How to get US visas with a second citizenship

Caribbean and Vanuatu citizens get B‑1/B‑2 visitor visas to the USA with a validity period of up to 10 years. Maltese citizens don’t need visas for short-term trips at all; only electronic travel authorisation is required.

Learn more about US visa types that are available to investors with dual citizenship

How to get a B‑1/B‑2 visitor visa

  • Statuses: citizenship of Antigua and Barbuda, Grenada, Dominica, St Kitts and Nevis, St Lucia, and Vanuatu

  • Validity period: 5 or 10 years

  • Period of stay: up to 180 days a year

B‑1 and B‑2 visas are in the Visitor Visa category as they allow a temporary stay in the USA. B‑1 is issued for business trips, and B‑2 is for tourism.

Caribbean citizens usually get a combined B‑1/B‑2 visa valid for 10 years, while Vanuatu citizens get a 5-year combined visa.

Period of stay. The B‑1/B‑2 visa allows the holder to spend up to 180 days a year in the USA. During this time, a visa holder can:

  • get vacation;

  • attend conferences;

  • go for business trips;

  • get treated in medical clinics.

A B‑1/B‑2 visa holder cannot:

  • get employed;

  • do business;

  • speak at conferences for a fee;

  • study at school or university.

Where to apply for a visa. The US Embassy in Bridgetown, the capital of Barbados, provides visa services to Caribbean citizens. The Embassy in Port Moresby, the capital of Papua New Guinea, accepts applications from Vanuatu citizens. However, it’s optional to get visas in these offices.

You can apply for a visa to a US consulate or embassy in any country. For application, you will need to:

You should book an appointment in advance to get a slot in the queue. One usually has to wait for an appointment for two to four weeks. The waiting time can increase during the pandemic as some consulates and embassies might be closed or not accepting new visa applications.

Some embassies and consulates prioritise applications from citizens of the country of location. Information about application processing is usually published on the embassy or consulate’s website.

Alessandra, 46 years old

Founder of a network of private language schools

How to get a multiple-entry US visa with an Antigua and Barbuda passport

Alessandra and her husband Paulo used to get visitor visas to see their children in the USA. But US consulates in Brazil suspended their work due to the pandemic, and the spouses couldn’t get new visas to replace the expired ones.

In 2021, we helped the family obtain Antigua and Barbuda citizenship. Alessandra and Paulo passed an interview at the US Embassy in Barbados and got their US visas three weeks later.

Learn a case

Interview exemptions. An interview is a mandatory step for obtaining a US visa. Only children under 13 and adults over 80 are exempt from it. The interview can be omitted when extending your visa.

A Caribbean citizen can be exempt from an interview at the Embassy in Barbados in the case of a visa extension. The conditions are the following:

  • the Embassy in Barbados issued the previous visa;

  • the applicant extends a visa of the same category;

  • the previous visa was valid for 10 years;

  • the previous visa expired less than four years ago;

  • the applicant hasn’t been arrested or convicted of criminal offences;

  • the applicant can provide a passport with the previous visa.

Individual cost calculation of the Caribbean passport

Individual cost calculation of the Caribbean passport

How to get an electronic travel authorization

  • Status: Malta citizenship

  • Validity period: up to 2 years

  • Period of stay: up to 90 days per trip

Malta is a Visa Waiver Program country, and Maltese citizens don’t need visas to come to the States. But they get an entry permit through the Electronic System for Travel Authorization (ESTA). Such a permit is called an ESTA for short.

An ESTA is valid for up to two years, subject to extension. The number of trips during the validity period is unlimited.

Period of stay. An ESTA holder can spend up to 90 days in the USA within one trip to the country. The term is counted from the moment of arrival. If you leave the USA for Canada, Mexico or adjacent islands, you can get back to the USA for the unused time.

Suppose an investor got an ESTA and entered the USA on September 1st. On September 30th, they left for Canada to spend two weeks there.

The stay in the USA started on the day of arrival: in that case, the investor could stay in the country until November 29th. Therefore, they can return to the USA from Canada in mid-October and leave on November 29th.

Purposes of travel. Tourism and business trips are allowed purposes of travel with an ESTA. During the trip, an ESTA holder can take a course that doesn’t lead to a diploma or a degree; for example, those could be cooking lessons. Work, paid performances, school or university studies require a visa.

To get an ESTA, one completes an application form, pays a fee of $21 and submits an application. The whole process takes place online. The applicant needs a passport, a valid credit card, and contact and employment information.

Print the documents and buy return tickets before your trip to the USA

After the application is approved, print the page with an ESTA number and a notification letter for granting the entry permit. They could be requested at the airport during the flight check-in and boarding.

Before leaving for the USA, it’s better to purchase return tickets as they could be requested on the border.

Reasons for refusal include the cases when an applicant:

  • has been arrested or has criminal records;

  • has been refused to enter the USA before;

  • has been deported from the USA;

  • has a dangerous infectious disease;

  • has visited Iran, Iraq, Libya, North Korea, Somali, Sudan, Syria, or Yemen after March 2011;

  • has dual or second citizenship of Iran, Iraq, North Korea, Sudan, or Syria.

A refusal to grant an ESTA doesn’t mean a person can never visit the USA: they will have to get a visa. Maltese citizens can get a 10-year B‑1/B‑2 visitor visa.

Individual cost calculation of the Maltese citizenship

Individual cost calculation of the Maltese citizenship

Material prepared by an expert

Frequently asked questions

Caribbean and Vanuatu

Schedule a meeting

Let's discuss the details

Schedule a meeting at one of the offices or online. A lawyer will analyze the situation, calculate the cost and help you find a solution based on your goals.

Zlata Erlach
Zlata Erlach

Head of the Austrian office

Prefer messengers?