The Visa Waiver Program (VWP) is a program administered by the Department of Homeland Security
(DHS) which allows citizens of specific countries (to see which countries, click here) to
travel to the U.S. under certain conditions without the need to obtain a visa.
The program applies to The United States mainland as well as the U.S. territories of
Puerto Rico and the U.S.Virgin Islands in the Caribbean, with limited application
to other U.S. territories.
The VWP also allows U.S. citizens and nationals to travel to the 38 countries for a similar
length of time for business or pleasure purposes without the need for a visa.
Since it was created in 1986, the VWP has grown into a robust security partnership for the
USA and its close allies. The VWP uses a risk-based, multi-layered approach to detect and prevent
terrorists, serious criminals, and other listed persons from travelling to the United
States. National risk assessments are run before a country is allowed to become a country
within the VWP. In addition, individual VWP travellers must be vetted before they depart
for the U.S., upon arrival at U.S. ports of entry, and during any subsequent air travel
within the U.S. In addition to helping to ensure secure travel, the VWP promotes economic
vibrance and growth in the USA and in countries accepted into the VWP, and helps make travel easier.
You are eligible to apply for admission under the VWP if you:
- Intend to enter the United States for 90 days or less for business, pleasure or transit
- Have a valid passport which has been issued to you by a VWP country
- Have authorisation to travel under ESTA
- Arrive via a VWP signatory carrier
- Have a return or onward ticket
- Travel may not terminate in contiguous territory or adjacent islands unless the traveler
is a resident of one of those areas.
- Are a citizen or national of one of the VWP countries.
- Establish to the satisfaction of the inspecting United States Customs and Border
Protection officer that you are entitled to be admitted under the Visa Waiver Program
and that you are not inadmissible under the Immigration and Nationality Act.
- Waive any rights to review or appeal of the admissibility determination of the United
States Customs and Border Protection officer, or contest, other than on the basis of
an application for asylum, any removal action arising from an application for admission
under the Visa Waiver Program.
- Reaffirm, through the submission of biometric identifiers (including fingerprints
and photographs) during processing upon arrival in the United States, your waiver
of any rights to review or appeal of the admissibility determination of the United
States Customs and Border Protection officer, or contest, other than on the basis
of an application for asylum, any removal action arising from an application for
admission under the Visa Waiver Program.
- Obtain an Authorization Approved determination following a travel authorization application.
- Not pose a threat to the welfare, health, safety, or security of the United States.
Have complied with all conditions of any previous admission under the Visa Waiver Program.