A visa is issued by a U.S. Embassy or Consulate. A visa entitles the holder to travel to the United States and apply for admission; it does not guarantee entry. An immigration inspector at the port of entry determines the visa holder's eligibility for admission into the United States.
Who needs a visa?
Anyone who is not eligible to enter the United States visa free under the Visa Waiver Program (VWP). Gambian citizens are not eligible for the VWP, and must apply for a visa.
Please note: Travelers born in the United States and those who hold dual citizenship with the United States must enter and depart the United States on U.S. passports.
ESTA Surcharge for Visa Waiver Program Travellers
ESTA is an automated system that determines the eligibility of visitors to travel to the U.S. under the Visa Waiver Program and is required for all VWP travelers prior to boarding a carrier to travel by air or sea to the United States. ESTA is charging a fee of US $14.00 to all Visa Waiver Program (VWP) travelers. ESTA registration is valid for a two-year period. Travelers who have vaild existing registrations do not need to re-register unless the traveler's passport expires within the two-year period. The fee is payable by credit card at the ESTA website: http://cbp.gov/xp/cgov/travel/id_visa/esta/.
Click here if you wish to learn more about nonimmigrant visas to the United States.
Click here if you wish to learn more about immigrant visas to the United States.
Click here if you wish to learn more about the Diversity Visa program.
Apply Early: Recent changes in U.S. visa laws and regulations have increased the amount of time it can take to get a visa. Stricter security measures require more thorough checks and lengthen the visa application process but ensure the safety of visitors and U.S. citizens alike.
Even with significant improvements being made in speeding up visa processing, it is inevitable that delays will sometimes occur. Therefore, it is important to apply as early as possible for your visa and to avoid booking non-refundable travel until after a visa is issued.