Ghanaians who wish to travel to the United States of America must apply for a US visa since the West African country is not among those listed under the Visa Waiver Program. The following are the steps you have to follow to get the non-immigrant US visa.
1. Determine the type of visa you require
There are several types of visas that apply to individuals depending on their mission and why they are traveling to the U.S. of A. If you are going as a tourist, for studies, or to work for a given period, you have to apply for a non-immigrant visa. However, if you are going for a permanent job or would like to acquire U.S citizenship, then you have to secure a migrant visa.
2. Pay the required fees
Once you have consulted with the consular and determined the type of visa you need, the next thing to do is to pay the fees. The application fee for Machine Readable Visa is normally paid at Ecobank. Make sure that you are available for interviews within one year from the date of payment since the MRV receipts validity expires after twelve months. Also, make sure that your receipt number is typed correctly by entering each character as denoted for a successful booking.
3. Filling the DS-160 form
The form is an online one which you must fill as it would be required on the day of the interview. Prepare your digital signatures in advance, it is expected that you must submit the form electronically. Meanwhile, ensure accuracy when filling out your personal information as a simple inconsistency would deny you the interview, which means you have to fill out another form afresh and book a different date and time. To avoid difficulties, visit the FAQs section provided on the web page of the DS-160 form.
4. Schedule your appointment
With the fees already paid and the DS-160 form duly filled, you can now schedule the appointment. You are eligible to book an interview four hours after you have paid by using the online form. This requires you to have a user profile in the embassy system. Basically, this stage is an easy process as you will be guided by a link on the embassy website which will take you to the dashboard where you can create a profile with a unique password. After filling all fields correctly, just click on the Schedule Appointment button which appears on the left side.
There are several documentations that you must have to successfully book an appointment. They are:
- Your passport number which must be valid for at least six months;
- The Ecobank receipt number;
- The DS-160 form confirmation 10 digit barcode;
- A recent 2”x2” passport digital photo taken on a white background, this goes with the DS-160 form;
- Legal documents showing that you are related to a minor if you are traveling with one;
- Any previous visa you have.
You can also call the following numbers for assistance in scheduling an appointment: +233 (26) 301-1685, +233 (54) 433-9697, and +233 (54) 434-0523.
Take note that you can only schedule an appointment as one person. Therefore, if you are planning to travel with children, they have to book their own appointments as well.
5. Attending your interview
Time is of utmost importance during interviews. Ensure you arrive at least 30 minutes before your scheduled time. It is important to confirm what other documents would be needed before going for the interview. Various items like weapons, electronic devices that are not useful, drugs, cigarettes, and chemicals are not allowed at the Embassy grounds. Also, it is not necessary to have company as no one would be allowed into the interview room apart from the applicant. You would, however, accompany a minor who is below 17 years.
6. Securing the US visa
After the interview, the embassy saves time by remitting immediate result. You would, therefore, be told whether you passed or failed the interview on the same day. The visa would then be delivered according to your preference – you could collect it in person or have it mailed to a provided address. It is important to start the application process early because the document takes at least two days to be ready. Sometimes, the American government might change their requirements without prior notice too.
However, if all administrative processes go on uninterrupted, you can expect your document ready for the trip within 48 hours.