The Visa Waiver Program (VWP) enables citizens of certain countries to travel to the United States for tourism or business for stays of 90 days or less without first obtaining a visa. These countries are included in the VWP based upon having low rates of US immigration laws violation.
The program was established to eliminate unnecessary barriers to travel, stimulating the tourism industry, and permitting the Department of State to focus consular resources in other areas. VWP eligible travelers may apply for a visa, if they prefer to do so. Nationals of VWP countries must meet eligibility requirements to travel without a visa on VWP, and therefore, some travelers from VWP countries are not eligible to use the program.
Procedure & Requirements
- Foreign national must hold and travel on the passport (machine readable) of a country which is eligible for VWP;
- Advance authorization through the Electronic System for Travel Authorization (ESTA) prior to travel;
- Stay must be of 90 days or less.
- VWP travelers are screened at the port of entry in the United States;
- VWP travelers are enrolled in the Department of Homeland Security’s US-VISIT program;
- VWP travelers may be asked to provide evidence of onward travel or other documentation on the purpose of their stay in the United Stay;
- Travelers must demonstrate sufficient funds to support themselves while in the United States;
- Travelers entering through land ports of entry must pay a small land border fee.