Online Nonimmigrant Visa Application (DS-160)

Apply for a nonimmigrant visa.

travel visa in usa

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Visit the United States

The Secretary of Homeland Security and the Secretary of State work together to create and maintain an effective, efficient visa process that secures America’s borders from external threats and ensures that our country remains open to legitimate travel.

DHS provides a full range of online resources to help you plan your trip, manage your arrival and if needed extend your stay.

Plan Your Trip

  • Obtain a Visitor VISA - (U.S. State Department) Generally, a citizen of a foreign country who wishes to enter the United States must first obtain a visa, either a nonimmigrant visa for temporary stay, or an immigrant visa for permanent residence. The visa allows a foreign citizen, to travel to the United States port-of entry and request permission of the U.S. immigration inspector to enter the U.S.
  • Determine the correct VISA category - (USCIS) There are more than 20 nonimmigrant visa types for people traveling to the United States temporarily. There are many more types of immigrant visas for those coming to live permanently in the United States.  The type of visa you need is determined by the purpose of your intended travel.  Get help determining the right VISA category at the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services homepage.
  • Office of Biometric Identity Management (OBIM)  - Provides biometric identification services to federal, state and local government decision makers to help them accurately identify the people they encounter and determine whether those people pose a risk to the United States. OBIM currently applies to all international visitors (with limited exemptions) entering the United States, but not to U.S. citizens.
  • Visa Waiver Program: Passport Requirements Timeline - As of October 26, 2006, any passport issued on or after this date by a Visa Waiver Program (VWP) country must be an e-Passport  for VWP travelers to be eligible to enter the United States without a visa. If your passport is older, see requirements here
  • Electronic System for Travel Authorization (ESTA) - A fully automated, electronic system for screening passengers before they begin travel to the United States under the Visa Waiver Program. Voluntary ESTA applications may be submitted at any time prior to travel to the United States, and Visa Waiver Program travelers are encouraged to apply for authorization as soon as they begin to plan a trip to the U.S.

Your Arrival

  • Locate a Port Of Entry - Air, Land, or Sea (CBP) - At a port of entry, CBP enforces the import and export laws and regulations of the U.S. federal government and conducts immigration policy and programs. Ports also perform agriculture inspections to protect the USA from potential carriers of animal and plant pests or diseases that could cause serious damage to America's crops, livestock, pets, and the environment.
  • Global Entry Program (CBP) - Expedited screening and processing for pre-screened international travelers entering the United States.
  • CBP Traveler Entry Forms (CBP) - Whether you are a visitor to the United States or U.S. citizen, each individual arriving into the United States must complete one or more of U.S. Customs and Border Protection's (CBP) entry forms.
  • DHS Traveler Redress Inquiry Program (DHS TRIP) - If you have difficulties experienced during their travel screening at transportation hubs--like airports and train stations--or crossing U.S. borders, use this system to make inquiries or seek resolution.

Extend Your Stay

  • Apply to Extend Your Stay - (USCIS) If you want to extend your stay in the United States, you must file a request with U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) on the Form I-539, Application to Extend/Change Nonimmigrant Status before your authorized stay expires. If you remain in the United States longer than authorized, you may be barred from returning and/or you may be removed (deported) from the United States.
  • Change Your Non-Immigrant Status - (USCIS) If you want to change the purpose of your visit while in the United States, you (or in some cases your employer) must file a request with USCIS on the appropriate form before your authorized stay expires. 

Tips During Your Trip to the United States

Beware of Scams - (Federal Trade Commission) The Department of State, Office of Visa Services, advises the public of a notable increase in fraudulent emails and letters sent to Diversity Visa (DV) program (Visa Lottery) applicants. The scammers behind these fraudulent emails and letters are posing as the U.S. government in an attempt to extract payment from DV applicants.

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travel visa in usa

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Entry requirements

This information is for people travelling on a full ‘British citizen’ passport from the UK. It is based on the UK government’s understanding of the current rules for the most common types of travel. 

The authorities in the US set and enforce entry rules. If you’re not sure how these requirements apply to you, contact the US Embassy or a consulate in the UK .

COVID-19 rules

There are no COVID-19 testing or vaccination requirements for travellers entering the US.

Passport validity requirements

To enter the US, your passport must be valid for the length of your planned stay.

If you’re travelling through another country on your way to or from the US, check the entry requirements for that country. Many countries will only allow entry if you have at least 6 months validity remaining on your passport. 

Dual nationals  

US law requires US citizens to enter and exit the US using a US passport. Contact the US Embassy or a consulate in the UK for more information.

Visa requirements

To enter or transit through the US, you must have either an  Electronic System for Travel Authorisation ( ESTA ) visa waiver  or a visa .

The US State Department has more information on visas .

Applying for an ESTA visa waiver 

Apply for an ESTA visa waiver through US Customs and Border Protection. You can also apply using the ESTA Mobile app on android or on iOS .

You cannot apply for an ESTA visa waiver if you have:

  • been arrested (even if the arrest did not result in a criminal conviction)
  • a criminal record
  • been refused admission into, or have been deported from the US
  • previously overstayed under an ESTA visa waiver

You cannot normally apply for an ESTA visa waiver if you were in the following countries on or after March 2011: 

  • North Korea

You cannot apply for an ESTA visa waiver if you travelled to or were in Cuba on or after 12 January 2021. 

If you are not eligible for an ESTA , you must instead apply for a US visa.

Applying for a visa

The US Embassy in London has information on how to apply for a visa .

US visa appointments

Visa appointments at the US Embassy in London are limited. Plan your application as far ahead as possible before travel. If you need to travel urgently, you can request an expedited interview through the US Embassy’s appointment service provider.

The US Embassy has more information on visa appointments .

Children and young people

Anyone aged 17 and under must:

  • have a valid visa or ESTA visa waiver on arrival
  • be able to provide evidence about the purpose, location and length of their visit if asked by immigration officials
  • have written consent from one or both parents if travelling alone, with only one parent, or with someone who is not a parent or legal guardian

The US authorities can stop you entering the country if they have safeguarding concerns about a child. If this happens, the US authorities will take the child into their care, and their return from the US could take months. The Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office ( FCDO ) cannot speed up the return of British nationals aged 17 and under from the US.

The US government has information about children travelling to the US . If you have questions, contact the US Embassy in the UK .

Vaccine requirements

For details about medical entry requirements and recommended vaccinations, see TravelHealthPro’s US guide .

Customs rules 

There are strict rules about goods you can take into or out of the US . You must declare anything that may be prohibited or subject to tax or duty.

Global Entry programme

The US Customs and Border Protection programme Global Entry allows pre-approved travellers through border control faster at some US airports. If you’re a British citizen, you can  register to get a UK background check . If you pass the background checks, you’ll be invited to apply for Global Entry.

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Chinese outbound travel recovery lags due to costs, visa snags

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Passengers look at the tarmac as they wait for their flights at the Beijing Capital International Airport, in Beijing

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Reporting by Sophie Yu in Beijing, Casey Hall in Shanghai and Lisa Barrington in Seoul; Additional reporting by Diana Mandia in Gdansk; Editing by Miyoung Kim and William Mallard

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The 5 states with the worst, best traveler's airplane etiquette

travel visa in usa

Sitting next to someone with poor airplane etiquette can easily ruin your flight, and the U.S. state you’re flying out of may determine that.

From the seat in front of you reclining into your lap to a passenger who hogs both armrests — and isn’t in the middle seat — there are a number of behaviors that can bother your fellow travelers. In a recent report by Solitaire Bliss, 78% of the 2,002 Americans surveyed in April said they feel air travel etiquette has worsened over the past few years.

The participants cited the most common inconsiderate behaviors in airports and airplanes they’ve seen being people reclining seats without asking, using phones loudly in the terminal, and placing bags on terminal seats. 

The survey asked what bad behaviors people have seen and if they are guilty of committing these air travel offenses — and many admitted they do. With survey respondents coming from every U.S. state, the report determined the states with the most polite and inconsiderate fliers. (Yes, these are blanket statements, and both good and bad fliers are everywhere.) The states were ranked on a scale of 0 to 100, with higher scores indicating a greater tendency among travelers from that state to have poor air travel etiquette.

Don't be that passenger. Expert tips to make your flight more pleasant for everyone

Learn more: Best travel insurance

“With the summer travel season here, we’ll be seeing an influx of stories on the media circuit about poor passenger behavior and airline issues,” Assaf Cohen, founder of Solitaire Bliss, said in an email statement to USA TODAY. “Along with common behaviors like taking up a seat in the terminal using a bag, or reclining a seat without asking, one in eight passengers report having seen a physical altercation.”

Read below to find the top five states with the best and worst travel etiquette.

States with the worst travel etiquette 

3. Virginia

2. Illinois

With the highest score of 94.29, Iowa’s survey respondents were the most guilty of poor travel etiquette, like putting their bags on the terminal seats and passing gas on the plane. Virginia’s top bad habits when flying included placing their luggage on the terminal seats, not putting their phones on airplane mode, and reclining their seats without asking. In Illinois, one in four residents admitted they ignore the seatbelt sign when flying. 

States with the best travel etiquette

2. Wisconsin

1. Arkansas

Call it “Southern hospitality” or “Midwest nice,” but the states that reported the least rude air travel behaviors were along the South and Midwest. Arkansas stole the top spot for having the most well-mannered passengers — or at least those who did not admit to their offenses.

Kathleen Wong is a travel reporter for USA TODAY based in Hawaii. You can reach her at [email protected] .

travel visa in usa

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How to check the status of your visa application

Find out how to check the status of your visa application online. And to avoid delays, learn how to update your address if you move while waiting for your visa to be approved.

Check the status of your immigrant or nonimmigrant visa application online using the U.S. Department of State's Visa Status Check portal. You will need to enter your case number when you use the portal.

If you move after submitting a visa application, notify the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) as soon as possible. Learn more about updating your address through your USCIS account and using the Enterprise Change of Address (E-COA) self-service tool.

LAST UPDATED: January 4, 2024

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In Europe's Schengen area , your passport must be valid for at least six months at the time of your entry. At present, the Schengen area includes most European Union (EU) countries, except for Cyprus and Ireland.

If you are transiting through Canada or the United Kingdom (UK) enroute to the Schengen area : your passport must be valid for at least six months, even though Canada and the UK do not themselves have the six-month rule. If your passport will expire within six months, airlines may not let you board your onward flight to Europe.

Traveling in Europe

If you plan to travel in Europe, you need to know about the Schengen Borders Agreement, which allows you to move freely within a number of countries without border checks. Tourists, exchange students, and people visiting for business from certain countries, like the United States, can travel in the Schengen area for up to 90 days. The Schengen area includes most EU countries, except for Cyprus and Ireland. It also includes four non-EU countries: Iceland, Norway, Switzerland, and Liechtenstein.

Before you travel to the Schengen area, we recommend you do the following:

  • Check the expiration date on your passport book carefully before traveling to Europe. Ensure your passport book is valid for at least six months when you enter the Schengen area. This is especially important for minors under age 16 as their passports are only valid for five years. In contrast, U.S. citizen adults aged 16 and older receive passports that are valid for 10 years.
  • Always carry your passport book with you when traveling to another country in the Schengen area. Even if there is no border check at that time, officials may reinstate border controls without notice.
  • Be prepared to explain your purpose of travel.
  • Be prepared to provide proof of sufficient financial resources for the visit.
  • Comply with other entry requirements for each country you will visit or transit.

On our Country Information pages , you can find passport validity requirements and other important information for your destination country. If your passport does not meet the Schengen requirements, you may be:

  • Refused boarding by the airline at your point of origin or while transferring planes.
  • Denied entry when you arrive in the Schengen area, regardless of how long you will stay.

An immigration official will determine if you qualify for visa-free entry to the Schengen area when you first cross any external Schengen border. You will have to present your passport at that time. The officer may deny your entry if you do not qualify.

You should also check passport validity requirements if traveling onward from the Schengen area to a country outside the Schengen area. You can find this information in our Country Information pages.

HOW LONG CAN I REMAIN?

  • With a valid U.S. passport book, you can stay up to 90 days in the Schengen area for tourism or business during any 180-day period. You must wait an additional 90 days before applying to re-enter the Schengen area.
  • If you plan to stay in the Schengen area longer than three months, contact the embassy of the country where you plan to spend the majority of your time and apply for a visa.

Countries in the Schengen area may reinstate temporary internal or external border control without notice. U.S. citizens should carry their U.S. passport book at all times when entering or leaving the Schengen area. They should also bring it when traveling between Schengen countries.

How can the U.S. government help me if border officials do not let me enter?

  • We can give you the contact information of foreign embassies of the countries you wish to visit.
  • We can provide information about hiring an English-speaking foreign attorney overseas if you choose to do so.
  • Note: We cannot influence a foreign government’s decision about allowing you to enter. We cannot intervene in another country’s criminal or administrative procedures.

What countries are members of the Schengen Borders Agreement?

Click on the country name for more information.

Bulgaria (entering in March 2024)

Czech Republic

Liechtenstein

Netherlands

Romania (entering in March 2024)

Switzerland

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COMMENTS

  1. U.S. Visas

    A citizen of a foreign country who seeks to travel to the United States generally must first obtain a U.S. visa. Visas are placed in the traveler's passport, a travel document issued by the traveler's country of citizenship. Certain international travelers may be eligible to travel to the United States without a visa if they meet the ...

  2. Visas

    The type of visa you must obtain is defined by U.S. immigration law, and relates to the purpose of your travel. Please visit our Visa Wizard to find out what visa type is appropriate for you. You can also visit our Frequently Asked Questions or find out about the Visa Waiver Program. Other useful links: Visa Categories | Find a U.S. Embassy or […]

  3. Visitor Visa

    Generally, a citizen of a foreign country who wishes to enter the United States must first obtain a visa, either a nonimmigrant visa for a temporary stay, or an immigrant visa for permanent residence. Visitor visas are nonimmigrant visas for persons who want to enter the United States temporarily for business (visa category B-1), for tourism (visa category B-2), or for a combination of both ...

  4. How to apply for or renew a U.S. tourist visa

    Visitor (tourist) visas and other travel documents for entering the U.S. The visitor visa is a type of nonimmigrant visa for people who wish to temporarily enter the U.S. There are two categories: B-1 for business travel; B-2 for tourism and medical treatment; Learn about B-1 and B-2 visas, including: Reasons you would need each type of visitor ...

  5. Official ESTA Application Website, U.S. Customs and Border Protection

    You plan to travel to the United States for business or pleasure. ... Accordingly, all references to "country" or "countries" in the Visa Waiver Program authorizing legislation, Section 217 of the Immigration and Nationality Act, 8 U.S.C. 1187, are read to include Taiwan. This is consistent with the United States' one-China policy, under which ...

  6. DS-160: Online Nonimmigrant Visa Application

    The DS-160, Online Nonimmigrant Visa Application form, is for temporary travel to the United States, and for K (fiancé (e)) visas. Form DS-160 is submitted electronically to the Department of State website via the Internet. Consular Officers use the information entered on the DS-160 to process the visa application and, combined with a personal ...

  7. Visit the U.S. as a tourist

    Entering the U.S. from Canada, Mexico, the Caribbean, and Bermuda. See what travel documents you need to enter the U.S. from Canada, Mexico, the Caribbean, or Bermuda. To visit the U.S. as a tourist, learn about tourist visas, ESTA, I-94, and visa waivers. Learn how to extend your stay in the U.S.

  8. Nonimmigrant and tourist visas

    How to apply for or renew a U.S. tourist visa. If you visit the U.S. for tourism or business, you may need a visitor visa, also known as a tourist visa. Learn how to get and renew this type of nonimmigrant visa.

  9. Nonimmigrant Visa

    The first step in applying for a U.S. nonimmigrant visa is to complete your application. It takes approximately 90 minutes to do this. After you submit your application, you can move on to the next steps such as scheduling your interview. Important: Before You Start. Types of Visas.

  10. USTravelDocs

    USTravelDocs helps you apply for a U.S. visa online. Find out the visa types, requirements, appointments and more.

  11. Visit the United States

    Obtain a Visitor VISA - (U.S. State Department) Generally, a citizen of a foreign country who wishes to enter the United States must first obtain a visa, either a nonimmigrant visa for temporary stay, or an immigrant visa for permanent residence. The visa allows a foreign citizen, to travel to the United States port-of entry and request permission of the U.S. immigration inspector to enter the ...

  12. U.S. Visa Services

    Australian Diplomats and Officials. All officials traveling on behalf of the Australian federal government require visas to transit or enter the United States. You are not required to appear for an in-person interview, but you are required to submit an application to our office via VisaLink. Visalink.

  13. Entry requirements

    Passport validity requirements. To enter the US, your passport must be valid for the length of your planned stay. If you're travelling through another country on your way to or from the US ...

  14. Tourism & Visit

    Tourism & Visit. A foreign national traveling to the United States for tourism needs a visitor visa (B-2 or combined B1/B2) unless qualifying for entry under the Visa Waiver Program. Travel for pleasure or tourism may include a short visit for vacation, visiting family and friends, or for medical treatment.

  15. How to apply for a U.S. Tourism or Visitor Visa (the B-2 visas)

    If you are applying for a visa for the first time, or are applying to renew a visa, you are required to take the same steps. Step One: Complete the online DS-160 and print the confirmation page for each person applying for a visa, regardless of age. Answer the questions to the best of your ability; we cannot assist you in completing the form.

  16. Visas

    Travel to the United States Non-U.S. travelers entering the United States are no longer required to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 and do not need to provide proof of vaccination. This applies to noncitizen nonimmigrant travelers who enter the United States via air, land ports, and ferry terminals. Important notice: Visa fee increase

  17. Visa Waiver Program and ESTA application

    You must have an electronic passport or "e-Passport" to participate in the VWP. This type of passport includes a chip. Complete the ESTA application online. Pay the fees: The total cost is $21. When you apply, you will pay a $4 processing fee. If you are approved to travel to the U.S., you must pay an additional $17 authorization fee.

  18. U.S. Visa Services

    Welcome to the U.S. Visa Information Service for New Zealand. On this website you can find information about U.S. immigrant and nonimmigrant visas and the requirements to apply for each. You can also learn how to pay the required visa application fee, and book an interview appointment at the U.S. Consulate in Auckland. Find out about Visas here.

  19. U.S. Visa Services

    A citizen of a foreign country who seeks to enter the United States generally must first obtain a U.S. visa, which is placed in the traveler's passport, a travel document issued by the traveler's country of citizenship or nationality. France is a participant in the Visa Waiver Program (VWP) so most French citizens do not need a visa to travel.

  20. Visas

    Certain international travelers may be eligible to travel to the United States without a visa if they meet the requirements for visa-free travel under the Visa Waiver Program. The Visa section of this website is all about U.S. visas for foreign citizens to travel to the United States.

  21. About Visas

    A visa must be valid at the time a traveler seeks admission to the United States, but the expiration date of the visa (validity period/length of time the visa can be used) has no relation to the length of time a temporary visitor may be authorized by the Department of Homeland Security to remain in the United States.

  22. Visa requirements for U.S. citizens traveling abroad

    If you are a U.S. citizen planning to travel outside the U.S., you may need a visa to enter a foreign country. Learn how to find your destination's visa requirements. While not all countries require visas for American travelers, many do. Look up your destination using the U.S. State Department's Learn About Your Destination search tool.

  23. What is a U.S. Visa?

    The Visa section of this website is all about U.S. visas for foreign citizens to travel to the United States. (Note: U.S. citizens don't need a U.S. visa for travel, but when planning travel abroad may need a visa issued by the embassy of the country they wish to visit. In this situation, when planning travel abroad, learn about visa ...

  24. Chinese outbound travel recovery lags due to costs, visa snags

    A recovery in Chinese overseas travel from the COVID-19 pandemic is fading as rising costs and difficulties in securing visas cement a preference for local and short-haul destinations.

  25. Directory of Visa Categories

    Update: Biometric Changes for Re-entry Permits and Refugee Travel Documents. With All the Talk about Illegal Immigration, a Look at the Legal Kind. Latvia, Estonia Sign Deals with US on Visa-Free Travel. Fact Sheet: Changes to the FY2009 H-1B Program . USCIS Announces Interim Rule on H-1B Visas. USCIS Releases Preliminary Number of FY 2009 H-1B ...

  26. Travelers from these US states have the worst airplane etiquette

    Texas. 3. Virginia. 2. Illinois. 1. Iowa. With the highest score of 94.29, Iowa's survey respondents were the most guilty of poor travel etiquette, like putting their bags on the terminal seats ...

  27. How to check the status of your visa application

    Check the status of your immigrant or nonimmigrant visa application online using the U.S. Department of State's Visa Status Check portal. You will need to enter your case number when you use the portal. If you move after submitting a visa application, notify the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) as soon as possible.

  28. Fees for Visa Services

    Description of Service and Fee Amount (All fees = $ in US currency) Filing an Immigrant Visa Petition (When collected by U.S. Embassies and Consulates for USCIS. Fees subject to change.) Immigrant petition for relative (I-130) $675.00. Orphan (intercountry adoption) immediate relative petition (I-600, I-800) $775.00.

  29. U.S. Visa: Reciprocity and Civil Documents by Country

    To view the Reciprocity Page for your country* of nationality, select your country*/area of authority from the list of countries on the left side menu. On the Reciprocity Page, select the Visa Classifications tab from the column on the left. Select the type of visa you have applied for, such as a B-1/B-2 (temporary visa for business or pleasure ...

  30. U.S. Travelers in Europe's Schengen Area

    Tourists, exchange students, and people visiting for business from certain countries, like the United States, can travel in the Schengen area for up to 90 days. The Schengen area includes most EU countries, except for Cyprus and Ireland. It also includes four non-EU countries: Iceland, Norway, Switzerland, and Liechtenstein.