Who can apply ?
The "visitor" visa is a nonimmigrant visa for persons desiring to enter the United States temporarily for business (B1) or for pleasure or medical treatment (B-2). Persons planning to travel to the U.S. for a different purpose such as students, temporary workers, crewmen, journalists, etc., must apply for a different visa in the appropriate category.Travelers from certain eligible countries may also be able to visit the U.S. without a visa on the Visa Waiver Pilot Program.
Documents needed: Application form DS 156
Supplemental FormDSP 157
A passport valid for travel to the United States and with a validity date at least six months beyond the applicant's intended period of stay in the United States. If more than one person is included in the passport, each person desiring a visa must make an application;
Two photographs 1 and 1/2 inches square (37x37 mm) for each applicant, showing full face, without head covering, against a light background.
Visa Waiver Pilot Program for visitor visasHave a valid passport issued by the participating country and be a citizen (not only a resident) of that country;
The Visa Waiver Pilot Program (VWPP) enables citizens of participating countries to travel to the U.S. for tourism or business for 90 days or less without obtaining a U.S. visa.
Currently there are 29 participating countries in the VWPP, including: Andorra, Austria, Australia, Belgium, Brunei, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, Monaco, The Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Portugal, San Marino, Singapore, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, the United Kingdom and Uruguay. The Attorney General has approved Greece for inclusion in the VWPP. There are, however, some additional steps that must be taken before citizens of Greece can travel to the United States without a visa.
To qualify, travelers from participating countries must:
Be seeking entry for 90 days or less as a temporary visitor;
If entering by air or sea, have a round-trip transportation ticket issued on a carrier that has signed an agreement with the U.S. government to participate in the waiver program, and arrive in the United States aboard such a carrier.
Have proof of financial solvency and hold a completed and signed visa waiver arrival/departure form (I-94W), on which he/she has waived the right to a hearing of exclusion or deportation. These forms will be available from participating carriers, from travel agents, and at land-border ports-of-entry. (Travelers should consult carriers before departure to verify which ones are participating.)
Entry at a land border crossing point from Canada or Mexico is permitted under the VWPP. Travelers who apply for entry at a land border crossing point are not required to present round-trip transportation tickets or arrive at the border entry point aboard a carrier who has signed an agreement with the U.S. to participate in the VWPP. All other VWPP requirements apply to such travelers.
Visitors applying for entry under this program are allowed to remain 90 days (no extensions granted) and cannot change their status. Consistent with regulations pertaining to B1/B2 temporary visitor visas, travelers coming under the VWPP cannot work or study.
Certain travelers still need to apply for a visa, such as those who plan to work or study, stay more than 90 days, or who might otherwise be ineligible for a visa. Travelers previously denied visas, or who have criminal records, or who believe they may be ineligible for a visa, should contact the nearest U.S. Embassy or Consulate before attempting to travel on the VWPP.
Where to apply if you need a visa issued before travel:
A visa processing U.S. embassy or consulate.
Instructions and Forms:
Go to Forms page
| Do-it-yourself Application Kit-visa package
Contents: Visa extension form I-538.
Sample Forms: INS Forms: I-134, I-538, Consular Form DS-156 WITH DETAILED INSTRUCTIONS.
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