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Visa Policies and Guidance

Requirements to enter the United States

Visa

A visa is an endorsement that allows a foreign national to enter, leave or stay for a specified period of time in the U.S. A U.S. consular officer will issue the visa after determining that the applicant is eligible under a specific visa classification.

Visa Waiver

The Visa Waiver Program (VWP) allows citizens of participating countries and markets to travel to the United States without a visa for stays of 90 days or less when they meet all requirements. These travelers must be from a VWP country, have a valid Electronic System for Travel Authorization (ESTA) approval prior to travel, arrive on an approved carrier if traveling by air or sea, be visiting for pleasure/medical/business purposes and be able to prove they are not inadmissible. These visitors still are required to have a passport. Visitors may apply for ESTA here. Click here for additional information on the new data elements and ESTA system.

Additional Visa Information

Questions on embassy-specific visa application procedures and questions on visa ineligibilities should be addressed to the U.S. embassy or consulate where you will be applying. Please be sure to check travel.state.gov, which has complete information about the U.S. visa process. Very often you will find the information you need.

New ESTA Requirements

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has established additional fields of information in the travel application submitted via the Electronic System for Travel Authorization (ESTA) for those seeking to travel to the United States from participants in our Visa Waiver Program (VWP).

Additional information on the new data elements and on the ESTA system can be found here.