Visiting the United States
Depending on nationality, international students may or may not require a visa to travel to the United States. Visa categories and corresponding processes also depend on the purpose of travel.
Travelling for tourism or business
Visa Waiver Program
Citizens of over 35 countries can qualify for an Electronic System for Travel Authorization (ESTA) through the Visa Waiver Program. To find out if you qualify for and meet the other requirements for an ESTA, please consult the Visa Waiver Program (external link) section on the U.S. Department of State - Bureau of Consular Affairs website. This process can be done online. In most cases, an approval is issued electronically upon approval.
If you do not qualify for an ESTA under the Visa Waiver Program, you may need to apply for a nonimmigrant visa to travel to the United States for business or tourism purposes. This category of nonimmigrant visa is called a B1/B2 visa.
You will be required to pay a processing fee, make an appointment, fill out application form(s) and provide documentation for your B1/B2 visa. To start filling out your application, please visit the Nonimmigrant Visa-Instructions (external link) page. We recommend applying as soon as possible in order to avoid disappointment as interview dates may be scheduled many weeks in advance.
Other purposes of travel
For complete information on travelling to the United States for purposes other than tourism or business, such as internships and student visas, we recommend consulting the Visa Wizard (external link) on the U.S. Department of State - Bureau of Consular Affairs website.