). • Check the above website for processing times for visa applications; it varies depending on time of year and which country you come from. • We recommend that you study the above website at least 3 months in advance of your travel, so you know how long it takes to get your US visa and what documents are required to support your application. Note: The US Embassy always recommends that individuals apply for visas well in advance of their proposed date of travel. No assurances regarding the issuance of visas can be given in advance. Therefore, final travel plans or the purchase of non refundable ticket should not be made until a visa has been issued and you are in receipt of the passport. Applying for your US visa With limited exceptions (from the above website, click on “limited exceptions” to see what they are), non-immigrant visa applicants aged 14 to 79 are required to schedule an appointment for an interview with a US consular officer. Interviews are by appointment only. The Embassy does not accept walk- in applications. Updated May 09 The following website shows you the regulations regarding attending an interview. http://www.usembassy.org.uk/cons_new/visa/index.html The website below has the postal address for the US Embassy in London and a telephone number to ring for information and also to make an appointment: http://www.usembassy.org.uk/ukaddres.html • Complete form DS-156. Download the form from here: http://www.usembassy.org.uk/cons_new/visa/forms/visaforms.html • Pay the application fee. http://www.usembassy.org.uk/cons_new/visa/niv/fee.html • Each visa applicant is required to pay a visa application fee. Payment must be made in cash at a bank using the Embassy supplied paying-in slips. The fee cannot be paid at the Embassy. Payment is not yet available online. The visa application fee may be paid at any bank in cash. If paid through Barclays Bank, no additional charges apply. Other banks may apply an administrative charge. You should request a paying-in slip when scheduling the appointment for the visa interview. http://www.usembassy.org.uk/cons_new/visa/niv/interview.html http://www.usembassy.org.uk/cons_new/visa/appointment_letter_and_fee_receipt.html • Present a passport or other travel document valid for at least six months beyond the holder's period of stay in the US with at least one blank page. The six-month requirement does not apply to UK passports. If your passport is damaged, we recommend that you obtain a new passport before applying for the visa to avoid any delay in the processing of your application. • Provide one passport size photograph which meets State Department regulations; you will find details of the State Department regulations on this website: http://www.usembassy.org.uk/cons_new/visa/niv/photo.html • Provide original bank statements showing sufficient funds to cover all expenses while in the United States. • Provide a letter of enrolment at the University of Manchester. You can get this from the Student Services Centre. It is very important to prove that you need to return to the UK to complete your studies. It will strengthen your application further if you can prove that you need to return to your own country after your studies in the UK. • If you are attending a conference or your visit has anything to do with your course here, you should provide documents to prove this. If you are visiting family or friends you must get a letter of invitation from them stating the length of your visit and, if this is the case, inviting you to stay with them. • One of the most important factors in deciding whether to grant a visa is whether the consular officer believes that you intend to leave the US after your visit. For this purpose it is useful to demonstrate (with clear, original documents) your ties to the UK. These could include: o proof of employment (including part-time) o proof of family ties here (if you are leaving your partner/children in the UK) o property in the UK IMMIGRATION AND SERVICES The information in this leaflet is given in REGULATED BY THE good faith and has been carefully checked. IMMIGRATION SERVICES The International Advice Team, however, COMMISSIONER accepts no legal responsibility for its accuracy.