With more than 3 million passengers landing in the United States each day, U.S. Customs authorities are concerned with maintaining a high level of security at their borders while keeping traffic flowing.
Provided they meet the eligibility criteria, French citizens can benefit from the USA Visa Waiver Program.
In order to apply for an ESTA visa, you must be a citizen of one of the 40 countries participating in the program. Also, your stay must not exceed 90 consecutive days, whether it is for tourism, business (unpaid stay) or transit. You must also have an electronic or biometric passport.
Those who do not meet these requirements should apply for a U.S. tourist visa.
Which USA visa to apply for?
The USA visa application is for travelers who are not eligible for the Visa Waiver Program. This step is not to be taken lightly, because without a visa, you can say goodbye to your American dream.
There are multiple USA visas, but we can present the most commonly requested:
- Do you dream of the great American spaces, of admiring the skyscrapers of New York or simply of visiting a loved one? You must apply for a US tourist visa, the B2 visa;
- Want to take courses at one of America’s prestigious universities to earn credits and even a degree? In this case you must apply for an F1 visa or an M1 visa;
- if you wish to do an internship in a company to improve your English and discover the world of work on the other side of the Atlantic, you must apply for a J1 visa.
This brief overview is of course not exhaustive. The different types of USA visas are as diverse and varied as the situations of each applicant, but whatever your case and the purpose of your stay in the United States, you should contact the U.S. Embassy in your country of residence or the U.S. Consulate nearest to your home.
How to obtain a visa for the USA?
As mentioned above, if your situation does not meet the criteria of the Visa Waiver Program, you must apply for authorization to stay in the United States. The question now is how to obtain a visa for the United States.
For all USA France visa applications, the process is initiated online, on the website of the American embassy and consulates. If you wish to apply for a USA tourist visa (the most commonly requested), you must fill out the DS-160 form online and then gather the requested documents to present to the US government official on the day of your appointment, at the embassy or consulate if applicable. US visa processing time is usually 3 to 5 business days.
What about the price of a USA visa?
The price of the visa for the USA differs according to the category of the visa. For example, the fee for a temporary worker or trainee visa (H visa) is higher than the fee for a visitor visa for tourism, business or medical care: $190 for the former and $160 for the latter.
The fees are to be paid upon validation of your US tourist visa application. No refunds will be given if your application is denied, but you can renew your application if it was unsuccessful the first time.