Also known as a "visitor visa," a "tourist visa" is the least complex of all the visas you can acquire for a visit to the United States. Because the U.S. government presumes that you are coming to America only for pleasure or personal reasons and only for a limited duration, it does not conduct an extensive inquiry into your background. The government will, however, remain perpetually suspicious about whether you are simply using this as a ruse to enter the country and then to remain here illegally thereafter.

So if you are coming to America to visit the Grand Canyon, be prepared to show your itinerary or travel tickets to that destination when you go to the U.S. Embassy. Similarly, if you need a visa to go to your friend's college graduation, having a copy of the invitation or announcement with the date and place will help verify your claims to the U.S. bureautron behind the counter.

In general, the technical requirements for this kind of visa are slight, and you should rely on your common sense to get through the application process. Just think of what you would want to see as proof of the reason for your trip and your intent to return home afterwards.

But before you spend all day in line at the U.S. Embassy, check out the Visa Waiver Pilot Program to see if you can waive even this low-level paperwork.

SoYouWanna know more? Check out our full-length article SYW get a visa?