Applying for a US visa from Bangalore is a bit tiresome since the nearest US Consulate is in Chennai or Hyderabad. The demand for a consulate here has grown stronger. Recently, the External Affairs Minister of India has also supported this demand, but the ultimate decision is with the US Government.
In the meantime, let me share with you how I got my US tourist visa from Bangalore. Yes, I did visit the US Consulate Chennai for visa processing, but that process was made easier for me with complete assistance from Blinkvisa. Moreover, the entire visa cost, which was INR 13,090, was given back to me in the form of cashback.
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This blog explains everything you need to know about US visa and how I got my visa with 100% cashback from Bangalore.
How to Get US Visa from Bangalore?
Summer vacation is the best time for taking a long trip, so last summer we planned to go to the US. We started the visa processing in January. It was then we approached Blinkvisa for assistance.
Initial payment, pickup, and drop services
Blinkvisa started their services once I filled in my requested details and made a small initial payment or mere Rs.500! Surprisingly, as soon as I made my initial payment, I received the entire visa amount in my Blinkwallet.
How To Get 100% Cashback on Your US Visa with Us?
Blinkvisa is a travel startup company that converts our visa expenses to travel expenses.
Next, I made an appointment for a pickup and drop of my documents.
An executive came to collect copies of all the necessary documents and our passports. These are required for them to fill up the application form on my behalf.
The application filing process is highly time-consuming, and we didn’t have enough time to spend for the same. Luckily, Blinkvisa helped us and did it on our behalf.
Review and submission
Once they filled up our applications, they sent the same for our review. We double-checked the details and confirmed the application.
At this stage, we paid the remaining visa fee so that they can set up an interview at the Consulate.
They submitted the application forms online to the US Consulate and paid for the visa interview as well. They had even arranged the documents (including the visa fee payment receipt) to make it easier for us at the Consulate interview.
Later, the same executive came to drop the arranged documents and passports at our home.
Visa interview & cashback
The visa interview process went smooth, and we got the visa. Most importantly, there were two stages for visa interview- one for biometrics and photographs and the other for the consular interview.
Once we got the approved visa, they credited the visa fee into our Blinkwallet, telling us that we could use it for flights or hotel bookings for any trip.
We did the same and got discounts for flight tickets and hotels for the US trip.
Custom travel plan
Blinkvisa offered us a free plan after we have got our visa, and we paid the fee amount. This free offer is only for their customers. We got the cashback, and that was sufficient for us at that time. Maybe we will use the travel plan idea later.
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US Visa- B2 Visa
US tourist visa is also known as a B2 visa, which is a non-immigrant visa. There are no restrictions for visitors in the US while on this visa.
Our visa had a validity of 10-years, and we could easily spend enough time to roam around. Nevertheless, one can stay for a maximum period of 6 months in the country.
Furthermore, it is a multiple entry visa so that we can go back anytime later in the future with this visa.
And yes, all four of us, including our toddler son, needed a separate visa.
The Consulate officer collected our passports when the interview was over. This was an indication that the visa is assured.
We got the visa and passport on the 5th day of our visa interview through courier.
Visit: US Tourist Visa
Apart from the tourist visa, there is the option of US business visa for business-related purposes.
Visit: US Business Visa
US Visa Fees from Bangalore
US tourist visa fee is not cheap, but neither is it expensive. We amount we paid towards the visa fee included the visa charges, agency fees, and GST.
US visa fees, which we paid for an individual, was INR 13,180.
The entire amount we spend on our US visa was credited back to us. Later we used the cashback amount in booking a hotel in the US.
Needless to say, a 100% cashback is also provided on the US business visa as follows;
US Visa Requirements from Bangalore
US visa requirements change according to the applicant’s profile. Yet, there are a few documents that remain common for all applicants.
The summary of common documents that are mandatory are
- Original passport with at least 6 months’ validity and a minimum number of 3 blank pages along with all the old passports, if applicable.
- Printout of the application form DS 160
- The visa fee payment receipt
The applicant must also submit:
- Covering letter regarding the travel plans
- Financial documents such as bank statements
- Tax filing documents like Form 16
- Flight and hotel reservations
For US business visa
- A covering letter issued by your company, sealed and signed by the authoritative personnel
- An invitation letter from the company in US stating the purpose and duration of your visit
These documents assure the consulate officer that you are planning to come back, and you are no danger as an illegal immigrant in their country. Those documents are,
Both my spouse and I submitted our respective documents since we were employed. The documents needed are
- Original Leave sanctioned certificate with company seal and signature
- Previous 3 months’ salary slip
Minors are required to submit a copy of
- School ID Card
- Bonafide certificates
Children need to have their share of documents including
- Birth Certificate
- Copy of parents’ passports
Other Documents that You Need to be Aware of
It is important to note that the documents’ requirement may change depending on the employment status and purpose of visit at an individual level
- Business Registration License/MOA/Partnership deed/GST certificate/IT returns
- Company’s updated bank statement of last 3 months
- Company’s IT returns for 3 years
For the retired
These documents are the leverage that hints that you will be returning. It is because many people who travel on a tourist visa stay back in the US illegally.
It is also proof of your funds that allows you to meet the expenses while staying in the country.
- Proof of Pension; such as pension pay order certificate
- If retired from a private firm, then last 6 months bank statement
If Visiting friends/family
- Invitation letter with sponsorship letter mentioning the passenger’s details with passport numbers, relationship for the passenger, the purpose of the invite, schedule of stay in the country, and who will be bearing all expenses.
- Proof of employment
- Inviter’s ID passport or PR
- Proof of residency. Tenants need to submit a tenancy agreement
- Bank statement last 6 months with sufficient funds
- Pay Slip of the previous 6 months.
Please note that you do not need to submit any physical documents while applying for a US visa. At the same time, you must have all the copies that support your claim in the application form. Though these may not be necessary, you must have them ready with you if the consular officer asks for it.
US Visa Bangalore – Important Facts
- Once you pay the visa fees, the receipt will be valid for one year. You can fix the visa interview anytime within this period. The only problem here would be that you need to have a strong reason for such delay.
- You can pay the visa fee either through Blinkvisa or pay it through other valid payment options.
- Children aged 12 and below do not have to go through the biometric formality.
- The US Consulate has also exempted biometrics for elders who are above the age of 75. However, they must attend the interview at the Consulate.
- For adults and minors, the photograph is taken along with the biometrics. Also, they need to submit 2 clear photos of the US visa photo specifications- size 2” x 2”.
- It is not mandatory to have travel insurance when applying for a US tourist visa. But, it may be required when you are travelling. Blinkvisa can help you with the same.