When you come from a nation other than the United States and wish to visit Illinois or another part of the country on a temporary basis, you will typically first need to secure a visitor visa. To obtain one of these nonimmigrant visas, you will first need to navigate the application process, and this generally entails filling out an online application and then participating in a subsequent interview.

According to the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Consular Affairs, just about everyone over 13 years of age and under 80 who wishes to secure a visitor visa must go through the visa interview process. To schedule one, you will typically need to contact the U.S. embassy or consulate in the nation where you live, and you will also need to pay the nonrefundable visa application fee before moving forward with the interview.

Once you have your interview scheduled, you will need to gather certain documentation ahead of it. First, you will need to produce a valid passport that will remain valid at least six months after you plan to leave the United States. You should also come prepared to furnish proof of paying your application fee, and you will also need to produce a valid and recent photo of yourself.

You may, too, depending on circumstances, need to furnish additional documentation at your visa interview. For example, you may need to produce documents showing why you need to take the trip, how you plan to finance the trip or when you plan to depart the United States after your trip.

This copy about what you need to do to prepare for your visa interview is meant for informational purposes only and is not a substitute for legal advice.