Guam Visa: Travel Requirements & Application –

Guam Travel Visa

In this article

Is a Visa Needed to Travel to Guam?

Guam is located in the Western Pacific Ocean - specifically in the subregions of Micronesia. It is under the territory of the United States and covers a landmass of 540 km². Guam has Hagåtña as its capital, with Dededo being the largest and the most populous settlement. Guam citizens are regarded as American citizens but cannot participate in United States presidential elections.
When traveling to Guam, you are expected to provide a valid passport, a round-trip ticket, or a ticket to another country from Guam and appropriate immigration documents. The immigration document could be a visa, ESTA - for citizens from eligible countries, or the I-736 and I-94 forms.
No visa is required for visitors who are citizens of countries under the Guam-Commonwealth of the Northern Marianas Visa Waiver Program (Guam-CNMI VWP). Instead, they are given I-736 and I-94 forms on the flight, which they present at the airport on arrival. Guam-CNMI VWP allows eligible candidates to visit Guam for business and tourism purposes for a maximum of 45 days. Unlike ESTA and other similar programs, prior online application is not required. Instead, the I-736 and I-94 forms are distributed on the flight and would need to be filled on the flight.

Entering Guam Through the Commonwealth of The Northern Marianas Visa Waiver Program (Guam-CNMI VWP)

The commonwealth visa waiver program allows visitors into Guam without a visa for a maximum of 45 days for sightseeing and business purposes. Only a handful of countries are eligible for this visa waiver. Countries eligible for the visa waiver include Australia, Brunei, Malaysia, Nauru, Hong Kong, Japan, Papua New Guinea, New Zealand, South Korea, Taiwan, Taiwan, Singapore, and the United Kingdom. Visitors from Taiwan can only travel directly to Guam if they have their national ID cards and Taiwan passports. However, if they do not meet these requirements, they can still make connection flights through Guam.

Requirements to Enter Guam with Guam-CNMI VWP

Before border authorities can grant entrance to visitors under the Guam-CNMI VWP, they must meet these requirements:
  • They must be clear of any violations concerning the conditions for entry in the past.
  • They must be citizens of eligible countries. They must provide machine-readable passports which are valid and compliant with the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO)
  • They must provide a round-trip air ticket. This ticket must show a departure date not later than 45 days from entry and should not be transferable.
  • They must provide filled-out and signed I-736 and I-94 forms distributed on the flight.
Visiting Guam through the visa waiver program does not require you to fill out any application forms online, provided you are eligible and will not be staying more than 45 days.

Entering Guam through ESTA

The Electronic System for Travel Authorization (ETSA) is another method for entering Guam. It is a preferred method for many people and the U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP). Traveling to Guam with ESTA is a less stressful way to access Guam.
In April 2016, Guam Airport authorities established a special lane exclusively for ESTA holders at the airport, which is usually faster than other lanes. ESTA is obtained online and has a validity period of two years, during which its holders can travel in and out of the United States quickly. ESTA allows its holders a maximum stay of 90 days within the United States and, by extension, Guam; instead of the 45 days obtained through the visa waiver program. ESTA provides a simplified immigration screening.

U.S. Customs and Border Protection recommends applying for ESTA when entering Guam

Although the Nationals of countries involved in the Guam-Commonwealth of the Northern Marianas Visa Waiver Program (Guam-CNMI VWP) do not require visas or other equivalent travel documents to visit Guam, an ESTA is recommended.
The U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) recommends applying for ESTA when traveling to Guam. Arriving in Guam with an ESTA instead of the visa waiver makes the immigration process simpler and faster at the airport. It eliminates the need to fill out documents during the flight and reduces waiting time on arrival.

Advantages of ESTA over Guam-CNMI VWP for entering Guam

  • No need to fill out two forms: When traveling with the visa waiver program, you would be required to fill out the I-94 and I-736 forms onboard. However, previously applying for an ESTA visa will exempt you from having to fill out these forms. It allows you to relax and have a good time onboard from departure to arrival.
  • Quicker immigration processes: There are lanes dedicated to ESTA holders at the international airport in Guam. These lanes make the entry process easier and faster. Automated kiosks ensure you will get through the immigration process faster with your ESTA authorization.
  • Longer duration: With the visa waiver program, you are permitted only a maximum stay of 45 days in Guam. However, ESTA gives you a maximum stay of 90 days. Holders of ESTA are considered cooperative in immigration procedures and, as such, enjoy higher benefits when traveling for sightseeing.
Although the application process for obtaining an ESTA is more time demanding and requires you to apply online, it has more benefits up its sleeves when compared to the visa waiver.

Traveling to Guam as a minor

When a minor below 18 years is traveling to Guam alone or with a single parent, written consent is required of the parents. Written permission is necessary to prevent cases of international kidnapping or abduction of children during custody disputes by a parent. The written consent must be in English - either by original writing or translation. It should be written by parents, grandparents, or legal guardians. Travels by minors that require a written consent include:
  • Travel for educational purposes such as school excursions or training trips
  • A minor traveling alone
  • A minor traveling with the grandparents or other relatives without the parents
In some cases, another document like a family register is required, in addition to the written consent. Such cases include:
  • When a parent is deceased
  • When spouses go by different names
  • When traveling with a parent after the parents are divorced
Ensure to be armed with the required documents if you fall into these categories. Failure to provide the necessary documents can keep you from entering Guam.

Automated passport control (APC) at Guam International Airport

In October 2016, Guam International Airport adopted the Automated Passport Control (APC) - commonly known as APC kiosk, to aid immigration screening. Guams authorities installed eight of these kiosks to help the screening of travelers with ESTA authorization. Those who have their ESTA authorization proceed directly to an APC kiosk, follow the information on the screen, and get cleared.
The kiosk instructs you to take an identification passport photograph, scan your passport, and record your fingerprints. The kiosk reduces the time required for clearance and increases the efficiency of the process. The kiosk has four main advantages, which are:
  • It consumes half the space needed for a traditional immigration booth
  • It reduces the time taken at immigration booths to process travelers by about 75%
  • Individuals scanning their passport themselves can complete it in about 80% less time
  • It reduces the time to process non-ESTA travelers by about 30% since ESTA travelers are out of the way.
Adoption of the APC kiosk greatly reduces the effort put in by airport officials to keep the lines moving. During peak travel seasons like Christmas, New Year, and thanksgiving, the airport may face some congestion, leading to delays in operations.
In conclusion, you must either present a visa, an ESTA authorization, or a Guam-CNMI VWP when traveling to Guam. The ESTA authorization and Guam-CNMI VWP are only available to individuals from eligible countries. However, the Customs and Border Protection in the United States prefer you present your ESTA over Guam-CNMI VWP.

Written by Abisola Fikayomi

Abisola is an accomplished writer interested in US Travel, immigration, passports and visas. She’s passionate about exploring new places and cultures and willing to share her experiences, expertize and findings with others. That is her primary drive for specialising in this industry.

Kid-friendly destinations in the USA

Without a doubt, the USA is a fantastic destination for a holiday and there are so many different places you can choose from. If you are looking at places where your kids will have a trip of a lifetime then there are plenty of kid-friendly destinations to try.

Read More..