Statistics show that the inbound tourism from Australia to the United States increased by 21.8% in the first half of 2017, says an article on Traveller. The US is a vast land that offers unlimited opportunities for tourism and business alike. However, you need proper documents and authorization to enter the US from Australia. The good news is that Australia is part of the US Visa Waiver Program, which means that you do not require a visa to enter America.
Qualification for Entering the US on the Visa Waiver Program
- Instead of a visa, you need an Electronic System of Travel Authorization (ESTA).
- You should be travelling for tourism, business or transit purposes only.
- You should be travelling to the US for up to 90 days.
- If you are travelling by air or sea, you need to have an onward or return ticket. You will also need to show a copy of your itinerary to the immigration officer.
- You need to show proof of adequate funds to support your stay and travel in the US.
The most interesting thing is that applying for an ESTA is super-easy and it takes just 5 minutes to complete the process. The US Department of Homeland Security stated that there is a 99% approval rate for the ESTA. Your ESTA is valid for 2 years.
Passport Requirements for an ESTA
Anyone, who wishes to travel to America on the Visa Waiver Program, regardless of their age, must have a machine-readable passport. If your machine-readable passport was issued or renewed after October 26, 2006, it must carry an integrated chip, with all the details from your e-passport, says an article on US Travel Docs. If your machine-readable passport was issued between October 26, 2005 to October 25, 2006, your e-passport should have your digital photograph.
Visa Requirements for the US
If you are applying for a US visa, you need fulfil certain eligibility criteria. Along with this, you will need to submit some documents, along with your visa application form, such as:
- A valid passport.
- Copy of confirmation page of the DS-160 application form.
- Copy of the confirmation page for the scheduled interview appointment.
- Copy of previous US visas, if you have travelled to the US before.
- A certificate from the Australian police authorities stating that you are of good character, with no criminal record.
- A health certificate from an authorized doctor, stating that you are fit to travel to the US and that you meet the health eligibility criteria set by the US embassy.
- If you are applying for a B-2 visa, you will require a letter of invitation from family or friends living in the US for your visitor visa.
- If you have ever been denied entry into the US, you will need to submit documents stating the reason for the rejection.
- Your bank statements, indicating that you have sufficient funds to support your travel and stay in the US.
USA is a hugely diverse land. Make sure you do your research and have an itinerary planned to make the most of your trip.