April 24, 2019

Visa Waiver Program

The Visa Waiver Program (VWP) is a program introduced by the United States Government and allows citizens of specific countries to travel to the United States for tourism, business, or while in transit for 90 days without necessity to obtain a visa. The main idea of the USA Visa Waiver is to allow citizens of 38 countries to have an easy access to travel to the United States, USA territories of Puerto Rico and the US Virgin Islands in the Caribbean under some circumstances. Countries selected by the USA government to be in the US Visa Waiver Program are high-income economies with a very high Human Development Index hat considers them to be in the list of developed countries. The list of the US Visa Waiver Program countries is selected and meet the requirements of the USA government. Visa Waiver Program is conducted and administered by the Department of Homeland Security. Only members of the Visa Waiver Countries can receive ESTA authorization approval and stay in United States no longer than 90 days.

Since 2016 US government made a restriction over the US Visa Waiver Program. Since then the Visa Waiver Program does not apply in cases where a person had previously traveled to Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, or Yemen on or after March 1, 2011 or for those who are dual citizens of Iran, Iraq, Sudan or Syria. As for the certain categories such as diplomats, military, journalists, humanitarian workers or legitimate businessmen may enjoy the special requirements under their visa conducted by the Secretary of Homeland Security. Requirements for the US Visa Waiver Program includes the obligation to have individual passports. It is not acceptable (for the Visa Waiver Program scheme) for children to be included on a parent’s passport. All visitors from American Visa Waiver countries are required and obliged to hold a biometric passport. you must have an e-passport to use the American Visa Waiver Program. E-passport represents secure passport with an embedded electronic chip, that guarantees the unique identity of a person who enjoys from the USA Visa Waiver. The chip can be scanned to compare the identity of the traveler to the passport. E-Passports, to be eligible for USA Visa Waiver must follow standards set by the International Civil Aviation Organization.

Another requirement to enjoy with the US Visa Waiver Program is Electronic System for Travel Authorization procedure, that obliges the traveler to apply for ESTA before departure to the United States, preferably at least 72 hours. Persons who do not meet the requirements for the ESTA Visa Waiver Program must obtain a U.S. visitor visa from a U.S. embassy or consulate

ESTA Visa Waiver includes thirty-eight countries and you can see the list of those Visa Waiver countries below:

  • Andorra
  • Australia
  • Austria
  • Belgium
  • Brunei
  • Chile
  • Czech Republic
  • Denmark
  • Estonia
  • Finland
  • France
  • Germany
  • Greece
  • Hungary
  • Iceland
  • Ireland
  • Italy
  • Japan
  • Latvia
  • Liechtenstein
  • Lithuania
  • Luxembourg
  • Malta
  • Monaco
  • Netherlands
  • New Zealand
  • Norway
  • Portugal
  • San Marino
  • Singapore
  • Slovakia
  • Slovenia
  • South Korea
  • Spain
  • Sweden
  • Switzerland
  • Taiwan
  • United Kingdom

Note: As for the United Kingdom British citizens must have the unrestricted right of permanent abode in England, Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland, the Channel Islands, and the Isle of Man.