Citizens of the countries listed below holding full validity e-passports are eligible for the Visa Waiver Program (VWP). The Visa Waiver Program enables citizens of certain countries to travel to the United States for tourism or business for 90 days or less without obtaining a visa. Visa-free travel does not include those who plan to study, work, or remain in the United States for more than 90 days.
|Chile||Korea, Republic of||Slovakia|
If you are a national of one of the above countries who has traveled to or been present in Iran, Iraq, Libya, North Korea, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, or Yemen on or after March 1, 2011 (with limited exceptions for travel for diplomatic or military purposes in the service of their country or are a national of one of the above countries who is also a national of Iran, Iraq, Sudan, or Syria, please click here for further information.
If entering the United States by air or sea, the traveler must:
- Hold a return or onward ticket. If traveling on an electronic ticket, a copy of the itinerary must be carried for presentation to U.S. immigration at the port of entry. Note: Travelers with onward tickets terminating in Mexico, Canada, Bermuda or the Caribbean Islands must be legal permanent residents of these areas;
- Enter the United States aboard an air or sea carrier that has agreed to participate in the program. This includes aircraft of a U.S. corporation that has entered into an agreement with the Department of Homeland Security to carry passengers under the Visa Waiver Program. and
- Have received travel authorization under ESTA (see below for additional ESTA information);
If entering the United States by land from Canada or Mexico:
- Be in possession of a completed form I-94W, issued by the immigration authorities at the port of entry, and a $6.00 fee, payable only in U.S. dollars.
The Electronic System for Travel Authorization (ESTA)
Travelers from VWP countries should apply via the CBP’s ESTA application page. The web-based system will prompt applicants to provide basic biographical and eligibility information typically requested on a paper I-94 form. Travelers may apply for authorization at any time prior to travel to the United States but are encouraged to do so at least 72 hours before traveling. In most cases, travelers will receive a determination of eligibility within seconds.
The fee for an ESTA application is $21.00 USD. Valid payment methods include MasterCard, VISA, American Express, Discover (JCB or Diners Club only), and PayPal.
Criminal Records and Ineligibilities
We do not recommend that travelers who have been arrested, even if the arrest did not result in a criminal conviction, have a criminal record, certain serious communicable illness, have been refused admission into, or have been deported from, the United States, or have previously overstayed under the terms of the Visa Waiver Program, attempt to travel visa free under the Visa Waiver Program. The Rehabilitation of Offenders Act does not apply to US visa law and spent convictions, regardless of when they occurred will have a bearing on a traveler’s eligibility for admission into the United States.
If you have a minor traffic offense which did not result in an arrest and/or conviction you may travel visa free under the Visa Waiver Program, provided you are otherwise qualified. If you are not sure whether you are eligible to travel visa free, the only way to resolve this question is to apply for a visa.
If the traffic offense occurred in the United States, and there is an outstanding fine against you, or you did not attend your court hearing, it is possible there may be a warrant out for your arrest, and you will experience problems when applying for admission into the United States. Therefore, you should resolve the issue before traveling by contacting the court where you were to appear. If you do not know the address of the court, the information is available from the Internet at https://www.uscourts.gov/.
Can you advise me whether my arrest or conviction will prevent me from qualifying for ESTA?
We cannot advise whether a traveler’s specific situation will have a bearing on their eligibility to travel visa free under the Visa Waiver Program. Our advice is that if you have ever been arrested, cautioned or convicted you apply for a visa.
My ESTA Application was denied. What do I do?
If you have answered yes to any of the eligibility questions and your registration has been denied, you are required to apply for a visa. If you believe you answered a question incorrectly and as a result your application was denied, you should contact the U.S. Customs and Border Protection.
Travelers who qualify for visa free travel under the Visa Waiver Program may transit the United States. Prior to boarding the air or sea carrier you are required to obtain travel authorization under ESTA.
If transiting the United States to a destination in Canada, Mexico or the adjacent islands, you may re-enter the United States on the return journey using any mode of transport, as long as the total visit, including both periods of time spent in transit and in Canada, Mexico or the adjacent islands, does not exceed 90 days. If transiting to a destination outside of Canada, Mexico or the adjacent islands, the return journey must be on a participating carrier, but need not be within 90 days, as you will be required to make a new application for admission. If you are transiting the United States to take up residence in Mexico, Canada, Bermuda or the Caribbean Islands you must be legal permanent residents of these areas.