What is the visa waiver program?

Through this program, citizens of specific countries are allowed to travel to the United States for specific reasons. These reasons can consist of tourism, business or while in transit for up to 90 days without having to obtain a visa. The program is specific to the 50 U.S. states and U.S. territories, such as Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands of the Caribbean.

How is the Electronic System for Travel Authorization involved?

The Visa Waiver Program uses the Electronic System for Travel Authorization, which is an automated system that determines the eligibility of visitors to travel to the U.S. by air and sea. Through this system, it collects biographical information and answers to the Visa Waiver Program questions. However, this system does not determine is someone is admissible in the country. Instead, it collects information for U.S. Customs and Border Protection. The U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers use this information to determine an individual’s admissibility.

What if I’m traveling for more than 90 days?

If you plan on being in the country longer than the period of time where a visa is waived, then you may have to obtain one. There are different types of visas based on an individual’s intention for entering the country. Some visas are for students while others are for employment purposes. If individuals are getting married to a U.S. citizen, they may obtain a fiance visa.

To obtain a visa, you should go through an embassy, consulate or even online. These places can help you go through the process and get the outcome you desire. If you are entering the country for your education, you should consider the F student visa and the M student visa. This can allow individuals to remain in the country while they pursue a higher education or a trade school. If they wish to remain after that due to employment, they can then apply for that visa.

Employment visas can be granted if individuals have a job lined up for them in the country. Individuals who are outside the country may also wish to look into an investor visa. With this visa, trade is facilitated between the U.S. and the country from which the individual comes from.

The Law Offices of Cheryl R. David practices immigration law throughout NYC. If you have questions about your particular matters regarding immigration please contact the office to discuss your circumstances and options.