Green Cards (Common)
National Interest Waivers
Professors & Researchers
Executives & Managers
PERM Labor Certification
Investors (EB-5 visas)
Family (Spouse, etc.)
Work Visas (Common)
O-1 Extraordinary Ability
TN Canadians & Mexicans
J-1 Visa Holders
Nurses & Physical Therapists
Frequently Asked Questions about the Visa Waiver Program
The Visa Waiver Program (VWP) allows foreign nationals from certain countries to be admitted to the United States under limited conditions and for a limited time without obtaining a visa.
The VWP permits nationals from designated countries to apply for admission to the United States for ninety (90) days or less as visitors for business or pleasure without requiring a nonimmigrant visa.
The following countries are currently in the program:
Andorra, Austria, Australia, Belgium, Brunei, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, Monaco, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Portugal, San Marino, Singapore, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, and The United Kingdom*.
*Includes citizens with the unrestricted right of permanent abode in England, Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland, the Channel Islands, and the Isle of Man.
All Visa Waiver Program travelers must have a machine readable passport by October 26, 2004. As of October 1, 2003, citizens of Belgium, Andorra, Brunei, Leichtenstein, and Slovenia who wish to travel to the United States under the Visa Waiver Program must present either a machine-readable passport (MRP) or a U.S. visa at the port of entry to enter the United States.
To qualify for the VWP, you must:
The advantage of entering the United States under the VWP is that tourists and people wishing to conduct business in America can travel to the United States spontaneously without obtaining visas.
If you are admitted to the United States under the VWP, you may not change or extend your nonimmigrant status. If your admission is denied, you have no right to administrative or judicial review, except in a few circumstances. If you are found to have violated the terms of your admission, you also forfeit the right to contest a removal order. Therefore, before using the VWP, you should carefully consider your options.
You should not use the Visa Waiver Program, and must apply for a visa if you:
You must satisfy the eligibility requirements to participate in the Visa Waiver Program. The VWP permits arrivals from Mexico and Canada at land border ports-of-entry (POEs). The documentary requirements are the same, except there is no requirement for round-trip tickets and signatory carriers. The inspecting officer must be satisfied that you have funds to support yourself during your stay and will depart the United States.
If you enter at a land port, you must complete and sign the Form I-94W (Nonimmigrant Visa Waiver Arrival/Departure Form), usually pay a $6 fee. You must also be admissible to the United States. For reasons that would make you inadmissible, please see the Immigration and Nationality Act at INA § 212(a).
Also note that after May 15, 2003, citizens of Belgium must present a machine-readable passport in order to be granted admission under the VWP.
Yes, you may be admitted to the United States under the VWP after a departure to Canada or Mexico or adjacent islands for the balance of your original admission period. You must be otherwise admissible and meet all the conditions of the VWP. Inspecting officers have the discretion to grant you an entirely new period of admission.
"Adjacent islands" includes Anguilla, Antigua, Aruba, Bahamas, Barbados, Barbuda, Bermuda, Bonaire, British Virgin Islands, Cayman Islands, Cuba, Curacao, Dominica, the Dominican Republic, Grenada, Guadeloupe, Haiti, Jamaica, Marie-Galante, Martinique, Miquelon, Montserrat, Saba, Saint-Barthelemy, Saint Christopher, Saint Eustatius, Saint Kitts-Nevis, Saint Lucia, Saint Maarten, Saint Martin, Saint Pierre, Saint Vincent and Grenadines, Trinidad and Tobago, Turks and Caicos Islands, and other British, French and Netherlands territory or possessions bordering on the Caribbean Sea.
Yes, provided you are admissible, have proper documentation, and arrive on a signatory carrier.
Generally if you are found to be inadmissible by the inspecting officer, you
will be refused entry into the United States without further administrative
hearing. If you arrive by air or ship, you will be sent back to the
country where you originated.