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
On June 22, 2020, the President signed a Proclamation which extends the previous Proclamation 10014 and suspends the entry of certain additional foreign nationals to the United States through December 31, 2020. Please read the Proclamation in full for details, including exemptions.
Please also carefully review our Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) for the latest information about travel to the United States and visa services in the UK.
UPDATE: As of July 27, 2020, the United States Embassy in London and as of August 3, 2020 the United States Consulate General in Belfast are resuming certain immigrant and nonimmigrant visa services, including: immigrant visas for spouses and children of U.S. citizens; F-1 and M-1 student visa categories.
While we aim to process cases as soon as practicable, there are likely to be increased wait times for completing such services due to substantial backlogs. The MRV fee is valid and may be used to schedule an interview appointment in the country where it was purchased within one year of the date of payment.
If you have an urgent matter and need to travel immediately, please follow the guidance provided through your Visa Appointment Service account to request an expedited appointment. Once you have booked the earliest available appointment, you can then follow the on-screen instructions to request an expedited appointment.
Applicants for H1B, H2B, H4, L and certain J categories covered by Presidential Proclamation 10052 should request an appointment only if you have reason to believe you may qualify for one of the exceptions listed in the Proclamation.
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 10041:
- 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.
Tourism and Visitor
B-1 visas are nonimmigrant visas for persons traveling to the United States temporarily to engage in business activities such as the negotiation of contracts, consultation with business associates, litigation, and participation in scientific, educational, professional or business conventions, conferences or seminars and other legitimate activities of a commercial or professional nature.
Treaty Trader or Treaty Investor
Treaty Trader visas (E-1) and Treaty Investor visas (E-2) are nonimmigrant visas for citizens of countries which the United States maintains a treaty of commerce and navigation (9 FAM 402.9-10). The applicant must be coming to the United States to engage in substantial trade, including trade in services or technology, in qualifying activities, principally between the United States and the treaty country (E-1); or to develop and direct the operations of an enterprise in which the applicant has invested or is in the process of investing a substantial amount of capital (E-2).
Study & Exchange
Students taking part in an exchange program, and those wishing to take up prearranged employment, training or research in the United States under an officially approved program sponsored by an educational or other nonprofit institution, require exchange visitor (J-1) visas.
Diplomats & Other Government Officials
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.