The United States of America imposes strict conditions on entry for many countries around the world, but not when it comes to British citizens.
Citizens of the United Kingdom have privileges regarding travel to the United States. The United States is included in the list of countries covered by the Visa Waiver Scheme. You can apply online for a travel permit that will allow you to enter the United States, whether by land, air or sea.
Do I Need a Visa For USA From UK?
The UK is one of 39 countries participating in the Visa Waiver Program, so UK citizens do not need to apply for a visa to the US. British citizens with unrestricted permanent residency in England, Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland, the Channel Islands and the Isle of Man have been included in this list since 1988.
However, British citizens who are not citizens of a visa-exempt country in the U.S. and are not citizens of Canada or Bermuda require a visa to travel to the United States.
US Visa Application UK
Once you have decided on the type of US visa you need and have all the necessary documents, it is time to apply.
To apply for a US visa in the UK, follow these simple steps:
- Fill out the DS-160 form.
- Pay the application fee.
- Make an appointment for a visa interview.
- Prepare your U.S. visa documents.
- Schedule your visa interview
Fill in Form DS-160
Complete the online DS-160 application form and print the confirmation page. Bring this page with you to your interview.
The application form includes questions about your personal information, such as:
- Full name
- Spouse status
- Date and place of birth
- Cell phone number
- Passport number
- Passport book number
- Family information
- Educational institution
- Job, etc.
Form DS-160 can be completed online at.
- Consular Electronic Application Center, or
- You may also use a specialized agency.
Pay your application fee and schedule the interview
The MRV fee for visa applicants varies depending on the type of visa you are applying for. They are tiered as follows
- MRV fee – $160
- Petition-based applicants (H, L, O, P, Q, R) – $190
- E-1, E-2 and E-3 visa applicants – $205
American Visa Application Requirements
Once you have selected the type of visa you wish to apply for, you will need to start gathering the documents you will need for that U.S. visa. The following documents are usually required when applying for a U.S. visa in the U.K.
- Confirmation page for the DS-160 application form. The confirmation page for the DS-160 application form, which you can submit here. However, you can also use the services of a third-party company, such as
- TravelAssist, to assist you in submitting this form.
- Appointment Confirmation Page (if applicable).
- Passport. Valid for at least six months from the date you plan to be in the United States. There must be at least one blank page in your passport for the visa to be affixed.
- A U.S. visa photo, 5 x 5 cm in size, taken within the last six months; if you have uploaded a photo to your DS-160 application, you do not need to submit an additional photo.
- Previous U.S. Visas. If you previously entered the U.S. on an old passport, you must bring that passport to the embassy or consulate on the day of your interview.
- ACRO – This is a police certificate that should be presented if you have ever been arrested, cautioned, or convicted of a crime.
- A letter from your doctor (if you have a medical condition that could affect your visa eligibility).
- A letter of invitation if you are applying for a B-2 visa.
- If you have previously been denied entry to the U.S. or deported from the U.S., you must also provide documentation of such denial or deportation.
Although it is not a requirement, it is strongly recommended that you obtain travel medical insurance before traveling to the United States. For more information on purchasing U.S. visa insurance, see our article.
Attend the US Visa Interview in the UK
Applicants between the ages of 14 and 79 applying for a U.S. visa from the United Kingdom must appear in person for an interview at a U.S. consulate or embassy; applicants under the age of 14 and over the age of 80 may send the application by courier.
Please arrive on time, as late arrival may result in cancellation of your appointment. The process at the embassy or consulate where you are applying will take two to three hours, so be prepared. Carry all documents with you and keep them neat.
Before your interview, the embassy or consulate staff will collect, record, and review your application materials. After your fingerprints are taken, you will have an interview with the consular officer that will last a few minutes.
US Visa interview questions for applicants from the UK
There are also a number of security and background questions, including the following.
- Have you ever been arrested or convicted of a crime, even if you were pardoned, amnestied, or similarly treated?
- Have you ever violated or conspired to violate any law relating to controlled substances?
- Are you coming to the United States to engage in prostitution or an illegal commercial vice, or have you engaged in prostitution or procuring prostitutes within the last 10 years?
- Have you ever been involved in money laundering or are you about to be involved in money laundering?
- Have you attempted to commit espionage, sabotage, export control violations, or other illegal activities while in the United States?
- Are you attempting to engage in, or have you ever engaged in, terrorist activities while in the United States?
- Have you provided, or do you intend to provide, financial or other support to terrorists or terrorist organizations?
- Are you a member or agent of a terrorist organization?
- Have you ordered, instigated, carried out, supported, or otherwise participated in genocide?
Types of Visas for USA from UK
If you are entering the United States for any purpose other than business or pleasure, you must apply for a visa to enter the United States, even if you are a citizen of a VWP country. U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has established different visa types depending on the purpose of your entry. If you are a resident of the United Kingdom, you may apply for one of the following visas.
B-1 Visa – US Business visa from UK
If you are a resident of the United Kingdom and do not qualify for a travel authorization, you must apply for a B1 visa. To qualify for this visa, you must meet the following criteria.
- Your business must be legitimate
- You must intend to remain in the United States for a limited period of time.
- You must be financially able to support yourself while in the U.S.
- You do not intend to leave the UK to stay in the US. US A-2 Visa
Spouses and children are not eligible to apply for dependent visas for this visa.
B-1 Visa – Domestic Employee
This type of visa applies to personal or domestic employees (cooks, nannies, butlers, chauffeurs, maids, gardeners, paid attendants, etc.) who accompany or follow their employer to the United States. In this case, one of the most important requirements of the U.S. authorities is proof that the employee is adequately compensated.
B-2 Visa – Holiday Visa for USA from UK
The B2 visa is intended for visitors who wish to enter the United States to travel, visit family, friends or relatives, take a vacation or receive medical treatment.
Applicants for this type of visa must demonstrate that they have strong ties to the UK and do not intend to stay in the US.
To increase your chances of successfully applying for a US tourist visa from the UK, use the services of Travel Assist.
C-1 Visa – Transiting the United States
If you need to travel through the United States on your way to another country, but you are unable to obtain a travel authorization, you will need to apply for a C-1 transit visa. If you already have a valid tourist visa, you can use it to transit the United States.
D Visa – Crew Members working on air or sea carriers
If you are working as a crew member for an international shipping company or airline traveling from the UK to the US, you will need a C-1/D visa.
A-1/A-2 Visa – Diplomats & Foreign Government Officials.
This type of visa applies to diplomats and other foreign officials of the UK government entering the US to participate in official activities.
UK residents eligible for an A-1 visa:
- The head of the British government (prime minister), regardless of the purpose of the trip
- An ambassador or consul at a British embassy or consulate in the United States
- Ministers or officials of the British government traveling to the United States to participate in official activities there
- A resident of the United Kingdom who is part of a European Union delegation
- Family members (spouses and unmarried sons and daughters) of U.K. nationals who hold A-1 visas for the United States.
UK residents eligible for an A-2 visa
- Full-time employees appointed by the U.K. government to work at a U.S. embassy or consulate
- British government officials traveling to the U.S. to perform government-related duties
- Members of the British military who are seconded to work at a British embassy or consulate in the U.S. or stationed at a U.S. military base
- Employees of U.K.-based companies and representatives of European Union delegations
- Family members (spouses and unmarried sons and daughters) of U.K. nationals who hold A-1 visas to the U.S.
Please note that government officials visiting the U.S. for unofficial purposes, with the exception of the British head of government, are not eligible for this visa. In addition, local government officials representing local political parties are not eligible for this visa.
A-3 Visa – Domestic Employee of an A-1/A-2 Visa holder
This visa is set up for personal employees, caregivers, and domestic workers of government officials and diplomats who hold a valid A-1 or A-2 visa.
US Visa Application Processing Time from UK
Successful applications take 3-5 days to be approved, but the application process can take up to 6 months or longer. Your passport will be held at the Embassy during the application process.
After your visa is approved or denied, you will receive your passport from the embassy or consulate. You will not be able to pick up your passport in person.
What to do in Case of US Visa Denial?
If your U.S. visa is denied, the fee will not be refunded. However, you may reapply in the future by submitting a new application and paying the visa fee again.
To ensure that your application is not denied for the same reason, you must show that your circumstances have changed since your previous application was denied.