Nonimmigrant Visas: Tourism & Visit

The U.S. Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) provides several categories of nonimmigrant visas for those who want to visit or work temporarily in the United States.

You can find out more about each type of visa from the travel.state.gov website, or by clicking on the Visa Types below. To apply for a visa, click “How to Apply” above for step-by-step instructions.

After reading all available informaton on our website, if you still have questions regarding any part of the U.S. visa process, please contact the Consular Section at ConsularPortMoresby@state.gov.

Tourism & Visit Visa Type

Generally, a citizen of a foreign country who wishes to enter the United States must first obtain a visa, either a nonimmigrant visa for temporary stay, or an immigrant visa for permanent residence. Visitor visas are nonimmigrant visas for persons who want to enter the United States temporarily for business (visa category B-1), tourism, pleasure or visiting (visa category B-2), or a combination of both purposes (B-1/B-2).

Here are some examples of activities permitted with a visitor visa:

  • tourism
  • vacation (holiday)
  • visit with friends or relatives
  • medical treatment
  • participation in social events hosted by fraternal, social, or service organizations
  • participation by amateurs in musical, sports, or similar events or contests, if not being paid for participating
  • enrollment in a short recreational course of study, not for credit toward a degree (for example, a two-day cooking class while on vacation)

Visa Waiver Program

Citizens from Papua New Guinea, Solomon Islands, or Vanuatu are not currently eligible to participate in the visa waiver program. Citizens of other countries who wish to apply for an ESTA to travel to the United States can refer to the Customs and Border Protection ESTA website.

Travelers With Criminal Records

Convictions for certain crimes may make you ineligible to travel to the U.S. The only way to know for sure if your criminal record makes you ineligible is to apply for a visa.  Only a consular officer can determine your visa eligibility. You need to bring a copy of your criminal history report and/or any relevant court documents with you to the visa interview.  Even if your conviction makes you ineligible to travel to the U.S., you may be able to obtain a temporary waiver of this ineligibility. You should discuss this with the consular officer at the time of the interview.  Waiver processing can take 6 – 8 months, so if you think you may require a waiver, please apply early. We always recommend you do not make any financial commitments for travel until you have received a visa.

A special note about applicants with DRINK DRIVING convictions: a single DIC/DUI conviction is NOT grounds to deny entry into the U.S; however, multiple DIC/DUI convictions or a DIC/DUI conviction in combination with other misdemeanor offenses can make a person inadmissible and require a medical examination and/or a waiver, prior to entering the United States.