Visa Waiver Program

Visa Waiver Program

Visa Waiver Program

What is the Visa Waiver Program

The Visa Waiver Program (VWP) is a program implemented by the United States federal government to allow citizens of participating foreign countries to travel to the USA without obtaining a visa.

Visitors must have a valid approved Electronic System for Travel Authorization (ESTA) before traveling to the US. It can be obtained online through a straightforward application process.

One must provide their personal and travel information in the form, attach the required documents, and pay the fees. The approval will be sent through email.

Under the Visa Waiver Program, a visitor can travel to the United States for tourism or business purposes for stays of 90 days or less. The ESTA remains effective for 2 years from the date of issue.

What countries can visit the US without a visa?

Nationals of the following countries are eligible to travel to the US without a visa under the Visa Waiver Program:

  • AndorraAndorra
  • AustriaAustria
  • AustraliaAustralia
  • BelgiumBelgium
  • BruneiBrunei
  • SwitzerlandSwitzerland
  • ChileChile
  • Czech RepublicCzech Republic
  • GermanyGermany
  • DenmarkDenmark
  • EstoniaEstonia
  • SpainSpain
  • FinlandFinland
  • FranceFrance
  • United KingdomUnited Kingdom**
  • GreeceGreece
  • CroatiaCroatia
  • HungaryHungary
  • IrelandIreland
  • IcelandIceland
  • ItalyItaly
  • JapanJapan
  • South KoreaSouth Korea
  • LiechtensteinLiechtenstein
  • LithuaniaLithuania
  • LuxembourgLuxembourg
  • LatviaLatvia
  • MonacoMonaco
  • MaltaMalta
  • NetherlandsNetherlands
  • NorwayNorway
  • New ZealandNew Zealand
  • PolandPoland
  • San MarinoSan Marino
  • TaiwanTaiwan
  • SingaporeSingapore
  • PortugalPortugal
  • SwedenSweden
  • SlovakiaSlovakia
  • SloveniaSlovenia

**Only British citizens with the unrestricted right of permanent abode in England, Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland, the Channel Islands, and the Isle of Man can use the facilitation.

Who is eligible for a US Visa Waiver?

In order to be eligible for a Visa Waiver Program, a traveler must hold a passport that remains valid for a minimum of 6 months after the intended departure from the USA.

In case of a family willing to enter the United States without a visa under the VWP, each member of that family, including children, must have a valid passport.

Additionally, a visitor must have an e-passport – an enhanced secure passport with an embedded electronic chip that can be scanned to match the traveler’s identity to the passport.

How to enroll in the Electronic System for Travel Authorization?

The ESTA application is intuitive and easy to complete. One can apply for a US visa waiver online in a few steps:

  1. Fill out the application form using your personal and travel information.
  2. Cover the processing fees.
  3. Get the notification on ESTA approval via email. You will receive a PDF document which you should save onto your device.

It is also recommended to make a paper copy of your US ETA. This way, you will be able to confirm your permit even in case of technical issues.

How long can I stay in the USA with ESTA?

Citizens of the VWP countries can travel to the USA without a visa numerous times in a span of 2 years of ESTA’s validity period. Each time, ESTA holders can stay for up to 90 days.

The ESTA is electronically connected to the holder’s biometric passport, so a traveler should get a new ESTA if their passport expires.