What is a US Tourist Visa?

A US Tourist Visa is a short term non-immigrant visa. It is also referred to as a visitor visa or B-2 Visa. You can apply for tourist visa if you wish to enter the United States of America temporarily for any of the following purposes:

  • Medical treatment
  • Recreation, such as visiting family and friends, tourism, amusement parks, sport events and many more activities.
  • Short course of study; usually less than 18 hours per week
  • Attend musical festivals, contests, sports events and other vocational activities without remuneration.

US Tourist Visa Eligibility

As a citizen of the Republic of Ireland, you are eligible for the Visa Waiver Programme (VWP) if you are staying in the United States for 90 days or less. However, you will need to apply for Electronic System for Travel Authorisation (ESTA).

You will therefore be required to apply for a US tourist visa if your ESTA application and registration has been denied.

Are you Qualified for a US Tourist Visa

Your qualification for the US tourist visa is determined by the Consular Officer at the U.S. Embassy in Dublin. As an applicant you must demonstrate:

  • Your time of stay in the US
  • The purpose of your trip, which must comply with the requirements for a US tourist visa
  • The evidence of funds for all your expenses in the US
  • Evidence of your social and economic status in your home country.

How to Get a US Tourist Visa

As an applicant, you must have a valid passport. You will be required to submit an online application, pay a fee and appear for a scheduled interview at the Embassy (if you are aged 14-79). While if you are under 14 or above 80 you may be eligible to apply via a courier. Please note, getting a US tourist visa is subject to approval.

Required Documents for a US Tourist Visa

When going for an interview, there are many documents required of you. So you do not struggle with the documents during interview, organize them in an orderly manner.

  • A passport or other travel document: The passport must be valid for at least six months beyond your stay in the US. It should also contain at least one blank page. However, if you have an Irish passport, the six months requirement is not applicable to you.
  • Confirmation page of the application form DS-160
  • Appointment confirmation page (if relevant)
  • One 2” by 2” (5 x 5cm) colour passport
  • Evidence of your Republic of Ireland status
  • You will provide evidence of previously issued US visas (if any)
  • Police reports if you have ever been arrested, convicted or cautioned
  • Medical report certificate
  • Financial documents
  • Documents of previous denied entry, removal or deportation from the US (if any)

Step by step Guidelines for the US Tourist Visa Application Process

It is recommended that you begin your US tourist visa application process not later than a month before your anticipated travel date. This will give time for you to schedule an appointment and come for interview.

Applying for a US tourist visa online requires that you follow these steps:

  1. Upload Photograph

    You have to upload a digital photograph while filling the DS-160 form. The photograph must be taken within the last six months. It must meet certain requirements. Some of these requirements are:

    • Must be in colour
    • Image must be saved in JPEG format
    • Size must be 2” by 2” (5 x 5cm)
    • Image must show the full face

The complete digital image requirements for a US tourist visa can be viewed here. Check if your passport photograph has been accepted. If is not accepted, it may delay your application process. You can take another passport photograph that meets the requirements with you when going for interview.

  • Complete US Tourist Visa Application Form DS-160

    The US tourist visa application must be completed online. Ensure you put valid information as it will be verified. After your application has been successfully received, you will receive a 10-digit barcode. Print out the page and keep it as you will need the code to schedule an interview appointment.

  • Pay US Tourist Visa Application Fee

    You will be required to pay a non-refundable visa application fee of $160. See additional information about the US tourist visa fee.

  • chedule an Appointment

    After paying you will be required to schedule an appointment for an interview. You will be required to come to the embassy with the Appointment Confirmation letter. The visitation to the US Embassy is typically a two-step processes. The first step is collecting and reviewing your application. Your fingerprints are then electronically scanned.

    The second step is the interview proper with a Consulate Officer. Apart from the documents you go with, the interviewer may ask for documentary evidence of:

    • Finances; to check if your funds can cover your expenses in the United States
    • Your contact in the US you intend to stay with or other accommodation plans.
  • Please be aware that denying or accepting your application will be generally based on the interview.

    Click this link to navigate to the US Embassy in Dublin.

    Visa Denied or Accepted

    Immediately after the interview, you will know if your application has been denied, approved or delayed. You will not get your passport immediately. You need not pick your passport yourself, it will be sent back to you by courier. If your application is successful, it takes five days of processing before your passport can be sent through a courier.

    Read FAQs on the website of the US Embassy in the Republic of Ireland for further information.

    Remember, if you are Irish you don’t need a VISA for most trips. You only need to get an ESTA!