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How to Apply for a USA Visit Visa from Canada


America, known for its incredible landscapes, cuisine and diversity of cultures, is one of the most popular tourist destinations in the world. The nation welcomed 78 million visitors in 2018 alone. Canada is one of the top countries to contribute to US tourism, accounting for 20.2 million visitors in 2017, says an article on Export.Gov. Canadians accounted for almost 31 million overnight trips in 2016, 61% of which were to the US. In 2018, tourist visits from Canada to USA grew 4%.

For a Canadian citizen to visit the US, you need to apply for the Electronic System of Travel Authorization (ESTA) is required. This is because Canada is one of the 38 countries that are part of the US Visa Waiver Program (VWP).

How Can Non-Immigrants from Canada Visit USA

Even if you aren’t a Canadian national but belong to a nation that is part of the VWP, you can apply for an ESTA to enter the US from Canada. However, if you aren’t a passport holder of such a nation, you will need to apply for a regular US visit visa. Here’s a look at the process:

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  1. The first step is to fill the Non Immigrant Visa Electronic Application (DS-160) Form online. Once the form has been successfully submitted, you will be redirected to a confirmation page. You need to take a printout of this page and keep it safe for the remainder of the process.
  2. The next step is to pay the non-refundable visa fee. This can be paid by credit/debit card, bank transfer or in cash. The amount depends on the type of visa you apply for. For a regular tourist visa, the fee is $160.
  3. After making the payment, schedule a visa interview appointment at your nearest US embassy/consulate. You can choose a date and time according to your convenience. 
  4. Collect all the required documents and bring them for your appointment. The mandatory documents include your appointment confirmation page, your passport, photographs, address and identity proofs, financial ability proofs and so on.
  5. Make sure to be on time for the interview, and answer all questions honestly and confidently. You might also need to provide biometrics, such as fingerprints.

Canadian Citizens Visiting USA

Citizens of Canada do not require a visa to enter the US for non-immigrant purposes. However, they do need an ESTA or Electronic System for Travel Authorization. If you tick off the following criteria, an ESTA will be issued to you. 

  • You do not have a US visitor visa with you
  • Your travel duration is not more than 90 days 
  • Your purpose of travel is temporary, for business or leisure. 

Is it recommended to submit the ESTA application at least 72 hours before your intended date of travel. You will be required to pay $14 per application to the US Customs and Border Protection Authorities.

Documents Required for an ESTA from Canada

You will require a valid e-passport from a country that is part of the VWP, your contact information and your employment status, if possible.

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Blogger, Entrepreneur, Mentor. Having lived in the US and the Middle East for about a decade, and gone through immigration many times, I have a lot to share. Add me on Facebook or contact me on WhatsApp +0014084894785

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