Visa Waiver Program

The Visa Waiver Program (VWP) allows you to travel to the United States with ESTA authorization without having to apply for a visa. Born from the collaboration between the Department of Homeland Security and the Department of States, it allows nationals of the 39 countries covered by the program, with a valid passport, to complete only the ESTA questionnaire. before flying to the United States rather than having to apply for a visa from the US Embassy.

This article reviews the entire visa waiver program, its requirements and requirements, the necessary documents and other important details to know.

The conditions necessary to benefit from the Visa Waiver Program

To qualify for the visa waiver offered by the Visa Waiver Program and therefore travel without a visa, you must meet the following conditions:


> List of countries participating in the Program

Here is the list of the 39 participating countries updated as of May 1, 2020:

Germany
Spain
Liechtenstein
United Kingdom
Andorra
Finland
Lithuania
San Marino
Australia
France
Luxembourg
Singapore
Austria
Greece
Malta
Slovakia
Belgium
Hungary
Monaco
Slovenia
Brunei
Ireland
Norway
Sweden
Chile
Iceland
New Zealand
Swiss
South Korea
Italy
Netherlands
Taiwan
Denmark
Japan
Portugal
Poland*
Estonia
Latvia
Czech Republic
*Pologne membre du VWP depuis le 1er nov.2019

> Recent changes (2016) made to the exemption program

In recent years, the United States has implemented a change to the visa-free program, and these changes have been made under the “Enhancing the Visa Waiver and Terrorist Prevention Program” Act. .

Since this law, some travelers can no longer travel to the United States as part of the visa waiver program, are concerned:


> How does a country adhere to the visa waiver program?

To become a member of the Visa Waiver Program, a country must meet certain conditions:


Benefits and limitations of VWP travel

The benefits of the visa waiver program are numerous. You will not have to apply for a visa, which takes time, effort and a lot of documents. With minimal effort on a computer, you can get VWP approval and get ready to plan your trip to the United States. You will also avoid long processing times. Therefore, if you are traveling for work or traveling to the United States. as soon as possible, you can do it with the VWP.

In addition, Visa’s exceptional program also allows you to make a short trip to Canada, Mexico or even to an island near the United States. When you return to American soil after this short excursion, you will be able to enter the United States again with your ESTA authorization. Of course, these short stays abroad are included in the maximum duration of presence allowed, ie 90 days maximum.

> What activities are allowed with an ESTA?

First and foremost, you must review the activities permitted under the Visa Waiver Program. The ESTA only allows you to have some activities in the United States, here is the list of possible activities:


> What are the limitations of the visa waiver program

With an ESTA obtained under the Visa Waiver Program you can not perform all possible activities in the United States. Here are some activities that you are not allowed to do in the United States under the Visa Waiver Program: