Do I need to apply for a US Visa?
First of all, if you want to travel to the US, you must have an electronic passport with your biometric information. And if you are a national citizen of Canada and Bermuda, you can enter the US territory for business or tourism without a visa if your visit lasts less than 90 days. Also, if you are a citizen of the 39 Visa Waiver Countries, like Australia, France, and South Korea, to name a few, you do not need a US Visa if your trip lasts 90 days or less. The law requires anyone who plans to spend more than 3 months in the United States must have a US visa. However, if you are a foreign national from the 39 Visa Waiver Countries, you must go to the US Customs and Borders Protection (CBP) to apply for a pre-entry authorization, which is known as an Electronic System for Travel Authorization (or ESTA). With this document, you are considered as a citizen of the Visa Waiver Program (VWP) country and can get permission to travel without a US Visa if your journey is less than 90 days. However, if you are from a country whose citizens must have a US Visa to be granted permission to travel to the US, then, you must apply for a visa to get there. The US requires citizens from 156 countries to have a US Visa to enter the country. You can find the list of these countries on the internet.
Do I need to apply for a US Visa if I am a citizen of a non-VWP country?
Canadian and Bermuda nationals can travel to the US without an Electronic System for Travel Authorization if their trip is for a short period. Also, they are not required to apply for a nonimmigrant visa. Canadian citizens can travel to the US without a passport. Besides, they are allowed to have a job in the US, using a NEXUS Card or an Enhanced Driver’s License as an identification paper. On the other hand, Bermudian nationals are exempt from visa requirements if they travel to the US for 3 or 6 months. Nationals from the Marshall Islands, Micronesia, and Palau, are equally exempt from Visa application because of “the Compacts of Free Association” that they have contracted with the US. If you are a citizen from any of those islands, you can enjoy unlimited access to the US territory if you are interested in living, studying, and working, or simply traveling there.
How to apply for a US Visa?
The process is dependent on the type of visa you apply for. There are many visa categories and types. Thus, you have to identify the type of your visit and decide on the category and type of your visa, accordingly. The basic process is the same though, as you have to apply for the visa online and schedule an appointment for an interview. The interview can take place at the US Embassy or Consulate of your home country. Here are the steps to follow if you need to apply for a US Visa:
- Go to the US Embassy website and choose the visa category that you need to have. This depends on the type of your visit to the United States
- Fill in the Non-immigrant visa Application Form DS-160. Once the form is completed, you can pay the visa application fee according to the instruction given to you.
- Then, you need to schedule an interview for your visa application. Make sure to check the available time slots, and check the most convenient time for you.
- Get ready to bring any necessary documents for the interview. After the interview, you need to wait for the processing. They will notify you when your visa is ready.
How many categories and how many types of US Visas are there?
In the USA, there are 2 main categories of visas: non-immigrant visa and immigrant visa. A non-immigrant visa is designed for temporary visits. It is appropriate for tourists and business travelers who travel to the US for a temporary period. If you only need to transit in the US, or visit relatives, you need a non-immigrant visa. Also, if you travel to the US as a student or a worker, this is the right visa for you. In contrast, you need to apply for an immigrant visa if you intend to get permanent residence in the country of Uncle Sam.
There are about 185 US Visa types, and the type of visa you need depends strictly on the purpose of your visit. The most popular is B-2, which is for tourism and vacation. If you need to transit in the US, then, you should apply for a C US visa. If you go to the United States for a training program, you apply for an H-3 visa.
To conclude, it is clear that there are many types of US Visas. The purpose of your visit to the United States determines the type of visa you need to apply for. If you plan a journey to the USA, you should not buy your ticket until you have a visa. To help you register for your flight, Onward Ticket can process your documents and you can receive your electronic ticket in 5 minutes.