American Visa Application Documents
What supporting evidence will you need to collate & submit for your US visa application?
If you’re not eligible to travel to the US under the Visa Waiver Program, you will need to apply to USCIS for the relevant US visa. Making an American visa application will require you to collate and submit documentation to evidence you are both admissible and eligible under the relevant visa requirements.
The specific documents to submit will be determined by the visa you are applying for and your wider circumstances. As there is no definitive or exhaustive list, it is advisable to take professional guidance on your case to ensure you are putting forward the strongest case.
As a general guide however, you should consider the following documents to evidence the information in your American visa application form:
- Personal & identification documents This could include, as applicable, birth or adoption certificate, marriage / civil partnership / divorce certificate, family photographs as proof of family ties to your country of residence or connection to those you will be visiting or staying within the US.
- Work/employment documents Depending on your working status, this could include a letter from your employer in your country of residence, income details and company registration details if you are self-employed, or pension documentation if retired.
- Sponsorship documents If you intend to be ‘sponsored’ by a US resident during your stay, you will need to provide documentary evidence to support this such as a letter for affidavit from your sponsor confirming they are able to support you financially during your time the US.
- Property documents The adjudicator will be looking for assurance you will leave the US before your visa expiry. This can be evidenced with documentary proof of ‘sufficient ties’ to your country of residence in the form of assets such as property.
- Certified translations Original documents that are not in English will need to be translated and certified by a competent translator.
- Travel itinerary The adjudicator will be looking to understand your plans while in the US. Provide a full itinerary with details of intended dates for arrival and departure, accommodation and planned activity during your stay.
- Previous US immigration documents Provide documents evidencing prior travel or entry into the US such as any old passports.
Work visas ordinarily demand extensive evidence of eligibility. Depending on the work visa type you apply for, you may have to submit some of the following documents:
- Documents supporting your relevant qualifications and certifications, such as original degree certificate
- Evidence of your job offer/employment in the US, such as a letter from your employer detailing your position, nature of the stay and itinerary for business purposes, itinerary, or your contract of employment
- Your resume
- Letter(s) from previous employer(s)
- Endorsement of your professional ability and standing (O-1 visa)
- Business case (E-2 visa)
American visa application interview
You should also expect to be questioned on your evidence submission during your visa interview. The adjudicator will be looking to clarify any queries and to satisfy your credibility as a visa applicant.
As such, applicants are advised to prepare well for questioning, to ensure they are familiar with the details they have been provided in their application and to be able to answer any questions accurately.
If during the interview you are asked a question and you are not certain of the answer, do not guess, lie or fabricate. It is always best to be honest and tell the adjudicator you don’t know, and to provide as much information as you are certain of.
Your interview letter will advise which documents you will need to bring with you to the interview, which would generally include:
- Confirmation page of the application form DS-160 (with barcode)
- Appointment confirmation page
- Your current, valid passport or other travel document
- One 5 x 5 cm (2” by 2”) color photograph from the last six months
- Evidence of your status in the United Kingdom, if you are not a U.K or EU passport holder
- Evidence of previously issued US visas
- Evidence of your intended business activities in the United States such as a letter from your employer, if attending a business meeting
- If you have ever been arrested, cautioned, convicted
- If you have a medical condition impacting your eligibility for a visa
- If you have been denied entry into or deported, or removed from the US
It may however be advantageous to your application to take additional documents, to pre-empt potential requests. Take professional advice on your circumstances and to understand what adjudicators are looking for and are typically requesting from applicants. For example, evidence of your intent to leave the US by the end of your visa, and that you have access to funds sufficient to cover all expenses while in the United States.
Do you have a question about the American visa application process & documents? NNU can help!
Under the current US administration, visa processing has become more stringent than ever and Consular adjudicators are empowered to outright deny applications without first having to request clarification or additional information from applicants. A refused visa also means lost application fee(s). So it has never been more important to ensure your petition and supporting evidence are comprehensive and compliant with US immigration rules.
NNU Immigration are specialist US attorneys with particular expertise and experience in supporting entrepreneurs, investors, corporates and their employees, and visa holder dependants on all aspects of US immigration applications. Contact us if you have a question about an American visa application.
This article does not constitute direct legal advice and is for informational purposes only.