Those who enter the United States from most foreign countries need a visa, which is issued by the U.S. Department of State. There are different types of visas depending on the type of travel. However, no matter what type of visa is held, the visa number should be the same.
Locating a Visa Number
The most recently issued visas have numbers printed in the bottom right. These numbers are printed in red and are comprised of eight digits. The sequence may sometimes be alpha-numeric. If a document asks for a visa foil number, this is the same item.
Older visas may have the number printed in the top center. As with current visas, the number is red and should be eight digits long.
When You May Need Your Visa Number
Holding a visa does not grant you access to the United States. To gain entry into the U.S., you must have a valid passport as well as a visa. The visa number is necessary at this time to verify your reason for entering the U.S. You will also need this number if you are a student at a school in the United States or if you begin to work.
When a Visa is Unnecessary
You may not always require a visa when entering the U.S. The United States allows citizens of certain countries to enter via air with only a passport as part of the Visa Waiver Program. This program only pertains to those who are on vacation or seek medical treatment in the U.S. Those countries included in the Visa Waiver Program are:
- Czech Republic
- New Zealand
- the Netherlands
- San Marino
- South Korea
- United Kingdom
Citizens of these countries must still have authorization to enter the United States through the Department of Homeland Security's Electronic System for Travel Authorization. You must also have a return to ticket in your possession for no more than 90 days from the date of your arrival into the country.
Though the countries are not part of the Visa Waiver Program, individuals from Canada and Bermuda do not need visas to enter the country unless they plan on studying in the U.S. or permanently relocating.