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Question About US Visa Waiver Programme

Nancy asks…

What’s the difference between a visa and the waiver program?

Can a person stay longer using a visa?

Thanks for any infomation.

Best Answer:

British citizen can make use of the U.S. Visa Waiver Program (VWP) and stay in the United States for up to 90 days as tourists without a visa. VWP users need to apply for an online authorization (ESTA) from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (CBP) which involves a fee of US$14 [~£9].

A longer stay (up to six months) would require a B-2 tourist visa application. The B-2 visa (valid for 120 months, fee US$140) requires the applicants to show strong economical and social ties to their country which will compel them to return home after their visit. The assessment of those ties must not only be made for the current visit but as well for the next ten years. Hence applications of young, unmarried British citizen are moreless refused (refusal rate in fiscal year 2010: 25.5%). I recommend to make use of the VWP and not to try to stay for longer than 90 days. Once a visa application is refused you cannot make use of the VWP for lifetime and need to get a U.S. Visa prior to travel in any case.
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