About The United States Of America
The U.S. is a country of 50 states covering a vast swath of North America, with Alaska in the extreme Northwest and Hawaii extending the nation’s presence into the Pacific Ocean. Major cities include New York, a global finance and culture center, and Washington, DC, the capital, both on the Atlantic Coast; Los Angeles, famed for filmmaking, on the Pacific Coast; and the Midwestern metropolis Chicago.
Capital: Washington, D.C.
Dialing code: +1
ISO code: USA
Population: 318.9 million (2014)
USA Visa Information
What is USA Visa?
A citizen of a foreign country who seeks to enter the United States generally must first obtain a U.S. visa, which is placed in the traveler’s passport, a travel document issued by the traveler’s country of citizenship.
Certain international travelers may be eligible to travel to the United States without a visa if they meet the requirements for visa-free travel. The Visa section of this website is all about U.S. visas for foreign citizens to travel to the United States.
(Note: U.S. citizens don’t need a U.S. visa for travel, but when planning travel abroad may need a visa issued by the embassy of the country they wish to visit.)
How Can I Use a Visa to Enter the United States?
Having a U.S. visa allows you to travel to a port of entry, airport or land border crossing, and request permission of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), Customs and Border Protection (CBP) inspector to enter the United States. While having a visa does not guarantee entry to the United States, it does indicate a consular officer at a U.S. Embassy or Consulate abroad has determined you are eligible to seek entry for that specific purpose. DHS/CBP inspectors, guardians of the nation’s borders, are responsible for admission of travelers to the United States, for a specified status and period of time. DHS also has responsibility for immigration matters while you are present in the United States.
What Types of Visas Are There?
The type of visa you must obtain is defined by U.S. immigration law, and relates to the purpose of your travel. There are two main categories of U.S. visas:
- Nonimmigrant visas – For travel to the United States on a temporary basis. Learn more.
- Immigrant visas – For travel to live permanently in the United States. Learn more.
More Visa Information for United States
A visa waiver program is available for visitors from Andorra, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Brunei, Chile, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Monaco, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Portugal, San Marino, Singapore, Slovakia, Slovenia, South Korea, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Taiwan and the United Kingdom. The visa waiver is valid for a maximum of 90 days.
In order to use the visa waiver program you will need to apply for The Electronic System for Travel Authorization (ESTA). ESTA costs US$14 person and can take up to 72 hours, in most cases an ESTA number is provided almost instantly.
Passport holders from American territories, Bermuda and Canada may visit without a visa.
If you do not have a United States passport expect to be fingerprinted and photographed on entry.
Everyone else can line up at their nearest embassy or consulate. Visas start at US$160 and can take quite some time to sort out.
Other Useful Information
- Further United States Visa Information
- United States Embassies, Consulates and Diplomatic Missions
- Web Sites of Foreign Embassies in the U.S.
- Foreign Consular Offices in the United States
- If you are interested in the green card lottery you can sign up for free at the correct site.
- Information about the Electronic Diversity Visa Lottery
- The United States has a Student Work and Travel Pilot program for nationals from Australia and New Zealand. Student Work and Travel Pilot program