Visa for Florida

Published on: Jun 01, 2015, Last Edited: Mar 25, 2019 | Tags: USA Visa, USA Visa Application, USA Visa Requirements

The article below provides information on obtaining a visa for Florida, or a visa waiver for Florida.

Florida is a state for beach lovers. The state boasts over 600 "beach" miles. The relaxing atmosphere and pleasant climate make the state a good destination for holiday seekers.

Miami is a hot spot for tourists, as it constantly hosts a variety of events from professional sporting teams, to musical acts, as well as a few other attractions. The popular Miami Beach strip also is an area where tourists bask in the sun and dine at the fine restaurants on the coast. Other popular cities include Orlando, home of Disney World, Fort Lauderdale, home of a few popular beaches as well as Key West, a popular island in the Straits of Florida, about a 4-hour drive from Miami.

Individuals wishing to visit the state need to obtain a visa for Florida, or a visa waiver for Florida depending on the purpose of their visit, as well as their country of citizenship.

Visa Waiver Program (VWP)

The Visa Waiver Program (VWP) permits residents of participating countries (currently 38) to visit Florida without a visa for stays of 90 days or less. Candidates must be eligible for the VWP and have a valid and approved Electronic System for Travel Authorization (ESTA) authorization before their departure to the Florida, by air or sea. ESTA may be used for tourism, transit, business and medical visits of less than 90 days per visit in a 180 day period. To obtain an ESTA, you must hold a passport from one of the 38 visa waiver countries, complete the application form, pass an eligibility assessment as well as clear the background checks performed across various databases that are shared with Customs and Border Protection (CBP). Decisions on ESTA applications are usually determined within 72 hours.

You can check if you are eligible for ESTA by visiting the ESTA requirements page.

Tourist Visa / Visitor Visa

If you are not eligible for an ESTA, you may be eligible to apply for a "B" category visa for Florida. The B2 visa is issued for tourism purposes, the B1 visa is issued for business purposes. There is also a B1/B2 visitor visa, which can be used for both business and tourism purposes. Here are the steps to apply for a B category visa:

  • Complete the Online Visa Application (DS-160)
  • Schedule your US Embassy Interview - there are three sites where applicants can schedule embassy appointments, one is https://ais.usvisa-info.com, the other is https://cgifederal.secure.force.com/ and the third is https://evisaforms.state.gov/Instructions/SchedulingSystem.asp. Each websites allows for bookings to only select embassy locations.
  • Pay the DS-160 Application Fee ($160 USD) - you will receive a confirmation email for payments made for the DS-160 application fee, or MRV fee.
  • Gather the required documentation - this includes your passports, residency cards, DS-160 confirmation page, passport style and photograph.
  • Optional: gather additional documentation that shows your intention to leave Florida after your visit - examples of such documentation include rental agreements, mortgage agreements, vehicle finance payments, bank or credit card statements, employment contracts as well as other agreements which tie the financial and personal interests of the applicant to their home country.
  • Attend Your Embassy Interview - you will be given one of three decisions after your embassy appointment. Your visa application will be approved, denied, or require additional processing known as 'Administrative Processing'. Administrative Processing can take anywhere from a few weeks to several months, so applicants are advised to plan accordingly.

If your request for a visa is approved, your visa will be issued to you in your passport. 

If you hold a passport from a visa waiver country such as the UK, Ireland, Australia, New Zealand or other Western European Country, and wish to obtain an ESTA for tourist, business, medical or transit purposes through Florida, get started on your application now:

Apply for ESTA

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Apply for ESTA

ESTA is a mandatory travel authorization for travelers visiting the United States either by Sea or Air for tourism, transit or business visits under 90 days.

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