What do you need to travel to USA? - ESTAForm.org

What do you need to travel to USA?

In this article

If you are planning to visit the US in the future, it is important to understand what you need to be able to travel to the country. From having the right travel documents, to providing documents such as bank statements , this guidance should help you to make your travel plans.

Travel Authorization

Any non-US citizens entering the country will be required to have the appropriate travel authorization. This differs depending on which country you are a citizen of and also the purposes of yout travel to the US.

If you are from a country that is a member of the Visa Waiver Program then you are able to apply for an ESTA, which stands for Electronic System for Travel Authorization.

There are currently 40 countries that are members of the Visa Waiver Program, so if you are from one of those countries, applying for an ESTA is possible if you are going to the US for tourism, business or medical purposes and your stay is for less than 90 days.

Applying for a US visa

Alternatively, to visit the US you may need to apply for a visa. There are many different types of US visas, including tourism visas and ones related to a type of employment in the US. For example, there are visas for seasonal temporary workers. There are also student visas, and visas for skilled workers.

The process of applying for a US visa involves visiting the US embassy, completing the required paperwork and providing the requested documentation. For example, if you are applying for a student visa, you would be required to provide evidence that you have been offered a place at the college, and also that you have the financial means to pay for the fees and living costs whilst you are on the course.

When you arrive at the US border you will be required to show your travel documents, so if you have an ESTA it will be electronically linked to your passport, or you will need to present your visa. As with standard international travel, you will be required to present a valid passport to enter the US border, whether you are flying or traveling by land or sea.

For anyone who wants to stay permanently in the US, they would be looking to apply for an immigrant visa for permanent residency. There is strict criteria around who is able to apply for this and the immigration policies have been made even stricter in the last few years.

Again, the application for an immigration visa varies depending on what country you are a citizen of and your reason for entering the US. It may be that you have married a US citizen, for example, or it could be that another member of your family is a permanent US citizen and you want to join them. You will be required to provide legal documents to prove the relationship/marriage etc. Any applicant must match the criteria for being granted permanent residency and the process can be very lengthy, in some cases it can take years to get processed.

Written by Abisola Fikayomi

Abisola is an accomplished writer interested in US Travel, immigration, passports and visas. She’s passionate about exploring new places and cultures and willing to share her experiences, expertize and findings with others. That is her primary drive for specialising in this industry.



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