Visa Waiver Program has introduced in 1986 by the Congress of the USA that introduced the legislation for it. VWP unites 38 countries that represent developed countries mostly. Program aimed to make the procedures easy for the citizens of USA partner countries to travel in USA for different purposes including tourism, business medicine, studying etc. Visa Waiver Program works under the authority of the Department of Homeland Security and USA Customs and Border Protection. This mechanism has very strict rules for the security of US and the people inside it. Norway is part of the VWP since 1992 and since then it enjoys equal rights as other member countries. It should be noticed that the persons had previously traveled to Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, or Yemen on or after March 1, 2011 are not allowed to enjoy with VWP. The same goes for the persons who practice dual citizenships of Iran, Iraq, Sudan or Syria.
The mechanism of Visa Waiver Program works through ESTA that represents the Electronic System for Travel Authorization. It introduced in 2009 and since then Norwegian citizens and the rest of the people from program member countries must apply for ESTA to gain a permission for traveling in USA for maximum 90 days. USA Customs and Border Protection has advised travelers to apply as soon as they plan their visit in US or at least 72 hours before departure. The application procedure is made online. If a person does not have an internet access, third party can involve and fill the ESTA application for that person
To apply for ESTA it is a must to have a valid, un-expired electronic passport. Since you apply for gaining approval the process takes maximum 72 whole hours to check the information and conditions. After you receive approval or denial. After that your ESTA s valid for two years but as exceptions, the persons whose passport expires earlier than the two years then the date of the passport expiration and the ESTA coincides with each other.
Furthermore, approved ESTA application does not guarantee Norwegian citizens for entry in US, the final decision will be made by an officer of the Customs and Border Protection after checking the person and his or her luggage.
Additionally, the ESTA and visa holder of America does not enjoy the equal rights. If a citizen of Norway has long run purposes in US, then the visa is needed. To apply for a traveler visa or other types of American visa the person must visit US embassy or consulate, prepare additional advanced documents to represent as an evidence for having reasonable and legal ground to stay in USA more than 90 days.