US visa applications come and go, but they’re never the same. To obtain a visa, you need to make an appointment with an American officer at the U.S. embassy in your place of residence. Since July 29, 2012, for all visa applications for a temporary stay, you must complete form DS-160, available on the US Department of State website, without omitting to pay the visa application fee by money order. This provision applies to travellers who do not benefit from the Visa Waiver.


For those benefiting from the Visa Waiver Program and whose stay does not exceed 90 days, they can apply online to obtain their authorization before boarding the plane. If your stay does not qualify for ESTA, you will need to provide convincing evidence to support your visa application.

After 6 months, the ESTA certificate is no longer sufficient. You need a B2 visa, which still does not allow you to work. Those not benefiting from the Visa Waiver program will need to produce this B1 visa for their 90-day tourist stay.


Student visas: students enrolling in a general education establishment require an (F) visa. Those in technical or vocational education require the (M) visa, or the J1 visa for those applying for a special sponsorship program. These visas do not normally allow you to work. To obtain these visas, the applicant must obtain and complete Form I-20, which specifies the teaching program and the time required to complete it. To obtain a J-1 visa, you must complete form IAP-66. In addition to these forms, which the applicant must bring to the embassy, the QF-156 form must be attached to the embassy in the applicant’s place of residence at the time of application.

Foreign nationals wishing to work in the USA must obtain a visa by submitting a job offer. The employer must complete Form I-129 and file it with the U.S. immigration authorities. If the application is approved, the latter then receives Form I-797, enabling the applicant to apply for a visa. The H-1B visa is issued by the U.S. government to foreign workers for a maximum of 3 years, renewable once. Several other types of visa are available, and it is up to the applicant to apply for one and provide proof of his or her bona fides.