The United States is an open society. Unlike many other countries, the United States does not impose internal controls on most visitors, such as registration with local authorities. Our immigration law requires consular officers to view every visa applicant as an intending immigrant until the applicant proves otherwise. In order to enjoy the privilege of unencumbered travel in the United States, you have a responsibility to prove you are going to return abroad before a visitor or student visa is issued.
What Is a Visa?   |   What Is a Travel/Tourist Visa?   |   What Is a Work Visa?   |   What Is a Business Visa?   |   What Is a Student Visa?   |   What Is a Refugee/Asylum Visa?   |   What Is a Working Holiday Visa?   |   What Is a Spousal Visa?   |   What Is a Transit Visa?   |   What Is an eVisa?   |   Immigrant Vs. Nonimmigrant Visas   |   What Does a Visa Look Like?   |   Why Do I Need a Visa to Travel?   |   What Is a Visa Policy?   |   Why Do Certain Countries Have Visa Restrictions?   |   When Do I Need a Visa?   |   How Do I Apply for a Visa?   |   What Are the Requirements for a Visa?   |   What Are the Supporting Documents Required for Visitor Visas?   |   What Is an Invitation Letter for a Visa?   |   What to Expect During a Visa Interview?   |   What Are the Fees for Obtaining a Visa?   |   What Are Visa Processing Times?   |   What Visa Services Does an Embassy Offer?   |   What Can I Learn From the Visa Restrictions Index?   |   Which Countries Can I Travel to Visa-Free?   |   How Are Travel Visas Linked to My Passport?   |   Visa-Free Vs. Visa on Arrival Vs. Visa Required   |   What Are the US Visa Restrictions?   |   Which Countries Can I Visit Visa-Free With the US Passport?   |   How Many Visitor Visas Does the US Accept and Reject Each Year?   |   Which Countries Can I Visit With a Schengen Visa?   |   When Was the First Visa Ever Issued?   |   Global Visa Issuance Over Time
In the past passengers who were arriving in the U.S. via air or sea used to have to complete a paper Form I-94 (or Form I-94W for Visa Waiver Program travelers). This is no longer required as the arrival and departure information and records that the U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) gathers is now automated. Passengers arriving in the U.S. via a land border, however, will still be issued a paper Form I-94/Form I-94W to complete. All travelers are required to complete the Customs Declaration form 6059B, but only one Customs Declaration form is required for a family traveling together.

Immigration law delegates the responsibility for issuance or refusal of visas to consular officers overseas. They have the final say on all visa cases. By regulation, the U.S. Department of State has authority to review consular decisions, but this authority is limited to the interpretation of law, as contrasted to determinations of facts. The question at issue in such denials, whether an applicant possesses the required residence abroad, is a factual one. Therefore, it falls exclusively within the authority of consular officers at our Foreign Service posts to resolve. An applicant can influence the post to change a prior visa denial only through the presentation of new convincing evidence of strong ties.
If you are planning urgent travel to the United States, you will need to contact our helpline informing that you have urgent need for your passport and request for an update of your visa application. You will have to wait for the response from the Embassy/Consulate. When your passport/document is returned to you, it will be delivered to the document delivery address you have provided at the time of appointment scheduling.
If a person enters the U.S. with a visa under K-1 status, they are entering the U.S. legally as a nonimmigrant. This status may be granted to them by the U.S. Department of State (DOS) after the petition their fiancé(e) filed for them is approved by the USCIS. After their legal entry, they may then be eligible to file for a work permit. This work permit will be valid for the duration of their visa, which will be 90 days. They may become eligible to extend their work permit if they marry your fiancé(e) within the 90 days and immediately file the appropriate application.
An H-1B visa is a nonimmigrant visa used by American companies who wish to employ foreign workers in occupations that require college degrees or their equivalency. Most occupations for which foreign employees use the visa are in medicine, chemistry, engineering, biotechnology and the social sciences. Employees who are granted H-1B visas may only work for the sponsoring American company.
The visa or the completed Visa Waiver Program document permits non-immigrant travelers to enter upon U.S. soil only to the extent that they can present themselves to a determining Department of Homeland Security official. The official and his work station are euphemistically referred to as "the gate." The document that demonstrates permission to enter the country has been granted is universally called an I-94 -- the proper term is Arrival/Departure Record -- and it is issued by the determining officer at the gate. In simple terms, the visa allows the traveler to knock on the door; the I-94 card is proof the Department of Homeland Security has allowed them to come in. The I-94 determines the time limit of the stay, and the restrictions imposed upon the visitor while in the U.S. Visas do not allow any stay of any length within the U.S.
What Is a Visa?   |   What Is a Travel/Tourist Visa?   |   What Is a Work Visa?   |   What Is a Business Visa?   |   What Is a Student Visa?   |   What Is a Refugee/Asylum Visa?   |   What Is a Working Holiday Visa?   |   What Is a Spousal Visa?   |   What Is a Transit Visa?   |   What Is an eVisa?   |   Immigrant Vs. Nonimmigrant Visas   |   What Does a Visa Look Like?   |   Why Do I Need a Visa to Travel?   |   What Is a Visa Policy?   |   Why Do Certain Countries Have Visa Restrictions?   |   When Do I Need a Visa?   |   How Do I Apply for a Visa?   |   What Are the Requirements for a Visa?   |   What Are the Supporting Documents Required for Visitor Visas?   |   What Is an Invitation Letter for a Visa?   |   What to Expect During a Visa Interview?   |   What Are the Fees for Obtaining a Visa?   |   What Are Visa Processing Times?   |   What Visa Services Does an Embassy Offer?   |   What Can I Learn From the Visa Restrictions Index?   |   Which Countries Can I Travel to Visa-Free?   |   How Are Travel Visas Linked to My Passport?   |   Visa-Free Vs. Visa on Arrival Vs. Visa Required   |   What Are the US Visa Restrictions?   |   Which Countries Can I Visit Visa-Free With the US Passport?   |   How Many Visitor Visas Does the US Accept and Reject Each Year?   |   Which Countries Can I Visit With a Schengen Visa?   |   When Was the First Visa Ever Issued?   |   Global Visa Issuance Over Time
A business visa allows the bearer to enter the host country and engage in business activities without joining that country’s labour market. For example, an individual may require a business visa if they are travelling to a country to do business with another company or if they are attending a business conference. The visitor typically must show that they are not receiving income from the country.

A valid U.S. visa in an expired passport is still valid. Unless canceled or revoked, a visa is valid until its expiration date. If you have a valid visa in your expired passport, do not remove it from your expired passport. You may use your valid visa in your expired passport along with a new valid passport for travel and admission to the United States. 

Tourist visas, called visitor visas in the United States, are available for travelers from many countries who are coming for recreational or medical purposes. These visas are typically good for six months. Transit visas are available to foreigners who are simply passing through the United States or making a brief stop at a port or airport. Transit visa applicants must provide evidence that they will be in continuous transit to a foreign destination while in the United States. As of November 2012, both visitor visas and transit visas cost $160 per person, although additional fees may apply. Citizens of nearly 40 countries are allowed to travel in the United States without a visa under the Visa Waiver Program.
Imagine your own ties in the country where you live. Would a consular office of another country consider that you have a residence there that you do not intend to abandon? It is likely that the answer would be "yes" if you have a job, a family, if you own or rent a house or apartment, or if you have other commitments that would require you to return to your country at the conclusion of a visit abroad. Each person's situation is different.
The World Travel Guide (WTG) is the flagship digital consumer brand within the Columbus Travel Media portfolio. A comprehensive guide to the world’s best travel destinations, its print heritage stretches back more than 30 years, with the online portal reaching its 20-year anniversary in 2019. Available in English, German and Spanish versions, the WTG provides detailed and accurate travel content designed to inspire global travellers. It covers all aspects, from cities to airports, cruise ports to ski and beach resorts, attractions to events, and it also includes weekly travel news, features and quizzes. Updated every day by a dedicated global editorial team, the portal logs 1 million+ unique users monthly.
Visa Waiver Program travelers who have not obtained approval through Electronic System for Travel Authorization (ESTA) should expect to be denied boarding on any air carrier bound for the United States. If you are allowed to board, you can expect to encounter significant delays and possible denial of admission at the U.S. port of entry (i.e., arrival airport). ESTA registration usually only takes a few minutes to complete,  authorization often arrives in seconds, and is valid for two years, or until the expiration date of your passport, whichever comes first.
Some countries apply the principle of reciprocity in their visa policy. A country's visa policy is called 'reciprocal' if it imposes visa requirement against citizens of all the countries that impose visa requirements against its own citizens. The opposite is rarely true: a country rarely lifts visa requirements against citizens of all the countries that also lift visa requirements against its own citizens, unless a prior bilateral agreement has been made.
If you are planning urgent travel to the United States, you will need to contact our helpline informing that you have urgent need for your passport and request for an update of your visa application. You will have to wait for the response from the Embassy/Consulate. When your passport/document is returned to you, it will be delivered to the document delivery address you have provided at the time of appointment scheduling.
U.S. consular officers are aware of this diversity. During the visa interview they look at each application individually and consider professional, social, cultural and other factors. In cases of younger applicants who may not have had an opportunity to form many ties, consular officers may look at the applicants specific intentions, family situations, and long-range plans and prospects within his or her country of residence. Each case is examined individually and is accorded every consideration under the law.
U.S. consular officers are aware of this diversity. During the visa interview they look at each application individually and consider professional, social, cultural and other factors. In cases of younger applicants who may not have had an opportunity to form many ties, consular officers may look at the applicants specific intentions, family situations, and long-range plans and prospects within his or her country of residence. Each case is examined individually and is accorded every consideration under the law.
H-3 Trainee or Special Education Exchange Visas are nonimmigrant visas that allow you to travel to the U.S. for training. The main goal of this visa is to receive training in the U.S. that you will later use in your home country. To qualify, the training cannot be available in your home country or related to graduate medical studies. During the application process, an immigration officer will ask you to show that you intend to return to your home country after the program is completed. 

A social security card is used in the U.S. as way to prove your identity. Each social security card has a 9-digit social security number (SSN). This number is unique to each person and used for the purpose of tracking an individual in the U.S. Social Security Administration. All people who work in the U.S. must have a SSN. SSNs are mostly used for tax purposes.
If you feel you’re being treated unfairly or unlawfully by an employer, you can email the UK’s National Crime Agency (NCA) at the British High Commission in Canberra at: Australia.WHVreferrals@fco.gov.uk. The NCA is working with a number of Australian authorities to help identify and address any illegal employer behaviour affecting British nationals.
If you are planning urgent travel to the United States, you will need to contact our helpline informing that you have urgent need for your passport and request for an update of your visa application. You will have to wait for the response from the Embassy/Consulate. When your passport/document is returned to you, it will be delivered to the document delivery address you have provided at the time of appointment scheduling.
^ "China to Start Fingerprinting Foreign Visitors". Air Canada. 31 January 2019. Retrieved 7 July 2018. Effective April 27, 2018, border control authorities at all of China’s ports of entry, including its airports, will start collecting the fingerprints of all foreign visitors aged between 14 and 70. Diplomatic passport holders and beneficiaries of reciprocal agreements are exempted..
VISAs are NOT required. 30-days Tourist Visa will be issued upon arrival and may be extended within 7 days in advance with approval of the Chief of Immigration for a fee of US$50.00 before expiration date of the visa. (Note: Maximum of 90 days: 30 days upon arrival plus 2 extensions at US$50.00 fee per extension. After which visitors must exit the country). Citizens of United States of America, Federated States of Micronesia, Republic of the Marshall Islands, Guam, and the Common Wealth of Northern Marianas Islands with valid passports are issued 1 year Visa upon arrival. Citizens of Myanmar and Bangladesh must have a pre-approved visa.

The "two-year rule" is the common term used for a section of U.S. immigration law which requires many exchange visitors to return to their home countries and be physically present there for at least two years after the conclusion of their exchange visit before they can return to the U.S. under certain types of visas, specifically H, K, L and immigrant visas. It is important to note that only a preliminary finding of whether the two-year rule applies to you is made on your DS-2019 when your J-1 visa is issued. The final decision will be made only if you later choose to apply for an H, L, K or immigrant visa.


In order to track the status of your passport’s courier delivery please go to this page or send an email with your passport number in the Subject line to passportstatus@ustraveldocs.com or contact the Visa Information Service. When your passport/document is dispatched with the courier, you will receive an auto-notification by email to inform you of your tracking number. Please ensure that the email address indicated in your online profile is accurate. Toll Priority is the document delivery vendor. However, if you have received a 221(g) leaflet at the time you had your interview, you may check the status of your visa application here. Once you are on this page, click on the “Click on this link (PDF 357kb)” link, and then press the Control and the “F” key and enter your Batch No (without any spaces) to find your record (the Batch ID is found on the 221(g) leaflet handed to the applicant at the visa interview).
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