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Nonimmigrant Visas

Visa-Free Travel under the Visa Waiver Program (with ESTA)

Citizens of 38 countries (including the United Kingdom and Ireland) traveling to the U.S. for tourism and/or business may be eligible to travel to the U.S. without a visa under the Visa Waiver Program (VWP) provided they meet VWP criteria and have ESTA (authorization from the Department of Homeland Security to travel without a visa). 

Exempt from the Visa Requirement

Canadian/Mexican/Bermudan nationals may be exempt from the visa requirement.  

Who requires a Nonimmigrant Visa

A nonimmigrant visa is required by anyone seeking temporary admission into the U.S. for tourism, business, work or study who is not eligible to travel visa-free or who is not exempt from the visa requirement as described above.

Travelers with a visa should NOT apply for ESTA.  ESTA is authorization from the Department of Homeland Security to travel without a visa.

How to Apply for a Nonimmigrant Visa

With limited exceptions, nonimmigrant visa applicants aged 14 to 79 are required to schedule an appointment for an interview with a U.S. consular officer. The Consulate does not accept walk-in applications. Applicants under the age of 14 or those aged 80 or over are generally not required to appear in person and may apply for a visa by mail.   

For information about all the different nonimmigrant visa categories and about the visa application process, refer to How to Apply for a Visa

Note: Belfast does not process E1 or E2 Treaty/Trader or K1 Fiance(e) visa applications.  Refer to Embassy London's E-visa page or London's K1 Visa Information page for further information about these visa categories. 

J-1 (Exchange) Visas