Copyright © 2019 MH Sub I, LLC dba Nolo ® Self-help services may not be permitted in all states. The information provided on this site is not legal advice, does not constitute a lawyer referral service, and no attorney-client or confidential relationship is or will be formed by use of the site. The attorney listings on this site are paid attorney advertising. In some states, the information on this website may be considered a lawyer referral service. Please reference the Terms of Use and the Supplemental Terms for specific information related to your state. Your use of this website constitutes acceptance of the Terms of Use, Supplemental Terms, Privacy Policy and Cookie Policy.
Tourist visas and transit visas are very similar in many ways. The major difference is that a tourist visa allows a traveler to spend more time enjoying the country while a transit visa simply gives the traveler enough time to pass through to the final destination. The host country’s visa requirements will tell you which visa is appropriate for your travel needs. 

The United States is an open society. Unlike many other countries, the United States does not impose internal controls on most visitors, such as registration with local authorities. Our immigration law requires consular officers to view every visa applicant as an intending immigrant until the applicant proves otherwise. In order to enjoy the privilege of unencumbered travel in the United States, you have a responsibility to prove you are going to return abroad before a visitor or student visa is issued.
Unless you are an Australian or New Zealand citizen, you will need a valid Australian visa to enter the country. New Zealand passport holders can apply for a visa upon arrival in the country. All other passport holders must apply for a visa before leaving home. You can apply for a range of visas, including tourist visas and working holiday visas, at your nearest Australian Embassy or Consulate. You can also apply for certain types of visas on the Australian Department of Home Affairs website.
^ LIPTON, Eric (15 December 2006). "Administration to Drop Effort to Track if Visitors Leave". The New York Times. Retrieved 25 April 2019. Efforts to determine whether visitors actually leave have faltered. Departure monitoring would help officials hunt for foreigners who have not left, if necessary. Domestic security officials say, however, it would be too expensive to conduct fingerprint or facial recognition scans for land departures.
^ "The Henley & Partners Passport Index" (PDF). Henley & Partners Holdings Ltd. 26 March 2019. Retrieved 6 June 2019. This graph shows the full Global Ranking of the 2019 Henley Passport Index. As the index uses dense ranking, in certain cases, a rank is shared by multiple countries because these countries all have the same level of visa-free or visa-on-arrival access.

Visa applications in advance of arrival give countries a chance to consider the applicant's circumstances, such as financial security, reason for travel, and details of previous visits to the country. Visitors may also be required to undergo and pass security or health checks upon arrival at the port of entry. Some countries require that their citizens, as well as foreign travellers, obtain an "exit visa" to be allowed to leave the country.[2]
The main reasons states impose visa restrictions on foreign nationals are to curb illegal immigration, security concerns, and reciprocity for visa restrictions imposed on their own nationals. Typically, nations impose visa restrictions on citizens of poorer countries, along with politically unstable and undemocratic ones, as it is considered more likely that people from these countries will seek to illegally immigrate. Visa restrictions may also be imposed when nationals of another country are perceived as likelier to be terrorists or criminals, or by autocratic regimes that perceive foreign influence to be a threat to their rule.[77][78] According to Professor Eric Neumayer of the London School of Economics:
You need a valid passport before applying for a visa. The visa application process may take several weeks and generally must be completed before leaving home. For many countries the application and fee is the same for either a tourist or transit visa. A typical process for obtaining a visa is to complete an application and send it to the country’s embassy along with your original passport, a passport photo, the required fee and any other required documents. Additionally a transit visa application may require documents that verify that you will in fact be leaving the country within the required time period. Each country’s unique visa requirements are found online or by contacting that country’s embassy. Some countries like Colombia, Japan and many European countries do not require a visa for shorter stays.

Visa Waiver Program travelers who have not obtained approval through Electronic System for Travel Authorization (ESTA) should expect to be denied boarding on any air carrier bound for the United States. If you are allowed to board, you can expect to encounter significant delays and possible denial of admission at the U.S. port of entry (i.e., arrival airport). ESTA registration usually only takes a few minutes to complete,  authorization often arrives in seconds, and is valid for two years, or until the expiration date of your passport, whichever comes first.


In order to track the status of your passport’s courier delivery please go to this page or send an email with your passport number in the Subject line to passportstatus@ustraveldocs.com or contact the Visa Information Service. When your passport/document is dispatched with the courier, you will receive an auto-notification by email to inform you of your tracking number. Please ensure that the email address indicated in your online profile is accurate. Toll Priority is the document delivery vendor. However, if you have received a 221(g) leaflet at the time you had your interview, you may check the status of your visa application here. Once you are on this page, click on the “Click on this link (PDF 357kb)” link, and then press the Control and the “F” key and enter your Batch No (without any spaces) to find your record (the Batch ID is found on the 221(g) leaflet handed to the applicant at the visa interview).
The "two-year rule" is the common term used for a section of U.S. immigration law which requires many exchange visitors to return to their home countries and be physically present there for at least two years after the conclusion of their exchange visit before they can return to the U.S. under certain types of visas, specifically H, K, L and immigrant visas. It is important to note that only a preliminary finding of whether the two-year rule applies to you is made on your DS-2019 when your J-1 visa is issued. The final decision will be made only if you later choose to apply for an H, L, K or immigrant visa.
A visa allows a foreign citizen to travel to a U.S. port-of-entry (generally an airport) and request permission to enter the United States. A visa does not guarantee entry into the United States. The Department of Homeland Security (DHS), U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officials at the port-of-entry have authority to permit or deny admission to the United States. If you are allowed to enter the United States, the CBP official will provide an admission stamp or a paper Form I-94, Arrival/Departure Record. Learn more about admissions and entry requirements, restrictions about bringing food, agricultural products, and other restricted/prohibited goods, and more by reviewing the CBP website.
Some countries apply the principle of reciprocity in their visa policy. A country's visa policy is called 'reciprocal' if it imposes visa requirement against citizens of all the countries that impose visa requirements against its own citizens. The opposite is rarely true: a country rarely lifts visa requirements against citizens of all the countries that also lift visa requirements against its own citizens, unless a prior bilateral agreement has been made.
Yes. In general, you may apply to change your nonimmigrant visa status if you were lawfully admitted to the United States with a nonimmigrant visa, if your nonimmigrant status remains valid, if you have not violated the conditions of your status, and you have not committed any actions that would make you ineligible. For more details, please visit the USCIS website.
In the event the PPEF was not included in a ticket issued on or after January 1, 2018, it shall remain the responsibility of the airline to transmit the appropriate fee per arriving passenger to the National Treasury. For any tickets sold prior to January 1, 2018, with the passenger arriving and/or departing after January 1st, the BCBP shall continue to collect and charge the same fees totalling Fifty Dollars ($50 USD) upon departure for any airline passenger who arrived in the Republic of Palau prior to the PPEF implementation date and is departing on a ticket purchased before January 1, 2018. The amount collected upon departure in this situation shall be a Thirty Dollar ($30 USD) “Green Fee” and Twenty Dollar ($20 US) departure tax for a total of Fifty Dollars ($50 USD) for every non-Palauan passport holder. Such passenger must provide a copy of their ticket and any other supporting documentation as required.
Tourist visas, called visitor visas in the United States, are available for travelers from many countries who are coming for recreational or medical purposes. These visas are typically good for six months. Transit visas are available to foreigners who are simply passing through the United States or making a brief stop at a port or airport. Transit visa applicants must provide evidence that they will be in continuous transit to a foreign destination while in the United States. As of November 2012, both visitor visas and transit visas cost $160 per person, although additional fees may apply. Citizens of nearly 40 countries are allowed to travel in the United States without a visa under the Visa Waiver Program.
An East African Single Tourist Visa is under consideration by the relevant sectoral authorities under the East African Community (EAC) integration program. If approved the visa will be valid for all five partner states in the EAC (Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda, Rwanda and Burundi). Under the proposal for the visa, any new East African single visa can be issued by any partner state's embassy. The visa proposal followed an appeal by the tourist boards of the partner states for a common visa to accelerate promotion of the region as a single tourist destination and the EAC Secretariat wants it approved before November's World Travel Fair (or World Travel Market) in London.[96] When approved by the East African council of ministers, tourists could apply for one country's entry visa, which would then be applicable in all regional member states as a single entry requirement initiative.[97] This is considered also by COMESA.
A valid U.S. visa in an expired passport is still valid. Unless canceled or revoked, a visa is valid until its expiration date. If you have a valid visa in your expired passport, do not remove it from your expired passport. You may use your valid visa in your expired passport along with a new valid passport for travel and admission to the United States. 
With some countries, the validity of a visa is not the same as the authorised period of stay. The visa validity then indicates the time period when entry is permitted into the country. For example, if a visa has been issued to begin on January 1 and to expire on March 30, and the typical authorised period of stay in a country is 90 days, then the 90-day authorised stay starts on the day the passenger enters the country (entrance has to be between 1 January and 30 March). Thus, the latest day the traveller could conceivably stay in the issuing country is 1 July (if the traveller entered on 30 March). This interpretation of visas is common in the Americas.
In some cases, a visa is issued by immigration officials when someone crosses a border into a new country. In other instances, people must apply for one before traveling. During the application process, the applicant may be asked if he or she has enough money to survive in the country for the duration of the visa, and inquiries may be made about the applicant's health, character, and intentions for the planned visit. In some cases, applicants are also fingerprinted and photographed.
×