Most travelers to the United States must hold a valid visa or passport. The State Department requires consular offices to interview most applicants. In addition, many visa applications are sent to Washington D.C. for review. Because of these additional steps, the process can take several months. We recommend you begin the visa application process early. For further details on how to apply, visit:
- If you plan to apply, it is important to thoroughly review all information on your specific Embassy's Consular Section website.
Visa Waiver Program
Most Canadian citizens and many citizens from Visa Waiver Program countries can come to the U.S. without a visa if they meet certain requirements. Visa waiver travelers from ALL 27 Visa Waiver Program countries must present a machine-readable passport at the U.S. port of entry to enter the U.S. without a visa, otherwise a U.S. visa is required. See important information about the 10/26/05 digital photograph and 10/26/06 e-passport requirements for VWP travelers. Learn more. Other foreign citizens will need a nonimmigrant visa.
For an overview of the types of non-immigrant visas available under immigration law, see Non-immigrant Visa Classifications on the USCIS website. The Consular Officer at your embassy or consulate will decide what kind of visa you need, when you apply.
Visa Wait Times
Review the visa wait times information for interview appointments and visa processing at each embassy and consular section worldwide available at: Visa Wait Times. Visit the embassy or consular section website where you will apply for your visa to find out how to schedule an interview appointment, pay fees and review other instructions.