Visa Waiver Program

The Visa Waiver Program (VWP) allows citizens of participating countries* to travel to the United States without a visa for stays of 90 days or less, when they meet all requirements explained below. Travelers must be eligible to use the VWP and have a valid Electronic System for Travel Authorization (ESTA) approval prior to travel.

If you are eligible to travel on the VWP, but prefer to have a visa in your passport, you may still apply for a visitor (B) visa.

Citizen or National of a VWP Designated Country *

You must be a citizen or national of VWP-participant country*. The following 38 countries* are Visa Waiver Program participants:

Each Traveler Must have authorization under ESTA

In order to travel without a visa on the VWP, you must have authorization through the Electronic System for Travel Authorization (ESTA) prior to boarding a U.S. bound air or sea carrier. ESTA is the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), Customs and Border Protection’s (CBP) automated web-based system to determine eligibility to travel without a visa to the United States for tourism or business. Visit the ESTA webpage on the CBP website for more detailed information, to apply for ESTA, and pay the fee.

Travel Must be on an Approved Carrier

If arriving by air or sea, you must be arriving on an approved air or sea carrier. You must also have a round trip ticket indicating return passage to a country* outside the United States.

Previous Compliance and No Prior Visa Ineligibilities

If you have had a U.S. visa before or previously traveled to the United States under the VWP or another status, you must have complied with the conditions of previous admissions to the United States, and you must not have previously been found ineligible for a U.S. visa.

Travelers should be aware that by requesting admission under the Visa Waiver Program, they are generally waiving their right to review or appeal a CBP officer’s decision as to their application for admission at the port of entry. See the CBP website for additional details.

Have the Correct Type of Passport

You must have a passport that is valid for at least 6 months after your planned departure from the United States (unless exempted by country-specific agreements). For families, each member of your family, including infants and children, must have his/her own passport.

In addition, your passport must meet the following requirements for VWP travel:

Citizens of: Must have a machine-readable passport, and also:
the Czech Republic, Estonia, Greece, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Malta, the Republic of Korea, and the Slovak Republic with an integrated chip containing information from the passport data page= e-Passport
Taiwan with an integrated chip containing information from the passport data page = e-Passport, and a national ID number

 

Citizens of: Must have a machine-readable passport, and: If the passport was issued, renewed, or extended:
all other VWP countries * with an integrated chip containing information from the passport data page= e-Passport on or after 10/26/06.
with a digital photograph printed on the data page or an integrated chip with information from the data page= e-Passport between 10/26/05 and 10/25/06.
with no further requirements before 10/26/05.

About Machine-Readable Passports and e-Passports

The e-Passport and machine-readable passport requirements are in compliance with standards set by the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO).

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