Traveling is one of the most pleasant and educative hobbies. It opens minds and provides memorable experiences. Every place in this world is unique and is waiting to be explored. The most popular destinations are cosmopolitan cities that host a mix of cultures and traditions like Paris, Amsterdam, New York or exotic places where people can relax lying under the sun.
In any case, visiting the USA should really be on your bucket list because this country is fascinating. More and more people are willing to visit it, but many are discouraged by the visa process. However, once you’ve decided that you are willing to go through it, you’ll see that it’s not that complicated.
How long does it take until you get the visa?
The first thing you should know is that people who plan to enter the US as tourists can apply for ESTA (Electronic System for Travel Authorization). This means that, if your country is part of the Visa Waiver Program (VWP), therefore eligible, you can spend up to 90 days on American land without visa.
In case you can benefit from the Visa Waiver Program, you will need to start an ESTA application. In this case, you can send the form on-line and you’ll need to add some documents like a photograph, your passport, the visa fee and others.
After your request is processed, you will be invited for an interview with the immigration officer. From now on, it’s all up to you. If you bring what you are told, answer all the questions clearly and concise, act naturally, polite and respectful, you won’t have any problem and will receive the visa fast.
If your country is not part of the Visa Waiver Program, you’ll have to go through the classical process. However, tourists can get the visa faster than those who want to work in the US, for example.
After you complete this step, you can start preparing your trip. Of course, like every culture in the world, the USA has its own set of rules which you need to know if you want to leave the country with beautiful memories.
Other useful tips
- Take all your traveling documents with you. By this mean everything you used when you applied for the visa. You wouldn’t want to be kept on airports because of some missing paperwork;
- It’s not a good idea to pack to many things. Have the luggage rules in mind; anything larger than the size included in your plane ticket’s price will bring an extra fee. Also, some items are not allowed in the USA. Find out what they are and avoid them;
- Try to focus on one region at the time. You won’t have time to see the entire country in one trip, so try to enjoy every place you can reach without worrying that you don’t have the time to see more;
- It’s almost a custom to offer tips. However, don’t tip a worker more than his or her service is worth;
- If you schedule an appointment during your travel, don’t be late. Americans don’t accept heavy traffic as an excuse;
- You shouldn’t use the slang you heard on movies. Some curse words are considered racist or offensive, so don’t use any of them;
- Smoking is not permitted everywhere. There are places where it is banned even from beaches or public parks;
- Credit cards are preferred over cash payments in many places, so don’t forget to bring them with you