Visa Waiver Program Requirements | Homeland Security (2023)

The Visa Waiver Program(VWP) permits citizens of participating countries to travel to the United States for business or tourism for stays of up to 90 days without a visa.

There are currently 40 countries participating in the Visa Waiver Program:

(Video) About Visa Waiver Program | How to travel in US without a visa | Visa Waiver Program USA 2021 | DHS

  • Andorra (1991)
  • Australia (1996)
  • Austria (1991)
  • Belgium (1991)
  • Brunei (1993)
  • Chile (2014)
  • Croatia (2021)
  • Czech Republic (2008)
  • Denmark (1991)
  • Estonia (2008)
  • Finland (1991)
  • France (1989)
  • Germany (1989)
  • Greece (2010)
  • Hungary (2008)
  • Iceland (1991)
  • Ireland (1995)
  • Italy (1989)
  • Japan (1988)
  • Korea, Republic of (2008)
  • Latvia (2008)
  • Liechtenstein (1991)
  • Lithuania (2008)
  • Luxembourg (1991)
  • Malta (2008)
  • Monaco (1991)
  • Netherlands (1989)
  • New Zealand (1991)
  • Norway (1991)
  • Poland (2019)
  • Portugal (1999)
  • San Marino (1991)
  • Singapore (1999)
  • Slovakia (2008)
  • Slovenia (1997)
  • Spain (1991)
  • Sweden (1989)
  • Switzerland (1989)
  • Taiwan (2012)
  • United Kingdom** (1988)

NOTE:The citizens of the new countries of Curacao, Bonaire, St Eustatius, Saba and St Maarten (the former Netherlands Antilles) are not eligible to travel to the United States under the Visa Waiver Program if they are applying for admission with passports from these countries.

Visa Waiver Program Requirements | Homeland Security (1)Travel under the Visa Waiver Program is restricted to travelers possessing passports with specified security features. Visa Waiver Program requirements are:

  • The passport must have a machine-readable zone on the biographic page
  • The passport must be an electronic passport with a digital chip containing biometric information about the passport owner.

As of April 1, 2016, all travelers must have an e-passport to use the VWP. An e-Passport, denoted by the symbol , is an enhanced secure passport with an embedded electronic chip. E-Passports are issued by the proper passport issuing authority and must meet international standards for securing and storing information corresponding to the passport and bearer.

More informationcan be found on

(Video) Visa Waiver Program

Visa Waiver Program Requirements | Homeland Security (2)All Visa Waiver Program countries must issue passports with a digital photograph printed on the data page or their citizens will be required to obtain a visa to travel to the United States. A digital photograph is one that is printed on the page as opposed to a photograph that is glued or laminated into the passport. It looks like the image to the right.

If your passport does not have this feature, you can still travel without a visa if:

  • You are a citizen of a country that joined the Visa Waiver Program prior to 2008 and possess a valid passport containing a machine-readable zone issuedbefore October 26, 2005,or
  • You have an “e-Passport,” which includes an integrated computer chip capable of storing biographic information from the data page, a digital photograph, and other biometric information.

If you were issued a passporton or after October 26, 2005and it does not meet the aforementioned requirements, you will need to obtain a visa.

All Visa Waiver Program countries must issue passports with a machine-readable zone. A machine-readable passport has two lines of text as letters, numbers and chevrons (<<<) at the bottom of the personal information page, along with the bearer’s picture. It looks like the image below.

Visa Waiver Program Requirements | Homeland Security (3)

If your passport does not have this feature, you have two options:

  • Obtain a qualifying, new passport if your country of nationality is producing one, or
  • Obtain a visa.

Please contact your passport-issuing agency or your country's embassy if you have questions about your country’s production of a qualifying e-Passport.

(Video) US Considers More Countries for Visa Waiver Program

TheElectronic System for Travel Authorization (ESTA)is a fully automated, electronic system for screening passengers before they begin travel to the United States under the Visa Waiver Program. Eligible citizens or nationals from all Visa Waiver Program countries must obtain approval through ESTA prior to traveling to the United States under the Visa Waiver Program. Visa Waiver Program travelers are encouraged to apply for authorization as soon as they begin to plan a trip to the United States.

Please refer to theESTA webpagefor more detailed information or to apply for ESTA.

Additional Information

For additional Frequently Asked Questions on the Visa Waiver Program, please visit CBP'sFAQ page for the Visa Waiver Program (VWP) and the Electronic System for Travel Authorization (ESTA).

For more information about the Visa Waiver Program please visit the State Department'sTravel Website.

* With respect to all references to “country” or “countries” in this document, it should be noted that the Taiwan Relations Act of 1979, Pub. L. No. 96-8, Section 4(b)(1), provides that “[w]henever the laws of the United States refer or relate to foreign countries, nations, states, governments, or similar entities, such terms shall include and such laws shall apply with respect to Taiwan.” 22 U.S.C. § 3303(b)(1). Accordingly, all references to “country” or “countries” in the Visa Waiver Program authorizing legislation, Section 217 of the Immigration and Nationality Act, 8 U.S.C. 1187, are read to include Taiwan. This is consistent with the United States’ one-China policy, under which the United States has maintained unofficial relations with Taiwan since 1979.

(Video) Taiwan Joins the US Visa Waiver Program - Unravel Travel TV

** British citizens only with the unrestricted right of permanent abode in England, Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland, the Channel Islands and the Isle of Man.

(Video) “Blue Means Blue”: Reciprocity, Israel & the Requirements for Entry to the US Visa Waiver Program


1. State Department Urges Israel To Fulfill Requirements Of Visa Waiver Program
(Forbes Breaking News)
2. US Visa Rule Relaxed: PILOT Project No interview in Home country | Apply Job in Tourist B1/B2 Visa
(US Immigration)
3. Senator Lankford Questions Panel at Homeland Security Roundtable on the Visa Waiver Program
(Senator James Lankford)
4. What is the experience of traveling on an ESTA?
(ESTA Visa Waiver -
5. The Visa Waiver Program: Advice for Obama
(The Heritage Foundation)
6. "Visa should have been denied or revoked", Former Federal Prosecutor
Top Articles
Latest Posts
Article information

Author: Mr. See Jast

Last Updated: 04/10/2023

Views: 6452

Rating: 4.4 / 5 (75 voted)

Reviews: 82% of readers found this page helpful

Author information

Name: Mr. See Jast

Birthday: 1999-07-30

Address: 8409 Megan Mountain, New Mathew, MT 44997-8193

Phone: +5023589614038

Job: Chief Executive

Hobby: Leather crafting, Flag Football, Candle making, Flying, Poi, Gunsmithing, Swimming

Introduction: My name is Mr. See Jast, I am a open, jolly, gorgeous, courageous, inexpensive, friendly, homely person who loves writing and wants to share my knowledge and understanding with you.