Visa Waiver Program

Travelers from certain countries may visit the United States for business or pleasure for periods of less than 90 days without a visa under the Visa Waiver Program (VWP).

Changes to the Visa Waiver Program

Travelers in the following categories are no longer eligible to travel or be admitted to the United States under the VWP:

  • Nationals of VWP countries who have been present in Iraq, Syria, or countries listed under specified designation lists (currently including Iran and Sudan) at any time on or after March 1, 2011 (with limited government/military exceptions).
  • Nationals of VWP countries who are also nationals of Iraq, Syria, Iran, or Sudan.

These restrictions do not apply to VWP travelers whose presence in Iraq, Syria, Iran, or Sudan was to perform military service in the armed forces of a program country, or in order to carry out official duties as a full-time employee of the government of a program country. These military and official government services exceptions, however, do not apply to the dual national restriction. We recommend those who have traveled to the four countries listed above for military/official purposes bring with them appropriate documentation when traveling through a U.S. port of entry.

All travelers using the Visa Waiver Program (VWP) countries are required by law to obtain a travel authorization prior to initiating travel to the United States under the VWP. This authorization must be obtained online through the Electronic System for Travel Authorization (ESTA™), an Internet application administered by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) through a U.S. government Web site, http://www.cbp.gov/esta.