Nonimmigrant Visa: Tourism & Visit

The U.S. Consulate General has not opened the online nonimmigrant visa appointment system but is evaluating appointment requests on a case-by-case basis via email, prioritizing urgent or emergency appointments for residents of our consular district in Bermuda.  If you have a need for urgent or emergency travel, or you would like to inquire as to whether or not we can process your visa application at this time, please contact us at HamiltonConsulate@state.gov.  In your email provide as many details as you can about your purpose of travel.  We are not accepting out of district visa appointments at this time. 

Important: if applicable please see Visa Exemptions for Bermudians.

 

Generally, a citizen of a foreign country who wishes to enter the United States must first obtain a visa, either a nonimmigrant visa for a temporary stay, or an immigrant visa for permanent residence.  Visitor visas are nonimmigrant visas for persons who want to enter the United States temporarily for business (visa category B-1), for tourism (visa category B-2), or for a combination of both purposes (B-1/B-2).

Please visit the Department of State’s Visitor Visa website for additional information, to include examples of activities permitted with a visitor visa.

EXPEDITE REQUESTS 

The following is a list of circumstances that may be considered for expedited appointments:

  • an immediate relative’s death, grave illness or life threatening accident requiring travel to or via the United States.  Please include the name, relationship place and description of the situation, and contact information for the attending physician or funeral home;
  • urgent medical treatment for the applicant or their minor child;
  • an unexpected need to travel to the United States for urgent business purposes;
  • an unexpected visit that is of significant cultural, political, journalistic, sporting, or economic importance.

Visa Waiver Program

You may use VWP if you meet the following criteria:

  • Plan to travel to the U.S. for 90 days or less;
  • Starting January 12, 2009, have an approved Electronic Travel Authorization (ESTA).  ESTA is an automated system that determines the eligibility of visitors to travel to the United States under the Visa Waiver Program (VWP); note that multiple ESTA applications can be submitted at the same time for persons traveling in groups.
  • Are traveling for tourism or business;
  • Carry a machine-readable passport which, in most cases, must be valid for at least six months after your expected departure from the U.S.;
  • Have a return ticket or onward ticket to most non U.S. destinations;

You will need a visa, and may not use VWP, if you any of these criteria apply to you:

  • Want to remain in the United States for longer than 90 days;
  • Have a criminal record;
  • Intend to travel by private/charter aircraft or sea carriers;
  • Want to work or study in the United States, including working as a foreign journalist.  This includes attending secondary or tertiary school, and paid or unpaid employment (including au-pairs, interns, working journalists, and government representatives on official business).  For more on the appropriate visa classifications for these activities, please see Travel.state.gov;
  • Have been deported or refused admission to the U.S. before, or failed to comply with a previous VWP admission or visa.  This includes overstaying a previous admission.

Travelers With Criminal Records

  • Convictions for certain crimes may make you ineligible to travel to the U.S.  The only way to know for sure if your criminal record makes you ineligible is to apply for a visa.  Only a consular officer can determine your visa eligibility.
  • You need to bring a copy of your Criminal History Report with you to the visa interview.
  • If you require a waiver to obtain medical treatment in the U.S., you must also submit:
    • a letter of referral from your local physician stating treatment/procedure is not available locally
    • appointment letter from receiving physician in the United States
    • proof of health insurance coverage
    • if there is any amount not covered by insurance, you will need to submit a bank statement or other explanation of how any co-payments will be covered
  • Even if your conviction makes you ineligible to travel to the U.S., you may be able to obtain a temporary waiver of this ineligibility.  You should discuss this with the consular officer at the time of the interview.  Waiver processing can take 6–8 months, so if you think you may require a waiver, please apply early.  We always recommend you do not make any financial commitments for travel until you have received a visa.
  • If you have had any minor traffic offenses which did not result in an arrest or conviction, you may use the VWP, provided you are otherwise qualified.  If the traffic offense occurred while you were in the United States, and you have an outstanding fine against you or you did not attend your court hearing, it is possible there may be a warrant out for your arrest.  You should resolve these issues before traveling by contacting the court where you were scheduled to appear.  If you do not know the address of the court, information is available on the U.S. Courts website.