USA Visa Requirements for Europeans

By Kristina Werden
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Many countries require that the international traveler obtain a visa before entering the country. Citizens of certain countries must obtain a passport before entering the United States. Some European citizens are also required to obtain a visa before coming to the United States, but other some may qualify to have their visa waived.

Passport

All citizens of a European country will be required to have a valid national passport to enter the United States. The valid national passport must not expire for at least six months after the intended date of departure from the United States. The national passport must also have at least one blank page in it for the appropriate visa stamps. The passport will have to be submitted when entering the United States. If the passport holder does not qualify for the Visa Waiver Program, they will also have to submit the passport to the United States embassy/consulate when they files for the visa.

Visa Waiver Program

The Visa Waiver Program is a program initiated by the U.S. government to help ease traveling for citizens of certain countries. The Visa Waiver program allows these citizens to have their visa waived if they stay in the United States for less than 90 days and are traveling for business or pleasure.

Qualifying Countries

As of June 2010 there were 29 qualifying countries. These countries are: Andorra, Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lichtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Monaco, the Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, San Moreno, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, and the United Kingdom.

DS-160

Citizens that do not qualify for the Visa Waiver Program must complete the DS-160 visa application. The DS-160 is an electronic application on the U.S. embassy website. The application will request such information as: citizenship, passport and contact informa, work and educational history, and contacts in the United States. Print the conformation page once the application is completed. This conformation page must be submitted to the United States embassy in person.

Passport Photos

Citizens of European countries that must apply for a visa will have to submit an additional passport photo. The passport must be a standard 2-by-2 inch color passport photo. These photos must be submitted with the visa application package.

Additional Documentation

The United States government reviews the visa for ties that the applicant has with their home country. Applicants must submit documentation such as proof of property ownership, a work contract or enrollment in a school. This indicates to the U.S. government that the traveler intends to leave the country by the expiration date on their visa.

Interview

The visa applicant must submit their DS-160 conformation page, passport photos, passport, and any additional documentation at an interview with an immigration officer. The officer will review the documentation and ask questions about the applicants ties to their home country, and what their intentions are in the United States.