United States of America
|United States of America|
|Currency||US dollar (USD)|
|Language||English, Spanish (also spoken by a sizable minority), Hawaiian (in Hawaii), Creole (in Louisiana), various indigenous languages|
|Population||301,139,947 (July 2007 est.)|
|Religion||Christian 78% (Protestant 52%, Roman Catholic 24% Mormon 2%) other 10%, none 9%, Jewish 2%, Muslim 1% (2002)|
|Electricity||120V / 60Hz|
|Time Zone||UTC -4 to UTC -10|
The United States have a pretty strict visa policy.
- Depends on your nationality. If your country is in the Visa Waiver Program, you don't need a visa for short tourist visits (up to 90 days) unless you have a criminal record or were deported from the US before.
- Look at the full rules here http://travel.state.gov/visa/temp/without/without_1990.html
- If your country is not in the VWP, you have to apply at your nearest US embassy for a visa. Your friend may need to write a letter of support, confirming that he will provide you with accommodation for the duration of your stay.
- The embassy in your country should have information specific for your nationality. Embassy information is here http://usembassy.state.gov/
Tourists must hold a passport valid for a least 6 months to travel to US.
- Required by all except the following:
(a) citizens of countries under the Visa Waiver Program
(b) 1. nationals of Bermuda and Canada, provided holding valid passports;
(c) nationals of Mexico, provided holding a valid passport and a US Border Crossing Card.
Types of visa and cost
The following is a list of the most commonly requested types of visas:
B - Temporary visitor for business or pleasure
C - Transit through U.S.
D - Crew (airline/ship)
F - Student (academic or language program)
H - Individuals in specialty occupations (e.g. nurses)
I - Journalists
J - Exchange visitor
K - Fiancé(e) of U.S. citizen
L - Intra-company transfer
M - Student in vocational or recognized non-academic program
O - Individuals with extraordinary ability in sciences, arts, education, business, athletics
Q - Participant in an international cultural program
R - Religious workers
- You must apply for your visa at the VAC, the agency formed for this purpose.
You could either apply online by visiting http://www.vfs-usa.co.in/ or visit to a VAC close to your area of residence; the addresses are listed on the VFS web site.
Read all the rules carefully before applying.
- The waiting period depends on the city of application and category of visa applied for.
- Sometimes, it so happens that dates are unavailable. In such circumstances, you must constantly keep in touch with VFS and request them to give you an earlier date than what you have got in case a cancellation takes place.
- Remember, no influence or contact works to get an early appointment in normal course. No one can help in this matter; you have to wait for your turn.
- Be alert by constantly visiting www.vfs-usa.co.in, which may have new information about changing policies and procedures with regard to visa processing.
- Even if they sound very busy or formal, do not be afraid to ask questions and seek clarifications from the counter staff at the Visa Application Centre.
You must feel satisfied with the answers you get. However, be sparing with your choice of questions, as unnecessary questions could irritate them and result in non-cooperation.
- There is a facility for taking passport size photographs and a photocopier machine at the VAC, in case there is an error in your photograph and you need to take a fresh one.
Likewise, if some documents required to be submitted and you do not have photocopies, you can get them done at this centre too.
- When you go for your interview, the Visa Application Center charges additional fees for snacks and drinks. This is optional and NOT compulsory.
- Make sure you carry all your documents for your interview. In case, all your documentation is not in order etc, you may need to seek another visa appointment.
US Embassies and/or Consulates
A complete listing of US Embassies abroad can be found on the State Department's Web site at http://usembassy.state.gov
Embassy of United States in Canberra, Australia
Yarralumla ACT 2600
Phone: (+61-2) 6214-5600
Fax: (+61-2) 6214-5970
Web Site: http://canberra.usembassy.gov/
Office Hours: General inquiries: 8:00am - 5:00pm Monday-Friday
U.S. Embassy in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
490 Sussex Drive
K1N 1G8 Canada
Courier Address: 207 Bank Street, suite 418
Ottawa, Ontario K2P 2N2 Canada
Web Site: http://ottawa.usembassy.gov/
Email: mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org, mailto:email@example.com
Office Hours: American Citizen Services: Monday - Friday (except Wednesdays) from 8am to 12pm. Visas Mnday - Friday from 8am to 4pm. All persons seeking U.S. visas require an appointment in advance. The Embassy is closed for both Canadian and U.S. holidays.
Visa Waiver Program
Citizens from more affluent countries are allowed to enter the US through the Visa Waiver Program. This allows for a 90 stay. It doesn't allow extending the visa, if you want to stay longer you probably need a B1/B2 visa. The Visa Waiver Program doesn't allow going to Canada for a day and coming back, you have to stay out of the US for 3 months or apply for a B1/B2.
You are required to hold a return or on-ward ticket, and this is often already enforced at the departure airport. When coming from another continent than your place of residency (as part of a round the world trip) this might not be the case. If you're coming from Europe however, a flight to Mexico or the Bahamas won't cut it. Within North America and the Carribean you have to get as far as Costa Rica.
A B1/B2 visa allows for a 6 month stay in the United States. Often you will be given a visa that is valid for 10 years (meaning you're allowed to stay 6 months in the US every year), meaning that you can stay 6 months every year in the US. It is possible to extend this visa while in the US. When applying for an extension you have to stay in the US until you get a yes or no answer.
- This page is based on text from Wikivisa.org