Nonimmigrant Visas

In general, a citizen of a foreign country who seeks to enter the United States temporarily must first obtain a U.S. nonimmigrant visa, which is placed in the traveler’s passport.

For information regarding the new VWP/ESTA eligibility requirements, click here.

European Travel Info & Health Advisory:  advice on travel for UK citizens and Global Health Advisory

In response to significant worldwide challenges related to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Department of State has temporarily suspended routine visa services at all U.S. Embassies and Consulates. Embassies and consulates have canceled all routine immigrant and nonimmigrant visa appointments as of March 20, 2020, but will continue to provide emergency and mission-critical visa services as resources and local conditions allow.  We will resume routine visa services as soon as possible but are unable to provide a specific date at this time.  Please see these notices which contain detailed information about the current status of visa services worldwide and visa restrictions related to the COVID-19 global pandemic: https://travel.state.gov/content/travel/en/traveladvisories/ea/covid-19-visa-services-and-restrictions.html

Entry of foreign nationals who were physically present within the following list of countries within 14 days prior to their entry or attempted entry into the United States is suspended, per Presidential Proclamations 9984, 9992, 9993, 9996 and the subsequent proclamation issued May 24, 2020:

  • Brazil (effective May 26 at 11:59 p.m. EDT);
  • The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, excluding overseas territories outside of Europe;
  • The Republic of Ireland;
  • The 26 countries that comprise the Schengen Area (Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, and Switzerland);
  • The Islamic Republic of Iran;
  • The People’s Republic of China, not including the Special Administrative Regions of Hong Kong and Macau

Please review the Presidential Proclamation for detailed information: https://www.whitehouse.gov/presidential-actions/proclamation-suspension-entry-immigrants-nonimmigrants-certain-additional-persons-pose-risk-transmitting-novel-coronavirus/

With the exception of a Head of State or Government who qualifies for an A-1 visa regardless of the purpose of the visit to the United States, the type of visa required by a diplomat or other government official depends upon the reason for entering the United States.

Government officials traveling to the United States to perform non-governmental functions of a commercial nature or traveling as tourists require the appropriate H, L or B visa, or if qualified, travel visa free under the Visa Waiver Program; they do not qualify for diplomatic or official visas.

The chart on this page contains many different purposes of temporary travel and the related nonimmigrant visa categories available at Travel.State.gov.