I got a friend on British passport, that wants to see the States. He is planning to leave from central America; however his travel agent in S. America, says "he needs a travel visa w/ an interview with U.S embassy". Is that necessary for only a month???
Unlikely, but you never know regulations might have changed since I entered the U.S. coming from Mexico in 2002. I have a German passport and flew into L.A., there I only had to go through the usual filling out papers and then I could have stayed in the U.S. for three months.
Has your friend a return ticket, maybe that might be important?
Thanks for the feedback Steff! It's seems a little strict just for a visit.
Yea..he does has a return ticket out of San Francisco.
This is from the Lonely Planet website:
Travellers from countries such as Andorra, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Denmark, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Japan, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Spain, Switzerland and the United Kingdom can enter the USA for up to 90 days under a visa-waiver program if they have a round-trip ticket that is nonrefundable in the US, and have a passport valid for at least six months past their scheduled departure date.
Just had a look at the us embassy website and here are the restrictions that must be satisfied for the visa-waver programme:
Visa Waiver Program if they meet ALL of the following requirements:
• The traveler is a citizen of one of the countries named above,
traveling on a valid, individual machine readable passport.
Note: A passport indicating that the bearer is a British Subject, British Dependent Territories Citizen, British Overseas Citizen, British National (Overseas) Citizen, or British Protected Person does not qualify for travel without a visa. A passport which states holder has Right of Abode or indefinite leave to remain in the United Kingdom does not qualify for visa free travel;
• Traveling for business, pleasure or transit only;
• Staying in the United States for 90 days or less;
Plus, if entering the United States by air or sea is,
• Holding a return or onward ticket. If traveling on an electronic ticket, a copy of the itinerary must be carried for presentation to U.S. immigration at the port of entry. Note: Travelers with onward tickets terminating in Mexico, Canada, Bermuda or the Caribbean Islands must be legal permanent residents of these areas;
• Entering the United States aboard an air or sea carrier that has agreed to participate in the program. This includes aircraft of a U.S. corporation that has entered into an agreement with the Department of Homeland Security to carry passengers under the Visa Waiver Program. Note: Other private or official aircraft or vessels do not meet this requirement; and
• In possession of a completed form I-94W, obtainable from airline and shipping companies;
Or, if entering the United States by land from Canada or Mexico,
• Is in possession of a completed form I-94W, issued by the immigration authorities at the port of entry, and a $6.00 fee, payable only in U.S. dollars.
Important: Some travelers may not be eligible to enter the United States visa free under the VWP. These include people who have been arrested, even if the arrest did not result in a criminal conviction, those with criminal records, (the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act does not apply to U.S. visa law), certain serious communicable illnesses, those who have been refused admission into, or have been deported from, the United States, or have previously overstayed on the VWP. Such travelers must apply for special restricted visas. If they attempt to travel without a visa, they may be refused entry into the United States
Thanks for you help guys! I will pass the information along.
I believe your friend should be ok to enter the US regardless of point of entry (land crossing, seaport, or airport) as your friend should fall under the visa waiver programme.
Does your friend plan on crossing a land border via Mexico or is your friend flying?
To enter, he'll need to have his British passport, proof of sufficient funds, and an airline ticket / proof of onward transportation. I would also have a print out of an itinerary of any hotels/lodging, auto hires, and/or any US domestic flights which have been booked. The post from Jase007 has some good information regarding the visa waiver programme.
When your friend enters the US, he will need to provide the full address (including zip code/postal code) where he'll be spending the first night. If he is flying from Central America, that information will need to be collected by the air carrier prior to departure.
I am a US citizen living abroad at the moment and on a recent trip back to the states I had to provide the airline (Qantas) with the address I would be staying at for the first night - including zip code - during the check-in process.
Best of luck!
Steve-O - -snip-
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