Usually, when traveling to the United States, you need a visa to enter. However, the Visa Waiver Program (VWP) allows people from certain countries to travel to the United States without a U.S. visa. In order to qualify, you must visit as a non-immigrant visitor for business or leisure (tourism) purposes for 90 days or less. The visa-free program started as a pilot program in 1986 but became a permanent program in 2000.
Persons traveling under the Visa Waiver Program must be nationals of one of the 35 participating countries (listed below);
1. A valid permit is obtained through the Electronic Travel Authorization System (ESTA) before traveling. ESTA determines whether a visitor is eligible to travel to the United States by collecting the same information as I-94 arrival and departure records. The application can be submitted at any time before the trip. It is usually valid for up to two years and can be used for multiple entries into the United States. In addition, you must hold a passport that is valid for 6 months (ie 90 days) beyond the expected period of stay. Therefore, your passport must be valid for 9 months. The purpose of your stay must be 90 days or less, and the reason for your visit must be tourism or business. If you arrive by air or sea, you must have a return ticket. In addition, you must be able to prove that your attention does not exceed 90 days and that you have sufficient funds to support yourself while in the United States, and you must also prove that you will not pose a security threat to the United States and that you have not previously violated any policy acceptance. Finally, in addition to your asylum application, you must give up the right to continue with the immigration judge.
2. Check at the US port of entry.
3. Register in the U.S. Department of Homeland Security Visit Program.
The following countries participate in the Visa Waiver Program:
- Andorra Hungary New Zealand
- Australia, Iceland, and Norway
- Austria Ireland Portugal
- Belgium Italy San Marino
- Brunei Japan Singapore
- The Czech Republic Latvia Slovakia
- Denmark Liechtenstein, Slovenia
- Estonia Lithuania South Korea
- Finland Luxembourg Spain
- France Malta Sweden
- Germany Monaco Switzerland
- Greece, Netherlands, United Kingdom
What are the advantages and disadvantages of the visa-free program?
Those who use the Visa Waiver Program will automatically be allowed to travel to the United States for tourism or business purposes without a visa. On the other hand, those who use the visa exemption program cannot change or extend their non-immigrant status. In addition, if you are denied entry, you will not have the opportunity to appear before the immigration judge to challenge your non-entry. Finally, if you were previously found to have violated the terms of admission, you may not be able to enter the visa waiver program. Therefore, you should consult with an experienced immigration lawyer in Phoenix to determine whether you should use the visa waiver program.
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