Visa Waiver Program
The Visa Waiver Program (VWP) allows visitors from participating countries to travel to the United States for business (WB — Waiver Business) or pleasure (WT — Waiver Tourist) for 90 days without obtaining a visa. All VWP travelers must obtain a travel authorization online via the Electronic System for Travel Authorization (ESTA) prior to travelling to the United States under the VWP. There is a minimal application fee of $14.
Countries that are eligible for the Visa Waiver Program
CHANGES ON ELIGIBILITY REQUIREMENTS!
- On January 21, 2016, the United States began implementing changes under the Visa Waiver Program Improvement and Terrorist Travel Prevention Act of 2015 (the Act). Under the Act, travelers in the following categories are no longer eligible to travel or be admitted to the United States under the Visa Waiver Program (VWP):
- Nationals of VWP countries who have been present in Iraq, Syria, or countries listed under specified designation lists (currently including Iran and Sudan) at any time on or after March 1, 2011 (with limited government/military exceptions).
- Nationals of VWP countries who have been present in Iraq, Syria, Iran, Sudan, at any time on or after March 1, 2011 (with limited government/military exceptions).
These restrictions do not apply to VWP travelers whose presence in Iraq, Syria, Iran, Sudan, Libya, Somalia, or Yemen was to perform military service in the armed forces of a program country, or in order to carry out official duties as a full-time employee of the government of a program country. Anyone who has traveled to the seven countries listed above for military/official purposes should carry the appropriate documentation when entering the United States.
The vast majority of VWP-eligible travelers will not be affected by the new Act. New countries may be added to this list at the discretion of the Secretary of Homeland Security.
Acceptable activities while on a Visa Waiver
For more information about the kinds of activities that are permissible for Visa Waiver Program visitors, please continue to our B-1 Business Visas section for Business Visitors or B-2 Tourist Visas section for visitors for pleasure.