The United States is home to some of the world’s most famous tourist attractions, such as the Grand Canyon, Disney World, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, and the memorials in Washington, D.C. With all of the sightseeing opportunities the U.S. has to offer, it is no wonder that every year millions of foreign nationals come to this country for a vacation. In Wisconsin alone, we have thousands of foreign nationals who visit our state to experience our unique culture and friendly communities. Most foreign nationals who are seeking to visit the U.S. must obtain B-1/B-2 visitor visas. The following information briefly describes the visitor visa process. However, it is essential to gain a thorough understanding of the paperwork required by consulting an experienced Wisconsin immigration lawyer. At Nicolet Lawyers, Spiro Nicolet and his colleagues have helped many foreign nationals navigate the visitor visa application process.Deciding Whether You Need a Visitor Visa
Before planning your trip to the U.S., you need to determine if you need a visitor visa to enter the country. The U.S. maintains reciprocal visa-free travel agreements with many countries, which means that citizens of those countries do not need to get visitor visas before entering the United States. The program that allows visa-free travel is called the Visa Waiver Program (VWP). Citizens from the following countries are eligible for VWP: Andorra, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Brunei, Chile, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Monaco, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Portugal, San Marino, Singapore, Slovakia, Slovenia, South Korea, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Taiwan, and the United Kingdom.
However, prospective travelers from these countries should be reminded that they will need to obtain authorization through the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s online Electronic System for Travel Authorization (ESTA). Further information about the ESTA program and its requirements can be found here.Overview of the Visitor Visa Application Process
Foreign nationals receive their visitor visas at the U.S. consulates in their home countries. The specific procedures for getting the visa, such as appointment times and schedules, may vary from consulate to consulate, but in general all of the actual visa application materials are the same throughout the world.
To apply for the visitor visa, the foreign national must first complete the online nonimmigrant visa application on the Form DS-160, which is available on the U.S. Department of State’s website. After completing the form, the national must print the bar code page that proves the form was completed and bring the page to a visitor visa interview.
Along with the bar code page, the foreign national must also bring to the interview his or her passport, a passport photo, proof of the purpose of the trip, proof that the national will return to the home country, and proof that the national can pay for the trip expenses while in the United States. Proof of the purpose of a leisure trip can be shown by event tickets or hotel reservations. Proof that the national will return to the home country can consist of evidence of home ownership, full-time employment, or close family relationships. There are also a few fees that must be paid to the U.S. government for the issuance of the visitor visa.Discuss Your Visitor Visa Application with a Wisconsin Immigration Lawyer
Although applying for and receiving a visitor visa is relatively easy, working with a knowledgeable Wisconsin immigration attorney at Nicolet Lawyers will help reduce the possibility of delays in the process. Spiro Nicolet has assisted many foreign nationals with completing their applications, helping them decide whether they actually need a visitor visa and guiding them on what supporting documents to provide if they do. Take a moment to call our office today at (773) 562-6884 or complete our online form to start our conversation at no initial cost to you.