The process of entering the United States can be complicated which may lead to many questions and concerns about the process. In general, to enter the United States as a citizen of a foreign country, the noncitizen must either obtain a nonimmigrant visa for a temporary stay in the U.S. or an immigrant visa if the noncitizen is seeking permanent residence in the United States.

A visitor visa may be another option that is available that allows the noncitizen to enter the United States temporarily for business; temporarily for pleasure or visiting; or as a combination of both purposes. Visitor visas are nonimmigrant visas. There are several steps to apply for a visitor visa and the steps involved in the process may vary so it is important to be familiar with what they are and it can help to know what to expect.

It is important to fill out the initial application and an interview may be required on a discretionary basis. It is also important to know what documentation is required and to collect and organize that documentation to provide as part of the application. Required documentation includes the application, a passport, a photo and the required application fee. Additional information related to the purpose of the trip, the noncitizen’s intent to depart following the trip and their ability to pay for costs associated with the trip may also be required.

Additional situations may also arise if the noncitizen wishes to extend their stay or their status changes and can further illustrate the number of complexities that can be associated with visitor visas and the process of entering the United States which is why familiarity with the process can be important. The more that applicants for visitor visas understand about the process, the better position they will be in to efficiently and effectively obtain their visa and be permitted to enter the U.S.

Source: U.S. Department of State, “Visitor Visa,” Accessed July 21, 2017