The cost of tourist visas in the United States deters some travelers from entering the country.
Visiting the United States as a non-US citizen can be difficult. International visitors must obtain permission, in the form of a visa, to visit any destination in the country. Americans can travel to most countries without a visa. American citizens often forget the process that travelers from other countries must follow.
According to the Henley Passport Index, travelers with a US passport can travel to 186 international destinations without applying for a visa in advance. International travelers visiting America must apply for a visa to visit.
Here’s what else you need to know about rising US tourist visa costs.
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Tourist visas: the process
In order to obtain a visa, international travelers must complete documents online and wait for an appointment at the embassy of their home country.
During your embassy appointment, you will need to present proof of income, plans to visit the United States, and proof that you are on vacation or on business.
In some countries it can be very difficult to get an appointment. Usually, people from wealthy or well-connected families can get an appointment. These additional hurdles discourage travelers from applying, especially when you won’t be reimbursed if your application is rejected. This will result in lost tourist dollars each year for the United States
So how much does a tourist visa cost?
The cost per person to apply for a tourist visa is $160, according to the Department of State. Tourist visas can be valid for up to 10 years. The length of time granted to a tourist on their visa depends on their nationality.
The cost of visa applications is increasing due to inflation. Fees are non-refundable and non-transferable. If an application is denied, the applicant will have to pay again for a new one.
How long does it take to get?
Due to the pandemic, many places have a wait time of over a year to get an appointment after applying. The waiting time is also a factor that discourages travelers from applying.
Who is exempt from applying?
The United States has visa waiver agreements with 40 countries. Australia, Canada, New Zealand, Japan, UK and many European countries are on the list of countries that do not have to apply.
However, just because you have a visa does not mean you cannot be denied access to US border guards who may refuse visitors after landing in the United States.
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