Visa Waiver Program and ESTA (Electronic System for Travel Authorization)

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The Visa Waiver Program (VWP) enables nationals of 36 participating countries to travel to the United States for tourism or business (visitor [B] visa purposes only) for stays of 90 days or less without obtaining a visa. The program was established in 1986 with the objective of eliminating unnecessary barriers to travel, stimulating the tourism industry, and permitting the Department of State to focus consular resources in other areas. VWP eligible travelers may apply for a visa, if they prefer to do so. Nationals of VWP countries must meet eligibility requirements to travel without a visa on VWP, and therefore, some travelers from VWP countries are not eligible to use the program. VWP travelers are required to have a valid authorization through the Electronic System for Travel Authorization (ESTA) prior to travel, are screened at the port of entry into the United States, and are enrolled in the Department of Homeland Security’s US-VISIT program. 
Click here for detailed information on visa waiver program.

All Visa Waiver Program (VWP) travelers are now required to obtain a travel authorization via the Electronic System for Travel Authorization (ESTA) prior to traveling to the U.S. under the VWP. ESTA is now accessible online at https://esta.cbp.dhs.gov for citizens and eligible nationals of VWP countries.

1.   ESTA - the Official U.S. Government Web Site

2.   ESTA FAQ

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ESTA FAQ.pdf273.48 KB
Nonimmigrant Visas: