How to Enter the U.S.

Learn about the most common types of visas for business, student or travel you may need when coming to or traveling through the United States, plus review what other documents you need to enter the U.S. Also, find information on how to apply for an immigrant visa.

Apply For a Visa
The U.S. Department of State issues visas tooltip to foreign nationals tooltip traveling to the United States through its embassies or consulates tooltip . However, you do not need a visa for your business meeting or for vacation if you are a citizen of any of the 38 countries participating in the Visa Waiver Program.

Your reason for travel will determine the type of visa you need to enter the U.S. Some of the most commonly requested visas are:

  • Business or professional visas for citizens of Canada and Mexico.
  • Visitor visas for tourism or business.
  • Visas for students.
  • Immigrant visa for permanent residency.
  • Transit visa for traveling through the U.S. on your way to visit another country.
  • Fiancé(e) visa to marry your U.S. citizen fiancé(e), and live, in the U.S.

Procedures for Entering the United States

When you arrive in the United States, you must show valid travel documents as part of the entry process. The documents you need depend on the country you are arriving from and your citizenship or status.

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