You may be wondering, can I travel to the U.S. without a visa?
The short answer is yes. The longer answer is yes, if you are a citizen of a country that has been granted a visa waiver by the U.S. Department of State.
So far, there are thirty eight countries whose citizens are allowed the privilege of traveling to the U.S. without first obtaining a visa from a U.S. Embassy or Consulate. There are additional requirements, including the need for your passport be machine readable, that you travel by air or sea with a transportation company that has been approved to enter the U.S., and that you have a round trip ticket. Each person traveling must also have been approved for travel through the Electronic System for Travel Authorization. The ESTA collects information about your background, health, arrest and immigration history. Once you are approved by ESTA, meet all the remaining requirements, and enter the U.S., you are allowed to stay for up to ninety-days.
This no-hassle process is a good option for someone who needs to travel to the U.S. for business or personal reasons for a short time. However, this process may not be an option for you if:
1) your country is not visa waiver authorized
2) you have had a prior visa denial or refusal
3) you did not receive approval to travel through the ESTA process
4) you plan to stay in the U.S. for more than ninety days.
So, the long answer is yes, under certain conditions. Otherwise, you need to make an appointment at the U.S. Embassy or Consulate to seek a visa.
See if your country is on the visa waiver list and apply for approval through ESTA here: Click Here
Call us for additional information about how to visit the U.S. for business or for personal reasons at 954-714-8123 in our office in Fort Lauderdale, Hollywood or West Palm Beach.
Sherna Spencer is a member of the American Immigration Lawyers Association.