Have you ever wanted to apply for a US tourist visa, but have been hampered by horror stories of being denied one? Ever wondered what it is the consular officers are looking for in a visa application to actually approve it? Why do very similar (sometimes even identical) applications get different results? Anyone who wants to travel to the United States (US) as a tourist needs to have a valid US tourist or B1/B2 visa to enter the country. Sadly, for most people, applying for a US tourist visa has always been shrouded in mystery and fear — what with all the myths, urban legends and half-truths going around about the visa application process. Rumours of a particular consular officer at a particular window at the embassy who never approves any visa application; or consular officers who base their decisions on their mood for that day, day of the week, or the applicant’s nationality, appearance, etc. make applying for a tourist visa more daunting than it should be. Basic Requirement – Proving Strong Ties We’ll tackle the myths about the visa application process in deeper detail in another article, but for now, I think the more important question in your mind is this: “ How do I qualify for a U.S. tourist visa?” Without the legalese, the important thing to remember is that consular officers decide on visa applications based on this simple question: “ Does the applicant have strong ties to their country of origin?” If you can prove this point to the consular officer interviewing you at the window, he or she will have to issue you that elusive tourist visa.