Visa Waiver Program

The Visa Waiver Program (VWP) allows citizens of participating countries to travel to the United States without a visa for stays of 90 days or less, when they meet all requirements explained below. Travelers must be eligible to use the VWP and have a valid Electronic System for Travel Authorization (ESTA) approval prior to travel.

If you are eligible to travel on the VWP, but prefer to have a visa in your passport, you may still apply for a visitor (B) visa.

You must be a citizen or national of VWP-participant country. The following 38 countries are Visa Waiver Program participants.

To apply for your Electronic System for Travel Authorization (ESTA) authorization, please visit the ESTA website.

Currently, 37 countries participate in the VWP: Andorra, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Brunei, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Monaco, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Portugal, San Marino, Singapore, Slovenia, Slovakia, South Korea, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Taiwan and the United Kingdom*.

Eligible nationals of all member countries must obtain an ESTA prior to travel to the United States. They must also have a passport that meets the requirements outlined here.

Only United Kingdom passports notated with “British Citizens” and/or “with unrestricted right of abode in the United Kingdom” are eligible for VWP admission. Holders of passports indicating that the bearer is a British Subject, British Dependent Territories Citizen, British Overseas National or British National (Overseas) do not qualify for the VWP.

Citizens of the above countries may use the Visa Waiver Program under the following conditions.

Traveling for business meetings or pleasure (not on federal government business or as members of the media). Transit through the United States is generally permitted, if the total time in the U.S., Canada, Mexico, and adjacent islands is less than 90 days.

Staying in the U.S. for less than 90 days (this includes time spent in Canada, Mexico, and adjacent islands).

Traveling on an unexpired machine-readable passport (MRP).

Depending on when VWP travelers’ passports were issued, other passport requirements will apply.

MRP issued before 26 October 2005 – no further requirements.

MRP issued between 26 October 2005 and 25 October 2006 – digitized photograph on data page or integrated chip with information from the data page.

MRP issued on or after 26 October 2006 – integrated chip with information from the data page. (Note: Australian passports issued in Australia from 2006 onwards comply with this requirement.)

They have complied with the conditions of previous admissions under the VWP, and have not been found ineligible for a U.S. visa.

If arriving by air or sea, they are traveling on an approved commercial carrier and have a return trip ticket to a foreign destination other than the U.S. or adjacent islands.

If arriving by land, they can demonstrate the intent to stay 90 days or less in the U.S. and sufficient funds to support themselves in the U.S.

VWP travelers who have been admitted under the Visa Waiver Program and who make a short trip to Canada, Mexico or an adjacent island generally can be readmitted to the U.S. under the VWP for the original admission period.

They do not have a criminal record.

No. Fiji, Kiribati, Nauru, Tonga, and Tuvalu do not qualify for the Visa Waiver Program at this time. If you would like to visit the United States please  click here for more information.

You must be a national of a participating country and satisfy the eligibility requirements as listed above (please see “What are the other requirements of the Visa Waiver Program?”).

If entering the U.S. by sea or air, you must travel on a signatory carrier. The VWP permits arrivals from Mexico and Canada at land border ports-of-entry. The documentary requirements are the same, except there is no requirement for round-trip tickets and signatory carriers, as there are no carriers involved. You must satisfy the inspecting officer that you have sufficient funds to support yourself during your stay and to depart the United States. If you enter at a land port-of-entry you must complete and sign the Form I-94W, Nonimmigrant Visa Waiver Arrival/Departure Form and pay the land border fee (currently USD 6.00) and you must be admissible to the United States as a nonimmigrant. Please note, ESTA approval may not be required when arriving by land into the United States. This is ultimately at the discretion of the Customs and Border Protection officer at the port of entry.

Citizens of Australia, Brunei, Hong Kong, Japan, Malaysia, Nauru, New Zealand, Papua New Guinea, South Korea, Singapore, Taiwan and the United Kingdom do not need a visa or ESTA to visit both Guam and the Northern Mariana Islands because of the Guam-CNMI Visa Waiver Program, though they must complete Form I-736 prior to travel.  Chinese citizens also do not need a visa if they complete Form I-736 for temporary admission into the Northern Mariana Islands. For more information on the Guam-CNMI Visa Waiver Program, click here .

You cannot extend the time on the Visa Waiver Program. The 90 days also includes any time spent in Canada, Mexico and adjacent Islands. Therefore, you cannot cross the border into these areas and then return for another 90 days. You can however ask for re-entry on the Visa Waiver Program if you have left the continent.

No, but entry or re-entry into the United States is at the discretion of immigration officials at the port of entry.

Australian passports are exempt from this rule (so are New Zealand and British passports, among others). See the State Department’s webpage on the VWP for the full list.