So you are planning to travel to the USA in the near future, but you are not sure about the requirements you have to meet? There is a good reason to ask yourself: “what do I need to travel to USA?”
If you want to successfully travel to the USA, you have to make sure to know what documents you need to obtain and what other requirements you have to meet!
This is why you have to make sure to that you understand what are the factors that affect you when traveling to the USA and in this article, we will provide you with an answer to what requirement you shall meet to successfully visit the USA for business, travel or transit.
Can I travel to USA?
Since the new administration has taken its place in the White House, there is a good reason to check if you are allowed to travel to the USA. The so-called “travel ban” has affected several countries and before thinking about applying for a Visa or an ESTA, you have to make sure that the country you are a citizen of, is not included in the USA travel ban.
If you are not a citizen of one of the countries under the USA travel ban you can visit the USA for business, travel or transit if you meet certain requirements for traveling to USA.
Therefore to successfully travel to USA you have to consider an application for a Visa or an ESTA.
This is without a doubt the most important question you have to take care of before doing any more planning of your visit to the USA.
What do I need to travel to USA
The first and by far the most important requirement for traveling to the USA is your Visa or ESTA application.
One of the most common questions travelers reach out to us with is: “Do I need a Visa for USA holiday?” and unfortunately it goes to show that the majority of people are not informed about ESTA applications.
Yes, Visa is not the only document you might have to acquire to travel to the US. And it all comes down to which country you are a citizen of. When you are traveling to the USA for business, travel or to use the US as transit for a period up to 90 days, there are two types of authorization you can acquire.
It is either an ESTA or a Visa. And before going into detail about both of them it is important to understand that an ESTA is not the same as and Visa. If you are looking for US tourist Visa requirements, for example, there is a good chance that what you actually need to apply for is an ESTA.
And this is exactly why it is so important to know the difference between both types of applications for legal travel to the USA.
Travelling to the USA?
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Travel to USA with ESTA
People who travel to the USA and are citizens of one of the VWP countries do not have to acquire a Visa to visit the US for business, travel or use it as transit if the visit does not exceed a period of 90 days. Instead, they need to acquire and ESTA, the Electronic System for Travel Authorization approval.
Keep in mind that an ESTA can only be authorized for people who are citizens of one of the countries of the Visa Waiver program and currently the VWP countries are:
Andorra; Australia; Austria; Belgium; Brunei; Chile; Czech Republic; Denmark; Estonia; Finland; France; Germany; Greece; Hungary; Iceland; Ireland; Italy; Japan; Republic of Korea; Latvia; Liechtenstein; Lithuania; Luxembourg; Malta; Monaco; Netherlands; New Zealand; Norway; Portugal; San Marino; Singapore; Slovakia; Slovenia; Spain; Sweden; Switzerland; Taiwan**; United Kingdom*
This approval makes it easier for travelers from these countries to enter the US for a period that’s no longer than 90 days.
To acquire an ESTA approval you simply have to fill out an online form which is then approved or declined based on various factors. After your ESTA is approved, it is valid for two years or until your passport expiration date. In this time period, you are allowed for an unlimited travel to the USA but only for periods that do not exceed 90 days.
The ESTA expiration rules mean you have to check your ESTA status even if you have been approved, before traveling to the US to avoid any problems with the travel.
Travel to USA with VISA
All of the business, transit or US tourist Visa requirements have to be met if you are not a citizen of one of the VWP countries.
This gives a straight-forward answer to those of you who have asked: “Do I need a Visa for USA holiday?” and similar questions. Also, it is important to understand that if you are not a citizen of one of the VWP countries, ESTA does not apply to you in any possible way. And no matter what the purpose of your visit is and how long you plan on staying you will have to get a Visa.
The basic US Visa application requirements for tourist, business purposes, and transit are:
- Original interview appointment letter and sample.
- Visa fee receipt.
- Current passport and old passports if there are any.
- A confirmation page of the submitted Form DS-160 with a CEAC barcode.
- A photography.
In different situations, you might have to go thru additional control before you are granted a USA Visa.
All of this goes to show just how convenient the ESTA application is and how you can benefit from it. However, if you are not eligible for an ESTA you will have to go thru the process of acquiring a Visa.
What else do you need and what should you keep in mind
After you are granted an approval to travel to the US you still have to keep in mind that there are other factors that might affect your travel.
One of the most important things to keep in mind is insurance, that covers anything travel related. We strongly suggest you acquire a travel insurance before traveling to the USA.
Also, even if you have been granted a Visa or ESTA you still have to have all necessary documents with you at all times when traveling, such as a passport or other form of ID. If you are traveling for a highly specific reason we suggest you have all of the permissions and licenses approved and ready for check-ups.
And of course, after going thru all of the preparations regarding the legal aspects of travel to USA, you should not forget about the simple things related to traveling. Make a list of all of the things you have to have with you and pack smart so that you can go thru security check-ups without a hassle.
Do not forget to bring the things you need, so plan ahead no matter what’s the reasons for your visit. This will make it a lot more easy for you and with no worries in mind, you will not miss out on anything.
There is no doubt that traveling to the USA take some serious preparation and there is a good reason for that: To make your experience the best it can be! This is what Visa’s and ESTA’s are made for and you should learn to know the difference and how to apply for the one you need.
Visa and ESTA
Be sure to check if you can apply for an ESTA of if you have to have a Visa to travel to the USA before starting the application process for one of the travel approvals. An ESTA is without a doubt the most convenient approval for traveling to the US, but in for people who are not citizens of one of the VWP countries, there is no other choice, but to acquire a Visa.
Remember, that in many cases your application for Visa or ESTA can be denied because of various factors, so make sure you can meet all of the requirements.
If you still have some questions about what you need when traveling to the US or what applications are required we suggest you learn more about ESTA’s and Visa’s to successfully travel to the US.
Keep in mind that all of these restrictions have been implemented for the safety of you, people around you and most impotent to protect the rights and freedom of the USA therefore, no arguments about the necessity of these approvals should take place.