When a person who is not a U.S. citizen wishes to visit the country, they must secure a visa in most cases. This documentation provides the legal right to be in the country for a specified reason and time period.
To secure a visa, you must decide which type you need and follow the process through your Embassy or Consulate.
Type of visa
The United States offers a range of visa options. Many people will secure one that allows them to come to the country for work. Others may get one for a vacation or a quick visit. The type of visa is important as it dictates what you can and cannot do, along with how long you can stay in the U.S.
Visas fall into two main categories. Nonimmigrant visas are for temporary visits, and immigrant visas are for longer stays.
Not a guarantee
While you may be able to secure a visa, it is not a guaranteed ticket to enter the U.S. A border protection inspector has the final say when you reach a port of entry. It is possible to not get permission to enter the country even if your visa is valid and you have all other necessary paperwork.
Note that obtaining a visa is not an instant process. You will have a waiting period. If you plan to enter the United States, you need to secure your visa well ahead of time to avoid any delays to your trip. Make sure you directly contact your Embassy or Consulate to find the specific documents you will need and what steps you must take as they vary from country to country.