Visa required for the USA
As for any trip abroad, it is necessary to obtain an authorization of entry to the territory to be able to go to the United States of America. So you can get a visa for the US, which allows you to control legal immigration within a country. But there are several types, sometimes confusing when planning your trip.
Do I need a visa for the USA?
A visa is an official document issued by the authorities of a country to a person who is not a citizen of the same country. It allows the latter to be able to travel legally, but the visa is especially obligatory ! It is necessary to obtain it before going abroad. Exceptions sometimes exist, in particular through agreements between countries to facilitate border crossing. The best example of such a system is that of the European Union, where all member countries allow nationals to travel from country to country simply with their identity papers.
This facility also exists for the USA with the ESTA declaration. Depending on the type of trip planned, it is possible to do without a visa, but it must be an authorization of any kind to travel to the United States.
Which visa to the US?
As mentioned above, there are many types of visas. One could almost say that there are as many US visas as there are reasons to travel to the USA. Here is a non-exhaustive list for information only:
- A1 visa: for Heads of State, ambassadors, ministers, diplomats… ;
- B1 Visa: business and domestic travel;
- C1 visa: for transit while travelling through the United States;
- F1 Visa: for students ;
- G1 Visa: for members of a permanent mission of a State recognised by the American administration for an international organisation;
- H1B1 Visa: for specialized individuals employed in positions requiring a higher education degree;
- Visa I: for journalists ;
- H2A: for seasonal workers ;
The list is very long, so you must understand the reasons for your trip to make the appropriate request. You will then have to contact the American embassy to begin the visa surrender procedures.
Although ESTA is not strictly speaking a visa, it remains a travel authorization. To apply, the following criteria must be met:
- Be a national of one of the countries participating in the programme (including France);
- Possess a valid electronic or biometric passport;
- Plan a stay of less than 90 days maximum;
- The trip must be for tourism or business purposes (unpaid).
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