Determining the Appropriate Visa Category
The first step of the process is to determine if your country qualifies for the Visa Waiver Program (VWP), which enables nationals of certain countries to travel to the United States for tourism or business for stays of 90 days or less without obtaining a visa. Learn more.
If you are eligible
If you are eligible to travel under the VWP, you are still subject to enhanced security requirements. You must apply online for authorization by going to the Electronic System for Travel Authorization website. The Department of Homeland Security recommends that travel authorization applications be submitted at least 72 hours prior to travel.
If you are not eligible
If your country doesn’t qualify for the Visa Waiver Program and you plan to visit the United States to attend a professional meeting, you will most likely need to apply for a B-1 visa. However, you may need to apply for a visa under a different category if you will be receiving any compensation for your activities (e.g., honoraria for lectures and presentations). Go to the US Department of State Visa Home Page to learn more about visa categories. Read on for additional information.