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A visa is a document issued by the U.S. Department of State (DOS), usually at a U.S. consulate abroad. This document, often called a stamp, is affixed to a page in one's passport. A visa does not guarantee an individual's entry into the United States, nor does the visa confer a U.S. immigration status upon an individual. Instead, the visa allows the holder to request permission to enter the United States at a port of entry (POE).

Visas may be issued for single entry or multiple entries. Whether or not a visa will be issued for single or multiple entries is dependent upon the category and country-specific issues of reciprocity with the United States. A multiple-entry visa does not have limits on the number of times one may use the visa for travel. Check the Reciprocity by Country

The visa also indicates an issue date and an expiration date. The maximum validity timeframe varies anywhere from one month to ten years, depending upon the visa category. The visa expiration date does not correspond to the length of time an individual is allowed to remain in the United States; the expiration date dictates the last day that the individual can request admission to the United States.

There are more than twenty-five general categories of nonimmigrant visas. Most are targeted at a person's particular purpose in visiting the U.S. and the terms of those visas will vary according to the category.

Visas Types

All Visa Forms and All Visa Fees

Employment based forms and fees Family based forms and fees Green Card based forms and fees Citizenship and Naturalization based forms and fees

Obtaining Visas and Interview Tips

  1. Determine Which US consulate you need to apply to List of all US Consulates

India has 5 consulates - Check where you need to apply New Delhi, Hyderabad, Kolkota, Chennai, Mumbai. Bangalore is a virtual consulate and does not process visas.

  1. Photograph Specification
  2. [ Forms]
  3. Apply for the visa online using the VFS
  4. Check for earliest available interview date
  5. Check the waiting times by country and specific US Consulates

Documents Required for Visas




Your Passport
Form DS 160
Visa Fee and Visa Reciprocity Fee
Evidence which shows the purpose of the trip, intent to depart the United States, and arrangements made to cover the costs of the trip may be provided.
Evidence of financial support from the sponsor
Documentation substantiating the trip's purpose and specifying the nature of binding obligations, such as family ties or employment, which would compel their return to the home country.


Extending a Visa

  1. Visitors who wish to stay beyond the date indicated on their Form I-94 are required to have approval by USCIS.
  2. Fill form I-539
  3. You may apply to extend your stay if:
You were lawfully admitted into the United States with a nonimmigrant visa
Your nonimmigrant visa status remains valid
You have not committed any crimes that make you ineligible for a visa
You have not violated the conditions of your admission
Your passport is valid and will remain valid for the duration of your stay
  1. Extending visa information

Overstaying Visa

  1. It is important that you depart the U.S. on or before the last day you are authorized to be in the U.S. on any given trip, based on the specified end date on your Arrival-Departure Record, Form I-94. Failure to depart the U.S. will cause you to be out-of-status.
  2. Staying beyond the period of time authorized by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and being out-of-status in the United States is a violation of U.S. immigration laws, and may cause you to be ineligible for a visa in the future for return travels to the U.S. Select Classes of Aliens Ineligible to Receive Visas to learn more.

Reporting Visa Violations and Immigration Fraud

When you come across any immigration violations/Frauds by the employers or by the non-immigrants, gather as much information as possible, such as the sponsor or petitioner’s name, the beneficiary’s name and their address. Facts like the foreign national's alien number (A#) or the citizen's Social Security number also are helpful but might be difficult to obtain.

  1. Contact the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement ( by telephone at (866) DHS-2-ICE. The hotline is designed specifically to accept immigration violation reports. You can complain anonymously.
  1. Contact the USCIS ( at (800) 375-5283. Request live assistance, which is available during the week and file your complaint. Although USCIS and ICE are included within the Department of Homeland Security, you should submit separate fraudulent reports to expedite the case review.
  1. Contact USCIS Fraud Unit which is a part of the Fraud Detection and National Security (FDNS) Directorate with all the details.
Fraud Detection and National Security (FDNS) Directorate
111 Massachusetts Ave., NW Suite 7002,
Mail Stop 2280 Washington,
D.C. 20529-2280

Further Info and Discussions

Alberta welcomes h-1b holders

Delay in visa issuance and passport stamping

Travel Tips to India

Visa Requirements

Citizens of all countries (including Commonwealth) require a valid passport and an appropriate (entry, transit or tourist) visa for travel to India and any of its states. The visa must be obtained abroad from an Indian Mission.

General requirements:

  • Original passport valid for at least six months.
  • Correct visa fee
  • Two passport-size photographs (five photographs in case of Pakistani nationals)
  • Supporting documents, where necessary
  • Duly completed application form (Pakistani and Bangladeshi nationals need to apply on special application forms)

For information on Passport, visa rules, please visit: India

Foreign Currency

Foreign Exchange comprising foreign currency notes/coins, travelers checks, drafts drawn on banks in India or Bank letters of credit can be brought into India without limit. However, if the total amount of foreign currency notes/coins of travelers checks brought into India at one time exceeds US$10,000/- or its equivalent, it is required to be declared by the holder to the Indian customs authorities on arrival on a currency declaration form (CDF). A copy of the CDF duly certified by the customs will be handed over to the declarant. This declaration helps easy conversion of foreign currency into Indian currency by the tourists and also reconversion of their unspent balances of Indian rupees into Foreign Currency at the time of departure from. Banks CDFs are available with the Airport/Seaport customs.

Travelers checks and the Foreign Currency notes can be easily converted into Indian currency with any branch of a bank authorised to deal in Foreign Exchange or licensed money changers. Banks are open for transaction from 10.00 to 14.00 hrs on all days except Sundays (10.00 to 12.00 hrs).

Indian Currency

Bringing into India Indian currency of any denomination is prohibited. Foreign Tourists returning to India from Nepal area, are permitted to bring with them unspent Indian currency note. Coins upto the value of Rs. 75/- per person. There is no restriction bringing into India a checks/drafts denominated in India rupees drawn on banks situated in India by overseas banks.

Personal Jewellery

Foreign Tourists are permitted to bring with them their personal jewellery either on their person or as part of their personal effects in accordance with customs baggage rules. In order to facilitate customs clearance of personal jewellery at the time of the tourists departure from India , details thereof are endorsed on the tourists passport at the time of entry.


The rates for purchase and sale of Pound Sterling and US Dollar currency notes and foreign currency travellers cheques, where applicable , are quoted by authorised dealers/money changers within the floor and ceiling rates worked out daily in accordance with guidelines prescribed by Reserve Bank of India . For other currencies, banks quited rates based on market conditions.

Banks drafts and travelers check fetch better rates as compared to currency notes and coins. Currencies like Pound-Sterling, US Dollar and Deutsche Mark, Swiss Francs and Japanese Yen are widely accepted.

Best Time To Visit

High season: October to April - Monsoon. Rejuvenation programmes: May to September

Travel Wear

Cotton outfits, hats, sunglasses, sunscreen lotion etc


Main hotels, restaurants and shopping centres honour major credit cards.


Indian Rupee (INR)


Heavy punishments including imprisonment are imposed for possession of narcotic drugs.


All standard restaurants offer a variety of cuisines including Continental, Chinese, Indian and typical Kerala dishes namely Palappam with Chicken/Vegetable stew, Kappa(Tapioca) with fish curry ,Karimmeeen (Pearl Spot) pollichathu, Dosas etc.Deserts include a wide variety of payasams .Toddy ( madhura kallu) is Keralas own natural alcoholic drink.

Emergency numbers

Police control room: 100 Fire station: 101 Ambulance: 101

Time Difference

(Hours fast (+), slow (-) on IST)

USA : -10.30, Germany : - 4.30, Canada : - 10.30,France : - 4.30,Australia : + 4.30, Spain : -4.30, UAE: - 1.30


Even though tap water is purified, it is better to drink bottled drinking water or drinking water from houses/restaurants. It is not advisable to drink water from slow moving streams, lakes or dams. Mineral water is available in sealed bottles.

Temple codes

Footwear inside the temple and entry into the sanctum sanctorum is banned in all the temples. Other customs and codes of conduct and dress in temples across the State vary from each other. Some temples do not permit entry to non-Hindus, while some do. Shirts for men and pants are banned from some temples and allowed in some others. Where they are banned, men have to be in mundus and women, in saris, half-saris or long skirts.

Nudity on Beaches

Nudity is not allowed in any Kerala beach.

Footwear in Houses

Visitors to most Kerala houses leave their footwear outside before entering the house.

Ayurvedic Treatment

If you wish to undergo Ayurvedic treatment, it is very important to ensure that you go to an authorised centre.

Demonstration of Affection in Public

Behaviour demonstrating affection in public like hugging or kissing is not an accepted practice in Kerala.

Wildlife Sanctuaries

To visit a wildlife sanctuary, prior permission has to be taken from the concerned authority of the sanctuary. For further enquiries, contact: The Chief Conservator of Forests, Thiruvananthapuram 695014. Ph: ++ 91-471-2322217

Shopping pleasures

Clothings such as Kasavu munndu, saree, salwar, churidhars ,shawls, khadi, kaili (coloured mundu for night wear), jubha/kurtha will be liked by all the foreigners. Another attraction will be Keralas handicraft products.

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