One of the advantages of living in Canada is the closeness of United States of America. Picture the world map and focus on North America.
Think of your dream destination in Uncle Sam’s territory. (Yes with imaginary pins of varying colors and meanings. Red for urgency—how about on your next birthday?)
Can you imagine yourself meeting Mickey Mouse (I know you still do) or seeing New York from the Statue of Liberty?
Don’t just imagine. Don’t fret.
If you are a temporary foreign worker or permanent resident you can apply for US non-immigrant visa from Canada.
The online application of US visa is easy (and short depending in your availability and span of attention). You only have to follow three steps.
How to Apply for US non-immigrant visa from Canada
- Apply Online for non-immigrant visa application (DS-160).
- Pay the US visa application fee; online is the quickest option.
- Schedule a US visa interview appointment in Canada.
This is just the first phase. For the second, I’ll write a blog post with some tips about preparing for the US visa interview. The preparation will give you confidence to pass the interview.
Let’s start the first phase, the journey to the United States of America.
Step 1: Apply for DS-160 Online.
Gather the following documents before you fill up the form:
- Valid passport
- Updated resume (for work record)
- Qualified photo. Take note of the photo requirements and show it at the photo shop. Or you can take your own photo or scan an existing photo; either way read the digital image requirements. In editing the photo, I highly recommend Pixlr Editor, a free web-based photo editor if you don’t have Adobe Photoshop which does the job in reducing the file size.
- Applicable US non-immigrant visa types. Before you can apply for US non-immigrant visa from Canada you have to know your visa category through the purpose of the trip such as for business or leisure.
Prepare to answer the following questions:
- Personal information
- Itinerary (date of arrival, length of stay)
- Person paying for your trip (this can be your employer for live-in caregiver)
- Persons traveling with you
- US contact information (the place where you will stay: relatives or friend’s home or hotel)
- Work information (monthly salary, duties)
Why do you have to know all of these?
To increase the word count of my blog post. Of course not—partly.
Seriously, I want you to save time and finish the application in one session (with occasional trip in the washroom). If for some valid reason (watching viral YouTube videos doesn’t count) you have to stop, you can save the application form and finish it within 30 days.
Is everything handy?
Print the confirmation page with your confirmation number and photo after submitting the application.
You have the option of printing the personal copy of (DS-160) with your confirmation number and barcode or saving a soft copy since it is NOT required in the interview.
Step 2: Pay the Visa Application Fee or the Machine Readable Visa (MRV) Fee.
The most common visa categories are visitor visas which cost USD 160: business (B1) and pleasure (B2).
Before paying, first you have to create an account at the Official Visa Services of the United States of America in Canada.
Then you can choose how to pay the US visa application fee online through different MRV fee payment options:
- Online with credit card (Visa, MasterCard, or American Express)
- Cash payment with one of the Scotiabank branches
- Interac Online
over the phone (Visa, MasterCard, or American Express)
From the date of purchase the MRV payment is valid for one year. The long validity is definitely an advantage to the next step.
Step 3: Schedule Your Interview Online by Signing In.
The MRV fee receipt number is required to proceed in booking the appointment. Choose carefully the day.
You can reschedule or cancel the appointment until the deadline (a day before the appointment).
Do this several times but never miss a US visa interview.
Scheduling another interview is just as easy as booking the first appointment. Explaining why you didn’t make it is the hardest part. You better have a valid reason.
Don’t think of missing an appointment. Stay Positive.
As I’ve mentioned, you can apply for US non-immigrant visa from Canada by following the three easy steps.
The last thing to do is to prepare for the US visa interview and once you pass the interview nothing can come between you and Mickey Mouse and cotton candy (hand me over the pink one please).
You are getting closer to your dream. I’m ending the post with a video about
application of US non-immigrant visa so you can have a preview of the process my trip in the Jungle Cruise at Disneyland California Adventure as a reminder to keep on exploring.