Apply for Nonimmigrant Visas to the U.S.

Apply for Non-immigrant Visas to the U.S

How to Apply Online for a Business or Tourism Visitor Visa to the U.S.

Please note: In response to the significant global challenges associated with the COVID-19 pandemic, the State Department temporarily suspends routine visa services at all US embassies and consulates. Learn more.

Under normal conditions:

If you are planning a brief visit to the United States for business or tourism, you may need to apply for a visitor or transit visa. Here are the steps to follow:

1. Find out if you need a visa.

Check if your country participates in the US Visa Waiver Program (VWP). If you do not see your country in the list, you will need a non-immigrant visa to visit the United States.

2. Determine the visa you may need for your visit.

Most business and tourist travelers use B-1 and B-2 visitor visas.

  • The B-1 visa classification allows business travelers to consult business associates, attend a conference, settle an estate, or negotiate a contract.
  • The B-2 visa classification is intended for tourists on vacation and people coming for medical treatment, a social event or participation in amateur competitions without remuneration.

Transit visas are less common.

  • Transit visa classification C is for foreign nationals traveling through the United States to another country and stopping briefly in the United States as part of their journey to the next foreign destination.
  • Transit visas C-1, D and C-1 / D are for crew members of ships or international airlines traveling to the United States.

3. Apply for a visa.

The visa application process will vary depending on the US embassy or consulate where you are applying. Follow the instructions specific to the country you are in.

In general, you will need:

  • To complete the DS-160 online form, the non-immigrant visa application form
  • A photo
  • Visa application fees
  • To schedule an interview

Exemption program for tourists and business travelers

International travelers who plan to visit the United States for business or pleasure can obtain a visa waiver. To obtain a visa waiver, you must be a citizen of one of the 39 countries that participate in the U.S. Visa Waiver Program (VWP). If you plan to visit the United States under this program, you must obtain an approved travel authorization before your travel to the United States.

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How to Apply and Get Approval to Travel to the United States

  • See the list of 39 countries participating in the VWP.
  • You must have an e-passport to use the VWP. This type of passport is also known as an electronic passport and contains an integrated chip.
  • Complete the online application for the Electronic Travel Authorization System (ESTA) online Application. ESTA determines a visitor’s eligibility to travel to the United States under the VWP.
  • The processing fee is $ 4.00 and if approved, there is an additional $ 10.00 authorization fee. Find out how to pay your ESTA fees.
  • When you complete your application, you will get an ESTA application number. Use this number to check the status of your application if it has been accepted for travel to the United States.

Visitors traveling to the United States for tourism or business meetings or conferences as part of the VWP can stay up to 90 days without a visa.

Visas for students and Vocational training

Please note: In response to the significant global challenges associated with the COVID-19 pandemic, the State Department temporarily suspends routine visa services at all US embassies and consulates. Learn more.

Eligibility

An international student can only apply for a student visitor or exchange visa after having been accepted by a school certified under the student visitor and exchange program (SEVP). Student files are kept in the student and visitor information system (SEVIS). Learn more about SEVP and SEVIS, and about SEVIS fees.

Types of educational visas

Your program of study, the school you plan to attend or the exchange program you will work with will determine the type of student visa you will need.

The most common student visas are F-1 and M-1 visas.

  • The F-1 visa classification is for a full-time international student pursuing university studies.
  • The M-1 visa classification is intended for a full-time international student pursuing professional studies.

Find out the differences (PDF, Download Adobe Reader) (PDF, Download Adobe Reader) between F-1 and M-1 visas and how to apply.

The J-1 visa classification is also known as the visitor exchange program (TEU) and is intended for foreigners authorized to participate in work-based or study-based exchange programs. Examples include a guest researcher, a camp counselor or a research assistant.

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Learn how to apply for a J-1 visa.

The length of stay for J-1 visa holders depends on the agreement between you and your sponsoring organization approved by the State Department. Find a sponsored organization or program approved by the State Department.

Learn more about studying in the United States

North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) Professional Visa

Please note: In response to the significant global challenges associated with the COVID-19 pandemic, the State Department temporarily suspends routine visa services at all US embassies and consulates. Learn more.

Eligibility

Only citizens of Canada and Mexico are eligible for a North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) non-immigrant professional visa to work in the United States. The NAFTA professional visa classification is TN and grants the holder temporary entry to the United States to work in commercial activities with a professional. for an initial period of up to three years.

How to Apply

After receiving a letter from your future employer confirming your job offer, the application process varies for Canadian and Mexican citizens.

Canadian citizens: a NAFTA Professional (TN) visa is generally not required. You can go directly to a United States Customs and Border Protection (CBP) port of entry, with your documents for an interview to be admitted to the United States as a non-immigrant who can legally work in the United States. United States.

Mexican citizens: a NAFTA (TN) professional visa is required. Complete the DS-160 online visa application form, print the confirmation page and bring it to your interview. If you are applying to Mexico, no photo is required for your application.

Learn more about the TN non-immigrant visa application process.

Prepare your interview

Review this list of what you will need to bring to your in-person interview, including the details that should be included in your letter from your prospective employer.

Get a job in the United States as a foreign worker

Depending on your skills, your circumstances and the work you plan to do, you may be able to come to the United States as:

  • Temporary or permanent foreign worker, or
  • Temporary visitor for business

Under certain circumstances, you may also be able to work in the United States if you are an international student or an exchange visitor.

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Get a Work Visa

As a foreign worker, you will need a visa to obtain employment in the United States. Each type of visa has unique requirements, conditions and deadlines.

Visit the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services’ (USCIS) Working in the U.S. web page for an overview of each worker category and visa type.

Use the State Department Visa Assistant to find:

  • The visa you need
  • The application process
  • Fees
  • Estimated waiting time for a visa interview

Your rights and protections as a temporary foreign worker

  • As a temporary foreign worker in the United States, you will not be denied a visa or sanctioned by the United States government because you have exercised your rights under United States laws. Learn your rights and protections.
  • If you violate the terms of your work visa, it may be revoked. You could be deported, arrested or refused to return to the United States
  • If you think you or someone you know is being trafficked to the United States, ask for help now.

The K-1 or Fiancé(e) Visa

If you’re a citizen of another country, you’re engaged to a U.S. citizen, and you plan to marry and live in the U.S., your fiancé(e) can petition for a K-1 visa for you. The K-1 visa allows you to travel to the United States to marry your fiancé(e) within 90 days of arriving. After you marry, you may apply for an adjustment of status to get a Permanent Resident (Green) Card.

The K-1 visa expires after 90 days and cannot be extended. If you don’t marry within that time, you must leave the country or face possible deportation.

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