Chicago - Visas
Visa and Passport Information
Visa Entry Requirements
Please remember to check the official immigration website of your destination country before travelling.
UK nationalsOther Nationalities
UK passport holders require a valid passport for travel to the USA. Under the Visa Waiver Programme (VWP), most British citizens do not require a visa for holiday, transit or business purposes. This is subject to the following requirements: passports must be machine-readable, the stay should not exceed 90 days and a return or onward ticket must available for inspection.
Canadians do not require a visa, only a valid passport. Visitors should hold tickets and documents required for return or onward destination.
Australian nationals do not require a visa for stays of up to 90 days under the Visa Waiver Program; a valid machine-readable passport and a return or onward ticket are required if travelling by sea or air.
South Africansare required to hold a passport valid at the date of entry and a visa is also required. Visas must be applied for in person as an interview is required. Appointments can be made by telephoning a dedicated Visa Service - check the website of your country's USA Embassy for further information. Please note that this process can take several weeks. Visitors must have return or onward tickets and the necessary documents for further travel.
Irish nationals require a valid passport. Irish passport holders qualify for the visa waiver programme, but a machine-readable passport (MRP) must be presented to gain visa-free entry to the country, which allows a stay of up to 90 days. Visitors must have return or onward tickets and all necessary documents for further travel.
New Zealand nationals
New Zealand nationals require a valid passport, but do not require a visa for stays of up to 90 days under the US Visa Waiver programme. A machine-readable passport is necessary to qualify for the programme. A return or onward ticket is required.
Visitors of the following nationalities may be entitled to enter the USA without a Visa provided they meet certain requirements stated in the USA Visas and Immigration website:
Andorra, Austria, Belgium Brunei, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Iceland, Italy, Japan, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, Monaco, the Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, San Marino, Singapore, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, and Switzerland
Visitors entering the country under the Visa Waiver Programme (VWP) must have a machine-readable passport (MRP) that has a bar code on the photo page. From 26 October 2006 eligible Travelers under the VWP must include biometrics in their machine-readable passports if they wish to enter the country without a visa, containing unique personal data such as fingerprints or iris details. All new passports issued on or after 26 October 2005 must contain a digital photo image in order to travel visa-free.
Due to new security measures, all visitors to the USA will have a photograph and two fingerprints taken by an inkless scanner on arrival, including those travelling visa-free under the Visa Waiver Programme. As part of the Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative (WHTI), all Travelers travelling between the United States and Canada, Mexico, Bermuda, and the Caribbean region are required to present a passport or other valid travel document to enter or re-enter the United States. If departing from the USA a valid passport will be required by immigration authorities.
A new security regulation, set to begin in 2009, will mean that all visitors who do not need a visa under the US visa waiver programme will need to register online three days before travel. This will allow the US government to screen all visitors before travel. The new programme will be mandatory for all visa-free travel from 12 January 2009.