Which Visa do you need for the United States?

Incredibly there are total number of 185 different visa types for the United States! With that said there is bound to be one just for you and your situation. We will now look at the most common visa’s which will most likely be applicable to you.


ESTA & The Visa Waiver Program

So ESTA is actually not a visa its a system! But if you qualify for the Visa Waiver Program then ESTA is all you need. As it sounds the Visa Waiver Program means that those eligible do not need a visa to visit the United States. The Visa Waiver program is open to citizens from 38 countries including The United Kingdom, Australia, Chile most of the EU and some Asian countries like Singapore & Japan.

Those that wish to travel to the USA on the Visa Waiver Program must apply for ESTA. The Electronic System for Travel Authorization is designed to safe check those who wish to visit the United States and provide them with preauthorisations to travel to the USA if they are eligible and meet the expectations.

This Visa Waiver Program is designed for those that wish to visit the United States for short trips (less than 90 days) for business or tourism.

B2 Tourist Visa ‘Visit for Pleasure’

Not part of the VWP, not too worry!  Although it can be more difficult to travel to the US with further security checks and stricter criteria citizens of countries not listed on The Visa Waiver Program can still visit the United States for Tourism purposes on the B2 Tourist Visa.

It is worth checking with the United States Consulate in your country to confirm the rules and regulations. Some countries may have imposed restrictions on them with the recent US governmental changes.

It is also worth noting that this can be beneficial to both VWP and Non-VWP citizens since those that are successful with their application will be granted 6 months, with the maximum stay for up to 1 year.


B2 Business Visa

Similar as above really! Those who are not citizens of the VWP are able to travel to the United States on this Visa. Those looking to travel for business purposes will  need to apply for this visa at their local US Consulate.

The Visa is valid for 6 months and can be extended to 1 year. While you can use the visa for business purposes this visa does not give you the right to run a business from the US, Gain Employment or participate in pro entertainment events or sports. Those that want to immigrate to the USA will require further research.