US Visa Waiver Application (ESTA)

Travel Using the Visa Waiver Program

Visa Waiver Application Guide (ESTA)

Visa Waiver Program General Information:
The Visa Waiver Program enables citizens of 37 countries to travel to the United States for tourism or business for stays of 90 days or less without obtaining a visa. The program was established in 1986 with the objective of promoting better relations between the United States and its allies, eliminating unnecessary barriers to travel, stimulating the tourism industry, and permitting the Department of State to focus consular resources in other areas. Visa Waiver eligible travelers may continue to apply for a United States Visa if they prefer, but it is not required for stays up to 90 days. Under the Visa Waiver Program there are passport requirements and eligibility requirements that must both be fulfilled. Since January 12, 2009 the Electronic System for Travel Authorization has been a new pre-departure requirement for all visa waiver travelers. A United States Travel Authorization is not a visa but an authorization to travel to the United States and ask for admission to enter. An approved Travel Authorization does not guaranty entry. The Visa Waiver Program Application Guide offers a comprehensive, detailed, and easy to understand guide so that you can successfully travel to the United States under the Visa Waiver Program.
VISA WAIVER PROGRAM
Citizens of the following countries may qualify to enter the United States under the Visa Waiver Program, through the Electronic System for Travel Authorization. If you are not a passport holder of one of these countries, you need to apply for a B-1 Business Visa or B-2 Tourist visa.
Andorra, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Brunei, 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 and the United Kingdom.
What’s included
Important / Warning

New United States Entry Requirement:
The Department of Homeland Security has implemented the Electronic System for Travel Authorization. The purpose of ESTA is to pre-screen all travelers who intent to enter the United States under the Visa Waiver Program. Individuals from non Visa Waiver countries cannot enter the United States under this program and must obtain a visitor visa in advance.

Travelers to the United States are encouraged to register themselves online as soon as possible. It is not necessary to have purchased a ticket or made a hotel booking in advance. Once the traveler has completed the Travel Authorization registration, he or she will get an instant result indicating whether the they are allowed to travel to the United States or not. A Travel Authorization is valid for 2 years at the time unless the passport expires earlier.

January 12, 2009: All travelers under the Visa Waiver Program must pre-register online before entering the United States via air or sea. Travelers without an accepted Travel Authorization will not be allowed to board any airplanes or sea carriers that are U.S. bound.

Any person traveling on the Visa Waiver Program must present a machine readable passport or an e-passport depending on the citizenship. A person from a Visa Waiver Country having a non-machine readable passport must apply for a visitor visa in advance.

The 37 Visa Waiver Program Member Countries: 
Andorra, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Brunei, 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 and United Kingdom.

Visa Waiver Program Eligibility Requirements:  
Not all citizens of Visa Waiver countries are eligible to enter the United States Visa-free under the Visa Waiver Program. Some applicants might be required to apply for a B-1 Business Visa or a B-2 Tourist Visa in order to visit the United States. Additional information can be found in the Visa Waiver Information Guide.