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
Our J-1 (exchange) visa website is at: