How to apply for US visitor visa from Canada? All in detail...

I immigrated to Canada under the Federal Skilled Worker Program on February 26th, 2010. This program granted me with permanent residency since the day I landed.

I wanted to visit the United States of America; but as a Canadian Resident (not yet a citizen) I was required to get a US visitor visa.

Merely 20 months after my relocation to Canada I applied for a visitor visa and I got it. I was granted a single entry visa which I used to visit Florida during Christmas time in 2011.

A few months later I applied again for a visitor visa and I got another single entry visa. This time I went to visit New York City on July 2012.

Both times I got a single entry visa. I think this had to do with the fact that I am of Cuban birth and you know, the governments of Cuba and the US have kept some animosity for more than half a century. I think most people actually get a multi entry visa, but this was not my case.

I have to say I was lucky: The Americans not only granted me 2 single entry visas, but on top of that they allowed me to enter the US once without a visa. Yes, you heard right, without a visa. This was quite an exceptional situation and I don't think they do it often. Read the whole story here.

Time has passed and I no longer require a visa to visit the US, because I am now a Canadian Citizen. Nonetheless, I got married and my wife is also a Cuban immigrant. At this time she is a Canadian Resident and because of that she requires a visitor visa to enter the US.

So, she applied for a visitor visa and she got it on March 2016. She was luckier than me. She got a multi entry visa valid for 10 years!

Enough of blah, blah, blah. The purpose of this article is to share my experiences in this regard. I would love if you show your appreciation by clicking the Google Plus (G+)  button at the beginning of this post.

Now, for the real stuff keep reading...

Visitor Visas allow you to enter the US temporarily: that’s why they are called nonimmigrant visas. These visas come in two flavors:
  • Business Visitor Visas (B-1)
  • Pleasure, Tourism, Medical Treatment - Visitor Visas (B-2)
In my case, I applied for a B-2 visa, since the purpose of my visit to the US was mainly recreational.

Step 1: You need to fill an Online Nonimmigrant Visa Electronic Application, Form DS-160. Don’t let the name scare you. You simply go to this website and fill in the information required as you go. There is a lot of information that you need to provide.  If you need to stop one day, then you can resume the filling process at the next day.
In this step you will be asked to upload a recent digital picture(s) of the applicant(s). For information about the photo requirements go here. When I filled my own applications I got my photos taken at Blacks. Blacks went out of business recently, so my wife took her pictures at a Walmart in Toronto.
It is important to get a digital picture and a printed picture. The digital picture will be given to you in a CD and the printed picture, well, in paper. Make sure you ask for both the "digital picture" and the "printed picture".
When you complete your DS-160 application online you will be given a confirmation page. You have to print that confirmation page and present it at the time of the interview. The confirmation page contains a bar code that should be legible; so make sure you have a good printer at hand.

Important: you need to complete step 1 before proceeding to step 2.

Step 2: You need to pay a fee for your visa application and then you have to schedule an appointment for your visa interview.  The fee for a B-2 visa is $160 USD. To fulfill this step you need to login (register) at this website: https://ais.usvisa-info.com/en-ca/niv

Once logged into your account, you will need to provide some basic information and then, you should be able to pay your visa fee online[1] (Paypal, Credit Card) and schedule the interview (you have to choose date, time and place[2]). 
[1] It is not mandatory to pay online; for a full list of fee payment options consult this URL: https://ais.usvisa-info.com/en-ca/niv/information/fee

[2] The visa interview can be scheduled in any of the following US Consulates: Calgary, Halifax, Montréal, Québec City, and Toronto or in the US Embassy in Ottawa. For addresses click the following link: https://ca.usembassy.gov/embassy-consulates/.
You will be asked to print a receipt after you have completed the fee payment. Make sure you print this receipt, since you will have to present it at the time of the interview.

When you complete step 2, the website will give you the option to print a Confirmation and Instructions document. Print it, since I was asked for it the day of the interview.

What do you need to bring the day of the interview?
  • A passport valid for at least 6 month beyond the applicant's intended period of stay in the US.
  • Your Canadian Permanent Resident card.
  • The confirmation page with the bar code (step 1).
  • The receipt of your visa fee payment (step 2).
  • The Confirmation and Instructions (step 2). 
  • One 5 x 5 cm (or 2" x 2") color photo taken within the last 6 months (this is the "printed" photo I was talking about earlier)
  • All the documents you think might support your case (in my case I gathered my work contract, bank statements, pay stubs, Option "C" Printout)
Important, make sure you read carefully the Confirmation and Instructions document. It contains all the required documents that you must bring with you the day of the interview. Don't rely on the information of this blog, since it might go outdated at anytime.

Ah, make sure you don't bring your cellphone, music player or any other electric device to the interview. You won't be allowed to enter the Consular Section with them. You will have to leave them outside of the facility, they won't hold them for you.
Take a look at the existing comments: there’s a lot of useful information in there that complements what I have written in the body of this post.

Please, note that I am a regular person, not an immigration or legal adviser. I am only posting here the facts about my own experience.

Good luck!