Published on: Jun 24, 2015, Last Edited: May 23, 2018
This article contains information intended to help foreign nationals obtain the right visa for Texas, or visa waiver, depending on their country of citizenship, travel purposes and total duration of stay in the United States.
If you are a non-US citizen and want to visit Texas, then it may be worth your while to learn more about The Visa Waiver Program. This allows citizens of participating countries to travel to Texas without a visa if they stay for 90 days or less. However, it is important to know that certain requirements need to be met.
This opportunity to travel to Texas without a visa for the 90 day or less stay is subject to you meeting very strict standard requirements. One of these requirements is that you need to be a citizen or National of a VWP-participant country. The good news is that there are 38 countries across the globe which are Visa Waiver Program participants.
One of the other most popular ways that non-US citizens visit Texas is by obtaining a visitor or tourist visa. Visitor visas refer to non-immigrant’s who wish to enter the United States on a purely temporary basis. The category choices are B-1 for business, B-2 for tourism, pleasure and visiting purposes or B-1/B-2, which is a combination of both purposes.
There are several steps which you will need to take, should you wish to apply for a visa. The way you need to complete these steps, as well as the specific order of these steps may differ depending on the U.S. Embassy or Consulate where you decide to apply.
If apply for a B-type visa, you will be able to complete an online visa application, called the DS-160. You will also be required to attend an interview and all your documentations will need to be taken with you to your interview. Remember, there are no guarantees that you will you will be issued a US visa; it is therefore highly recommended that you don't make final travel plans or purchase your tickets until you have received your visa.
Known as the VWP, the visa waiver program was originally designed to make entry into the country easier for people with certain passports. Although a full visa application must be made for certain travelers, under the VWP entry may be granted without one. In order to be able to come into the US, an Electronic System for Travel Authorization, otherwise known as an ESTA, has to be obtained in place of a visa. The idea is that this is simpler to process than a visa and 38 countries around the world are deemed to have citizens fit for ESTAs. Essentially, an ESTA covers travelers to the US who do not want to stay any more than 90 days. As such, both tourists and most business visitors will find an ESTA as the best way of authorizing their travel. Once an ESTA has been granted, it is valid for a two-year period so long as the holder does not need to apply for a new passport in that time. Lastly, short transit stops and some visits for medical treatments are also suitable for ESTA applications under the VWP.
What Sort of Travel is a VWP Valid For?
For business travelers, a VWP should only be used for:
For leisure travelers, a VWP should only be used for:
A VWP does not cover travel to the US for:
Other Noteworthy Regulations
The Three Common Types of Visa
Most people for whom an ESTA is inappropriate - for example, people who would like to visit the US for more than 90 day – will need to apply for a visa. There are three common types which cover most of the reasons people wish to gain entry into the US. Both business and tourist travelers are covered by their own visa classes and a third category is generally the best option for other types of visit. You must apply for the right one given the stated purpose of your visit.
The visa types are:
Making a Valid Visa Application
There are usually four steps to obtaining a visa. Remember that these can differ depending on where in the world you are from.
Texas is the second largest and second most populous state in the USA. The state of Texas offers travelers with a taste of different cultures, outings and experiences. Austin is the state capital and is known as the "live music capital of the world".
Houston is one of the most popular Texas cities and is world renown, due to it being the home of NASA's mission control center. San Antonio is a 'must-see' city due to the popularity of its nightlife spots.
A few more top tourist destinations in Texas include: Austin City Limits in Austin, Houston Space Center in Houston, Sea World in San Antonio, The River walk (Paseo del Rio) and Schlitterbahn in New Braunfels, amongst various other fantastic places.
Wherever you decide to explore, make sure you obtain an ESTA or visa for Texas. Travelers are advised to apply for an ESTA or a visa at least four weeks before their date of departure.
Get the right travel authorization for your trip to Texas
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 Texas, get started on your application now: