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United States Visas

October 28th, 2010 by Romona Paden

A citizen of another country who wishes to enter United States must obtain a US Visa. Upon approval, the USA visa documentation is placed in the foreign national’s passport. A visa does not guarantee entry into the United States. Instead it determines the eligibility of the individual seeking to enter the United States. The Customs and Border Protection Agency, the CBP, a division of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), will decide whether the foreign national with the approved USA Visa will be allowed to enter US or not.

US Visas – Using them to enter United States

Using a U.S. visa, one can travel to a designated port of entry in the United States. This can be a US airport or land border crossing. The foreign national must then request permission from the Customs and Border Protection inspector to enter United States. Having a visa does not guarantee entry to the US, but it does indicate that the individual is eligible to seek entry for that specific purpose. It will depend on the decision of the Department of Homeland Security and Customs and Border Protection whether the individual will be allowed to enter United States.

US Visas – Types

There are two types of USA visas. One is classified as an Immigrant Visa and the other as a Non-immigrant visa. Immigrant US visas are used by foreign nationals come to the United States in order to set up permanent residency. Non- immigrant US visas are issued for people who wish to travel to US on a temporary basis (business or pleasure). The type of Visa is defined by the purpose of travel to the US.

International travelers seek to enter U.S. for a variety of reasons, such as tourism, business, medical treatment and other temporary work. These individuals must enter United States with non – immigrant US visas.

If the foreign citizen wishes to enter United States with immigrant USA visas, then he/she must be sponsored by a US citizen, a Lawful Permanent Resident or by a prospective employer who offers a foreign national a job in US.

Another way of obtaining USA visas is through the US lottery program, which is conducted once a year by the US Government and also referred to as the Diversity Visa lottery program. It is also called as Green Card lottery program. The Green Card Lottery program makes available 50,000 visas every year to people who meet the eligibility requirements set by the US State Department, such as countries with low rates of immigration to the United States. These applicants are randomly selected from the entries. This program is administered by the U.S. State Department from their Kentucky Consular Center.

All USA visa applicants are usually interviewed at a US Consulate at the foreign national’s country of citizenship before they are granted a visa. Applicants must appear in person at the consulate for the interview. It is required by the applicants to produce the necessary documents, including their passport, when they go for their interview at the US Consulate. If visa is approved, applicants are required to have their fingerprints taken. All applicants that are approved for a US visas are notified in writing.

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