A foreign national or alien entering the U.S. is generally required to present a passport and valid visa issued by a U.S. Consular Official, unless they are a citizen of a country eligible for the Visa Waiver Program, or are a lawful permanent resident of the U.S. or a citizen of Canada.
The Visa Waiver Program allows foreign nationals from certain countries to be admitted to the U.S. under limited conditions and for a limited time without obtaining a visa. The foreign national must arrive on an approved carrier (if coming by air or sea), staying no more than 90 days, for pleasure/medical purposes/business, and be able to prove they are not inadmissible. The foreign national is still required to have a passport.
To obtain a list of countries eligible and VWP passport requirements for the Visa Waiver Program, please visit https://www.dhs.gov/visa-waiver-program-requirements.
NOTE: All travelers transiting the United States are subject to the U.S. customs/immigration laws.
Canadians coming as a Treaty Trader, classification E are required to have a visa to enter the U.S. as are Canadians coming to marry a U.S. citizen and reside in the U.S. (K1)
A visa and passport are not required of a Mexican national who is in possession of a Form DSP-150, B-1/B-2 Visa and Border Crossing Card, containing a machine-readable biometric identifier, issued by the Department of State and is applying for admission as a temporary visitor for business or pleasure from contiguous territory by land or sea.
Mexican citizens using the Border Crossing Card may travel 55 miles into the U.S. – except in the Nogales/Tucson area, where travel to Tucson is authorized.
The Border Crossing Card (BCC) is acceptable as a stand-alone document (by itself) only for travel from Mexico by land, or by pleasure vessel or ferry. Together with a valid passport, though, it meets the documentary requirements for entry at all land, air, and sea ports of entry (to include travel from Canada). Note: You must be a Mexican citizen and a resident of Mexico to have a BCC.
Continuing students who are going to travel outside of the United States must see their foreign student advisor and obtain an endorsement from the DSO or RO. The endorsement will be made on page 3 of the SEVIS Form I-20 or page 1 of the DS-2019. When returning to the United States, a continuing student/exchange visitor must present a valid SEVIS Form I-20 or DS-2019 with the DSO or RO signature showing that the student is active and in good standing with the school or program.
Visitors traveling to the U.S. are required to be in possession of passports that are valid for six months beyond the period of their intended stay in the U.S. See list of countries exempt from the six month requirement.
Passport requirements pertain to travelers regardless of age (Passports are required for children are the same as adults).