How to get a US visa in Canada (for non-Canadian citizens)


As I have recently received my first visa to the United States, i’d like to share my experience and talk a little more about how I did that.

Getting a USA Visa In Vancouver

First thing I had to do is to fill a short questionnaire online (DS-160). By short I mean 300 questions asking me if I was a rapist, thief, murderer and if I forced anyone vote for a certain candidate or get an abortion. This way, i guess, the criminal check is performed. Also, they have asked how long I want to visit for, where I want to stay and a contact person in the US – I chose my buddy from high-school who lives in NY (I wrote Seattle, WA for my main destination).

After the completion I paid a standard $140 fee and received a 10-character code which I was asked to keep in a safe place. I was also to [electronically] submit a recent face shot with no glasses and neutral facial expression. Then they e-mailed me something that looks sort of like a visa with the picture I submitted and passport details.

Then I went to the US consulate website to book an appointment and select a location where i’d want to pick up my passport. The closest day was in about 2-3 weeks, at 2 pm, and it was modified by me to an earlier date, which I selected after re-visiting the website a few times in the mornings to find that to my advantage people sometimes cancel or reschedule their appointments. I was asked to bring my passport, the visa-looking page (i printed it out) and “any other documentation that I feel would support my cause”. I took a blank with the company header signed by my manager and stating where I work and how much I make. I also brought my diploma and a recent bank statement.

IMPORTANT: There are no electronic devices allowed inside the building. You will go through a metal detector before entering. Guns, knives, lighters, food and drinks are not allowed either. Make sure to get rid of all of this stuff or you will not be permitted to go inside.

Even though my interview was scheduled at 2 pm, there were 15 more people for the same time. When I entered the building I was issued a number for a queue. After an hour wait, the interview took place. Five minutes of conversation with an officer, asking me where I worked, who do I have in Canada, making sure I have reasons to return back. She said [as a resident of a 3rd world country] I needed to pay a “reciprocity” fee of $100.

$240 And three days later, I was picking my passport up right after work from a third-party courier company a few minutes away from my home, and going to mount Baker the next morning.

(Click “Read More” for links)

DS-160 form (questionnaire)

Booking an interview appointment