Visa has always been a requirement for those who are entering the U.S. However, the country’s State Department has the Visa Waiver Program or the VWP which allows citizens coming from 27 countries to enter sans visa up to 90 days. These countries include Australia, Austria, Luxembourg, Monaco, Denmark, Brunei, Finland, the Netherlands, Norway, Spain, Slovenia, Singapore, and the United Kingdom. Several countries are also waiting to be on the list of this program.
Tourists coming from these countries, although not asked a visa for a certain period of time, are required to bring a machine readable passport or MRP; it must have a bar code on its photo page. It is also a must for all passports to have a digital photo image for a visa-free travel.
Under the Visa Waiver Program, visitors are also asked to register online before their travel (at least three days prior to travel schedule). This period will allow the government of the country to screen all their visitors prior to their arrival to the country.
Entry requirements, particularly for countries not listed in the VWP, are quite strict. For South Africans for instance, a passport that is valid at the date of entry is required along with the visa. Visitors from this country must also present roundtrip tickets (to and from the U.S.) along with necessary papers and documents. At some cases, visitors may also be asked to present financial proof that shows the tourist’s capability to finance his/her stay in the city.
Entering New York is easy for some, hard for others. But at the end of the day, coming to the city really needs further planning and preparation.