US Visa Information

Visitors entering the country under the Visa Waiver Programme (VWP) must have a machine-readable passport (MRP) that has a bar code on the photo page. Travellers under the VWP must have passports that include biometrics if they wish to enter the country without a visa, which means that passports must contain unique personal data such as fingerprints or iris details. All passports must contain a digital photo image in order to travel visa-free. All visitors to the USA have a photograph and two fingerprints taken by an inkless scanner on arrival, including those travelling visa-free under the Visa Waiver Programme. As part of the Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative (WHTI), all travellers travelling between the United States and Canada, Mexico, Bermuda, and the Caribbean region are required to present a passport or other valid travel document to enter or re-enter the United States. If departing from the USA, a valid passport is required by immigration authorities. All visitors who do not need a visa, under the US Visa Waiver Programme, need to register online three days before travel. This allows the US government to screen all visitors before travel. It is highly recommended that passports have at least six months validity remaining after your intended date of departure from your travel destination. Immigration officials often apply different rules to those stated by travel agents and official sources.

UK passport holders require a valid passport for travel to the USA. Under the Visa Waiver Programme (VWP), most British citizens do not require a visa for holiday, transit or business purposes providing their passports are machine-readable, the stay does not exceed 90 days, a return or onward ticket is held and they check into the US government ESTA website prior to departure.

Canadians do not require a visa, only a valid passport. Visitors should hold tickets and documents required for return or onward destination.

Australian nationals do not require a visa for touristic stays of up to 90 days under the Visa Waiver Program; a valid machine-readable passport, a return or onward ticket is required if travelling by sea or air and they must check into the US government ESTA website prior to departure.

South Africans must hold a passport valid at the date of entry; a visa is also required. Visitors must have return or onward tickets and the necessary documents for further travel.

Irish nationals require a valid passport. Irish passport holders qualify for the visa waiver programme, but a machine-readable passport (MRP) must be presented to gain visa-free entry to the country, which allows a stay of up to 90 days. Visitors must have return or onward tickets, all necessary documents for further travel and check into the US government ESTA website prior to departure.

New Zealand nationals require a valid passport, but do not require a visa for stays of up to 90 days under the US Visa Waiver programme. A machine-readable passport is necessary to qualify for the programme, a return or onward ticket is required and they must check into the US government ESTA website prior to departure.

United States Embassy, London, United Kingdom: +44 (0)20 7499 9000.

United States Embassy, Ottawa, Canada: +1 613 688 5335.

United States Embassy, Canberra, Australia: +61 (0)2 6214 5600.

United States Embassy, Pretoria, South Africa: +27 (0)12 431 4000.

United States Embassy, Dublin, Ireland: +353 (0)1 668 8777.

United States Embassy, Wellington, New Zealand: +64 (0)4 462 6000.

British Embassy, Washington DC: +1 202 588 6500.

Canadian Embassy, Washington DC: +1 202 682 1740.

Australian Embassy, Washington DC: +1 202 797 3000.

South African Embassy, Washington DC: +1 202 232 4400.

Irish Embassy, Washington DC: +1 202 462 3939.

New Zealand Embassy, Washington DC: +1 202 328 4800.