Entering Texas as your first port of call in the US is fairly easy. A few points to consider:

Visas

Visas are not required for citizens of Visa Waiver Program (VWP) countries, but you must request travel authorization from ESTA at least 72 hours in advance. Visitors not eligible for the program will require a B-2 tourism visa in advance of their arrival.

Tourism & Visit (B-2) Visa Applications

All foreign visitors who need to obtain a temporary visitor visa (B-2) must do so from a US consulate or embassy abroad. Consult that embassy's website for forms and procedures, which vary by country. In general:

  • Your passport must be valid for at least six months longer than your intended stay in the USA.
  • You will need to make an appointment, and likely have an interview.
  • You'll need to submit a recent photo (2in by 2in) with the application.
  • There is a $160 processing fee, which is sometimes required in advance.

Visa Waiver Program

Currently, under the US Visa Waiver Program (VWP), visas are not required for citizens of 38 countries, including the UK, Australia, New Zealand, EU countries, South Korea and Japan. VWP regulations state the following:

  • You must have an e-Passport with electronic chip.
  • Visa waiver is good for 90 days, no extensions.
  • VWP visitors must register only with the Electronic System for Travel Authorization (ESTA; https://esta.cbp.dhs.gov) at least 72 hours before their trip begins. Once approved, ESTA registration is valid for up to two years.
  • If you don't meet any of these requirements, even if your passport if from one of the listed countries, you'll need a visa to enter the USA.
  • Note that though not a part of the VWP, citizens from Canada do not require a visa for 90-day stays.

More Information

Note that visa rules change frequently and travelers should always double-check current requirements at the Department of State (http://travel.state.gov/visa), where downloadable forms are also available.