The Visa Waiver Program is a program that allows nationals of selected countries to visit the United States without a visa. The program was designed to encourage tourism and to eliminate some of the barriers to international travel. Only certain nationals of participating countries are allowed to apply for the program, subject to various restrictions.
A stay in the U.S. under the waiver program is limited to 90 days maximum, and the visitor cannot extend their stay or change their immigration status under the program.
Currently 36 countries qualify for the Visa Waiver Program. These are:
In order to qualify for participation in the visa waiver program, a country must meet strict requirements regarding security, international travel safety, and other standards. Selecting a country for participation in the waiver program is done at the United States’ discretion.
Not all nationals of a participating country are eligible for the visa waiver program. In order to qualify, the national must meet the following requirements:
Also, some visa waiver program travelers are allowed to make short trips to Canada, Mexico, or an adjacent island during their 90 day stay. They will be readmitted to the U.S. for the balance of their original period for admission. Check with an attorney if you suspect that you will be making such a short trip during your stay.
Generally, a national traveling to the U.S. under the visa waiver program may not extend their stay beyond the 90 period, nor will they be eligible for automatic visa revalidation. They are also prohibited from changing their immigration status under the visa waiver program. Finally, if they are denied an application or denied entry at a U.S. port, there are currently no options available for appeal.
Last Modified: 11-11-2015 10:20 AM PSTLaw Library Disclaimer
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