United States Visa Information
The U.S. is a free and open society. The U.S. welcomes citizens from around the world who genuinely want to visit, study, and do business here. The US Government is dedicated to protecting the safety of the country and keeping its doors open to them. Changes in Visa procedures reflect the US Government's concern for ensuring the safety of U.S. residents and visitors alike, not to make it more difficult for legitimate travelers to enter the United States.
Following the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, they made some changes in the laws governing visitor entry and exit.
The US Government now require additional application forms and security clearances. Visa applications take longer to process.
If youíre a citizen of a foreign country, in most cases youíll need a Visa to enter the United States.
A Visa doesnít permit entry to the U.S., however. A Visa simply indicates that your application has been reviewed by a U.S. consular officer at an American embassy or consulate, and that the officer has determined youíre eligible to enter the country for a specific purpose. Consular affairs are the responsibility of the U.S. Department of State.
A Visa allows you to travel to the United States as far as the port of entry (airport or land border crossing) and ask the immigration officer to allow you to enter the country. Only the immigration officer has the authority to permit you to enter the United States. He or she decides how long you can stay for any particular visit. Immigration matters are the responsibility of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.
There are two categories of U.S. Visas: immigrant and nonimmigrant.
Immigrant Visas are for people who intend to live permanently in the U.S. Nonimmigrant Visas are for people with permanent residence outside the U.S. but who wish to be in the U.S. on a temporary basis Ė for tourism, medical treatment, business, temporary work or study.
Nonimmigrant Visas are for people with permanent residence outside the U.S. but who wish to go to the U.S. on a temporary basis Ė for tourism, medical treatment, business, temporary work, or study.
U.S. law requires that people who apply for nonimmigrant Visas provide evidence that they donít intend to immigrate to the United States. Itís up to consular officers at U.S. embassies and consulates to determine eligibility on an individual basis on the merits of each case.
Providing requested documents does not guarantee that you will receive a Visa. There is no entitlement to a Visa.
And, because each personís personal situation is different, people applying for the same Visa may be asked different questions and be required to submit different documents. Under U.S. law, the authority to issue or refuse Visas is vested solely in consular offices abroad. Consular officers have the authority to decide whether the evidence submitted in support of an application is sufficient to establish an applicant's eligibility for a Visa. Consular officers may request additional information or documentation depending on their assessment of each personís situation.