Visa in the US


Do you need a visa?

Germany is part of an agreement with the United States for the Visa Waiver Program. Under this agreement travelers for Business, Tourism or Visiting do not need a visa. However all travelers must be authorized with ESTA in order to qualify for the Visa Waiver Program. The ESTA web page has an online application for authorization. Without a visa travelers are not authorized for employment in the U.S. If you intend to stay for longer than 90 consecutive days you are required to apply for a B-1 Visa for business or extend your stay by contacting the USCIS.



Students who intend to participate in an American University must be accepted by a SEVP approved school before applying for their F-1 or J-1 Visa. Once accepted in the program you must pay the I-901 fee, then the school will provide an I-20 form to present at your visa interview. More information can be found from the U.S. Government and SEVIS


Au pair:

To start the process of becoming an Au Pair contact one of the designated sponsors who will help to set you up with a host family as well as be the main contact for information leading up to arrival.

To qualify for the Au Pair program applicants must be proficient in spoken English, completed secondary school or equivalent, and between 18 and 26 years-old. Applicants will be interviewed in English and a report will be made to provide the potential host family with. As part of the process the applicant will also be subject to a background check that will include school verification, a criminal background check, and references by 3 non-family related personals and employers. Approval in the SEVIS Program is required. Au pairs require a J1 visa for the United States which can be applied for once all other requirements and prerequisites have been met.

More information as well as FAQs can be found at the U.S. Government web page.



To qualify for internships and the J1 Visa for the United states applicants must either be currently enrolled in a degree- or certificate-granting post-secondary school outside of the U.S. or have graduated from one 12 months or less from the intended start date of the internship. A list of designated sponsors can be found here. If you are interested in an Internship in the United states these sponsors are your number one source of information and guidance during the application process and during your time here. The process is similar to the other J1 Visas and an interview will be conducted once all the prerequisites are met with the sponsors regarding placement for the internship.



Immigrant visas can be granted for several sponsor types; Family or Immediate Relatives, Employment Based, or Religious. Immigrating is a much more intensive process than other visas. Prospective immigrants must have a signed petition which is showing that there is a willing sponsor for that person. The petition must be approved by the USCIS before it is received by the National Visa Center where it will be assigned a case number. The application process is handled by the NVC.All instructions for furthering with the immigration cases is provided by the National Visa Center.

More detailed information regarding immigration as well as the forms required for petitions and applicants can be found here. Requirements such as vaccinations and other guidelines can be found here.



Employment visas are divided into 5 categories, E1-E5. These represent different occupations or levels of employment from investors, professionals, skilled, or unskilled workers. Each year there is around 140,000 employment immigration visas made available. All levels require a petition made by U.S. prospective employers, except for Immigrant Investors who have their own petition as well as requirements for qualification separate from the other levels. Like other immigration visas the process is mostly handled by the NVC once the petition is approved. All information and further instructions will come from the NVC leading up to the interview, which can be scheduled once the file is deemed complete. Medical examinations and vaccination requirements must be met before the interview to avoid delays in processing.

More information for the above visas as well as other visa options can be found here.

A List of U.S. Embassies, Consulates, and Diplomatic Missions across the globe.


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