There’s currently plenty of uncertainty and confusion surrounding immigration policy to the United States after Donald Trump was sworn into power as President at the beginning of 2017.
Visa Solutions Australia wants to reassure Australians that they can still enter the US if they have applied through the Visa Waiver Program or have a valid visa. A recent Executive Order imposed a ban to the US for a range of immigrants and refugees to nationals of Iraq, Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen. President Trump says its aim was to protect the nation from foreign terrorists but the announcement was deemed controversial.
Australian passport holders, regardless of their country of birth, or whether they hold another passport are not affected by this Executive Order.
How do I get a visitor visa to the US?
Australians seeking to visit the United States for a period of 90 days or less, for business or tourism purposes need to enter under the Visa Waiver Program. Australians should apply online through the Electronic System for Travel Authorisation (ESTA). This is a web based system which determines someone’s eligibility under the Visa Waiver Program. You must have a valid electronic passport with at least six months to run and have a return or onward travel ticket.
Individuals with past criminal convictions will be exempt from the Visa Waiver Program. Travellers who have been arrested, even if it didn’t result in a criminal conviction or have overstayed on a previous waiver program in the US, will also not be eligible.
This US visa-free programme does not include people who want to study or remain in the US for longer than 90 days. In those circumstances, you will require visas.
Other common temporary stay visas
If you are an Australian travelling to the US for business, pleasure or medical treatment and will not be receiving an income in the US, you will need either a B-1 business or a B-2 visitor visa. It’s usually issued as one and is known as a B-1/B-2. To qualify for this US visa, you must indicate that you will be staying for a limited period and that you have funds to cover your stay while in the US. You must also prove, through evidence, that you have a residence outside the United States, which will ensure you return home at the end of your visit.
This is a visa to show that you wish to stay for a certain period in the United States for a specific reason such as to work and it can be valid for up to five years. These non-immigrant visas give you multiple entry during the duration of the visa. It’s wise to check your passport as if your non-immigrant visa is valid for three years and your passport is only three months, then you will only be allowed in for three months. There are 18 different categories for this US visa.
Non-immigrant visas are filed through a non-immigrant application and virtually all visa applicants, including those from Australia, must have an interview with the consular visa official.
Visa requirements constantly change and with a newly formed US government, all Australians wanting to travel to the United States are being advised that visas and entry conditions may alter at short notice. We recommend you seek expert advice about all your US visa queries. Why not call Visa Solutions Australia so we can help you with your requirements?