^ Encompasses Schengen member states - Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden and Switzerland as well as Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus and Romania and countries without border controls - Monaco, San Marino, Vatican and a country accessible only via Schengen area - Andorra.
You must be a citizen of a Visa Waiver Program-eligible country in order to use this program. Permanent residents of VWP-eligible countries do not qualify for the Visa Waiver Program unless they are also citizens of VWP-eligible countries. It is recommended you visit the U.S. Department of State website before planning any travel to the U.S. to determine if you are eligible for the VWP.
The B1 professional and B2 tourist -- pleasure travel -- visas are typically issued for six-month periods, but the length is entirely within the decision-making process of the officer who happens to get the case, inspect the application and make the determination. Again, the length of time printed on the visa does not determine how long the visitor may stay in the U.S. Rather, it determines how long the visitor has to make the journey to the U.S., where the I-94 document may or may not be issued that details the length of the stay.
A U.S. nonimmigrant visa grants you permission to travel to a Port of Entry (airport/seaport) in the United States. When you arrive at your destination Port of Entry, the U.S. Customs and Border Protection officer who processes your entry will determine the length of time that you may remain in the country. You may travel to the Port of Entry during the validity of your nonimmigrant visa up to and including the last day the visa is valid. The visa duration does not determine the length of time that you may legally remain in the United States; only the Customs and Border Protection officer can decide this upon your arrival in the United States.

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O-1 Extraordinary Ability Worker Visas are nonimmigrant visas for individuals who possess great talent in the sciences, arts, education, business, athletics, or the motion picture or television industry. Note that the terms "arts" also includes "culinary arts", and essential personnel in the art field such as: directors, set designers, choreographers, orchestrators, coaches, arrangers, costume designers, make-up artists, state technicians and animal trainers.

Visas generally expire after a set period of time. In some cases, one may be extended by permission, while in other instances, people need to leave a country and re-enter it to receive a new one. They can also establish the number of times someone enters and leaves a country. In the case of a single entry visa, it is canceled as soon as the traveler leaves the country. In multiple entry, someone may leave and return several times before the visa is canceled.
Some countries, such as Canada and the United States, may require the visitor to include a letter of invitation with their travel visa application. A letter of invitation is a formal letter from the person you intend to visit stating that they are inviting you to visit them in that country. Invitation letters help travel authorities vet potential visitors by making sure that a temporary visit is indeed the true nature of the visa request. Check with your intended destination’s government website for details on what needs to be included in a such a letter.

Long-stay visas give you more time in your destination country, allowing your stay to last anywhere from months to years. Whether your needs revolve around your family, your studies, or your work, these visas are great options for folks who need to be abroad for quite sometime, but not permanently. However, those who are looking to become permanent residents of the foreign country in question can use these visas as a stepping stone. A residence visa in particular would be a great choice for those looking to move abroad for good. Similarly, if you’re looking to immigrate and become a permanent citizen, an immigrant visa is likely the best choice for you.
Some visas can be granted on arrival or by prior application at the country's embassy or consulate, or through a private visa service specialist who is specialised in the issuance of international travel documents. These agencies are authorised by the foreign authority, embassy, or consulate to represent international travellers who are unable or unwilling to travel to the embassy and apply in person. Private visa and passport services collect an additional fee for verifying customer applications, supporting documents, and submitting them to the appropriate authority. If there is no embassy or consulate in one's home country, then one would have to travel to a third country (or apply by post) and try to get a visa issued there. Alternatively, in such cases visas may be pre-arranged for collection on arrival at the border. The need or absence of need of a visa generally depends on the citizenship of the applicant, the intended duration of the stay, and the activities that the applicant may wish to undertake in the country he visits; these may delineate different formal categories of visas, with different issue conditions.
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.
Visa and MasterCard have a four party system.  They do not issue any credit cards.  Rather, they license their payment brands to Issuers and Acquirers.   Issuing banks are the entities that provide you, the consumer, with the credit cards in your pocket.  Acquirers are the entities that process the transactions.  We are part of the acquiring side.  As a registered Independent Sales Organization (ISO) of Visa and MasterCard, we pay them thousands of dollars a year for the privilege of using those brands.
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:
Citizens of member states of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations do not require tourist visas to visit another member state, with the exception of Myanmar. Until 2009, Burmese citizens were required to have visas to enter all other ASEAN countries. Following the implementation of visa exemption agreements with the other ASEAN countries, in 2016 Burmese citizens are only required to have visas to enter Malaysia and Singapore. Myanmar and Singapore had agreed on a visa exemption scheme set to be implemented on 1 December 2016.[88] ASEAN citizens are entitled to use the Burmese visa on arrival facility.

In general, to obtain a visa it will take four business days. To get a visa in 2-3 business days you can apply for the Express Service (it costs an additional 20 USD); while to get a visa within one business day you can apply for Rush Service (which costs an additional 30 USD). Note that the Rush Service is granted only in documented cases of extreme urgency.
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