As of March 2015, travelers to the United States can obtain visa documents online from the U.S. Department of State's website or from U.S. consular offices around the world, according the U.S. government. Potential visitors fill out forms to be submitted online, or at consular offices, and then pay fees.
Travelers complete the DS-160, or Online Nonimmigrant Visa Application, for temporary travel to the United States, says the federal government. This form gets submitted electronically, and the Department of State processes the application based on the information someone puts on the form. Consular offices use this data, along with a personal interview with the applicant, to determine someone's eligibility for this type of visa.
Potential immigrants fill out the DS-260, or Immigrant Visa and Alien Registration Application, notes the U.S. Bureau of Consular Affairs. This form must be completed through the Consular Electronic Application Center. Prospective immigrants log into this service with a National Visa Center case number, invoice identification number and a beneficiary identification number. People then print out a confirmation page and then bring this paper to the visa interview to be held at a consular office.
Nonrefundable fees must accompany some forms, according to the U.S. government. Fees for nonimmigrant visas vary by country. For instance, a travel visa for French citizens costs 152 euros, or approximately $165, as of March 2015. A nonimmigrant visa for Mexican citizens costs $160 for adults.