Test Your Knowledge of U.S. Travel Requirements

noun_project_10896_256x256x32August is a month for vacations in many parts of the world, so this would be a good time to test your knowledge on the requirements for visiting the United States from another country. See how well you do on these questions:

1. A visa is required to enter the United States unless a foreign citizen (someone from another country) is:
A. Carrying more than $10,000 in cash when arriving to the U.S.
B. From a designated (established; selected) visa waiver (not required) country.
C. Working for his/her own national government.
D. No exceptions. Everyone requires a visa.

2. Who issues (officially gives) visas?
A. State Department for all travelers.
B. State Department for all but military (related to the army, navy, or other armed forces) visitors, issued by the Defense Department.
C. State Department for all but business visitors, issued by the Commerce Department.
D. State Department for all but educational visitors, issued by the Education Department.

3. Which of the following is true?
If you require medical attention (are sick and need a doctor) in the U.S.:
A. All visitors are treated (given medical care) by a universal (includes everyone) health care system at minimal (lowest possible) cost.
B. You must arrange for (take care of) your own medical care, including all costs for physicians (doctors), hospitalization (staying in a hospital), and medicines.
C. Any hospital will accept a visitor for emergency (urgent; needed immediately) treatment.
D. Most medications (drugs) will be available without a prescription (special permission from your doctor).

4. Which of the following foods are allowed into the U.S.?
A. Vegetables.
B. Sausages.
C. Fruits.
D. Hard candies (sweets that are completely solid, without any liquid).


1 – Visa not required: (B) From a designated visa waiver country. There are currently 37 countries whose citizens are not required to get a visa to visit the U.S., including Canada, Japan, South Korea, Singapore, and most European countries. For all other countries, a visa is required.

It doesn’t matter how much money you bring with you (A); you still need a visa unless you are from a waiver country. In fact, if you enter the U.S. with more than $10,000, you must fill out a special form (and this requirement includes U.S. citizens as well). It also makes no difference whether or not you work for your own national government (B).

2 – Who issues visas: (A) State Department for all visitors. There is only one U.S. government department that can give you a visa, and that is the State Department, which primarily (more than any other group) takes care of all relations with foreign countries. It doesn’t matter if you are here representing your military (B), a private company (C), or an educational institution (D). The U.S. departments that handle (take care of) those matters (Defense, Commerce, Education) cannot give you a visa.

3 – Medical care when traveling in the U.S.: (B) You must arrange for your own medical care and pay all costs. The United States does not (yet) have a “universal health care system” like other countries, where anyone who is sick can go to a doctor and get treated. If you get sick in the U.S., you have to pay your own medical bills, although if you have health insurance from your own country, you may be able to get reimbursed (paid back by the insurance company for the money you spent here). It is usually (but not always) true that U.S. hospitals will take care of you if you have an emergency that needs to be treated immediately (C), but it is never true that drugs will be available without a doctor’s prescription (D).

4 – Food allowed in the U.S.: (D) Hard candies. Leave your beans (A), bratwurst (B), and bananas (C) at home. The U.S. does not allow you to bring most fruits and vegetables into the country in order to prevent the introduction of plant diseases. Most meat products are also banned (not allowed) due to concern about diseases in the meat itself (such as “mad cow disease“).


Passport designed by Aaron Austin from The Noun Project

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33 Responses to Test Your Knowledge of U.S. Travel Requirements

  1. Dan says:

    Hi everyone,

    I am not planning to visit the US, but If I had to go there I would go and look around at some medium size/little town in the province.

    I do not care for well known places, like NY or LA and other big cities. If I want to see a city I just go to a city here in my country (Italy).

    I am not sure bout that, but I fell like the cities are all the same. Once you have seen one, you have seen them all.

    I should probably be the last one to write about traveling, since I am not much of a traveler.

    Hey, I ‘ll give you a piece of the local news here from the nearest city to my place.

    There was this piece the other day about Chinese hairdresser saying that some of the same Chinese complaining that they are too many.
    And they want the local government to sort of containing this wave of Chinese hairdresser.

    They are very competitive. They work very hard, even on weekends and the price is cheap. 8 Euro!

    Next time I visit my Italian hairdresser I want to ask him what he thinks about that. I bet he’s not happy.

    I personally have nothing against it. They are helping to drive the prices down.


  2. emiliano says:

    Betty, you are incredible nice with me, thank you so much dear friend.


    What Betty said gave me a good evening to reply you again my dear Dan.
    You wrote:

    I am not sure bout that, but I fell like the cities are all the same. Once you have seen one, you have seen them all.

    That´s really your opinión, Dan?
    Do you think that Rio do Janeiro it is similar to Paris?
    If you have seen Paris, or Berlin, you have an idea of how it could be Rio do Janeiro or Hong Kong?

    No my friend, nothing it is more far from reality that this asseveration of you and as an inteligent man, I know you
    are, you know perfectly well that is not so.

    Don´t try to pass for which ever thing you are not, you are not a rustic despite you live in the countryside.
    You have internet, you read, you see how the different citias could be, and you have movies to see how
    the Eifel Tower could be, or how it could be the Budapest Parliament, by the way it looks like the British
    in London.
    Is it similar Rome to Florence or Venice?

    Nothing more Dan, and don´t tell us this kind of thoughts.
    You are too much smarter, we know each other just a bit enough dear.

    emiliano, still shaking when I think the Navy is coming……ja,ja.

  3. Dan says:

    Hey Betty

    Come on! I am jealous now.

    See what you did? you have pumped up Emiliano.

    Could you please say something nice to me too? p l e a s e 🙂

    Emiliano, in my defense I did say I am the last one to write about travel.

    I admitted that.

    When I wrote that I was thinking that nowadays in almost every city you go you can find H.M. shops, McDonald’s Starbucks and so on.

    I mean, world known brand, in that sense every city looks like the other. Do not you think?

    Thank you guys

  4. Thiago Messias says:

    very nice and helpful

  5. emiliano says:

    That way, yes of course Dan.
    We were in a McDonald in Paris close to the Louvre but also in Istambul either
    close to the Blue Mosque. Just the same as in Madrid everywhere. These could be
    easy for tourists as they know what to ask for if they are in a hurry or have some
    problems with the language.

    Sorry Dan but Betty is a fair nice person with all of us and you know that my
    dear, she is like a treasure here in this blog, as Tania our own poet.

    Funny, yesterday we were so afraid that again custom controls were very strict
    in the Rock.
    Nice person our Mr. Rajoy, bravo for him. He is celtic from Galicia, same as my
    grandfather, but also Irish people.
    Some how English are very familiar for us Celtic Origin people.

    Nice to see you Dan.


  6. Jens says:

    Hello everybody !

    I would like to share my point of view about Dan´s statement.

    It´s absolutely right that you will find at the first look all the big brands in the main cities (pedestrian area, shopping malls).

    I was very dissapointed when I was visiting the “Gum”, in Moscow (2006), because there were only a few of russian shops.
    The most shops are look like the same, with international labels.

    But if you have a closer look, maybe to the architecure – you will find it also nowadays still interesting ! Anyway I was not really
    interested in the building as itself :((

    In St. Petersburg, where I travelled by overnight train, I was visiting a church at the Newsky-Prospekt (main street). The church belongs today
    to the german evangelical lutheran community in St.Petersburg.
    I got in contact to a men inside, and he told my something about the history of the church. For example the church was alienated to a swimming bath in
    1962 !!! I saw pictures about that.
    I found that all quite interesting, and so St. Petersburg have good a much better memory for me, compare to Moscow.

    Maybe it was also, because I ate shaslik at the street of Moscow, and felt for some days quite ill :((

    Anyway, I think you will find mostly everywhere something interesting. It depend naturally about yourself, condition,
    feelings and maybe your company.

    walk on


    I can really recommend the tube-stations in both cities !!!!

  7. Aécio Flávio Perim says:

    I really do not like big cities. When I was 20, I left Rio de Janeiro and went to a smaller city, named Vitória, in the next state, about 600 Km away. Today I see that it was the best thing I did in life. The violence running in Rio is frightening, and no one knows why. Today I live in a small city, 26.000 people, surrounded by green trees, flock of birds, good neighbors, things I buy delivered at home etc. Who wants better?
    Come to Brazil, to a small town and live well.

  8. Dan says:

    Hey guys,

    Thank You Jens that was interesting. Keep writing and sharing similar experiences. I like that.

    Good for you Aecio. That makes me happy. Keep writing. The more the better.

    Thank you Emiliano, no need to tell you write more…


  9. Lassana says:

    Hi Everyone,

    Thanks to Jeff for this interesting topic. That give me some administrative informations to prepare my future holidays in U.S. 🙂

    Last summer a friend of mine traveled in U.S. for vacation. She told me before she traveling, that she had due to change his basic passport against a new biometric passport. It’s was complicated to prepare all official identity pieces needed to travel.

    When she arrived at Newyork airport, she told me that there were an important level of control. She does not used to it and never saw that. But I think it’s normal when we think about what happened, I mean horrible things like terrorism since 2001.

    Anyway I really would like to visit Newyork, The Harlem neighbourhood and especially Los Angeles where I have family there. I will take this trip to meet Jeff and all ESL Podcast Team.

    See you soon.


  10. Wang says:

    Hi Dan and Emiliano!

    Am I right as thinking that Emiliano mistook Dan’s hint and for himself, Dan was not certain about his thoughts?

    First of all, on my own viewpoint, I think that Dan was right about big cities, I will take an example like this, cities are in developed countries such as Europe, Ame, Canada, Japan, South Korea…

    They are all lookalike They all have modern architectures ( almost look glassy, tall, big…), international chains (such as McDonald, Starbucks, Texas chickens…), shops, cars, convenient public

    transportation, crowded streets with thoughtful faces rushing back and forth nearby us, even when you leave commercial areas and go into a neighborhood,

    you won’t see much kids are playing out side of their house, doors are all closed. It is understandable that living in a big city…everything is all arranged in an certain place and you need sort of a compliant mind set to

    live inside a big city! Well, when you go to school, you just go to school, then head back home and lay on your comfort mattress or do things inside of your house.

    on the street? you rush by others for your priority or you stroll slowly with your handy electric devices…all the same with your daily route so how could it be supposed to find a cool thing easily out of it unless you

    have an “insider trading”. That is the effect of internationalization! With the most powerful language, each day passing by, English has brought the nations to draw nearer to each other…

    we learn and pattern things from each other thru it. We pattern things, we imitate things from one another and there we go!

    So that is what I think Dan meant, Emiliano! He was saying about developed cities. When we go to a country, living in a all-similar-back-home city, we will need friends, or at least fliers, to guide us to cool pubs,

    astonished-eyes spots or historical locations. And you were right too Emiliano! Every countries has it own traditional things but with short trips and lacks of information, it is just hard to sort out where to go, what to see

    Am I right?

    Guys, next time, choose places that have different cultures, mind sets as traveling to see how it look like! It is not that hard to find “crazy” things, I bet!

    Best regard!


  11. Henrique says:

    Hi people,

    3 correct answear, I made a mistake in number 1.

    I wish Brazil would be in that Visa waiver country program, it’ll be much more easier to go there and visit some Beautiful places and, of course, speak English all the time with native speakers.

    Which city do you live Aecio? I’m from Santa Terezinha in the pernambuco state.


  12. Parviz says:

    Dear Jeff
    Thank you for this post, informative and educational.
    I am not much of a traveler, though I have heart set on becoming one in the future.
    Since my stay on this planet will not be permanent, I want to know what the people in other nations are up to.
    So, I will probably travel to U.S> as well, therefore, I’d better know this information you gave us.
    To your success,

  13. Dan says:


    Thank you Wang. What are you a mind reader? yes that is what I meant. And you read it at a distance too!

    Hi HEnrique, Nowadays, if you want to chat with a native speaker there is no need to actually go there. Just use Skype.
    There are dozens of websites out there just for that. Just Google for language exchange.

    Just yesterday there was a piece on NPR about more and more Brazilians going to US especially Florida for shopping.
    Here’s the title: Brazilians Flood To U.S. On Massive Shopping Sprees
    In all these shops they want someone speaking Portughese.
    So, find someone from US or UK that is willing to learn Portughese and that is your chance of speaking with a native.

    Thank you all guys.

  14. emiliano says:

    Good, very good Wang. You have written a lot and it is really the best of all.

    Sorry, again I think your are right and you are not right.
    How it could be posible?

    Easy, it depends of which part of the big city are you going to see.

    Do you think is there any similar spot as “The Forbidden City of Beijing” in
    other cities of the world?
    Or the The Red Square of Moscow, the Winter Palace in St Petersburg.
    Even the Times Square of N.Y., or Trafalgar Square in London?

    No dear, these are uniques.
    So here you are not right.

    In London you could go to the City, in Paris to The Defence, in Madrid
    to Azca, and so forth.
    Buildings are alike, more or less, but never similar.
    If you see the buildings with the eyes of an architect you can see
    large differences, but it is not easy.

    If you see the business locals like McDonadls, Zara, Burger King, El Corte Ingles,
    or Laffayete Galeries it could be possible tan some how all are similar, but not

    The same can be large supermarkets or shopping malls with same Brand or style.

    That´s right, and I agree with you dear Wang.

    I nearly have seen all Spain´s capitals, and every one of them are quite different.
    Even large villages are different, different churches, city halls, different squares
    and so forth.

    So sorry, I can´t be in agreement with Dan or you Wang.
    Rome has more than three thousand years, but Madrid has one thousand two
    hundred years.
    Paris was a Little village 60 years before J.C, so it has more than two thousand

    Every big or little city of Europe has its history, long long history..
    Europe it is the old continent by all means.

    My best to you Wang, very good done.


  15. emiliano says:

    Sorry, I didn´t mean well myself dear Wang.
    I want to say that comercial sites as big supermakets, shopping Malls, Big Business
    áreas of the cities could be quite similar everywhere in big cities of the world.

    It could be the same in America, Asia, or Europe, but even other parts of the

    Also some other buildings where people have their massive apartmentd.
    Yes massive apartment buildings like the same everywhere, that´s true
    I could saw it when I have traveled some years ago.

    My best dear Wang / Dang, may be you are thinking the same and
    emiliano is following other road, just old historical buidings, peculiar
    unique buidings of each city.
    One example could be GAUDI´s buildings in BARCELONA.

    They are uniques and very singular.
    See “La Sagrada Familia” in Barcelona or Parque Güell, Mila House, and so forth….
    if you like by google images or Wikipedia.


  16. Aécio Flávio Perim says:

    Hello Henrique. It’s a pleasure to meet you in ESLPOD. You asked me the name of the city I live in today: it is Mutum, Minas Gerais, 250 Km from Vitória, capital of Espírito Santo. You said “I’m from Santa Terezinha in the pernambuco state.” It would be great if we could meet somewhere one day. For all my friends from ESLPOD I put my house at theier hands for a visit on a holliday. Who knows it will come true! Pray and believe, man. I am sure we will do crazy things! We will have lots of fun together.
    Aécio from beautiful green and yellow Brazil.

  17. michelle says:

    Chinese people always hard working, and don’t forget they are also smart, nice, deligent. And, in nowadays, the worlder is smaller and smaller, ask your hairdresser facing the competition fairly, haha! Enjoy it!

  18. michelle says:

    By the way, each city has different style, Beijing is totally different ShenZhen, check it, Dan!

  19. Tania says:

    Books that have at times most powerfully influenced social change in American life are:
    1) THOMAS PAINE’s COMMON SENSE” galvanized radical sentiment in the early days of the American revolution;
    2) UNCLE TOM’s CABIN by HARRIET BEECHER STOWE roused Northern antipathy to slavery in the decade leading up to the Civil War;
    3) SILENT SPRING by RACHEL CARSON which in 1962 exposed the hazards of the pesticide DDT, which helped set the stage for the environmental movement.

    Dear Jeff, as you told us, the title “Silent Spring” was meant to evoke a spring season in which no bird songs could be heard, because they had all died from pesticides.
    And its title was inspired by a poem by John Keats, “La Belle Dame sans Merci” ( without pity), which contained the line
    “The sedge (a water plant) is wither’ d from the lake,
    And no birds sing.”

  20. Tania says:

    I found this poem on Wikipedia.
    First I thought it was about a nice woman who did not know to say thank you.

    May I write this poem written in 1819?

    La Belle Dame sans Merci by John Keats

    “I met a lady in the meads,
    Full beautiful – a faery’s child,
    Her hair was long, her foot was light,
    And her eyes were wild.

    She look’d at me as she did love ,
    For sideways would she lean , and sing
    A faery’s song.

    She found me roots of relish sweet,
    And honey wild and manna dew,
    And sure in language strange she said,
    “I love thee true!”

    She took me to her elfin grot
    And there I shut her wild, wild eyes
    With kisses four.

    And this is why I sojourn (to stay) here
    Alone and palely loitering,
    Though the sedge is wither’d from the lake,

  21. Tania says:

    Hi! To me, this is a very nice love poem.

    In this book “Silent Spring” that changed the world, Rachel Carson describes how DDT entered the food chain can cause cancer and genetic damage.
    DDT and other pesticides had irrevocably harmed birds and animals and had contaminated the entire world food supply.
    For the first time, the need to regulate industry in order to protect the environment became widely accepted, and environmentalism was born.

  22. Tania says:

    In chapter 7, Rachel Carson mentions the Audubon Society which began receiving calls about dead birds by using DDT. And cats were most affected.
    In the English Cafe 284/ 2011 you told us about John Audubon (1785 – 1851) , the first environmentalist in the U.S., and about the Audubon Society
    which protects the natural environment and the bird species who became extinct.

  23. Tania says:

    And in the chapter 16, she mentions that Darwin would be impressed today by the fact that insects populations so clearly bear out his theories
    of the survival of the fittest.
    Insects have worked under the stress of repeated chemical sprayings to weed out the weaker members of species and reinforce the strongest –
    it’s the start of the century that insects will become resistant to sprays. Insects come back after spraying.
    With the introduction of DDT, the”true Age of Resistance” began.

  24. Tania says:

    We use the same term of DDT, and have laws against using DDT.
    The Colorado bugs of the potatoes are typical of this case, insects come back after spraying.
    Life is a miracle beyond our comprehension.

  25. Tania says:

    Hi! And the chapter…”And No Birds Sing”

    “There was once a town in the heart of America where all life seemed to live in harmony with its surroundings…
    Then a strange blight crept over the area and everything began to change…
    There was a strange stillness…
    The few birds seen anywhere were moribund; they trembled violently and could not fly.
    It was a spring without voices.
    On the mornings that had once throbbed with the dawn chorus of scores of bird voices there was now no sound;
    only silence lay over the fields, and woods and marsh.
    The apple trees put out blossoms, but no bees came to pollinate them.”

    It’s “A Fable for Tomorrow” depicting the insidious effects of DDT.
    The countryside that once looked so pretty now looked dry and withered.”


  26. Tania says:

    Hi! I have read and some Rachel Carson Quotes.
    I can share them with you.

    “A child needs the companionship of at least one adult who can share it, rediscovering with him the joy,
    excitement, and mystery of the world we live in.”

  27. Tania says:


    “The lasting pleasure of contact with natural world are not reserved for scientists but are available to anyone
    who will place himself under the influence of earth, sea and sky and their amazing life.”

  28. Tania says:


    “Those who dwell among the beauties and mysteries of the Earth are never alone or weary of life.”

    I think this is one of the most beautiful quotes.

    All the best to you all.

    Be never alone!

  29. Tania says:

    Hi! As I told you I like the nursery rhymes.

    Mary Had a Little Lamb
    written by Sarah Hale, in 1830

    Mary had a little lamb,
    Little lamb, little lamb,
    Mary had a little lamb,
    Its fleece was white as snow.

    And everywhere that Mary went,
    Mary went, Mary went,
    Everywhere that Mary went
    The lamb was sure to go.

    Why does the lamb love Mary so?
    Why , Mary loves the lamb, you know.”

  30. Tania says:

    Hi! I like and your voice , too.

    The words of “Mary Had a Little Lamb” were the first ever recorded by Thomas Edison on his phonograph.

    Thank you for this interesting information.
    I have many gaps regarding the American culture.

  31. Tania says:

    Hi! So many differences between “cool” and “cold”.

    Thank you.

  32. Tania says:

    Regarding “Test your knowledge”…I know I need a visa and A LOT OF MONEY (nothing is free of charge), I must arrange for my own medical care and pay all cost,
    it is never true that drugs will be available without a doctor’s prescription (I know from the movies) and all our foods are banned from the airport (like in all European countries).

    But when I must fill up a test it seems more difficult.
    Thank you for this interesting and useful test.
    We are waiting for more similar tests.

  33. Tania says:

    Thank you very much that Emiliano and Henrique mentioned my name in their pots.

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