The US visa policy outlines the requirements which a foreign citizen who wishes to visit the United States must meet to obtain a permit to travel to, enter, and remain in the country.
The United States immigration policy is the same for all 50 states, and might be similar for US territories such as Puerto Rico and the United States Virgin Islands. However, different visa regulations apply to the territories of Guam, the Northern Mariana Islands, and American Samoa.
The visa requirements to travel to the USA differ depending on the nationality of the traveler, as well as the intended purpose and duration of the intended stay in the United States.
Travelers of a few nationalities, including Canada, do not require either a visa or travel authorization to enter the country, some for a limited period and others for an indefinite stay.
Citizens of 39 additional countries around the world do not need a visa for the United States to stay for short periods in the country, but they are required to pre-register for an electronic authorization (ESTA) and receive approval before departure.
Individuals who are not visa-exempt are required to apply for a United States visa from the nearest US embassy or consulate. It is necessary to apply for the correct visa type depending on the purpose of the travel, whether a student visa, work visa, visitor visa, business visa, or transit visa.
Some nationalities may be required to obtain both a traditional visa from an embassy and register with the US Electronic Visa Update System (EVUS) to gain travel authorization to the United States, as is the case with citizens of China.
In some rare cases, none of the visa options for the United States are available to some nationalities because of US visa bans against travelers from certain territories.
Find below a comprehensive list of US regulations to travel to the United States from your country of residence.