The Visa Waiver Program (VWP) is a program of the United States Government which allows citizens of specific countries to travel to the United States for tourism, business, or while in transit for up to 90 days without having to obtain a visa. The program applies to the United States as well as the US territories of Puerto Rico and the US Virgin Islands in the Caribbean, with limited application to other US territories.
All of the countries selected by the US government to be in the program are high-income economies with a very high Human Development Index that are generally regarded as developed countries.
This is an audio version of the Wikipedia Article:
00:00:40 1 Eligible countries
00:03:09 2 Nominated and roadmap countries
00:05:56 3 Admission rate
00:06:20 4 Adjusted Visa Refusal Rate
00:07:56 5 Overstay rate
00:08:39 6 Recent events of the program
00:17:59 7 History
00:23:22 7.1 Visa waiver programs of Guam and the Northern Mariana Islands
00:25:17 7.2 American Samoa
00:27:37 8 Requirements for the visa waiver program
00:27:52 8.1 Biometric passports
00:28:17 8.2 Electronic System for Travel Authorization (ESTA)
00:30:28 8.3 Passport validity
00:30:51 8.4 Return or onward ticket
00:31:18 8.5 Other eligibility requirements
00:34:08 9 Visa Waiver Program restrictions
00:36:26 10 Citizens of foreign contiguous territories and adjacent islands
00:38:12 10.1 Citizens of the Bahamas
00:39:13 10.2 Citizens of Canada
00:41:53 10.3 Certain British Overseas Territories citizens
00:42:03 10.3.1 Bermuda
00:43:12 10.3.2 British Virgin Islands
00:43:50 10.3.3 Cayman Islands
00:45:03 10.3.4 Turks and Caicos Islands
00:46:14 11 Citizens of the Federated States of Micronesia, Marshall Islands and Palau
00:47:38 12 See also
WHAT KIND OF INFORMATION IS NEEDED TO COMPLETE THE ESTA APPLICATION?
You should have all of the below information ready when starting the ESTA application:
Full name and date of birth
Passport information (passport number, country of issue, expiry date)
Credit card information (card number, expiry date, CVV)
Do I ever need to re-apply for a travel authorization?
WHAT IS A TRAVEL AUTHORIZATION FOR THE UNITED STATES?
The United States developed an electronic travel authorization system for its Visa Waiver Program (VWP). The ESTA system ensures that visa-free travel is more secure and allows nationals of countries that participate in the VWP to obtain their travel authorization online.
Who may apply for ESTA?
If you plan to visit the United States as part of the VWP by air or by sea, you may apply for a travel authorization. All travelers who have not secured a visa (infants included) should obtain an authorization before traveling to the United States. You may apply by utilizing a third party on any traveler’s behalf to obtain the ESTA.
Is a Visa and the ESTA the same thing?
The ESTA authorization is not a visa. It is a pre-clearance to travel under the VWP, which is designed to allow travelers to bypass the time-consuming visa process. The ESTA authorization is not equivalent to a United States visa by any means, and cannot be substituted for a visa in situations where a visa for travel is required. You do not need an ESTA if you already possess a valid visa.
Can I apply for an ESTA without access to the Internet?
ESTA is an online system, and Internet access is needed. However, travelers without Internet access can engage a third party (a service agent, travel agent, relative, or friend) to submit their ESTA application on their behalf. No matter the case, you are still the legally responsible party for any answers submitted on your behalf
WHAT IS THE ESTA APPLICATION PROCESS TO OBTAIN A US TRAVEL AUTHORIZATION?
Step 1 is to complete an ESTA application.
Go to the ESTA website and fill out the application provided with the required information: The list above as well as your current travel arrangements, your credit card information, and all the security questions. An application must be submitted for all members of your party who do not have a visa. This includes minors.
Make payment for the ESTA Application Fee.
Make a payment for utilizing our review and processing services of $89.00 USD. The cost includes the mandatory US government fee of $4.00 USD processing fee (that is outlined in the Travel Promotion Act, 2009), and $10.00 USD if your application goes through successfully and is approved.
Receive your ESTA by e-mail.
You will normally receive your ESTA travel authorization within a few hours. However, the reviewing, and the processing of an application may take longer. In this case, you can expect your travel authorization emailed to you within at least 72 hours.