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Visa for Nevada

Updated: Aug 24, 2023  | Tags: USA Visa Application, USA Visa, USA Visa Requirements

Information on visiting Nevada and applying for a visa or ESTA.


Nevada, the Silver State, is a dream destination for many travelers around the world. Known for its vibrant cities like Las Vegas, beautiful natural landscapes like Lake Tahoe, and an array of outdoor activities, Nevada has something for every kind of traveler. However, before you can embark on your journey to this dynamic state, there's one crucial step you need to complete: securing your entry permissions via an Electronic System for Travel Authorization (ESTA) or a visa. In this article, we will guide you through the process of applying for either an ESTA or a visa to visit Nevada and highlight some of the state’s top attractions.

ESTA or Visa: Understanding Your Options

ESTA (Electronic System for Travel Authorization)

Before you arrive to Nevada from another country, make sure you understand the Visa Waiver Program (VWP) and how it works. Basically, the VWP allows citizens of the participating country to travel to Nevada without the visa for 90 days or less, however these individuals need to meet certain requirements before traveling. The requirements include having a valid electronic passport throughout the duration of your journey to and from Nevada. Also, in order to travel without a visa you have to obtain approval through the Electronic System for Travel Authorization (ESTA) prior to boarding your land, air or sea vessel, you have to be on an approved carrier and also have a round trip ticket stating you have a return ticket from a country anywhere outside the US.

Permitted Business Purposes

  • Consulting with business associates
  • Attending a professional, business, scientific or educational conference or convention
  • A period of training that does not exceed 90 days and for which you will receive no remuneration (excepting any incidental expenses during your visit)
  • The negotiation of a contract

Permitted Tourism Purposes

  • Tourism and leisure
  • A holiday or vacation
  • Visiting relatives or friends
  • Receiving medical treatment
  • Attending social events hosted by service, fraternal or social organizations
  • To participate as an amateur (where no payment is received) in sports, music or similar contests and events
  • To take part in a brief course of study for recreational purposes that does not count for credit towards a degree, such as a four-day painting class while on holiday

Travel not Permitted under The Visa Waiver Program

  • Academic studying that counts for credit towards a degree
  • Paid employment
  • Working as a foreign journalist whether for TV, press, radio, film or other media

How to apply for an ESTA

  1. Complete the online ESTA Application: Fill out the online application form by answering all the required questions. This usually takes about 20 minutes. You will need your passport details, contact information, and recent employment history.
  2. Pay the Fee: After completing the application, you will need to pay a nominal government fee.
  3. Wait for Approval: Approval is often instant, but it can take up to 72 hours. It is advisable to apply at least a few days before your intended travel date.

An ESTA is valid for two years (or until your passport expires) and allows for multiple entries into the U.S. for stays up to 90 days at a time. However, it doesn't permit employment or extended study.

U.S. Visa

If you don't qualify for an ESTA, or if you plan to stay in the U.S. for more than 90 days, you'll likely need a visa. A tourist visa is also known as a B category visa. You will need to fill out an application form called the DS-160 and obtain a passport-style photograph. Also, you will need to schedule an interview, which will usually take place at the U.S. consulate or Embassy in your country that you live in. At the time of scheduling your embassy appointment, you will need to pay the DS-160 application fee of $185 USD, which is non-refundable.

  • Category B1 - applies to individuals who are visiting for business purposes, meeting with business associates or settling an estate.
  • Category B2 - applies to leisure, tourism, vacations and other reasons for visiting.

How to apply for a Visa

  1. Type of Visa: Determine the type of visa you need. Most tourists will require a B-2 visa.
  2. Fill Out the DS-160: Complete the DS-160 form online, which will include questions about your personal information, background, and purpose of visit.
  3. Pay the Fee: The application fee is typically around $185 for tourist visas.
  4. Schedule an Interview: After payment, you'll need to schedule an interview at your nearest U.S. embassy or consulate.
  5. Interview: Attend the interview and bring all required documents. The officials may ask for proof of your ties to your home country, financial stability, and travel plans.
  6. Wait for Approval: If approved, your passport will be stamped with your visa.

Given that visa applications can be a lengthy process, it’s wise to apply well in advance of your travel dates.

Top Tourist Attractions in Nevada

Now that you know how to secure your travel authorization, let's delve into what makes Nevada an enticing travel destination:

Las Vegas Strip

Arguably the most famous attraction in Nevada, the Las Vegas Strip is a 4.2-mile stretch home to many of the world’s largest hotels, casinos, and resorts. Whether you're interested in gambling, fine dining, live performances, or just soaking in the energy, Vegas offers an unparalleled experience.

Lake Tahoe

Situated on the border between California and Nevada, Lake Tahoe offers breathtaking natural scenery. It's a paradise for outdoor enthusiasts, offering activities like kayaking, hiking, and skiing in the winter months.

Hoover Dam

One of the most iconic engineering marvels in the U.S., the Hoover Dam attracts over a million visitors each year. Tours of the dam provide a fascinating look at its history and functioning.

Red Rock Canyon

Just a short drive from Las Vegas, Red Rock Canyon offers an entirely different landscape. Ideal for hiking, mountain biking, and rock climbing, the area's red-tinged mountains provide a stunning contrast to Vegas' glitz.

Great Basin National Park

For those looking to explore Nevada's more secluded and natural side, Great Basin National Park offers a look into the state's diverse ecosystems. With mountains, caves, and ancient bristlecone pine forests, it’s a haven for nature lovers.

Fremont Street Experience

Located in downtown Las Vegas, Fremont Street is famous for its pedestrian-friendly area filled with casinos, shops, restaurants, and the world’s largest video screen, known as the Viva Vision canopy.


Planning a trip to Nevada involves a range of logistical considerations, one of the most crucial being securing either an ESTA or a visa. Your choice between the two depends on your nationality, purpose of visit, and intended length of stay. While the ESTA offers a quicker, more streamlined process for citizens of VWP countries, a visa is essential for those from non-VWP countries or those who plan to stay for an extended period.

Once you've navigated the legalities, Nevada opens up as a land of immense possibilities, whether you’re drawn to the buzzing life of Las Vegas, the tranquil landscapes of Lake Tahoe, or the lesser-known gems like Great Basin National Park. So start your application process today, and get ready for an unforgettable Nevada adventure.