Visa Waiver Program

The Visa Waiver Program (VWP) created by the U.S. permits some foreigners to travel without visas to the U.S. and stay here for a 90 day period. There are certain requirements that must be met if you are seeking to travel to the U.S. under this program. You can travel to the U.S. under VWP, if you are a national of U.K., Australia, New Zealand or certain other countries eligible for VWP, for business and tourism, for not more than three months.

You must hold an Electronic System for Travel Authorization (ESTA). ESTA is an automated web-based system that helps the immigration authorities to determine the eligibility of foreigners to travel to the U.S. without visas for travel purposes permitted on this program.

You can travel to the U.S. for business, without a visa, to consult with business associates or to negotiate a contract. This program will also permit you to attend scientific, educational or business conferences and short term training programs.

Under VWP, you can also travel to the U.S. for vacation, to receive medical treatment, to visit your friends or relatives and to take part in social, musical or sports events. You can enroll in short term recreational courses while on vacation in the U.S.

People traveling under this program are not permitted to work here. There are a few other activities that are not permitted on this program. If you travel to the U.S. under VWP, you will not be allowed to study for credit. You also cannot file an application for legal permanent resident status (green card status).

If you are eligible to travel to the U.S. on VWP but if you do not prefer to do so, you can get a B visitor visa. If you are a citizen of one of the VWP designated countries but do not meet the VWP requirements, you can get a non-immigrant visa and visit the U.S. If you are eligible under the VWP but if you need to stay in the U.S. for more than 90 days, you will need to get a non-immigrant visa as you cannot stay in America for more than 90 days under this program.

To take part in this program, you will need to be a citizen or a national of one of the 38 VWP designated countries. Following are the VWP designated countries.

Andorra Australia Austria Belgium
Brunei Chile 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 United Kingdom