us visa waiver programme

US Visa Waiver Programme

America is a nice destination for those who have a deep love of nature. When coming to this country, you will have a chance to watch its amazing nature changing differently every season. On top of that, there are numerous cultural and natural heritage sites of the world gathering here for you to visit, namely the Statue of Liberty, the Independence Hall, Taos Pueblo and national parks. If you are planning for a trip to this beautiful land but have no idea about what permit to apply for, let’s keep reading the following lines for details about US Visa Waiver Programme!

Frequently asked questions about US Visa Waiver Programme

What is US Visa Waiver Programme?

US Visa Waiver Programme (also known as VWP) is a kind of permit that is under the control of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) in consultation with the State Department. VWP allows residents of 39 countries in the world to enter the US without a visa. However, their purposes of the trip must be business or tourism and the number of days they can stay here cannot exceed 90. 

Read more: US Transit Visa

esta and visa

What countries are eligible for US Visa Waiver Programme?

Nationals of the listed countries can enter the US without having to apply for a visa:

  • 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
  • Poland
  • Portugal
  • San Marino
  • Singapore
  • Slovakia
  • Slovenia
  • South Korea
  • Spain
  • Sweden
  • Switzerland
  • Taiwan
  • United Kingdom

Who does not have the right to visit the US under the VWP?

There are two situations in which you are no longer able to enter the US under the VWP:

  • You are a citizen of VWP countries but have been to Iran, Iraq, Sudan, North Korea, Syria, Somalia, Libya, and Yemen on or after March 1, 2011. 
  • You are a citizen of VWP countries but also a citizen of North Korea, Iran, Iraq, Sudan, or Syria.

What is necessary for a trip to the US under VWP?

To show up in the US without a visa, you are required to apply for an ESTA. ESTA is a short word for “Electronic System for Travel Authorization”. This automated system is developed by the government of the USA in order to determine the eligibility of travelers to visit this country under the Visa Waiver Program. 


ESTA application

Why should I apply for an ESTA?

The following lines show you the reasons that you should get an ESTA for your journey:

  • You do not have to visit the embassy, take an interview and wait for a long time to get one.
  • The process is made simpler with only three stages in total.
  • You are allowed to show up in the US as many times as you would like thanks to multiple entries.
  • You can save plenty of time with a group application if you are accompanying more than two people on the trip. 

>>> Related topic: US ESTA Application

Are ESTA and visa the same?

The answer is No for these reasons:

  • An ESTA is a kind of permit that lets you stay in the US for 90 days. On the other hand, the duration of your trip to America with a normal visa is decided by the consulate.
  • People who are holding a visa in their hand do not have to request an ESTA. However, the purpose of entering must be the one that your passport is issued. 

How long is an ESTA valid?

An ESTA is valid for two years from the date it is issued. Moreover, it gives you the allowance of multiple entries, which means you can show up in the US more than once. 

Under what circumstances am I allowed to request a new ESTA?

A new ESTA is issued to applicants who are in the following situations:

  • Applicants have the changes in gender or personal information.
  • Applicants change the country of citizenship.
  • Applicants change the answers for Yes/ No questions. 

Is it difficult to request an ESTA?

The applying process is quite simple with some quick steps that cost you just a few minutes to fulfill. Your job is to answer all the questions given regarding name, date of birth, nationality, passport data and so on. However, you should check every detail carefully before submitting the online form to make sure that nothing is wrong. 



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