General Visa Information
What Is a Visa?
A visa is a permit (generally pasted onto a page of a traveler's passport) issued by a U.S. Embassy or Consulate that allows an individual to travel and apply for admission to the United States.
What Type of Visa Do I Need?
Travelers who will be in the United States for a temporary period (tourists, business travelers, temporary workers, students, exchange program participants, etc.) should apply for a non-immigrant visa. Certain tourist/business travelers are now eligible to travel to the United States without a visa under the Visa Waiver Program, if they meet certain requirements. Please use our Visa Waiver Wizard to determine if you are eligible to travel visa free.
Those who intend to emigrate to the United States for permanent residence (“green card”) should apply for an immigrant visa.
How Do I Get Started?
Please select which type of visa you require, to obtain more information, including how to apply:
- Non-immigrant Visas. See also our Frequently Asked Questions about non-immigrant visas, and information on how to apply for a non-immigrant visa.
- Immigrant Visas
These pages are intended to answer most questions that you may have about U.S. visas. If you don't find what you need, please contact us. Additional general information about visas is also available on the U.S. Department of State's main travel website.
Tourism information about the United States is also available at the Discover America site.
Airline security information, including information on what a traveler to the United States can and cannot take on the plane, is available on the U.S. Transportation Security Administration website.