If you are looking to immigrate to the United States or travel to the U.S. for temporary purposes, chances are that you will have to apply for an immigrant or nonimmigrant visa, respectively. There are many different categories of these visas so that you can find one that directly applies to your situation. However, there are some instances where you can travel to the U.S. without a visa as long as you meet certain requirements.
First, the visa waiver program, or VWP, is a main method for people to travel to the United States minus a visa. With this program, the U.S. examines the security, law enforcement, and other such issues of another country. If these factors are sufficient, they are eligible for participation in the VWP. There are currently 36 countries that are part of this program, including Australia, Germany, France, and the United Kingdom.
Citizens of these countries are eligible to travel to the U.S. without a visa, as long as they meet certain other requirements. They must also register with the Electronic System for Travel Authorization (ESTA) before travel, and they must be approved by ESTA. Additionally, the reason for travel must be business or pleasure, and the length of stay may not exceed 90 days.
Another agreement that allows foreign nationals into the U.S. without a visa is NAFTA, or the North American Free Trade Agreement. NAFTA applies to citizens of Mexico and Canada. Mexican and Canadian citizens whose professions are on the NAFTA list are eligible to come to the U.S. for business purposes as long as they can demonstrate that they are indeed proficient in that profession.
Lastly, the United States also allows citizens of Bermuda, Canada, and some Caribbean nations to come to the country under the Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative. However, these visas also have specific requirements. For instance, citizens from Bermuda may only stay in the U.S. for up to 180 days.
If you are thinking of traveling or immigrating the United States, it is important to make sure that your visa or other documentation is in order so that you are not deported then banned from this country. For help with visas and immigration, contact a knowledgeable Orange County immigration lawyer from Garg & Associates, P.C., today.