How US Visa Works: What You Need When Applying 

A display of a U.S passport
A Display of a U.S Passport

After Kenyan sprinter and Africa’s 100-meter champion, Ferdinand Omanyala, encountered obstacles with his visa ahead of the World Athletic Championship in Oregon, US, Kenyans took to social media with different versions of narrations over the delays.

Most Kenyans were left wondering about the process one has to follow to apply for a US Visa. These are the steps to follow when applying for the document.

1. Check if you need a Visa

It is important to know that visas are necessary if you want to travel to a country that does not have a visa policy and agreement that allows its citizen to travel freely between them.

US embassy, Nairobi
The United States Embassy gate, Nairobi Kenya.
The US Embassy Kenya

2. Choose the type of US Visa you will apply for

You need to understand your intention of applying for a visa and other facts because they are the details that will determine the type of visa required under the US immigration law. The four main types of visas are tourist, immigration, student, and work.

As an applicant, you will be required to meet all the requirements by checking on the US immigration portal.

After checking the portal, you will see the category of the visa you are applying for. When you apply at the US Embassy or Consulate, a consulate officer will determine based on the laws, if you are eligible to receive a visa. If you are eligible, you will be shown the type of visa that suits you.

3. Fill in the Non-Immigrant Visa Application Form

Non-immigrant visas are issued to foreign nationals seeking to enter the United States on a temporary basis for tourism, business, medical, and some types of temporary work. The type of non-immigrant visa is stipulated by immigration of law. These types of visas have a set duration of time although it can vary depending on various reasons.

4. Pay Your Application Fees

Visa applicants including children are expected to pay a non -refundable and a non-transferable application fee before applying for the visa. The visa application is paid whether a visa is issued or not. However, the fee depends on the type of visa you are applying for. You can also pay a visa issuance fee depending on the type of visa you are applying for.

5. Interview For The Visa Is Scheduled

During the visa interviews, the officers at the Embassy look at each application individually and consider the applicant's circumstances, travel plans, financial resources, and ties outside the United States that will ensure the applicant's departure from a temporary visit.

You can expect to be at the Embassy or Consulate for almost 2 to 3 hours. The interview is the last step in the process and prior to it, the US Embassy staff will collect data and review your application fee.

Statue of Liberty
A display of the statue of liberty in U.S