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What is a visa?

A visa is a document that allows the bearer to travel to the United States and apply for admission with Customs & Border Protection (CBP).  Non-U.S. citizens who wish to travel to the United States must have a valid visa unless they are citizens of a country on the Visa Waiver Program (VWP).  See which countries are part of the Visa Waiver Program


New regulation for Ecuadorian passports validity when entering the United States of America

Ecuadorian citizens traveling to the United States are advised that their passport must be valid for six months beyond the date that they will EXIT the United States.

Ecuadorian citizens whose U.S. visa is in a passport that has expired or will expire within six months of the end of their U.S. visit but who have a new passport do not need to apply for a new visa.

Travelers should present both the new passport and the old passport with the valid visa to the United States Customs and Border Patrol officer upon arrival in the U.S.

Requirement for Travelers Under Visa Waiver Program

On August 6, 2010, DHS announced an interim
final rule that amends DHS regulations to require
travelers from VWP countries to pay operational and
travel promotion fees when applying for ESTA beginning
September 8, 2010.  The total fee will be $14.00

All international travelers traveling to the United States under the Visa Waiver Program will need to complete the Electronic System for Travel Authorization (ESTA). ESTA applications may be completed FREE online at the official DHS website. 

Please note that this requirement only applies to travelers under the Visa Waiver Program, which Does Not apply to Ecuadorians.  Travelers traveling on Ecuadorian passports are not eligible for the Visa Waiver Program and Do Not need to complete the electronic application. 

Having a valid visa does Not guarantee entry into the United States. The Customs & Border Protection (CBP) has the authority to deny entry to the United States to any non-U.S. citizen.

There are U.S. entry procedures required for foreign visitors. For more information about the US-VISIT program please visit the U.S. Department of Homeland Security website.

There are two types of visas: Immigrant Visas and Non-Immigrant Visas

Immigrant Visas

An Immigrant visa allows the bearer to travel to the United States to become a legal permanent resident.  In order to receive this kind of visa you must qualify within an "Immigrant Category" and have a petition filed on your behalf.  Find out if you qualify for an Immigrant Visa.

Non-Immigrant Visas

A Non-Immigrant Visa allows the bearer to travel to the United States temporarily for business, tourism, studies, or  work.  In order to receive this kind of visa you must pay a visa fee, submit a visa application and come to the U.S. Consulate for an interview.  Find out more about how to get a Non-Immigrant Visa.

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