A visa is the bane of every traveler’s existence. Applying for a visa is not only stressful and time-consuming, it is also costly. But do you know what is the most practical and useful visa to have? This is the same tourist visa that most people have misconception to be the hardest to get. Yes, I’m talking about the US tourist visa. Aside from a myriad of benefits of having a US visa, there are also several visa free countries for US visa holders.
Visa Free Countries For US Visa Holders (And other benefits of US Visa)
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Most people think that a US visa is hard to get but my experience and the other people I know proved to be that as long as you have the right documents and you are legitimately going there for tourism purposes, it is not as hard as what most people think. In fact, getting Schengen Visa is a lot way more stressful with all the documents they are requesting.
So why the US visa is the most practical and useful visa to have?
A UNESCO World Heritage site and considered as one of the Natural Wonders of the World, Grand Canyon continues to amaze people with its colorful rocks, complexed gorge and immense size. This national park was my last choice to visit among the natural parks in the US but it turned out to be my favorite! @backpackingexecutive
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Fewer required documents
Despite being known for the toughest visa processing, US actually only requires you to bring these documents: your passport, printed copy of the DS-160 confirmation page (the application form), visa fee payment receipt, appointment confirmation, and your 2X2 photos.
Unlike other countries, they actually don’t require you to submit your itinerary, flight reservation, your income and bank statement, ITR, travel insurance, cover letter, etc. That alone will save you a lot of headaches (and money). Although, you can bring these documents just in case the consul asks you for further proof.
2. Longer validity
This depends on each country’s bilateral agreement with the US, but here in the Philippines, the common length of validity of the US visa is 10 years. Some get 5 years I heard, but I don’t know anyone personally who has it.
Which makes it more practical especially if you can’t go to the US as often as you’d like but you also don’t want to keep applying every time you have to go.
3. On the spot result
If you travel a lot and you often apply for visa, then you are familiar with the stress of the waiting game. I personally hate it when I don’t know if I will receive my passport with visa stamp or a letter of rejection.
With US visa, you don’t have to deal with it as they give you the result after your personal interview. Even if you’re rejected, at least you don’t have to deal with the waiting game and can plan your “moving-on-party” straight away.
4. It is cheaper in the long run
I understand that $160 (or around Php7800) is not cheap at all for one visa. But if you will divide that by its validity period, then you will realize it’s cheaper compared to other multiple entry visas like Schengen where you have to pay over Php3000 for less than 6 months validity.
Or Canadian visa for almost Php4000 for 3 years. Some countries also require you to apply for every trip which can be really expensive and time-consuming. Plus the extra costs for documents, transportation, and other miscellaneous fees every time you have to apply.
#Antelope Canyon is a slot #canyon and is famous for its amazing and photogenic spiral rock arches. This natural wonder has become the main #tourism drawer for the #Navajo Nation – a Native Indian territory.
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5. There are also several visa free countries for US visa holders.
Yes, you heard it right. Although each country has a specific visa that you have to apply for, in some countries they will let you in without applying for the visa they require as long as you have your US multiple entry visa.
It is called substitute visa and below is the list of the countries where you can also use your US visa.
Mexico, Guatemala, Belize, Panama, *Costa Rica, El Salvador, *Nicaragua and Honduras
US Territories and The Caribbean:
US Virgin Islands, Puerto Rico, *Turks and Caicos and *Dominican Republic
**Georgia, Montenegro, Albania, and Serbia
That’s a total of extra 17 countries where you can use your US multiple entry visa! With all these reasons, US visa, without a doubt, is the most practical and useful visa to have.
Note: I have entered Mexico twice, Belize for 5-7 times, Taiwan and Guatemala once only using my US visa so I can personally vouch for these countries. But as a rule of thumb, always check with the embassy first for entry requirements as visa rules change often.
*These countries are also visa-free for Filipinos.
**Requires an e-visa for Filipinos
I included them on the list just in case other nationalities find it useful.
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This is a really cool post. I had no idea about the US Visa. I’ve been wanting to travel outside the USA but I keep being reminded there is a lot of beauty right here to be scene. Thank you 🙂 Also beautiful pics.
Jaclyn you have a beautiful and diverse country! I cant actually believe how each State offers something new and different from the others 🙂
Thanks for the informative post, Christina, I actually was not aware that having a US Visa could get you into other countries!
Thanks for visiting Ryan! And you have a cool site!
totally agree , that was exactly what I thought when I got my first Visa to usa !a
Yay! Where are you from? And cool offers on your site by the way! Will check them out later when internet is better haha
Thank you so muchhhhhh!! Worth reading!!!
Great information. I really didnt know much about Visa or the process to get one. I only have a US Passport and that was pretty easy to do, the kids were a bit of a mission but we got it done
Why not obtain a Norwegian Seaman passport, and you can travel to193 countries without visa 🙂
Just go to the airport and then decide where to go 🙂
Lol I hope it’s that easy to get Norwegian passport 🙂
You can also include the Republic of Georgia in the list! Planning to go there after Israel, and I was so happy to learn I could use my US visa to enter GE.
Nice! Will edit it. Thanks 🙂
I like this post, enjoyed this one thanks for posting. “The basis of optimism is sheer terror.” by Oscar Wilde.
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“I truly appreciate this post. I have been looking everywhere for this! Thank goodness I found it on Bing. You have made my day! Thanks again..”
I’m terrible with visas, probably because I have a British passport so the privilege makes me forget I might need one for some places! That’s gonna change soon though…
Well I learned something new today – I never knew other countries would accept a US visa! Thanks for sharing this information, really useful. I pinned it as well so others on Pinterest can find it 🙂 Wish you a great weekend.
Thank you! 🙂
This is a travel hack for those who have third world passports like us! It may be more challenging for us to travel in prominent countries, but this shouldn’t stop us from exploring the world. Keep on inspiring, girl!!!
I definitely agree. Having a US visa just made my life slightly “easier” not exactly the easiest but still easier. It may be expensive but I got a 10 year visa— so it turns out to be cheaper.
We are lucky to live in a country that has a visa waiver programme with the US so if you’re a tourist and will be visiting for a stay under 90 days you don’t have to go through the visa process. As I hate paperwork it’s a real blessing but it’s interesting to read that if you do need to go through the visa application that it lasts so long so you can make multiple trips over the years without reapplying.
Thanks for sharing this information, I’ve found it easy to travel to the US as Australia is fortunate to be under the visa waiver program, though I then met my now husband and we married, and man the immigration process is a different ball game entirely in terms of visas to work and stay! Even going through that process though, it was a lot easier having all of our documents in order, knowing the requirements having read the instruction booklets inside and out. The government websites offer a lot of information to help, so it’s just about being meticulous in my experience and then playing a waiting game 🙂
Since we are dual citizens, this doesn’t affect us that much. We normally use our New Zealand passports for everything because we can travel to more countries without need of visas.
I totally agree with you, it’s not so difficult to get a US visa if you have the right documents. And the benefits of getting a US visa are immense.
Wow, I didn’t know it is a substitute visa for a lot of other places. What a powerful visa
Very efficiently written post. It will be valuable to anyone who utilizes it, including me. Keep up the good work – can’r wait to read more posts.
Hi Cristina your post is worth reading. I just realized a lot of things and I didn’t know that having a US Visa will also have access to other countries and I always thought that applying for US visa is much more hard than the others.