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US Tourist Visa: Do I need a Travel Visa for USA?

All foreign citizens are required to have a valid permission or a tourist visa to legally enter the United States.

Most applicants know the visa categories under various names:
Travel visa and visitor visa enter in the same category (B2), while the business visa (B1) is a different one that requires different application proof.

tourist visa for usa

Citizens from the 38 Visa Waiver countries can apply for an online ESTA travel authorization: United Kingdom, 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, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Portugal, Republic of Korea, San Marino, Singapore, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and Taiwan.Citizens of countries not included in this list must made a different application for a standart visa to the USA.

Citizens of countries that are not part of the Visa Waiver are not eligible to apply for an online ESTA. Ineligible ESTA nationals that intend to travel to United States for business or tourism, must present a tourist or business visa application at the nearest Embassy or Consulate of United States of America and prepare for an interview.There are two main types of short term visas:

B2 Tourist visa, issued to applicants travelling for leisure purpose;

B1 Business Visa, issued to applicants travelling for business purposes.


Visitor Visa: B2 Travel Visa and B1 Work Visa Requirements

The application process includes making an application, after which you must schedule an interview at the US Embassy or Consulate of the applicant’s country of residence. However, children under the age of 13 and seniors over the age of 80 are generally not required to go through the interview stage.

Note: Unlike the ESTA, the visa waiting and processing time is much longer. We strongly advise to start preparing the required documentation as soon as possible.

Following are the document that all applicants must prepare for their visa interview:

  • A valid passport
  • A nonimmigrant visa application
  • Payment receipt of the application
  • Personal photo

Take note that these are the general documentation requirements. Each applicant might be required to bring additional evidence such as:

  • The purpose of the trip
  • Proof of intent to leave the US, after the reason for your visit
  • Your financial coverage during your stay in the US

After you have gone through the interview, your visa application case may require further administrative processing of details. You will be contacted by a consular officer in such cases.

Once the visa is issued, you will be contacted to go and recollect it.

The visitor visa or tourist visa  will be stamped on one of the pages of your passport, which means that one of the requirements is to have at least 2 empty pages within the passport.

Once in the States, a CBP officer will provide you with an admission stamp or the I-94 paper, which represents your official Arrival/Departure record. You may remain in the US within the dates, indicated on this paper and must leave the country before/on the indicated departure date.


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