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Visas

Do I need a Visa?

Who needs a visa?

Anyone who is not eligible to enter the United States visa free under the Visa Waiver Program (VWP). 

The Visa Waiver Program enables citizens of participating countries (for a complete list click here) to travel to the U.S. for tourism or business for 90 days or less without obtaining a U.S. visa. 

Belgium participates in the VWP, so most Belgian citizens do not need a visa to travel to the U.S.  For detailed information on the conditions to travel without a visa, please click on the Visa Waiver Program page.

What is a visa?
 
A visa is issued by a U.S. Embassy or Consulate. A visa is a sticker in your passport that entitles you to travel to the United States and 'apply for admission', i.e. present your passport to a U.S. immigration inspector at a port of entry. A visa does not guarantee entry. An immigration inspector at the U.S. port of entry determines the visa holder's eligibility for admission into the United States.

A non-immigrant visa is still required for travelers:

  • Who are not citizens of the countries mentioned in the Visa Waiver Program.
  • Who wish to travel to the United States for more than 90 days.
  • Who wish to travel to the United States in order to attend secondary school or university (as part of an exchange program or a self-organized stay).
  • Who arrive on a private aircraft or boat.
  • Who intend to accept paid or unpaid employment in the USA (also applies to journalists, au-pairs and interns). 
  • Who have a diplomatic or official status AND who are traveling to the United States on an official mission.
  • Who might otherwise be ineligible for a visa under U.S. law. In general these provisions of the law affect people who were previously denied visas, have criminal records, previously violated immigration legislation, or have contagious diseases of public health significance.
  • Who wish to immigrate to the United States.

Travel & Tourism in the U.S.

  • Tourism Badge

Discovering America

  • Discovering America

ESTA

  • ESTA (Electronic System for Travel Authorization) is an automated system for screening passengers before they travel to the United States under the Visa Waiver Program. ESTA is mandatory for all travelers entering the U.S. by air or by sea under the Visa Waiver Program.

    For full details about ESTA, visit here.