Generally, a citizen of a foreign country who wishes to enter the United States must first obtain a visa, either a nonimmigrant visa for a temporary stay or an immigrant visa for permanent residence. Visitor visas are nonimmigrant visas for persons who want to enter the United States temporarily for business (visa category B-1), for tourism (visa category B-2), or for a combination of both purposes (B-1/B-2).
Visa Waiver Program
The Visa Waiver Program (VWP) enables most citizens or nationals of participating countries* to travel to the United States for tourism or business for stays of 90 days or less without obtaining a visa. Travellers must have a valid Electronic System for Travel Authorization (ESTA) approval prior to travel and meet all requirements explained below. If you prefer to have a visa in your passport, you may still apply for a visitor (B) visa.
Travel Without a Visa
U.S. visa policy permits citizens of certain countries to travel to the United States without a visa, when they meet certain requirements, under U.S. laws. For information about travel without a visa, click on the links below.
• Visa Waiver Program (VWP)
• Mexican and Canadian NAFTA Professional Worker
• Citizens of Canada and Bermuda
Citizens of Canada and Bermuda
Visa Requirements – Citizens and Permanent Residents of Canada
Citizens of Canada travelling to the United States do not require a nonimmigrant visa, except for the travel purposes described below. Canadian citizens who are inadmissible to the United States under immigration law, or have previously violated the terms of their immigration status in the United States can Learn More about ineligibilities related to Canadians on the CBP website. Canadian citizens with ineligibilities also have the option of applying for a visa and a waiver at the nearest U.S. Embassy or Consulate if it is more convenient for them.
Canadians require nonimmigrant visas for temporary travel to the United States for these purposes:
• Foreign government officials (A); officials and employees of international organizations (G); and NATO officials, representatives, and employees assigned to the United States (NATO)
• Treaty traders (E-1)
• Treaty investors (E-2)
• Spouse or Child of an Australian Treaty Alien coming to the United States Solely to Perform Services in a Specialty Occupation (E-3D)
• Fiancé(e)s (K-1)
• Children of fiancé(e)s (K-2)
• Spouse of a U.S. citizen travelling to the United States to complete the immigration process (K-3)
• Children of a foreign citizen spouse (K-4) described above
• Informant supplying critical information relating to a criminal organization (S-5)
• Informant supplying critical information relating to terrorism (S-6)
• Qualified family member (S-7) of an S-5 or S-6 visa holder described above
Permanent residents (landed immigrants) of Canada must have a nonimmigrant visa unless the permanent resident is a national of a country that participates in the Visa Waiver Program (VWP), meets the VWP requirements, and is seeking to enter the United States for 90 days or less under that program.