If you wish to travel to the United States for more than 90 days, for tourism, business or medical reasons, you will probably need to apply for a US visa. Of course, if you meet the requirements for the ESTA visa waiver system, which we describe in more detail on this website, you will not need to apply for a visa. But if you do need a visa, you may be wondering how much it will cost you.
US visa prices: Key points
- The price of a B1/B2 visa for the USA is an average of $160.
- This price includes the visa fee and the cost of processing the application
- It is possible to obtain an ESTA for the USA at a lower price
Reminder: What is the purpose of the US visa to travel to the USA?
First of all, we would like to remind you of the purpose of a visa for the United States in order to ensure that you have a good use for it in the context of your trip and your needs. This type of visa is particularly suitable for travellers who wish to stay in the USA for a long period of time, i.e. more than 90 days, and who cannot therefore apply for ESTA authorisation. Among the available visas, B visas are the most suitable for most situations. A distinction is made here between the B1 and B2 visas, although it is also possible to obtain a B1/B2 visa which combines the advantages of both authorisations.
We are now going to explain to you concretely what these two types of American visas allow you because, in short, the B1 visa allows you to carry out a business trip to the USA whereas the B2 visa will correspond more to tourist trips in this country, but also to other needs such as a stay for medical purposes.
Let's start with the B1 visa which is the business visa for the USA. This visa allows you to stay in the United States for up to 6 months if your trip is for business purposes. However, it is very important to understand here that the professional reasons for your stay do not concern being employed by a company on American soil. In this case, you will need to obtain an H1B visa which acts as a work permit. The B1 visa will therefore primarily allow you to do business with certain US-based business partners and US companies in general. Depending on the case and especially on your specific needs, the duration of validity of this visa will vary from 1 year to 10 years. Thanks to this visa, you will be able to carry out certain actions in the USA such as meeting American business partners, participating in meetings with associates if you work for an American company, attending conferences and seminars on American soil or representing your company when signing a contract, negotiating or ordering goods. However, as mentioned above, the B1 visa will not allow you to receive a salary or any other remuneration from an American company during your stay. If you wish to work in the United States by being hired by a company based there, you will have to obtain another type of visa, the work visa.
The B2 visa is another visa often requested by travellers to the United States, this time for tourist stays. It is therefore suitable for people who wish to visit the USA for more than 90 days, i.e. 3 consecutive months, but also for shorter stays by travellers who do not benefit from the ESTA visa waiver because they do not meet the preconditions. But that's not all! The B2 visa can also be used by people who wish to travel to the USA for specific medical treatment. In short, thanks to the B2 visa, you will be able to do several things in the USA, such as attend cultural or sporting events organised in the country or even participate in them as an amateur, do volunteer work, visit a close friend or family member who lives in the USA, do all sorts of tourist activities such as visiting museums, monuments, historical sites or even go to national parks, go on a roadtrip or go camping and, as we have just mentioned, receive medical care in an American hospital. But be careful! Again, as with the B1 visa, you should be aware that the B2 visa will not allow you to work in the USA for pay. Here, only activities on a voluntary basis are allowed.
How much does it cost to get a US visa?
Let's move on to a question that will no doubt interest you and that concerns the cost of your US visa application. Indeed, as with any important administrative procedure, you will have to pay certain fees to obtain this precious sesame and have the right to enter and stay in the United States.
The amount that you will have to pay is essential to cover the costs of studying your file, conducting the individual interview, which we will discuss in more detail below, and issuing your visa. It is therefore normal that there is a charge for this process.
As regards the actual price you will have to pay, this will depend largely on the site through which you make your request. However, the price variations are relatively small from one site to another. On average, you should expect to pay between $150 and $200 for a US visa application.
Of course, as we will explain below, there are better quality partner sites than others and at affordable prices, so you should be careful to choose the site through which you apply for your B visa.
As regards the way in which you pay these fees, you should know that you now have the possibility of paying them directly online and by credit card. Of course, these sites will offer you to pay these fees on a secure server to avoid any risk of fraud or piracy. In return for this payment, you will receive a certificate of payment which you should keep with you as you will have to present it at your individual interview.
How do I obtain a US visa and what are the procedures and requirements?
Now that you know what a US visa is and what the average price is, you may want to know more about the steps you need to take to get one. We will now explain to you the steps to follow and the conditions you need to fulfil in order to receive your US visa as soon as possible.
First of all, it should be remembered that American visas are in fact temporary residence permits for the USA. With these visas, you cannot settle permanently in the United States or immigrate or work there.
Previously, visa applications for the United States were only made at American embassies or consulates. You had to go there in person to collect an application form. But now, it is possible to do all this directly online thanks to the many partner sites that offer access to the official form.
The official US visa application form is the DS-160 form. By accessing a website such as the one recommended below, you can fill in this form directly online and it will then be transferred to the authorities in charge of processing the applications. In this simple questionnaire, you will be asked to provide personal information about your identity and your travel objectives, as well as to answer a number of more or less personal questions. It is very important to answer all items as truthfully as possible in order to guarantee you access to this visa. You should also remember to systematically reread your answers before submitting the form in order to avoid any errors that could lead to your visa application being refused. Once the form has been validated, you will have to pay online for your application, ideally by credit card.
The second step in your application for a US visa is to make an appointment for a physical interview. You will need to attend this interview in order to answer questions to validate what you have stated in the official application form and to attach some important supporting documents to your application. One of the first things you should think about before going to the interview is gathering as many official documents as possible to prove that you have ties to your country and do not intend to become an illegal migrant in the USA. For example, you can provide a marriage certificate, a property deed, a family record book or an employment contract. After the interview, the US immigration officer will be able to decide whether or not to grant you a US visa. This document will then be affixed to your passport.
In which cases is it possible to be exempted from the US visa requirement?
If you have done any research on how to get the right to travel to the USA, you may know that there is an electronic travel authorisation system (ESTA), also known as the Visa Waiver Programme, which allows you to enter the USA without a regular visa. This saves time and money, as the process is done directly online without the need to travel or even provide any documents or evidence.
However, in order to obtain this electronic authorisation, it is necessary to meet certain prerequisites, which we will discuss here. First of all, it is necessary that the reason for your trip to the United States concerns certain situations only, such as tourism, visiting a relative or making a simple business trip. Above all, the duration of your stay in the United States must not exceed 90 consecutive days. If you wish to stay in the country for more than 3 months, you will have to apply for a classic visa. Another important factor to consider here is that only nationals of certain countries that are members of the ESTA system are eligible. Of course, the United Kingdom, France and Germany are among them. Finally, you will need to have a valid electronic or biometric passport that is valid for your entire stay.
The ESTA application is made directly online, also by filling in a form, and the answer is given to the applicant by email within a maximum of 72 hours. This saves you time compared to a traditional visa application. However, this travel authorisation is not suitable for all situations and will only be valid for two years from the date of issue. If you do not meet the criteria we have just presented in detail, you must therefore apply for a US visa following the procedure we have explained above.
How to obtain a US visa in the best conditions and at the best price?
If you are afraid of the US visa application process that we have described above or if you would like to get help with this process, you can get this help and personal guidance from some approved partner sites. This is the case with the VisaExpress (GovAssist) website, which we will discuss here.
As its name suggests, this site's main mission is to assist travellers with all the administrative procedures related to the trips they are planning. Of course, you will be able to complete these procedures directly online by accessing the famous official visa application form, but you will also be able to take advantage of a number of benefits.
First of all, the online platform provided by this site is very easy to use by anyone and will allow you, in just a few clicks, to apply for your visa in the proper way. But that's not all! Whatever you wish to do using this site, you will not be alone and will be able to benefit from step-by-step assistance to help you do things in the right order and under the best conditions. As a result, the number of visas obtained through this platform is much higher than for travellers doing it alone. In addition, the online support will allow you to speak to an advisor if necessary and in several languages.
Of course, as far as we are concerned, the prices charged by this platform are very low and particularly competitive in relation to the many advantages you can enjoy. It is not without reason that there are many positive reviews from travellers who have obtained their online travel authorisations through this site.
To prepare a stay in the United States in all serenity and to obtain an American visa quickly, we can only advise you to use this platform which is of a very high quality and which will undoubtedly enable you to carry out your project successfully.
As a web writer and globetrotter with a passion for travel and tourism, I have acquired in-depth knowledge of the procedures that are essential for travellers. I help travellers to complete all the formalities required for a successful trip, particularly when it comes to obtaining a visa online. With several years' experience in this field, I'd like to offer you some valuable advice to help you discover the world with complete peace of mind.