USA Visa and Entry Requirements

By | October 22, 2021

Transfer of accommodation and flight details
Before entering the USA, the first address in the USA must be given, which is normally a hotel. If you fail to provide this address, you may be refused entry.

Airlines flying to the USA are required by law to give the US border protection authorities access to all passenger data. Shortly after departure, the airlines transmit data such as street, house number, zip code, city, state and country of residence to the US authorities.
This information is used by the US Department of Homeland Security to help counter terrorism and prevent cross-border crime and is retained for a minimum of 3.5 years.

The current form can be found at

Participants in exchange programs and foreign students in the USA
The data of exchange students and foreign students are stored by the Student and Exchange Visitor Information System (SEVIS) recorded. SEVIS charges US $ 200 for F / M visas (students) and US $ 180 for J visas (exchange programs). Please note that the application form DS-158 must also be submitted for these visas.

Language student
A special student visa is required for language trips with more than 18 lessons. The processing time for this application is difficult to predict, so it should be submitted early. Language trips that include fewer than 18 lessons do not require a visa.

Hand baggage regulations
According to USAERS.COM, there are limited quantities of liquids that you can take with you on flights to the United States. Containers such as bottles and cans may have a maximum capacity of 100 ml. They must be packed in a transparent plastic bag (no more than one bag per passenger) with a maximum capacity of one liter and presented at the security checkpoints.
Baby food and prescription medication are subject to exceptions; large quantities of these may be carried in hand luggage (if necessary). Liquids (cosmetics, beverages) purchased after the USA special security checkpoint can be taken on board.

Individual lithium-ion replacement batteries (e.g. for cameras, laptops or mobile phones) are not allowed in flight luggage, only to a limited extent in hand luggage.
Replacement batteries with a lithium content of less than 8 grams can be transported in plastic bags or in their original packaging in hand luggage.

Working in the USA
If you want to take up unpaid or paid work in the US (including as an intern or au pair), want to stay in the US for more than 90 days, or are participating in a school / university exchange program, you will need a visa even if you are a citizen of a country that is affiliated with the Visa Waiver Program.

Is generally required, also for US citizens, this must be valid for at least 6 months after the planned departure. Travelers participating in the Visa Waiver Program (VWP, valid only for tourist and business trips) must carry passports that are valid during their stay. Citizens of the USA are also required to have a passport when re-entering the country.

A visa-free entry is only possible for participants in the program for the waiver of the visa requirement (VWP) if the claret-colored and machine-readable European passport was issued before October 26, 2006. Passports that were issued or extended on or after October 26, 2006 and are to be used for travel under the Visa Waiver Program must be e-passports (electronic passports) that contain biometric data in a chip.

A digital portrait and, since November 1, 2007, two fingerprints of the passport holder are stored in German biometric passports.
Travelers with Austrian passports issued on or after June 16, 2006 can travel to the USA without a visa under the Visa Waiver Program. Passports from Austria, which are between the 26.10. 2005 and June 16. Issued or extended in 2006 are no longer valid for travel under the Visa Waiver Program. Austrian passports that were issued before October 26th, 2005 can still be used for travel and the Visa Waiver Program.
According to current US regulations, Swiss citizens can enter the Model 03 passport without a visa, provided the passport was issued before October 26, 2006. Since September 4, 2006, Switzerland has been issuing biometric, electronically readable passports. This passport 06 is required by travelers who want to travel to the USA without a visa and do not have a passport 03 that was issued before October 26th. 2006 was issued.

Entry with children
The same entry regulations apply to children as to their parents.

Germany:if the machine-readable child’s passport was issued before October 26, 2006, it entitles the holder to enter the USA without a visa. Passports issued on or after that date must be e-passports to qualify for the Visa Waiver Program. A separate passport is required for children and babies. Children’s ID cards that are still valid cannot be used to enter the USA.

Austria:For the Visa Waiver Program of the USA, Austrian passports that were issued on or after June 16, 2006 (with digitized photo and chip) are accepted. An Austrian children’s passport (without a chip but with a digitized photo) will only be accepted by the Visa Waiver Program if it is issued before October 26th. 2006 was issued. Children cannot enter the United States without a visa if they are entered on the passport of an accompanying parent., Babies and children and babies require their own passport.

Switzerland:Swiss citizens with a model 03 passport can enter the country without a visa, provided the passport was issued before October 26, 2006. Since September 4, 2006, Switzerland has been issuing biometric, electronically readable passports. This passport 06 is required by travelers who want to travel to the USA without a visa and do not have a passport 03 that was issued before October 26th. 2006 was issued. Both babies and children need their own passport.

A visa is generally required.
Visa Waiver Program (VWP): Citizens from the EU and Switzerland, among others, can enter the USA as tourists or business people without a visa for a period of up to 90 days (exceptions are Greece, Bulgaria, Poland, Malta, Cyprus and Romania).
This requires a valid onward or return flight ticket, an e-passport or machine-readable passport that was issued before October 26, 2006. Entry must be made by plane or ship from a transport company recognized by the VWP (signatory carrier).
All visa-exempt travelers must complete Form I-94W on board the recognized transport company. In addition, online registration in the Electronic System for Travel Authorization (ESTA) is required. This registration is valid for two years for all trips to the USA or until the expiry date of the passport.

If a mistake was made when filling out the ESTA application and the incorrect application was sent, the Department of Homeland Security recommends submitting a second corrected application. Normally the first application will be overwritten in this way. If this override does not work, an explanation email should be sent to The incorrect application can then be updated manually.

As of September 8, 2010, each ESTA application costs $ 14. This amount can be paid by credit card.

Travelers with a visa requirement can obtain entry visas with biometric data at the US consulates in Frankfurt and Berlin. A photo is required for this, two fingerprints are electronically scanned. Since January 5th In 2004, pictures and fingerprints were taken of visitors entering and leaving the country.

Transit visa
Participants in the Visa Waiver Program can travel through the USA without a transit visa if they leave the USA within 8 hours on the same or next aircraft, have a confirmed flight ticket and valid travel documents for the destination country and do not leave the transit area.

Visa types
NIV (Non-Immigrant Visa) for vacation and business trips,
F / M visa (student visa),
J visa (for participants in exchange programs),
journalists, temporary work and transit visas Visa

Germany and Austria
Visa processing fee: € 98.25 (Application fees are non-refundable)

Visa processing fee: 157.20 CHF (application fees are non-refundable).

Payment is only possible by bank transfer, cash or Euro checks are not accepted.
The period of validity depends on the nationality of the applicant and the type of visa.

Application for
Germany and Austria
In general, a personal application is required at the consulate or consular section of the embassy. All visa applications for nonimmigrant visas for the USA, which are made in the US embassy in Berlin and Vienna as well as the US consulates in Munich and Frankfurt and Munich, must be submitted using the online application form (Electronic Visa Application Form – EVAF) at http: // Since November 1, 2006, only the electronic form DS-156 has been used for visa applications. This includes applicants for J, F and M visas (students and participants in exchange programs) and applicants for H, L, O, P, Q, R, E as well as A, G and I visas (temporary work visa categories, journalists, investors and traders). The online application form can also be found on the website of the American Embassy at (in German) and at /germany/visa/visa_forms.html (in English), for Austria at If the application form for the visa interview is not available, delays must be expected.

German citizens who apply for a J visa (exchange visitor visa, form DS-2019) must submit the documents to the US consulate general in Frankfurt, the embassy in Berlin does not process them.

All visa applicants must appear in person at the US embassy to apply for a visa.

Processing time
Due to the registration measures and the increased security precautions in the US embassies in recent years, the visa application process can take some time, even for EU citizens, up to 8 weeks depending on nationality and type of visa. At Christmas and the summer vacation it can take even longer. The US embassy in Berlin recommends sending the online application about 6-8 weeks before the planned date of arrival and applying for an interview as soon as possible.

Obligation to register
Travelers under the Visa Waiver Program have been registered since January 12th. 2009 obliged to provide your personal and travel details on the website of the Department of Homeland Security at least 3 days before departure.

Entry with pets
A maximum of 2 birds per owner can be brought into the USA. For this purpose, a health certificate from an official veterinarian in the country of origin, which was issued no more than 30 days before entry, is required. Upon entry, the birds are quarantined for a maximum of 30 days (only possible in Los Angeles, New York JFK and Miami airports). The quarantine places must be reserved in advance.
Dogs brought into the US must be over 12 weeks old and have a rabies vaccination with a certified veterinarian vaccination. This vaccination must be at least 30 days and no more than 12 months old on arrival.

USA Visa and Entry Requirements