My brother went to the U.S. on an F-1 visa in 2006. He got a job in 2008 and changed his visa status to H-1B. Now, he is coming to India this month and has asked us to book a visa date. Please let us know the details of the fee for the visa application.

To apply for an H-1B visa, your brother will have to pay the visa application (MRV) fee of $150 and the VFS service charge.

This amount can be paid at a designated HDFC Bank in Indian Rupees at the current Consular exchange rate. For additional information, please visit our website, http://hyderabad.usconsulate.gov/visa_services/fees.html. All H and L visa applicants must submit required documents four business days prior to their visa interview date, as mentioned on our website: http://hyderabad.

usconsulate.gov/

advance_doc_

submission2.html.

I am planning to visit my daughter, who is in the US, during July 2011. Can I submit my application for my B1/B2 visa with supporting documents of sponsorship by my son-in-law in April 2011, when my intended date of travel to USA is 30 July 2011?

Sulochana Tallavajhala

It's a great idea to plan ahead. When you come for an interview is up to you, of course, but you should submit your application and schedule your interview well in advance of your planned travel to the United States. Please don't wait until a few weeks before you intend to travel. Note that there is no requirement of sponsorship for B1/B2 visas. For information on how to apply for a visa and document requirements, please visit our website, http://hyderabad.

usconsulate.gov.

I am planning to visit the United States along with my wife for attending our son's graduation ceremony during May 2011. Please let me know the documents (in particular financial status related) required to be submitted while attending the VISA interview.

Cherukuri

For a tourist (B1/B2) visa, the only documents the Consulate General requires from visa applicants are as follows: Applicant's valid passport (and old passports), DS-160 confirmation page (with readable barcode), recent photograph, blue HDFC receipt (in the correct amount), and his or her VFS appointment letter.

Applicants must bring these with them to their interview. Applicants may also wish to bring documentation that supports their case or demonstrates their economic and social ties to India.

American law does not require sponsorship for a tourist visa application, and Consular Officers often make a determination without consulting any documents at all. Every applicant must qualify based on his or her own circumstances as described in the interview.

In evaluating a visa application, the Consular Officer generally focuses on the applicant's economic and familial ties to India along with other factors such as prior travel to other countries.

Consular Officers are required by law to view each visa applicant as intending to immigrate to the U.S. until the applicant demonstrates otherwise.

Evidence may come in many forms, but when considered together, it must be enough for the interviewing officer to conclude that the applicant's overall circumstances, including social, family, economic and other ties abroad, will compel him or her to leave the United States at the end of a temporary stay.

‘Ties' are the various aspects of life that bind one to one's place of residence, such as family relationships, employment and possessions.

As each person's situation is different, there is no single answer as to what constitutes adequate ties.