VWP Established Countries
Information about the VWP
Visa Free Travel to the U.S.
Citizens of the following countries, Andorra, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Brunei, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, Monaco, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Portugal, San Marino, Singapore, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and the United Kingdom may qualify for travel to the U.S. under the Visa Waiver Program if they meet all of the following requirements:
Note: A passport indicating that the bearer is a British Subject, British Dependent Territories Citizen, British Overseas Citizen, British National (Overseas) Citizen, or British Protected Person does not qualify for travel without a visa. A passport which states holder has Right of Abode or indefinite leave to remain in the United Kingdom does not qualify for visa free travel.
Note: Representatives of the foreign press, radio, film or other information media require a non-immigrant Media (I) visa and cannot travel to the U.S. using the visa waiver program. All officials traveling on behalf of their government on official business require the appropriate visas and cannot travel using the visa waiver program.
Who is eligible to travel visa free?
The requirements for visa-free travel using the Visa Waiver Program are that the individual must be a citizen of one of the countries named above, traveling on a valid, individual machine readable or e-passport with an electronic chip. The date on which your passport was issued is an important factor in determining whether your passport will be acceptable for visa-free travel. Failure to determine that your passport qualifies for the VWP may result in you being denied boarding by the airline and refused entry to the United States at the port of entry. Depending on when VWP travelers’ passports were issued, different passport requirements apply.
• Traveling for business, pleasure or transit only;
• Staying in the U.S. for 90 days or less;
• if entering the U.S. by air or sea is holding a return or onward ticket. If traveling on an electronic ticket, a copy of the itinerary must be carried for presentation to U.S. immigration at the port of entry. Note: Travelers with onward tickets terminating in Mexico, Canada, Bermuda or the Caribbean Islands must be legal permanent residents of these areas;
• entering the U.S. aboard an air or sea carrier that has agreed to participate in the program; (Note: privately-owned or official aircraft or vessels do not meet this requirement. Travelers must apply for visas to enter the U.S. on privately-owned aircraft or vessels.) Please see the State Department website for a full list of signatory carriers.
• complete an on-line ESTA registration and receive approval for visa waiver travel. Additional information regarding the VWP and ESTA is available on our ESTA webpage on this site.
• in possession of a completed Form I-94W obtainable from airline and shipping companies.
• or, if entering the U.S. by land from Canada or Mexico, in possession of a completed Form I-94W, issued by the immigration authorities at the port of entry. A US$6.00 fee, payable in U.S. dollars only, must be paid at the port of entry if entering by land.
Some travelers are not eligible by law to enter the U.S. using the Visa Waiver Program. These include people with certain serious communicable illnesses, criminal record/s, previous exclusion or deportation from the U.S. and those who have previously violated their status using the Visa Waiver Program.
Note: Any person who has overstayed the 90-day authorized stay for whatever reason, is no longer eligible to travel on the VWP. Visitors admitted to the United States under the VWP may remain for a maximum of 90 days. This 90-day period cannot be extended nor is an adjustment of status to a different category permitted, no matter how compelling or legitimate the circumstances.
Additionally, anyone who is denied entry to the U.S. for any reason by U.S. immigration officers, or has been unlawfully present in the U.S. previously, is no longer eligible to travel visa-free on the VWP. Such travelers must apply for visas. Persons in this category who attempt to travel visa-free will be refused entry into the U.S. If any of these conditions apply to you, please follow this link to the Visa Information Service for information and to make an appointment to apply for a visa before making your travel arrangements. Also, review instructions regarding How to apply for a visa.
Refused a Visa
Travelers who have been refused a visa under the provisions of Section 221(g) or 214(b) of the Immigration and Nationality Act are not ineligible to apply to travel visa free visa under the Visa Waiver Program. However, they will be questioned by an immigration official at the U. S. port of entry regarding the refusal by the Embassy or Consulate.
The traveler should carry with him or her evidence of his or her intention to depart the United States at the end of the visit. This is generally satisfied by furnishing evidence of strong social and economic ties to the traveler's place of permanent residence. There is no set form that this should take as each person's circumstances differ.
If the immigration officer is not satisfied that the traveler meets the qualifications for nonimmigrant status, the traveler will be denied entry.
Transit under the Visa Waiver Program
Travelers who qualify for visa free travel under the Visa Waiver Program are eligible to transit the United States. Application for entry is made on the arrival/departure form I-94W provided by the airline or shipping company. If transiting the United States to a destination in Canada, Mexico or the adjacent islands, the traveler may re-enter the United States on the return journey using any mode of transport, as long as the total visit, including both periods of time spent in transit and in Canada, Mexico or the adjacent islands, does not exceed 90 days. If transiting to a destination outside of Canada, Mexico, or the adjacent islands, the return journey must be on a participating carrier, but need not be within 90 days, as the traveler will be required to make a new application for admission and therefore, required to complete a new arrival/departure form, I-94W. Travelers transiting the United States to take up residence in Mexico, Canada, Bermuda or the Caribbean Islands must be legal permanent residents of these areas.
Will travelers that are in-transit be required to obtain an ESTA authorization?
The United States no longer has a Transit Without Visa program, so eligible nationals or citizens of countries that participate in the VWP will require either ESTA authorization or a visa to transit the United States. If a traveler is only planning to transit through the United States en route to another country, when he or she completes the ESTA application, the traveler should enter the words "In Transit" and his or her final destination location in the address lines under the heading “Address While In The United States”.
Visa free travel does not include those who plan to study, work or remain more than 90 days. Those travelers need visas. If a U.S. immigration officer believes that a visa-free traveler is going to study or work or stay longer than 90 days, the officer will refuse to admit the traveler. No appeal is possible.
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