What is the United States of America ususlaxf
United States of America
|Form of government||Constitutional, federal republic|
|currency||US dollar (USD)|
|surface||9.82 million km²|
|population||317 million (December 2013)|
|Religions||Protestants (many different directions) 56%, Catholics 28%, Jews 2%, others 4%, no religion 10%|
|Internet TLD||.us, .mil, .gov|
|Time zone||CET -6h to -11h|
|Covid-19 notice: The US has the largest number of confirmed COVID-19 pandemic cases in the world, affecting all states and increasing cases. All levels of government have taken measures to contain the spread. Many foreigners are prohibited from entering the United States, depending on recent travel history and other factors. These restrictions are subject to change without notice. The Canadian and Mexican borders are closed to non-essential travel. |
Many state and local authorities have also banned large gatherings, ordered non-essential businesses to close, and / or advised people to stay home as much as possible. Restaurants and shops in many areas are only available for takeout and delivery. Avoid crowded places and group meetings, and stay at least 2 meters away from others. Wear face covering in public places. This is recommended across the country and is required in many areas.
Certain states have voluntary or mandatory self-quarantine for some visitors from other states. You may need to report information about your trips and contacts to local health authorities.
Check with the CDC and state and local authorities for the latest information.
The United States of America are on the North American continent. They also include some Pacific Islands (mainly represented by the State of Hawaii) and the associated island state of Puerto Rico in the Caribbean. As one of the most powerful and prosperous nations on earth, the USA is incredibly diverse with its densely populated metropolitan areas on the one hand and the huge, sparsely populated areas and picturesque landscapes on the other. Since the history of mass immigration goes back to the 17th century, the United States can rightly claim the title of “melting pot of different cultures around the world”. Even the shortest visit can become a contrast study.
The United States stretches from the Atlantic coast in the east to the Pacific in the west. As a result, the regions are also very different. Here is a simplified overview of the regions, starting on the east coast:
There are over 10,000 cities and villages in the United States. The most visited by international tourists in 2013 were:
- new York - The largest city in the US with world-class cuisine, unique art exhibits, population diversity rarely found in the world, and many other great highlights. Both a national symbol and highly international in character.
- Miami - Miami has some of the largest beaches in the country. Here sun lovers from the north meet immigrants from Latin America and the Caribbean looking for a new perspective.
- los Angeles - Hometown of Hollywood and the movie industry, palm-blessed LA offers mountains, beaches, sunshine and just about everything a California visitor could dream of.
- Orlando - Location of many famous and popular amusement parks.
- San Francisco - One of the most photogenic cities in the world. The quirky San Francisco offers attractions in all directions and is a popular starting point for tours along the coast or to Yosemite National Park.
- Las Vegas - Gambling and party town in the Nevada desert.
- Honolulu - Capital of Hawaii and the largest air hub in the Pacific.
- Washington, D.C. - Federal capital of the USA with the representative seats of parliament, government and the Supreme Court as well as numerous museums, monuments and parks
- Chicago - The "Windy City" on Lake Michigan; third largest city in the USA and metropolis of the Midwest; this is where the skyscraper was invented, which still shapes the skyline today.
- Boston - the unofficial capital of New England, one of the most historic cities in the United States, known for top universities and sports
- San Diego - Former Spanish mission on the sunny coast of Southern California with a famous zoo and water sports paradise
The cities of Houston, Philadelphia, Atlanta, Flagstaff, Anaheim, Seattle, Tampa, Dallas and San José follow in places 12 to 20.
Other goals 
- Route 66, historic Chicago to Los Angeles road.
- West coast of the USA, from Seattle on the Canadian border to San Diego on the Mexican border.
- National parks
There are currently 59 national parks in the USA; here are just a few examples.
In addition, there are National Monuments, State Parks, UNESCO World Heritage Sites and many other places of interest that are under special protection.
Because of its size and diversity, it is difficult to characterize the United States from a geographical and sociological perspective. There are debates among interested laypeople as well as sociologists and linguists about which state - or which region within a state - belongs to the "South", the "Midwest" and so on. However, an overview can be useful for the traveler when it comes to recognizing the differences or even finding the right destination. It's not realistic to say that you've seen it all because you've been in the United States for a long time. In fact, even the locals who have lived here all their lives have problems locating everything correctly. Perhaps precisely because of the vastness of the country, so few Americans pay their attention to world affairs. Less than half of them have passports (although it must be said that a driver's license may be sufficient for short trips to Canada and there is no identity card in the German sense) and the news channels report far less about foreign countries than, for example, the BBC. Many of the things that one thinks of when one hears USA and that are also portrayed in the media actually exist, but by no means in one place. The distance from Los Angeles to New York is greater than that from Moscow to London, and although there are many Americans on both coasts of itself flyover country (the country over which one only flies over, which the inhabitants of the said against the arrogance of the elite on the coasts) speak in between, there is an incredible amount of landscape to discover. From Texans wearing cowboy hats to French-African American culture in Lousianna to Yosemite or the Grand Canyon. But since the country is huge, you shouldn't try to see everything at once. It would be like trying to spend a vacation in Spain, Germany, Turkey and Russia and all of that in a few weeks or even days.
Entry requirements 
Danger: Even if you only change from one flight to another at the airport, got to enter the USA and the necessary formalities have to be completed (visa or visa waiver). If the final destination of the trip is Canada or Mexico, German citizens may also need a visa to stay at the airport in the USA.
Visa applications can be made by appointment at the local consulates general in Frankfurt and Munich or the consular department of the embassy in Berlin. On a personal visit to the US missions you should not take bags, rucksacks, etc. with you, as such "hand luggage" may not be taken into the embassy.
It should be noted that, due to the constant tightening of the anti-terror laws, they may no longer be up to date, as they have often been changed at very short notice recently. Since October 2017 there may be additional surveys at the place of departure. It is therefore always advisable to contact the consular mission of the USA in order to find out the current entry formalities.
"Visa Waiver" and ESTA 
Citizens of the EU and EFTA except Bulgaria, Croatia, Poland, Romania and Cyprus can enter the USA for short tourist or business stays (up to 90 days) without a visa (“Visa Waiver”).
When entering the country by plane or ship, you have to register electronically as a tourist (length of stay less than 90 days) at least 72 hours before your planned arrival. This electronic entry permit (Electronic System for Travel Authorization, ESTA) is then valid for two years if you travel with the same passport. Registration takes place online on the ESTA page of the US Department of Homeland Security. Registration costs $ 14 and must be paid for by credit card as part of online registration.
Since 2016, entry has only been possible with a machine-readable passport (e.g. burgundy-colored passport of the EU). This also applies to children! German children's passports do not have a digital chip. Austrian children's passports already have a chip and can be used for the ESTA application.  However, a visa can be applied for.  A paper form (I-94) normally no longer needs to be filled out for entry. However, a customs declaration is required. Temporary passports (in green) no longer entitle you to ESTA entry, as they do not contain a chip.
When entering the USA, the machine-read document and not the manually entered data apply. This can lead to the fact that entry to the USA can be refused even if the wrong entry is not known. Entering the passport number is very important, which is why it has to be entered twice during the registration process. It sounds simple, but it is more important because you have to write off a machine-readable ID manually and this is the case with a German passport on which a 0 (number) cannot be distinguished from an O (letter). You have to know that a passport number, for example, never contains an O (letter). This can be found on the website of the Federal Ministry of the Interior.
Since June 2019, you can also enter your social media accounts for the ESTA form, which is still optional. For longer stays or for other nationalities, a visa is required, which must be applied for in good time (months) before entry at the responsible embassy or consulate. A visa is usually required for longer stays in Mexico or Canada - if you are changing in the USA.
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