The USA is a unique country with all the diversity of people, cultures, and languages. There is a lot to discover and learn about the United States. However, the United States of America has its popularity when it comes to traveling to the US when you need to obtain a visa.
Since millions of people are trying to immigrate to the US every year, the US has a different, comprehensive, and on-point formal visa system for the non-Americans. If you are looking to get your visa stamp on your passport with ease and enter the United States. This article is just for you!
There are a number of visa programs available for the US. You should be checking each one of them to see which one fits the most to your situation. Only, then you should be applying for a US visa.
Generally speaking, the majority of the world needs a visa to be eligible to enter the US. Of course, there are some exceptions for the citizens of some specific countries. Nevertheless, here is a list of countries that needs to obtain a visa to be eligible for entering the US.
Afghanistan, Albania, Algeria, Angola, Antigua and Barbuda, Argentina, Armenia, Aruba, Azerbaijan, Bahamas, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Barbados, Belarus, Belize, Benin, Bhutan, Bolivia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Botswana, Brazil, Bulgaria, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cambodia, Cameroon, Cape Verde, Central African Republic, Chad, hina, Colombia, Comoros, Congo Democratic Republic, Costa Rica, Cote d’Ivoire, Croatia, Cuba, Cyprus, Djibouti, Dominica, Dominican Republic, East Timor, Ecuador, Egypt, El Salvador, Equatorial Guinea, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Federated States of Micronesia, Fiji, Gabon, Gambia, Georgia, Ghana, Grenada, Guatemala, Guinea, Guinea Bissau, Guyana, Haiti, Honduras, India, Indonesia, Iran, Iraq, Israel, Jamaica, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Kenya, Kiribati, Kuwait, Kyrgyzstan, Laos, Lebanon, Lesotho, Liberia, Libya, Macedonia, Madagascar, Malawi, Malaysia, Maldives, Mali, Mauritania, Mauritius, Mexico, Moldova, Mongolia, Montenegro, Morocco, Mozambique, Myanmar, Namibia, Nauru, Nepal, Nicaragua, Niger, Nigeria, Oman, Pakistan, Palau, Panama, Papua New Guinea, Paraguay, Peru, Philippines, Poland, Qatar, Republic of Congo, Republic of Korea, Republic of Kosovo, Romania, Russia, Rwanda, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Samoa, Sao Tome and Principe, Saudi Arabia, Senegal, Serbia, Seychelles, Sierra Leone, Solomon Islands, Somalia, South Africa, South Sudan, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Suriname, Swaziland, Syria, Tajikistan, Tanzania, Thailand, Togo, Tonga, Trinidad and Tobago, Tunisia, Turkey, Turkmenistan, Tuvalu, Uganda, Ukraine, United Arab Emirates, Uruguay, Uzbekistan, Vanuatu, Vatican City, Venezuela, Vietnam, Yemen, Zambia, Zimbabwe
According to the US foreign policy, the exemptions for the US visa are made clear. There are 39 countries in which the citizens of these countries are allowed to enter US territory without a visa for a period of shorter than 90 days. If you are a citizen of the countries that are listed on the Visa Waiver program, you will not need to obtain a US tourist visa or any other short-stay visa to enter the US.
Here’s a list of countries that are exempt from getting a short term visitor visa for the US:
*On the list above, there are years in brackets next to the name of countries which indicates when these countries are exempt from getting a visa to enter the US. Poland is the last country to be eligible for this program. Poland has joined the Visa Waiver program in 2019.
There are some other programs that allow you to enter the US without a visa, or even without a passport! For instance, Non-VWP citizens are exempt from the US visa and they do not have to apply to the Electronic System for Travel Authorization.
If you are a citizen of Canada, you can freely enter the US territory without a passport or visa, just with your ID / Driving license.
However, if you are a citizen of Bermuda, you are going to have to have your passport with you when you are entering the United States. Nevertheless, you will not need a visa or a stamp in your passport for short-term stays.
The US visa application can be tricky due to the various types of visas that are offered by the department of US foreign relations.
However, all steps are made clear for your ease and convenience. The first step you are going to take is to apply online to schedule an appointment with the US embassy in your country.
On the second step, you are required to fill in the DS-160 form. This form consists of two parts. In the first part, there is some personal information of yours which will not be a problem for you.
On the other hand, what you should be really careful about is your US visa photo requirements. The US has strict photograph rules which you should be aware of.
On the second part of the DS-160 form, you are obliged to fill in information about your past such as your record of crime (if you have any), if you have a violation of marriage, if you have ever done money laundering, and if you have ever been a part of genocide. These may seem scary but rest assured. These are there to protect you and your rights in the US.
After the second step, the third step is going to be the visa process fee.
There are different types of fees according to your visa type. Here’s a list of fees you are going to be paying for your nonimmigrant type of visa:
There is a different policy for the non-petition and petition type of visas. If your visa type is going to be an immigrant type of visa, the price list below applies:
There are almost 200 US visa types that you can apply for. Since the number of visa types is enormously big, we have divided them into categories for you.
US visa application consists of two main categories which are immigrant visas and nonimmigrant visas.
Let’s begin with the nonimmigrant visa type:
Tourism and vacations
Visits to relatives or friends
Enrollment in short non-credit bearing courses (not for official degrees)
Participation in music, sport, or social events, if they do not receive payments from them.
Engage in the trade of technology or other activities between the U.S and the treaty country.
Direct operations of a company in which you have invested capital.
P-1 – is for individual or team athletes or members of entertainment groups
P-2 – is for artists of entertainers that will perform in the U.S as individuals or in a group
P-3 – is for artists and entertainers who will perform, teach, or coach in the U.S. as individuals or in a group
Now that we know all nonimmigrant visa types for the US, let’s take a look at immigrant visa types.
Here’s the list of United States Immigration Visa Types:
The first category is the US marriage visas. These visas are given to those who are legally married to a citizen of the U.S. Merely living together does not count as being married, so you will have to prove marriage by documents.
The K1 visa is given to a person engaged to a U.S citizen to go to the U.S for 90 days. During those 90 days, the couple is expected to be married to start filing for the petition to get a spouse visa.
The K-2 visa is given to unmarried children under 21 years old of K-1 visa holders, so the U.S citizen’s fiancé
This visa has been created to shorten the time that the married couple is away from each other while one of them is waiting for their petition to be approved.
This visa is intended to be given to unmarried children under 21 years old of K-3 visa holders, so the children of the spouse of a U.S citizen.
The First Priority Workers are those who get the EB1 visa and they can be in three groups:
The Eb2 visa category of employees includes two groups:
-Professionals holding an advanced degree, who either have a Bachelor’s Degree and five years of work experience in that profession or have completed a higher education degree beyond their Bachelor’s Degree.
-Persons with exceptional abilities in arts, sciences, or business.
The third priority workers include these groups:
EB3 visa: Skilled workers who have at least two years of experience or training in that particular profession and who are not seasonal or temporary
Professional workers who need at least a Bachelor’s Degree or a U.S equivalent to work in their profession
EW3 visa: Unskilled workers who do not need at least two years of experience or training to work in a particular position.
Eb-4 visa: Fourth Priority Workers – Certain Special Immigrants
Fourth priority workers include a variety of visas, such as:
The last group of the EB5 visas is targeted at investors, who invest:
-At least $1,000,000
-$500,000 in high unemployment or rural area in the U.S
The difference between immigrant and nonimmigrant visa is the length of time you are going to stay in the United States. This means that if your visa expires, you have to return home immediately. However, if you have received a Green Card from the DV lottery, you are exceptional and you do not have to go back home.
The validity of your US visa depends on the type of visa you have applied for. So, it's your responsibility to check the validity of your visa on your passport.
Let’s say you are a citizen of a country from which the US does not require a visa like the United Kingdom. If you would like to stay for a period of longer than 90 days you have to apply for a US visa from UK. If you are already in the United States, you still have to apply for US visa when your visa is about to expire.
You should be renewing your US visa as soon as it expires. Since you cannot renew it before its expiration date, it is recommended that you closely follow the expiration date of your visa and take the necessary actions when it expires.
All adults have to apply for a US visa individually. However, if your kid is under 18 years of age, then the US government allows you to bring him/her with you. There are some rare exceptions which you can bring your children if they are physically dependent on you, even if they are considered to be adults.
Unfortunately, no! You cannot bring your partner to the United States if you are not legally together as a married couple. However, there are some exceptions like your partner being physically dependent on you. In this case, you can bring your partner to the US. You should be sure that your insurance covers all the costs of medical treatments that are needed.
Shortly, there isn’t an absolute guarantee that your visa will allow you to enter US territory. The border patrol is responsible for the entries and they withhold the initiative to allow the visitors to the country. If the border control thinks that your entry to the US is somehow a threat to the security of their land, then they will not allow you to enter the US lands.
Your US visa application can be rejected for a number of reasons. One of the required documents could be missing, your criminal record could be threatening or simply the US authorities could see your profile to be ineligible to enter the US.
In any case, it is always good to understand what is asked from you and correct what’s missing with your US visa application, and then write an appeal letter to the US embassy. Only after then, your appeal letter will be considered.
The answer is no! There is no way you can enter the US territory without a valid visa. If your visa is somehow expired, or even worse you don’t have a visa at all, then the US border patrol will make the necessary arrangements to send you back to your home country. Lastly, you should check the validity of your passport as well. There is a minimum 6 months validity period for your passport and visa to be valid.
If you withhold the right to a nonimmigrant visa, it is almost impossible to become a US citizen. You need to have an immigrant visa first to apply to be a US citizen. Only after having the immigrant visa on hand, you can apply for US citizenship. However, having an immigrant visa does not guarantee to become a US citizen. You must reside within the US for 5 years before you can apply for US citizenship.
Having a US visa will not be enough to travel to other countries. If you would like to travel to Europe, or to the United Kingdom, you should be applying for the visa of the country you will be traveling to.