The application process for a U.S. visa requires several steps. If you want to travel to New Jersey or wish to help a family member come to the U.S., the steps below may help you better understand how to apply for a visa.

Online application process

The first step in the visa process is to apply for a visa online. Most people coming to visit the U.S. for a short stay will likely need to apply for a visitor visa under U.S. immigration law. However, if you would like to stay in the U.S. to study, work or live, you likely need to apply for another type. If so, contacting an immigration law attorney may help you better understand the full requirements needed to qualify for the visa you need.

No matter which visa type you require, you will likely need to fill out the DS-160 form online. This form asks for your information such as name, date of birth and current job. Once you fill out the form, you should pay a processing fee. Once you pay the fee, you can schedule your interview appointment to determine if you qualify for a visa.

Visa interview

After you apply for your visa and pay the application fee, you will need to undergo an interview. This interview is scheduled at the U.S. Embassy or Consulate closest to your location.

On the day of the interview, arrive early and be ready to answer any questions the interviewing official asks you. The official may ask you for documents to verify the information that you provided in your online application. Once the interview has concluded, you will likely know if the official approved your visa.

If approved, it may take several weeks for you to get your visa and passport back in the mail. If denied, you will get more information about that decision. Know that if you received a denial, you may be able to reapply at a later date.

The above information should help you feel better prepared for applying for a visa. If you have any questions, feel free to contact an immigration law attorney for further assistance.