I am a citizen of a West European country who has been in the US before (although only technically, I've crossed the Canadian-US border at Niagara Falls to see the US side of the falls for a few hours and crossed back into Canada afterwards), but because of a trip to North Korea a few years ago (which was done after entering the US on an ESTA and was obviously done for touristic reasons), I'm not allowed to make use of the ESTA system anymore and have to apply for a visa.
I'm planning (if COVID permits) to travel to the US in 2022 to visit a friend where I'll be staying (a US citizen), combined with some road tripping and sightseeing. When I look up information about applying for a B-2 visa, I'd need documents like:
- Proof of ties to my home country
- Proof of financial means
- A letter from my employer stating I have been allowed leave and am expected to return to work
- An invitation letter from my friend stating I can stay over
- Proof of travel history
- Etc. etc.
These documents are clearly all targeted at people living in countries with a high risk of overstaying. I wonder if, in my situation, I also have to do all the effort of obtaining these documents. I mean, if I'm able to afford a trip to China and North Korea, it sounds obvious to me I should also be able to afford a trip to the US.
To be honest, it's a bit silly I have to apply for a visa in the first place, but I guess it's the law so I'll just do it. I wonder however if I need to bother my employer and friend with writing such letters.