United States Entry Requirements
Since September 11, 2001, applicants have been subject to a greater degree of scrutiny than in the past. The timeframes for visa processing today are difficult to predict with accuracy for any individual applicant, and could vary significantly by country. Participants are encouraged to check their visa status, and if a visa is needed apply for a visa as early as possible, but not later than three months in advance of the travel date. An interview will be required at a U.S. embassy or consulate, as part of the visa application process.
All international visitors who are traveling on the Visa Waiver Program are required to register in at least 72 hours in advance with the Electronic System for Travel Authorization (ESTA). This program was implemented by the Customs and Border Protection (CBP), an agency of the Department of Homeland Security in January 2009. For more information on ESTA, please see the CBP website at www.cbp.gov.
As of April 1, 2016, you must have an e-passport to use the VWP
(Visa Waiver Program
An e-Passport is an enhanced secure passport with an embedded electronic chip. You can readily identify an e-Passport, because it has a unique international symbol on the cover.
Valid passports are required for EVERYONE
Must be current – make sure that your travel will be
completed six months before the listed passport expiration date.
If you do not have a current passport, you should contact your
Ministry of Foreign Affairs for application materials. Please
also read carefully the information regarding Machine Readable
Passports for visa waiver travelers eligible to enter
the United States without a visa (https://travel.state.gov/content/visas/en/visit/visa-waiver-program.html)
Entry visas may be necessary depending on your nationality.
Visa applicants should also refer to the Embassy Consular
Section web site (http://www.usembassy.gov/)
to determine visa processing timeframes and instructions,
learn about interview scheduling, and find out if there are
any additional documentation items required.
Countries of Origin and Visa Requirements
|Canada||NO Visa required|
NO visa required IF stay is less than 90 days, and the traveler meets the conditions to travel under the visa waiver program
|Other Countries||Passport and visa required, unless the traveler is a citizen from one of the visa waiver program countries|
Heads of government Ministers, and other government officials generally do not require interviews when applying for visas, if their travel is official. However, a consular officer can request an interview. Ministers, delegates, and government officials supporting the delegation must present a diplomatic note from their governments requesting a visa for the purpose of the meeting. There is no fee for these visas. Travelers should apply as soon as possible to the U.S. Embassy in their country of residence.
Official letter of invitation (3-5 days)
Those in need of
official letters of
from the U.S. Government should send their:
- name, as it appears on passport;
- date of birth (MM/DD/YYYY);
- passport number; and
- city of visa interview
Northwest Fisheries Science Center
2725 Montlake Blvd E
Seattle, WA 98112