This is the American Embassy visa information line. This service includes information on various types of visa and related matters.
A visa is not required for British citizens for most holidays and business visits of ninety days or less. In total, citizens of twenty-five countries are able to travel to the US without a visa. You must be a citizen of the following countries: the United Kingdom, Andorra, Argentina, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Brunei, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, Monaco, The Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, San Marino, Spain, Sweden, and Switzerland.
In addition to being a citizen of a qualifying visa-free travel country, you cannot stay in the US for longer than ninety days, you cannot perform productive work, and you are not allowed to accept paid or unpaid employment while in the US. If you are entering by air or sea (including ferry) you must hold a return ticket or an onward ticket, and you must enter on board an air or sea carrier that has agreed to participate in the programme. Please check with your airline to make sure they participate in the programme. If your onward •ticket terminates in Canada, Mexico, Bermuda, or one of the Caribbean Islands, you must be a resident of that country of destination. You must carry an unexpired passport valid for more than ninety days. If you are entering the US overland from Canada or Mexico you don't need to have a visa. However, you need to complete a visa-waiver application form at the border crossing. Once you enter the US you may make side-trips to Canada, Mexico, and the Caribbean Islands and return without needing a visa. If you are not a citizen of one of the counties named, or you plan to be in the US for longer than ninety days, you need a visa. A B1/B2 visitor's visa is the appropriate visa for holiday and business visits. You cannot perform productive work or accept paid or unpaid employment while in the US.
If you require a visa for travel to the US the embassy strongly recommends that you obtain a visa before purchasing your ticket. You may apply for a visa through the post. Unfortunately, because of the high demand, an appointment to apply in person at the embassy may not be available for several weeks. In addition, those who have been refused visas twice in the past six months are not eligible for further consideration.
Please note that applications by post take three weeks. To apply by post, please send a completed visa application form, your passport, a receipt showing payment of the visa application fee, a passport-sized colour photo, and a stamped self-addressed envelope to the following address: Visa Branch, US Embassy, 5 Upper Grosvenor Street, London W1A 2JB.
6. Decide whether the following statements are true or false.
1. A British citizen only requires a visa if he or she is staying for more than nineteen days.
2. Citizens from Japan can participate in the visa-waiver programme.
3. You are allowed to work while in the US.
4. You can enter on any airline or sea carrier.
5. You are allowed to make return trips to Mexico while you are in the US.
6. If you need a visa for a holiday the correct visa is B1/B2 visa.
7. You should get your visa before you buy your travel ticket.
8. If you have already been refused a visa you will not get one when you apply again.
9. Postal applications take about three weeks.
10. You will need to send your passport when you apply for a visa.
7. The following people have all contacted your travel agency for advice on visas for travelling to the US. What information would you give them?
1. Masato Suzuki from Japan, flying to San-Francisco for four weeks' holiday in California, followed by a trip to Canada, and then home to Japan.
2. Greg Sheldon from New Zealand, planning a six-month world trip. He'll probably arrive in the US from Mexico and stay a month or so. He hasn't got much money.
3. Mr. and Mrs. Henderson, a retired British couple travelling for a two-week holiday in the US and then staying with their son and his family in Canada for an unknown period (Probably 3 to 6 months).
4. Mehmet Ozgun, a Turkish national resident in the UK, who needs to visit the US on business in two weeks' time.
5. Annika Johansson and Carina Lundgren, two students from Sweden who want to spend three or four months over the summer travelling round the US. They hope to find some casual work to help finance their trip.