Visitor Visas - Business and Pleasure

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Overview Visa Waiver Program Qualifying for a Visitor Visa Applying for a Visitor Visa Required Documentation What are the Required Visa Fees? Additional Documentation Do I need a visa if I have an APEC Business Travelers Card? How can I use my ABTC when I apply for my visa? Visa Annotations for Certain Maritime Industry Workers Documentation Needed When Seeking to Travel for Medical Treatment Misrepresentation of a Material Facts, or Fraud Visa Ineligibility/Waiver Additional Information Visa Denials Entering the U.S. - Port of Entry Staying Beyond Your Authorized Stay in the U.S. and Being Out of Status How Do I Extend My Stay? How Do I Change My Status? Further Visa Inquiries


Generally, a citizen of a foreign country who wishes to enter the United States must first obtain a visa, either a nonimmigrant visa for temporary stay, or an immigrant visa for permanent residence. The visa allows a foreign citizen, to travel to the United States port-of entry and request permission of the U.S. immigration inspector to enter the U.S. The "visitor" visa is a nonimmigrant visa for persons desiring to enter the United States temporarily for business (B-1), for pleasure or medical treatment (B-2), or combination of both (B-1/B-2) purposes.

sports and similar events or journalists or other information media. P. Personal or Domestic Employees: Under immigration law.S. if the purpose for your planned travel is to consult with business associates.S. visitor visas are limited to the following circumstances. F. law relate to the legal rights of employment-based nonimmigrants under Federal immigration.Visitor Visas (B-2) . journalists. temporary workers. E. require a nonimmigrant Media (I) visa and cannot travel to . vacation (holiday). in musical. for a different purpose such as students.S. engaging in that vocation while in the U. and participation by amateurs. who is visiting or is assigned to the United States temporarily. For more information regarding travel and tourism in the United States please visitDiscoverAmerica. should you need additional information about business related (B-1) visitor visas. etc. or conference on specific dates. then this would be permitted on a visitor visa. After reviewing this website information.S. medical treatment. OR 2) A foreign citizen employer in the United States in B. but want to take a short course of study which is recreational (and not for credit towards a degree). J. social. who will receive no remuneration. Protections and Resources pamphlet on ourwebpage. select Business Travel to the United States – What Type of U. before your interview.. primarily for tourism. H. citizen employer having a permanent home or is stationed in a foreign country. crewmen. activities of a fraternal. If you are going to the U.S. travel for a scientific. O. and your supporting documentation. Important Notice: Recent changes to U. for personal or domestic employee purposes of travel to the U. Tourism. and employment laws.. settle an estate. Visa Will You Need. visits with friends or relatives. or negotiate a contract. If you are taking a course of study which is 18 hours or more a week.S. or service nature. educational. Note: Representatives of the foreign press. for a personal or domestic employee who accompanies or follow to join: 1) A U. then a business visitor visa (B1) would be the appropriate type of visa for your travel.. film.S. to attend seminars or conferences for credit towards a degree. including tourism.As examples.Business Visitor Visas (B-1) .For example. and there is no credit earned.S. labor. M. then you’ll need a student visa.S. then a visitor visa (B-2) would be the appropriate type of visa for your travel. L. you will need a student visa. A visitor (B-1) visa is appropriate when all eligibility requirements are met. radio. and the course is less than 18 hours per week. Medical Treatment . if the purpose of your planned travel is recreational in nature. rest. must apply for a different visa in the appropriate category. if you are taking a vacation to the U. Persons planning to travel to the U. As an example. As a personal or domestic employee seeking to come to the U. or Q nonimmigrant visa status. temporarily (on a B-1 Visitor Visa). this is permitted on a visitor visa. A consular officer will determine the visa category you will need based on the purpose of your travel. it is important that you review the Nonimmigrant Rights. I. professional or business convention. and during this vacation you would like to take a two-day cooking class for your enjoyment. Pleasure. When traveling to the U.S. amusement.

Currently.S. Select Visa Waiver Program to learn more. as shown below: Visa Waiver Program . without a visa if they meet the visa waiver program requirements. for tourism or business for 90 days or less from qualified countries may be eligible to visit the U. at the port of entry. seeking admission by the DHS immigration inspector.S. using a visitor visa and cannot travel on the visa waiver program. The Department of State’s recommended first source of visa information is this Visa Services internet site. at the U. it is also recommended that you review the Embassy Consular internet site.Participating Countries Andorra Australia Austria Belgium Brunei Czech Republic Denmark Estonia Finland France Germany Greece Hungary Iceland Ireland Italy Japan Latvia New Zealand Norway Portugal San Marino Singapore Slovakia Liechtenstein Slovenia Lithuania Malta Monaco the Netherlands South Korea Sweden Switzerland United Kingdom Luxembourg Spain . for the country where you will be applying for your visa.S. 35 countries participate in the Visa Waiver Program. and find out if you meet the visa waiver requirements. As explained below. Visa Waiver Program Travelers coming to the U.the U.S.

limited period. so early visa application is strongly encouraged. The consular officer at the embassy or consulate will determine whether you qualify for the visa. Embassy or Consulate with jurisdiction over their place of permanent residence. Visa wait times for interview appointments and visa processing time information for each U. review embassy specific instructions. As part of the visa application process. an ink-free. and That they have a residence outside the U. Learn how to schedule an appointment for an interview. The presumption in the law is that every visitor visa applicant is an intending immigrant.S. Although visa applicants may apply at any U. Visa applications are now subject to a greater degree of review than in the past so it is important to apply for your visa well in advance of your travel departure date. it may be more difficult to qualify for the visa outside the country of permanent residence.S.Qualifying for a Visitor Visa There are specific requirements which must be met by applicants to qualify for a visitor visa under provisions of the Immigration and Nationality Act. Evidence of compelling social and economic ties abroad. for business. During the visa application process. pay the application processing fee. an interview at the embassy consular section is required for visa applicants from age 14 through 79. unless requested by embassy or consulate. with few exceptions. digital fingerprint scan will be quickly taken. Persons age 13 and younger. Required Documentation . consular office abroad. usually at the interview.S. Evidence of funds to cover expenses in the United States. which takes additional time after the visa applicant’s interview by a Consular Officer. applicants for visitor visas must overcome this presumption by demonstrating that:      The purpose of their trip is to enter the U. and on most embassy websites. Embassy or Consulate worldwide is available on our website at Visa Wait Times. Therefore. pleasure. or medical treatment.S.S. and age 80 and older. The waiting time for an interview appointment for applicants can vary. That they plan to remain for a specific. Embassy or Consulate website where you will apply. Applying for a Visitor Visa Applicants for visitor visas should generally apply the U. Making your appointment for an interview is the first step in the visa application process. generally do not require an interview. and much more by visiting the U. Some visa applications require furtheradministrative processing.S. as well as other binding ties that will insure their return abroad at the end of the visit.

Additional Documentation It is important that you refer to the Embassy Consular Section web site to determine visa processing timeframes and instructions. Please consult the Visa Reciprocity Tables to find out if you must pay a visa issuance reciprocity fee and what the fee amount is.For current fees for Department of State government services select Fees. What are the Required Visa Fees?  Nonimmigrant visa application processing fee . If more than one person is included in the passport. and arrangements made to cover the costs of the trip may be provided.  Visa issuance fee – Additionally.  One (1) 2x2 photograph. must present convincing evidence that an interested person will provide support. each person desiring a visa must make an application. Embassy or Consulate. Applicants must demonstrate that they are properly classifiable as visitors under U.   Those applicants who do not have sufficient funds to support themselves while in the U. Learn more by contacting the U. law by:  Evidence which shows the purpose of the trip. Depending on individual circumstances. if applicable. Form DS-160. there will be an additional visa issuance reciprocity fee.S. Do I need a visa if I have an APEC Business Travelers Card? . when you come for your visa interview. such as family ties or employment. It is impossible to specify the exact form the documentation should take since applicants' circumstances vary greatly. Visit our DS-160 webpage to learn more about the DS-160 online process.S. You will need to provide a receipt showing the visa application processing fee has been paid.Each applicant for a visitor visa must submit these forms and documentation as explained below:   Online Nonimmigrant Visa Electronic Application. applicants may provide other documentation substantiating the trip's purpose and specifying the nature of binding obligations. See the required photo format explained inPhotograph Requirements. and find out if there are any additional documentation items required. which would compel their return abroad. 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 (unless country-specific agreements provide exemptions). if the visa is issued.S. learn about interview scheduling. intent to depart the United States.

you will still need a visa to travel to the United States unless you qualify for the Visa Waiver Program. . or the visa process for travel to the U.S. 2011. How can I use my ABTC when I apply for my visa? You will still need to be interviewed.” Maritime industry workers whose visas are not annotated will not be permitted by the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) to apply for a TWIC. The maritime industry worker must present this letter when he/she applies for the B-1 visa.tsa. the Departments of State and Homeland Security introduced an annotated version of the B-1 visa. Visa applicants must meet all other eligibility requirements for B-1 visas. Complete information about the TWIC program is available on TSA’s website athttp://www. issued to foreign citizens visiting the United States for business purposes that will make foreign maritime workers eligible to apply for a Transportation Worker Identification Credential (TWIC).S.When Seeking to Travel for Medical Treatment In addition to all of the documentation requirements explained above. for medical treatment should be prepared to present the following. your visa the following documentation is also required. a maritime industry worker must obtain a letter from his/her employer explaining the need for a TWIC and that he/she is a potential TWIC applicant. explaining the nature of the ailment and the reason the applicant requires treatment in the United States. since U. Check the U.S. Maritime industry workers who will perform services in secure port areas must have their visas annotated “TWIC Letter Received. Holders of the ABTC will be eligible to participate in the U.S. in addition to any other documentation the consular officer may require:  Medical diagnosis from a local physician. law requires visa interviews in most cases and having the Asian-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Business Travelers Card (ABTC) does not exempt travelers from this requirement.Yes. Review theFrequently Asked Questions for participants in APEC meetings in the United States. Documentation Needed . for persons seeking medical treatment in the U. Travelers are advised that possession of the APEC Business Travelers Card (ABTC) will not change visa requirements.S. Embassy or Consulate business facilitation programs. Embassy or Consulate website where you will apply for instructions on how to request an expedited interview appointment. Visa Annotations for Certain Maritime Industry Workers Effective February 1. Click here for a template example of this letter.: Persons desiring to travel to the U. Review the Frequently Asked Questions for participants in APEC meetings in the United States.S. which offer expedited visa interview appointments. In order for the visa to be annotated.

expressing a willingness to treat this specific ailment and detailing the projected length and cost of treatment (including doctors’ fees. hospitalization fees. often in the form of bank or other statements of income/savings or certified copies of income tax returns. Therefore final travel plans or the purchase of non-refundable tickets should not be made until a visa has been issued. The individuals guaranteeing payment of these expenses must provide proof of ability to do so. do not remove the visa page from the expired passport. the applicant may apply again if there is new evidence to overcome the basis for the refusal. or Fraud Attempting to obtain a visa by the willful misrepresentation of a material fact. Classes of Aliens Ineligible to Receive Visas provides important information about ineligibilities.S. Misrepresentation of a Material Facts.S. for medical treatment should have a statement from a doctor or institution concerning proposed medical treatment. Unless previously canceled.  Statement of financial responsibility from the individuals or an organization that will pay for the patient’s transportation. visa in an expired passport.  Visitors are not permitted to accept employment during their stay in the U. if the traveler has a valid U. Visa Ineligibility/Waiver Certain activities can make you ineligible for a U. The Nonimmigrant Visa Application. and all medical-related expenses). by reviewing sections of the law taken from the immigration and Nationality Act. . In some instances an applicant who is ineligible. For additional information.S. Visa Denials If the consular officer should find it necessary to deny the issuance of a visitor visa. may result in the permanent refusal of a visa or denial of entry into the United States.S.S. law to receive visas. or fraud. Letter from a physician or medical facility in the United States. but who is otherwise properly classifiable as a visitor. Classes of Aliens Ineligible to Receive Visas provides important information about ineligibilities. Persons traveling to the U. a visa is valid until its expiration date. may apply for a waiver of ineligibility and be issued a visa if the waiver is approved. Additional Information   No assurances regarding the issuance of visas can be given in advance. You may use it along with a new valid passport for travel and admission to the United States. Form DS-156 lists categories persons who are ineligible under U. Therefore. medical and living expenses. visa.

Port of Entry A visa allows a foreign citizen coming from abroad. generally in your country of nationality. How Do I Change My Status? .. it’s very important to keep in your passport. Upon arrival (at an international airport. on or before the last day you are authorized to be in the U. will cause you to be out-of-status.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officials have authority to permit or deny admission to the United States. as well as information related to restrictions about bringing food.S. Under this provision of immigration law. .S. Form I-94. on any given trip. U. In advance of travel. based on the specified end date on your Arrival-Departure Record.S. seaport or land border crossing).S. prospective travelers should review important information about Admissions/Entryrequirements. Since Form I-94 documents your authorized stay in the U. and may cause you to be ineligible for a visa in the future for return travels to the U. In the absence of new evidence.S.  Staying unlawfully in the United States beyond the date Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officials have authorized--even by one day--results in your visa being automatically voided. in accordance with INA 222(g). Customs and Border Protection website.S. The Department of Homeland Security. if you overstay on your nonimmigrant authorized stay in the U. you will be enrolled in the US-VISIT entry-exit program. your visa will be automatically voided. you are required to reapply for a new nonimmigrant visa. If you are allowed to enter the U. to travel to the United States port-of entry and request permission to enter the U.agricultural products or other restricted/prohibited goods explained on the Department of Homeland Denials to learn more. How Do I Extend My Stay? Visitors who wish to stay beyond the date indicated on their Form I-94 are required to have approval by USCIS. Failure to depart the U.. consular officers are not obliged to reexamine such cases.S.  Staying beyond the period of time authorized by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and being out-of-status in the United States is a violation of U.S.S. Entering the U. See Extend Your Stay on the USCIS website. immigration laws.. Select Classes of Aliens Ineligible to Receive Visas to learn more.S. the CBP official will determine the length of your visit on the Arrival-Departure Record (Form I-94). Staying Beyond Your Authorized Stay in the U. and Being Out of Status  It is important that you depart the U.S. Applicants should be aware that a visa does not guarantee entry into the United States. In this situation.

See Change My Nonimmigrant Status on the USCIS website.S. while present in the U. you should first contact the U.S. does not by itself require the visa holder to apply for a new visa. Embassy or Consulate handling your case for status information.state. http://travel.S. while USCIS processes your change of status request. Very often you will find the information you need. Before submitting your inquiry.S.. you will need to apply for a nonimmigrant visa at a U. and you can choose the Embassy or Consulate Internet site you need to contact. Important Note: Filing a request with USCIS for approval of change of status before your authorized stay expires. Embassy or Consulate abroad. we request that you carefully review this web site and also the Embassy Consular web site abroad. Further Visa Inquiries  Questions on visa application procedures and visa ineligibilities should be made to the American consular office abroad by the applicant.  If your inquiry concerns a visa case in progress overseas. Embassy or Consulate. while you remain in the U. Select U. are able to file a request which must be approved by USCIS to change to another nonimmigrant category.S.Some nonimmigrant visa We Want You to Know        Visa News Adoption Alerts Diversity Visa Visa Waiver Program (VWP) Business Visa Center Customer Service Statement To Visa Applicants Fraud Warning .S. if you cannot remain in the U.. However.

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