How to Apply for U.S. Transit Visa?

By Remitbee - May 13, 2022

Do you like waiting in line? If you answered "no," you're in luck - because a transit visa can help you avoid spending hours stuck at the airport. Transit visas are required for anyone who wants to pass through a country without stopping, and they can be a lifesaver if your flight is delayed or cancelled.

If you're planning to go to the United States in the future, keep in mind that a transit visa is one of the things you might need. Therefore, read from beginning to end as this article provides you with a step-by-step guide on applying for a U.S. transit visa in Canada.

What is a transit visa?

A transit visa is a short-term permit given to individuals transiting through the country or region with a good purpose for a limited period. It is a travel document issued by the embassy or Consulate of a nation.

When going to the U.S., a transit visa is required and essential to ensure the safe passage of international travellers in the transit countries. Remember that transit visas don't last longer than a month and are not renewable.

There are two types of transit visas. You can choose a C-1 visa if you intend to change planes in the U.S. at the end of a more extensive journey and, therefore, leave the U.S. before your next flight. On the other hand, you can choose a C-2 visa if you need to transit to the U.S. by land.

Who can apply?

Transit Visa is available for citizens of countries that are not eligible for visa-free or visa on arrival entry. If you are not travelling with family or friends or for a visit or medical treatment, you can apply for a Transit Visa.

How long is the processing time for U.S. Transit Visas? The average processing time is at least five working days. However, if it takes longer, it doesn't mean your application has been rejected. It's just that the embassy or consulate you are applying at might be experiencing a volume of workload, causing the delay in your application.

Step by Step Guide on how to apply for U.S. Transit Visa in Canada

When applying for a transit visa in Canada, here are the steps you must follow.

Step 1. Complete the DS-160 form online.

The first step to applying for a U.S. transit visa is to complete the online nonimmigrant visa application or the DS-160. Here is an example of the form you need to complete.

While completing the form, remember that you will need to upload a photo. If you are done, print the barcode number and the confirmation page as you will need these later for your interview.

Step 2. Secure an interview appointment.

The next step you need to do when applying for a U.S. transit visa is to schedule an interview. The U.S. embassy in Ottawa and the U.S. consulate general in Montreal provide onsite, same-day appointments for applying for a transit visa to the United States. However, you may have to wait weeks or months to get an appointment at a consulate elsewhere in Canada. Therefore, ensure an appointment as early as possible.

After you have scheduled your interview, you will receive a letter of interview confirmation that you will need later.

Step 3. Pay for the visa application fees.

After scheduling an interview, you must pay the visa application fee, $160. Take note that these fees are non-refundable. Keep the receipt as this is important, and you will need it later. However, the price varies depending on where you come from and the consulate or embassy you are applying from. Once your application is approved, you might also be paying a visa issuance fee.

Step 4. Gather the required documents.

Before your interview, you need to gather the following documents:

  • A valid passport. Make sure your passport is valid for at least six months and is allowed to travel in the United States.
  • The confirmation page of the Nonimmigrant Visa Application or DS-160 form.
  • The receipt of the application fee.
  • Photo - Bringing a photo is optional if you are sure that the photo you uploaded in the DS-160 form is successful. However, if the upload fails, you need to bring one printed photo.

Also, make sure that you must:

  • Be able to sustain yourself financially during your transit
  • Be free of any criminal records
  • Not have been placed on any terrorist watch lists
  • Not put the United States' security at risk
  • Not endanger public health or safety in any way
  • Be free of infectious diseases
  • Show proof of subsequent travel
  • Not be banned from entering the U.S. for any reason

Remember that if not all requirements are met, this may delay your application process and even be rejected.

Step 5. Make sure to attend your interview

The last step is to attend your transit visa interview. Do not be late. Ensure you have all the requirements with you to avoid any complications. A consular officer from the United States will review your application and determine whether you are qualified for a transit visa during your interview.

If the application is successful and approved, the applicant will receive a transit visa and be able to travel to the United States for transit purposes.

Wait! One important task that needs to be taken care of: exchanging your currency. If you're planning on travelling from Canada to the United States, you'll need to exchange your Canadian dollars for US dollars.

And the best way to do it is with RemitBee. With RemitBee, you can get the best exchange rate available, and you'll always have access to your money when you need it. So before you hit the road, get your currency exchange taken care of.

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