US Visitor Visas

If you are looking to travel to the United States temporarily as a visitor, you will need to obtain a nonimmigrant visa. There are three types of nonimmigrant visitor visas:

B-1 Business Visitor Visa

This visa type allows for individuals to travel to the United States to engage in the following activity:

  • Consult with business associates
  • Attend a scientific, educational, professional, or business convention or conference
  • Settle an estate
  • Negotiate a contract

B-2 Tourism Visitor Visa

This visa type allows for individuals to travel to the United States to engage in the following activity:

  • Tourism
  • Vacation (holiday)
  • Visit with friends or relatives
  • Medical treatment
  • Participation in social events hosted by fraternal, social, or service organisations
  • Participation by amateurs in musical, sports, or similar events or contests, if not being paid for participating
  • Enrollment in a short recreational course of study, not for credit to ward a degree (e.g. two day cooking class while on vacation)

The nonimmigrant visitor visas cannot be used for the following travel purposes:

  • Study
  • Employment
  • Paid performances, or any professional performance before a paying audience
  • Arrival as a crewmember on a ship or aircraft
  • Work as foreign press, in radio, film, print journalism, or other information media
  • Permanent residence in the United States

If you are travelling for one of the above reasons, you must obtain the relevant visa type for that purpose.

General Overview of the Application Process

  1. Online visa application – Form DS-160
  2. Attend an interview – Interviews are required for all ages from 14-79, if you are outside of this age range interviews are generally not required
  3. Visa Application Fee – $160 USD
    Please note: if your visa is approved you may also be required to pay a visa issuance fee if applicable to your nationality
  4. Required documentation
    1. Passport
    2. Form DS-160
    3. Application Fee
    4. Photo
    5. Additional documentation i.e. evidence of the purpose of your trip, intent to depart the US at the end of your trip, financial capability

Other Types of Nonimmigrant Visitor Visas

There are also Transit Visas available to travel into the United States as a nonimmigrant visa. However, there are less common.

Transit C Visas

This visa type is primarily for foreign nationals who are travelling through the United States to another country, and they intend to have a brief stop over in the US. This usually forms part of their travel to the next foreign destination.

Transit C-1, D and C-1/D Visas

These visa types are for crewmembers of sea vessels or international airlines that are travelling to the United States. These visas are intended for transit travel.

Waiver Program for Tourists and Business Travelers

If you are an international traveler looking to travel to the United States as a visitor either for the purpose of business or tourism, you may be eligible for a visa waiver.

To be eligible, you must be a citizen of one of the 39 countries who participate in the United States Visa Waiver Program (VWP).

If you intend to travel to the US through the VWP, you must obtain an approved travel authorization prior to embarking on your trip. International travelers who are approved to travel to the United States under the VWP can stay for up to 90 days without a visa.

The following countries participate in the VWP:

Andorra Hungary Norway
Australia Iceland Poland
Austria Ireland Portugal
Belgium Italy San Marino
Brunei Japan Singapore
Chile Korea Slovakia
Croatia Latvia Slovenia
Czech Republic Liechtenstein Spain
Denmark Lithuania Sweden
Estonia Luxembourg Switzerland
Finland Malta Taiwan
France Monaco United Kingdom
Germany Netherlands
Greece New Zealand

To apply to travel to the US under the VWP:

J-1 Exchange Visitor Visa

For those travelling to the United States from Australia, the J-1 Exchange Visitor Visa is the most common visa type. The J-1 Exchange Visitor Visa allows international travellers from Australia to travel to the United States to work or study. For further information about this visa, click here.

If you would like assistance with applying for a US Visitor Visa or to discuss your options, please book a time here.