Do I need a Visa for entering the US?
Most people like to travel legally. It saves all the hassle of being deported, tasting the chosen country’s prison hospitality, and having those awkward conversations with customs officials.
The US is no different from anywhere else, and despite the country having some difficulty with its land-based borders, the authorities have no problems weeding out illegal entrants at the airports. Anyone thinking about travelling to the US for whatever reason is going to need a visa.
What is a visa?
A visa is a piece of paper that says someone has permission to apply for entry to the US. The US Consulate figures out if that person has the eligibility to travel and under which US visa classification.
Does everyone need a visa?
Everyone needs a visa, mainly a visitor visa, although there are exceptions for people from countries included in the ESTA Visa Waiver Programme. A total of 37 countries currently participate in the VWP, as listed on the websitetravel.state.gov. The UK is included in this list. You can find out more about UK ESTA Visa Waivers here estafasttrack.org.uk
How do I get a visitor visa?
Making an application to is the only way to get a visa. Anyone aged between 14-79 years will be asked to go for an interview at the embassy, and it is one of those occasions when it will not be funny to give silly or smart answers. The US takes immigration very seriously.
Anyone planning to go to the US should apply for a visa as soon as they know, because it can take a very long time for the interview to happen. To make an application, it is best to use the online service at travel.state.gov, answer all the questions as accurately as possible, and then schedule an appointment for an interview immediately. There is also an application processing fee to pay. In order to be certain that all the right information has been included on the application, it is a good idea to check out the specific instructions from the embassy involved.
What kind of visa will I need?
The type of visa depends on the reason for travel, so a father taking his family on its first holiday abroad will be looking at a visitor visa. There are different visas for different types of trip, so the best place to look at this information is the above-mentioned website. The main differentiation is between tourism or temporary business travel, and studying or temporary employment, but there are others that should be looked at, just in case they are more suitable.
What else do I need to know?
There is a great deal of information out there and people are not always clear about what they do not know unless they ask. It is therefore best to contact the US embassy that is going to receive the application in order to check things such as how to apply, and what might prevent a successful visa application. Eligibility can be affected by all kinds of things, including criminal convictions and previous destinations of travel. It is best to read up on the US visa application process first, and then start contacting embassies.
Read also: Electronic System for Travel Authorization or visum usa-ESTA.