Traveling to America
Ready to take off for a trip to America?
Planning to visit friends or family?
Getting ready for a quick business trip?
You need a visitor/travel visa or ESTA!
Visitors visas allow you to enter and travel throughout the United States during a specified period authorized upon entry into the U.S. by immigration officer. This period may be between up to 6 months. This category of visa includes B1 and B2 visa.
In some cases, travel visas are replaced by ESTA that allows entry into the U.S. for 90 days ONLY, which cannot be extended. Therefore, if you think that 6 months isn’t long enough for you, consider B1/B2 instead.
ESTA is Electronic System for Travel Authorization and is available to citizens of countries that participate in the VWP (Visa Waiver Program).
To apply for an ESTA, travelers must hold a passport from one of the following VWP countries.
|ESTA Eligible Countries:|
Republic of Malta
In addition, you must show:
- Intend to travel to the US for business or pleasure for a maximum of 90 days;
- Have not previously been refused admission to the US or denied an US visa;
- Have no criminal convictions for which the sentence or sentences are for a total period of 5 years duration or more;
- Be in a good health.
ESTA is generally valid for two (2) years or until the passport expires, whichever comes first. You may travel to the US repeatedly during the validity period without having to apply for another ESTA. However, if you travel TOO OFTEN you may be asked for a specific reason of your frequent visits. Make sure to have a valid legal reason. Remember that ESTA does not permit a traveler to engage in any work, study, or training.
B2 Visa for tourists
Tourists coming to the U.S. must have either a valid tourist,B2 visa, or ESTA authorization. B2 visas allow tourists to stay temporarily in the United States. Holders of these visas are also allowed to visit family or to undergo medical treatment in the US.
B2 visas are obtainable only in the foreign applicant’s country at the US Embassy or applicant can file a petition to change/adjust immigration status while in the US. Applicant must demonstrate that his/her purpose for entering the US is only temporary and is either: recreation, tourist activity, travel, vacation or medical treatment. The applicant must demonstrate that at the end of the specified time he plans to return to their country. Such intend must be supported by relevant evidence such as work, school, family in your home country. Applicants for visas, B2 may be required to prove that he has sufficient resources to finance the length of stay.
B2 visas allow holders to stay in the U.S. up to 6 months. In some cases, holders may be allowed to stay up to one year is which is maximum length of stay with a B2 visa.
Business Visa B1
Most business owners who plan to visit the U.S. must be equipped with either a B1 visa or ESTA authorization.
B1 visas allow an entrepreneur to stay temporarily in the United States. B1 holders may carry out activities such as negotiating contracts, attending meetings or conferences, and conduct business meetings.
Entrepreneurs from countries that are participating in the U.S. Visa Waiver Program (VWP) may enter in the US via ESTA authorization. The only difference an applicant should bear in mind is the length of stay. When entering on ESTA, applicant may stay in the US for no more than 90 days. When entering with B1 business visitor visa, applicants may stay up to 6 months with a possible extension for another 6 months.
Conditions for obtaining B1 visas
Applicant must demonstrate that the purpose of his/her business activities in the US are not for paid work or other remuneration received from sources in the USA. The applicant must demonstrate that he/she intends to stay in the US only temporarily and at the end of the specified time he/she plans to return to his/her country. Applicants for visas B1 may be required to prove that he/she has sufficient resources to the length of stay in the country.
B1 visas allow the holder to stay in the U.S. for a maximum period of one year. Spouses and dependent children of B1 visa holders may obtain the right to travel with their spouse or parent on derivative visa.
What steps to take next
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