How to get an American visa: step-by-step

By ganerationlmn 7 Min Read
How to get an American visa: step-by-step

With your passport in hand, you can apply for an American visa, according to your specific objective in the country (tourism, business, education, work, etc.), and present the documentation required at each stage of obtaining the. So, let’s go to our guide. Follow:

1. Complete the online form

In the first step of the process, you must fill out form DS-160, available online on the US Department of State. It is a very long questionnaire, which can take more than an hour to answer, but you can complete it little by little, as long as you save your data after each completed step. And don’t forget to write down your Application ID number.

In addition to filling out your information, you must answer educational and work questions, previous visits to the United States, and your police history.

The website is in English, but when you place the mouse cursor over the text, it offers a translation into Portuguese. It is also worth remembering that depending on the type of visa you are going to request, the documents requested are different. If you are going to work, study, get married, or invest in the United States, all of this influences the type of visa you will need.

2. Pay the fee for visitor visas


3. Submit the form

At the end of filling out, before submitting, you must choose where you will do the interview. In Brazil, there are options for consular sections in Recife (PE), Belo Horizonte (MG), São Paulo (SP), Rio de Janeiro (RJ), Porto Alegre (RS) and Brasília (DF). Check the addresses:


Venâncio 2000 SCS, Qd 8 Bl B60 room 340 – Setor Comercial Sul, Brasília – DF

Rio de Janeiro

Lagoa Corporate – R. Humaitá, 275 – Loja A Humaitá, Rio de Janeiro – RJ

São Paulo

Av. José Maria Whitaker, 370- Vila Mariana, São Paulo- SP


Comercial Bandeira – Av. Herculano Bandeira, 949 – Pina, Recife – PE

Belo Horizonte

Ed. Celta – R. Maranhão, 310 – Store 1 – Santa Efigênia, Belo Horizonte – MG

Porto Alegre

Av. Assis Brasil, 1712 – Passo D’Areia, Porto Alegre – RS

In Brasília, Recife, and Rio de Janeiro it is possible to make appointments for the CASV and Embassy/Consulate on the same day.

4. Schedule the interview

Scheduling the interview can be done either via the website or through the call center. Data availability varies greatly, so it’s a good idea to make your request in advance to avoid the risk of missing your trip. If it is done as a family, up to ten people can schedule the interview for the same time, as long as each person has their form filled out.

Applicants under 16 or over 65 are exempt from the interview but may be called if the embassy or consulate deems it necessary.

5. Collection of fingerprints

Before the interview, you will have to go to a Visa Applicant Assistance Center (CASV) with your documents and proof of payment. Staff at the center will take fingerprints from your ten fingers and take a photo of your face. Glasses cannot be worn during photography. Therefore, if possible, prefer to wear contact lenses.

6. Select documents for the interview

Remember the passport we talked about at the beginning? It must be valid for at least six months to travel to the United States. On the day of the long-awaited interview, you need to bring:

  • A passport containing the last United States visa (if you have already visited the country);
  • Form DS-160 confirmation page;
  • Printed confirmation page and scheduling instructions;
  • Additional forms: students must bring form I-20 or DS-2019, provided by the educational institution, completed and signed;
  • Income Tax Declaration;
  • The last three paychecks;
  • The last three bank statements, printed from self-service machines;
  • A 5 x 5 cm or 5 x 7 cm color photo, taken within the last 6 months and with a white background. This photo is only necessary if the applicant is not present at the CASV. If he is present, a digital photo will be taken at the scene. For children under two years of age applying for a visa, it is highly recommended that parents present a printed photo.

7. Take the interview

On the day of the interview, the visa candidate’s objective should be to prove their objective for the trip. So, be prepared to clearly and briefly explain your intentions, the length of time you intend to stay in the country, and what motivated you to visit.

In the case of tourism, it is not recommended to purchase plane tickets before having the issued visa in hand, as there is a risk that it will not be approved and you will not be reimbursed. It is also essential to take out travel insurance that covers any medical expenses and emergencies for the traveler, as the United States does not have any public service that caters to foreigners. Show that you have good planning.

Proving your connection with Brazil also helps: bring your signed work card, proof that you are studying, and proof of address. Only present what is requested.

8. Remove the document

The tourist visa is valid for ten years, but the validity of other types may vary. The passport can be collected by the holder at the Visa Applicant Service Center or delivered by post, at home, or at work. Passports are ready between two and seven business days after the interview.

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