Visa Waiver Program

The Visa Waiver Program (VWP) enables nationals of certain countries to travel to the United States for tourism or business for stays of 90 days or less without obtaining a visa.

For more information go to travel.state.gov/visa/visa_1750.html and click Visa Waiver Program.

Travel Approval Required for Visa Waiver Countries

As of January 12, 2009, a valid ESTA approval is required for all Visa Waiver Program (VWP) to travel to the United States. The Department of Homeland Security (DHS), Electronic System for Travel Authorization (ESTA) is a free, automated system used to determine the eligibility of visitors to travel to the United States under the VWP. It collects the same information as the paper I-94W form that VWP travelers fill out en route to the United States. ESTA applications may be submitted at any time prior to travel. An ESTA authorization generally will be valid for up to two years. Authorizations will be valid for multiple entries into the United States. DHS recommends that travelers submit an ESTA application as soon as they begin making travel plans. Learn more about ESTA.

Updates

  • Effective January 20, 2010, the Department of Homeland Security is transitioning to enforced compliance of the Electronic System for Travel Authorization (ESTA) requirement for VWP travelers. Therefore, VWP travelers who have not obtained approval through ESTA should expect to be denied boarding on any air carrier bound for the United States.
  • Beginning September 8, 2010, US Customers and Border Protection will charge $14 for all new or renewed ESTA. The fees include a $4 administrative fee and a $10 travel promotion fee established by the Travel Promotion Act of 2009. More information regarding this fee can be found at http://www.cbp.gov/.