Do you need a visa for New York? Entry formalities in the United States

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Elia Tabuenca García
@eliatabuencagarcia
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Get a VISA to go to New York

A VISA is a authorization required for all those who wish to enter and remain in the United States for a duration of more than 90 days, and this, whatever the reasons (professional, tourism…). To obtain your VISA for New York, I advise you to take the necessary steps at least 2 months before your departure. On the other hand, do not book your plane ticket before obtaining your VISA.



Is the VISA compulsory?

The answer is no. Visa it's not mandatory if you are a national of one of these countries: Germany, Andorra, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Brunei, Chile, Denmark, Spain, Estonia, Finland, France, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Monaco, Norway, New Zealand, Netherlands, Portugal, Republic of Korea, Czech Republic, United Kingdom, San Marino, Singapore, Slovakia, Slovenia, Sweden, Switzerland and Taiwan.

On the other hand, if a VISA request is not necessary, you must nevertheless obtain an ESTA authorization, have a valid biometric or electronic passport, have a return ticket, present proof of solvency (bank card, travel vouchers, etc. ) and stay less than 90 days in New York (or any other American city or state).

The differences between VISA and ESTA

First of all, theESTA is not a VISA. Indeed, ESTA (Electronic System for Travel Authorization) is a authorization to enter the United States to ask on the internet 72 hours before your departure at the latest (I advise you to do it at least 1 month in advance). This authorization is valid for two years from the date of its acceptance and with it, your stay in New York (or in any other state) must not exceed 90 days.



If your stay exceeds 90 days, a VISA application should be done at the nearest U.S. Embassy or Consulate to your home. It must be requested at least 2 months before your departure.

In which case is a VISA request necessary?

To go to New York, an ESTA authorization is therefore mandatory and sometimes, a VISA request will also have to be made. This request depends on several criteria :

  • Your stay in the United States lasts more than 90 consecutive days.
  • Your ESTA request has been refused.
  • You have two valid passports and one concerns a country considered risky by the US government.
  • You have dual nationality (French or from any other European country and Sudanese, Iraqi, Syrian or Iranian).

To conclude: 

If you are going to the USA for less than 90 daysIf you go to the USA for a trip or business, you are part of the " Visa Waiver Program". A VISA application does not have to be made. However, you must apply for your ESTA authorization. If you are going to the USA for more than 90 daysIf you are going to the United States for more than 90 days, a VISA application must be made before your departure and before booking your flight.

VISA New York: which one to ask to enter the territory?

The type of VISA to apply for depends on your situation. Among the currently existing VISAs, there are;


  • Business (VISA VISA B1) or tourism (B2 and B1 / 2).
  • For athletes and artists (Visa O and P).
  • Au pair girl or boy (Visa J).
  • Students (Visa F for linguistic or university studies and M for non-university or professional studies).
  • Exchanges, training or internships (Visa J).
  • Diplomatic or official (Visa A, C3, G and NATO).
  • Work (Visa H, L and Q).
  • Domestic workers (B1, A3, G5 and NATO-7).
  • Journalists (Visa I).
  • Investors (Visa E).
  • Transit (Visa C).


- students wishing to study in New York must prove that they will be able to support themselves once there. They must therefore provide their VISA application their pay slips or bank statements. If you apply for VISA F, you will be able to work 20 hours per week maximum unlike VISA M which does not allow any professional activity.

To make your VISA request, it is important to choose the good category according to your situation. If in doubt, do not hesitate to contact the embassy or the consulate in order to inform you and have a professional answer your questions.


How to apply for a VISA?

Do you need to apply for a VISA to fly to New York? Here is the procedure to follow to do it.

First, you must complete the application form for the nonimmigrant VISA: the DS-160 on the site https://ceac.state.gov/genniv/. Once completed, you must submit it directly online prior to your appointment with the U.S. Embassy. But before that, think about check all of your answers. These must be accurate and remember to answer all the questions asked. A photo must also be attached to your file.


Depending on your situation, a VISA application is therefore necessary or not. Make sure you do your research beforehand and apply for the VISA corresponding to your situation.

Once your VISA is in your pocket, it will be time to book your hotel. To help you choose your accommodation, do not hesitate to consult our article "where to sleep in New York".

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