Visa Waiver Program

The Visa Waiver Program (VWP) permits nationals from designated countries to apply for admission to the United States for 90 days or less as non-immigrant visitors for business or pleasure without first obtaining a nonimmigrant visa.

Countries Currently in the Visa Waiver Program

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.

For citizens with the unrestricted right of permanent abode in England, Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland, the Channel Islands, and the Isle of Man, the Secretary of Homeland Security, in consultation with the Secretary of State, may add countries to the program or remove them from the program at any time.

After May 15, 2003, citizens of Belgium must present a machine-readable passport in order to be granted admission under the VWP. This requirement also applies to citizens of Andorra, Brunei, Liechtenstein and Slovenia.

Please visit our web site for more information on machine-readable passport requirements.

Advantages and Disadvantages of the Visa Waiver

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 fpr up to 90 days without obtaining visas, unless they are otherwise inadmissible.

However, the VWP does have some potential disadvantages as well. If you are admitted to the United States under the VWP, you may not change or extend your non-immigrant status. If your admission is denied, you have no right to administrative or judicial review, except as noted above. Likewise, 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.

For more information regarding VWP, see the Department of State Website regarding non-immigrant visas.