How to apply for a US Business and Tourism (B1/B2) Visa:

Business and Tourism visa is a type of visa that is required by someone going to the united states for tour, visiting of relatives, conference, seminars, and workshop. US Visa is one of the easiest visas to get. Few factors determine the success of a US Visa Application, The most important factor is your travel history. You need a good travel history in order to stand a good chance of getting your visa approved. Travel history account for more than 60 percent of what I personally termed “success determinant factor”. The factors are my grading points and if you manage to score above average, you should have no worries as you are in good position to get your visa approved. Where travel history does not really affect the outcome of your application is when you are applying for a student visa. Even with a student visa, it gives you an edge. Other factors on my list of success determinants are Economic ties to Nigeria, social to Nigeria, and the interview performance. Later in this post, I will go into the details of each factor. For now, so as not to keep you waiting for too long, let me quickly dab into the details of the application procedure.

Application Procedure

Online application form filling (DS-FORM):

You are required to fill an application form online. This form is called DS160 form. To visit the official US government application form page, simple click here. After completing the form, a DS160 confirmation page will be generated and you are required to print and bring the letter to the interview.

Payment of Visa fee:

To pay the visa fee, you will need to visit any branch of Guarantee Trust bank Plc near you. When going to the bank for payment, you will have to hold a copy of your international passport data page and you should know the category of visa that you want to for, in this case, your category of visa will Business and Tourism B1/B2. Once payment is successful, GTbank will issue a payment receipt. Please keep this receipt as you will need it in upcoming application steps.
Booking an interview appointment: You are required to book an appointment ahead before going to the embassy. Click here for the official US government appointment booking website. You can decide to take your interview at either the US embassy in Abuja or Lagos.  To successfully complete this step, you will need your DS160 confirmation page generated earlier and the payment receipt received at GTbank.

The Interview:


After booking your appointment, it is expected of you to show up at the interview date with all your supporting document. Read on to know the required supporting documents for your interview.

Visa application supporting document

These documents are to be with you on the date of your interview. Do know that the US embassy does not retain any supporting document, you will only be interviewed and the interviewer reserves the right to tell you to show proof of your claims by presenting a suitable document. The burden of proof is upon you and you should go with the original copies of your documents.

List of the most important document:

  • If invited, invitation letter should be substituted unless the invitee specifically state that you will be responsible for your accommodation. In the case where you have no one to invite you, you will need a valid hotel booking as proof of accommodation arrangement. Your hotel booking should be valid until the date of the interview. Many hotels will cancel your booking once payment is not received within 24 hours after booking, this could lead to visa refusal. Also, we would not encourage spending lots of money to book hotel when you have not received your visa. We have a solution for the hotel booking which you should see in order not to fall a victim. Read our Hotel Reservation + Flight Reservation for visa application post
  • This letter should be addressed to the US embassy in Abuja or the consular officer in Lagos.
  • such as employment letter, leave letter and/or introduction letter from employer. For self-employ, cac and tax clearance should be used in conjunction with an introduction letter.

How to increase your chances of approval

When a person is denied, he/she is usually handed a denial letter. The letter contains the reasons why the consular denies the application. Usually, in the letter, one option states that applicant “social, family and economic ties” are not sufficient to issue a visa. This statement is in line with section 214(b) of U.S immigration and Nationality Act (INA) which states:
“Every alien shall be presumed to be an immigrant until he establishes to the satisfaction of the officer, at the time of the application for a visa… That he is entitled to nonimmigrant status…”.
Basically, the consular is looking for a convincing reason that the person will return to Nigeria after a temporary visit to the US. It is the duty of the applicant to prove to the consular that he is socially, and economically bound to Nigeria. I would have loved to tell you how exactly you need to present your case, but each person has a different situation and there is no single fit-all method of proving the ties. The golden rule is to be sincere, natural and logical.

What are social ties and how does it affect your US visa application?

Family or social ties to Nigeria is your connection to family, friend, and another relative. For strong social ties, you have to be married with kids in Nigeria. By simple logical reasoning, you and I will agree that a married person is more likely to return to Nigeria after a short stay in the US while a single will have a less social attachment to the country. This is how the consular, mostly view the situation. This doesn’t necessarily mean that it’s only married person that can get a visa as we still have other factors to be considered. We strongly advised that you should take our free visa eligibility test.

What are Economic ties and how does it affect your US visa application?

I simply define your economic ties to Nigeria as your financial and commercial connection to Nigeria. Are you presently employed? Do you earn a reasonable income monthly? Do you have assets and shares? Do you own a registered company? For you to have strong economic ties in the context of this topic, the response to the aforementioned questions must be in affirmative. Not all but the more the better. The least you can do is to be gainfully employed and earn at least $800 per month. You are wondering how I came up with that value. It’s not a magical number, it is the result of partly simple and complicated angle of reasoning. This is how I came up with it, Average flight to the US is $800 and for someone visiting the US on a minimum budget, the flight accounts for about 80 percent of the travel expenses. The other process of reasoning is a little convoluted and for the sake of simplicity, I wouldn’t like to bother you with it. So trust me, a value below the stated monthly income will negatively affect your chances is a success in the application as the consular will assume that you will struggle to afford the trip.

If you have not taken our free visa eligibility test, we advise you do so to properly plan your application.

How does Travel history affect your visa application?

Firstly, traveling for vacation or business from Nigeria to a foreign country is expensive for an average person. A man whose monthly earnings fall below average might not be able to afford a luxurious vacation in a faraway country. Secondly, US embassy prefers when you have been to a country whose immigration is as sophisticated as the US and that you abide by the immigration of not overstaying your visit. They assumed you must have presented enough evidence of economic and financial documents before the country you visited could give you a visa. That on its own assures them that other countries consider you worthy of consideration. Even a visit to Ghana is a plus. The best thing is to go by road, which means you will be passing through two more countries namely TOGO and BENIN, before getting to Ghana. A visit to any European country or Canada is a major boost.

How does your performance at the interview affect your chances of success?

This is the most obvious of the factors. You simply have to speak clearly and comprehensibly. I hate to see people struggling with English at the interview. You would have been asked your preferred language in the DS160 form, I do not know why anyone would chose English when you cannot speak the language. It is not mandatory you go with English, Simply enter your preferred language. They consular always have an interpreter ready to help translate your language. I have seen many people interviewed in Yoruba language and they end up getting the visa. Just be honest with yourself. For whichever language you might have chosen, make sure you practice basic question and answer to make sure you don’t flop. You have about 3 minutes for the interview, so your response should be brief and detailed. Acing the interview shouldn’t be difficult and I am not bluffing because about 80 percent of the questions are the same for a Business and Tourism B1/B2 visa. You just need to practice those questions. Later when I have the time, I will sample question and answers so you can read for your practice. So there is no excuse for not putting on good performance.

Putting it all together…

So far I have discussed how to apply for a US Business and Tourism Visa and I have provide sufficient information on how to ensure that your visa application is successful. I explained that some factors affect the outcome of your visa application and I look into factors such as your previous travel history which account for about 70 percent, while economic, social and interview account for the rest percentage.

If you have not taken our free visa eligibility test, we advise you do so to properly plan your application.

Final Word

Do know that the final decision to issue or deny an application solely relies on the Consular’s discretion, the guideline in this post is a mere strategic movement to tilt the decision in your favor and does not necessarily guarantees a favorable outcome. But you can never be wrong doing the right thing.
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Do you need further assistance?

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