Visa for USA from the UK? - Step to step guide to your visa

When going to the lands of your future, most people consider the visa application process one of the most intimidating. However, you can face it without fear with a bit of preparation and a sense of urgency. Let’s look at your visa application requirements and how to get started.

Visa for USA from the UK? - Step to step guide to your visa

If you’re planning to study in the United States, you’ll need a visa. Even if you don’t intend to stay beyond your student days, you might still need a visa if you hope to work there. However, getting a visa isn’t as difficult as it might sound. There are specific requirements for each visa type, so check before applying. You can do so by reading on for important information regarding visas for the USA from the UK!

Have you ever wanted to study abroad in the United States of America? Do you know how to apply for a visa from the UK? If so, read this quick guide from an international student who applied for and received his F1 Visa! What’s it like living in the USA as an international student? Discover what you need to apply for an F1 Visa and how to be considered for one!

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What is a Visa

A visa is a travel document that must be obtained before traveling to a country. There are two types of visa: immigrant, which takes a long time to get but allows permanent residency in the U.S., and non-immigrant, which only lasts for a few months. An immigrant visa is required to enter and stay in the United States as a permanent resident if you plan on being there for more than three months.

Though the United States of America apply strict requirements to many countries in the world to permit their residents to enter, this is not the case when it comes to Britons.

The citizens of the United Kingdom are privileged regarding traveling to the US. They are part of the list of countries the US applies the visa waiver system, through which the visitors can apply online for a traveling authorization to be permitted to enter the US by land, air, or sea.

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Do I Need a Visa For the USA From the UK?

If you are a citizen of the UK, you are not required to apply for a visa for the USA since the UK is one of the 40 countries participating in the Visa Waiver Program. British citizens, with the unrestricted right of permanent abode in England, Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland, the Channel Islands, and the Isle of Man, have been part of this list since 1988.

However, all UK residents who do not hold citizenship of a country exempt from a US visa and are not citizens of Canada or Bermuda must obtain a permit to travel to the United States.

This tool will help you determine whether you need to apply for a US visa in the United Kingdom:

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UK Visa Application UK

After you decide what type of visa for the USA you need and have collected the required documents, it's time to apply.
To apply for US Visa in the UK, you will go through these simple steps:

1 Fill in Form DS-160.
2 Pay your application fee.
3 Schedule visa interview.
4 Compile the US visa document file.
5 Attend the visa interview.

Fill in Form DS-160

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Fill in Form DS-160

You should complete the online application form DS-160 and print the confirmation page. Take this page with you when you attend the interview.

The application form contains questions about personal information as:

  • Full name
  • Marital Status
  • Nationality
  • Date & Place of Birth
  • Address
  • Country
  • Mobile number
  • Email
  • Passport number
  • Passport book number
  • Family information
  • Education
  • Work, etc.

You can fill the DS-160 form online through:

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Pay your application fee and schedule the interview

The MRV Fee for visa applicants depends on the type of visa one applies for. The schedule is tiered as follows:

  • MRV Fee – $160
  • Petition-Based Applicants (H, L, O, P, Q, R) – $190
  • E-1, E-2 & E-3 visa applicants – $205

American Visa Application Requirements

After selecting the visa type you need to apply for, you should gather the documents required for that US visa. The commonly required documents to apply for a permit for the USA in the UK are as follows:

  • Confirmation page of the application form DS-160.  You can file the form DS-160. However, you could use the services of a third-party company such as visaExpree to assist you with filing this form.
  • Appointment confirmation page (if applicable).
  • Passport. Valid for at least six months beyond your date of planned stay in the US. The passport must have at least one blank page to affix a visa.
  • one US passport Of 5 x 5 cm size, taken within the last six months. If you successfully uploaded a picture to the DS-160 application form, you are not required to submit an additional photo.
  • Previous US visas. If you have visited the US with an older passport, you shall take it with you on the day of the interview at the embassy or consulate.
  • ACRO – a police certificate you should submit if you have ever been arrested, cautioned, or convicted.
  • Letter from a physician if you have a medical condition that could affect your eligibility for a visa.

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US Visa interview questions for applicants from the UK

There are also a couple of questions on security and background information which include the questions listed below:

  • Have you ever been arrested or convicted for any offense or crime, even though the subject of a pardon, amnesty, or other similar action?
  • Have you ever violated or engaged in a conspiracy to violate any law relating to controlled substances?
  • Are you coming to the United States to engage in prostitution or unlawful commercialized vice, or have you been involved in prostitution or procuring prostitutes within the past ten years?
  • Have you ever been involved in, or do you seek to engage in, money laundering?
  • Do you seek to engage in espionage, sabotage, export control violations, or any other illegal activity while in the United States?
  • Do you seek to engage in terrorist activities while in the United States, or have you ever engaged in terrorist activities?
  • Have you ever intended to provide financial assistance or support to terrorists or terrorist organizations?
  • Are you a member or representative of a terrorist organization?
  • Have you ever ordered, incited, committed, assisted, or participated in genocide?

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Types of Visas for USA from the UK

If you are entering the US for non-business or tourism purposes, you will need to apply for a visa to the USA even if you are a citizen of a VWP country. The US immigration authorities have established several visas depending on one’s purpose in entering the country. The residents of the United Kingdom can apply for one of the types of visas listed below:

B-1 Visa – US Business visa from the UK

United Kingdom residents who are not eligible for travel authorization will have to apply for a B1 Visa. For one to be able to obtain this visa, they must fulfill the criteria listed below:

  • Your business must be of a legitimate nature
  • You plan to remain in the USA for a limited period
  • You are financially capable of maintaining yourself during the time you are staying in the US
  • You have no intention of abandoning the UK and staying in the US with a US A-2 visa

Under this visa, your spouse and children are not eligible to apply for a dependent visa.

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B-1 Visa – Domestic Employee

This type of visa is for personal or domestic employees (cooks, nannies, butlers, chauffeurs, maids, gardeners, paid companions, etc.) who accompany or follow an employer to the US. In this case, one of the essential requirements that the US authorities ask for is documenting a proper wage to the employee.

C-1 Visa – Transiting the United States

If you must pass through the United States en route to another country but are not eligible for a Travel Authorization, you will have to apply for a C-1 Transit Visa. If you already hold a valid visitor visa, then you can use that one to transit USA.

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D Visa – Crew Members working on air or sea carriers

You must hold a C-1/D visa if you work as a crew member at an international sea carrier or airline that travels from the UK to the USA.

UK residents eligible for an A-1 visa:

  • Head of UK government (Prime Minister), regardless of the purpose of travel
  • Ambassador or Consul of the United Kingdom embassy or consulate in the United States
  • UK government cabinet member or minister traveling to the US to engage in official activities
  • UK residents part of European Union delegation representatives
  • Family members (spouse and unmarried sons and daughters) of a UK citizen, holder of a US A-1 visa

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UK residents eligible for an A-2 visa

  • A full-time employee assigned by the UK government to work at its embassy or consulate in the US
  • UK government official visiting the US to perform government-related duties
  • UK military members assigned to work at the UK embassy or consulate in the US or stationed at a US military base
  • UK residents, the staff of a European Union delegation representatives
    • Family members (spouse and unmarried sons and daughters) of a UK citizen, holder of aUS a US visa
  • Keep in mind that aside from the Head of the government of the UK, no other government official visiting the US for a non-official purpose is eligible for this visa type. Officials of local governments representing a regional political entity do not qualify for this type of visa either.

    A-3 Visa – Domestic Employee of an A-1/A-2 Visa holder

    This visa is established for the personal employees, attendants, or domestic workers of government officials and diplomats who hold valid A-1 or A-2 visas.

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Final Thought 

There are four types of US Visas: visa waivers, non-immigrant visas, immigrant visas, and K-1 visas. Visa waivers apply to citizens of 36 countries who want to temporarily travel to the United States. Citizens of other countries must apply for a visa at their nearest American Embassy or Consulate to come to or visit America on vacation, study abroad, or work in one of many sectors.