We’ve all heard of how hard it is to get the U.S visa and especially if you’re from the developing countries like Tanzania. Jokes aside, this is one of those visas that one can legit celebrate once done successful😅
Many people might not know the struggle of visa applications and the American embassies knows how to be thorough on their application processes. Not to say other countries are not but if you’ve done the process you do understand what I mean.
The process itself is fairly straight forward, and I would say its devided into 4 phases:
- Filling the online form and submission (DS-160) Its a few pages form, and its easier if you do it yourself because you need to provide your personal informations, reasons for travel, family history, itinerary, host details, etc (yes its a lot of information and the good news is you can save your form if not done and get back to it later or in few days)
- Payments for visa fee (160 USD) you can pay by airtel money or cash at City Bank (I like paying by cash because the money is non refundable and the mobile network system can be challenging at times.) Other nationalities can find the same information at their respective consulate or embassies because the money is paid in local currency.
- Set up your appointment for interview ( after the payment is registered on the system, takes about 24hrs or less. Thats when you can pick a date and time for your interview)
- Interview ( regardless of what you filled on the form, this physical interview will determine if you qualify for the visa or not) my advice: do not provide any false information and come back home before your visa expires
Speaking of my experience, I normally get one year multiple entry visa, and I’ve always been grateful for that considering the paid $160 visa application fee. (Not sure if everyone else gets the same or not) They could have given me the exact number of days I request but they are always very generous. (I know a country that gave me exactly 7 days that I requested)
What more can you do with this visa? There’s a few more countries that would give you visa exemption to U.S Visa holders. And honestly it comes very handy, at one point I wanted to visit Panama but the nearest consular from Tanzania is South Africa, after calling them and trying to figure out how i can get the visa to Panama, I was happy to know I had visa exemption as long as my US visa was valid!
Here’s the list of the 23 countries/ territories you can visit with your american visa, every country/territory have its own requirements and limitations, so please visit the respective embassies website for further information before visiting and incase there are changes or updates:
The countries offer visa exemption to US Visa holders because of strict screening done when applying for your visa, they make sure you have strong ties to your home country (family, assets, work/business,etc) and for financial reasons (a good screening system is expensive, therefore these countries might be taking advantage that if you were screened by the US then its enough, they dont need to worry about it)
Mexico, Belize, Costa Rica, Panama, Antigua and Barbuda, Cuba, Dominican Republic, Argentina, Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Georgia, Macedonia, Montenegro, Serbia, Turkey, Qatar, São Tomé and Príncipe, South Korea, Bermuda, British Virgin Islands, Turks and Caicos, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and United Kingdom (24hrs only and while on transit and its available at Heathrow airport only)
Therefore, take advantage of this amazing opportunity if you have the U.S Visa and visit other places. All you need is good planning around your time and finances and you should be good to go. Let me know in the comments where you’ll be heading this year. Am thinking of taking advantage of my US visa and will be visiting Georgia later in the year💃🏾