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Visa Waiver Program/ESTA

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security has announced that effective January 12, 2009, Visa Waiver Program (VWP) travelers will be required to obtain a travel authorization via the Electronic System for Travel Authorization (ESTA) prior to boarding a carrier to travel by air or sea to the United States. 

ESTA is an automated system used to determine the eligibility of visitors to travel to the United States under the VWP.  It requires the same information as the paper I-94W form that VWP travelers currently fill out en route to the U.S.  This system enhances the security of the VWP and will allow the U.S. government to continue to expand the VWP, which allows visitors from participating countries to travel to the U.S. for business or pleasure for 90 days or less without first obtaining a visa.

Travel Authorization for VWP travelers may be obtained at the ESTA website:

Countries currently enrolled in the VWP are:  Andorra, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Brunei, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Monaco, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Portugal, Republic of Malta, San Marino, Singapore, Slovakia, Slovenia, South Korea, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, United Kingdom

(VWP travelers from these countries are required to begin using ESTA as soon as they are eligible for VWP travel.)

For the most up-to-date information regarding VWP travel and ESTA, citizens of all of the above-mentioned countries should refer to the website of the U.S. Embassy or Consulate responsible for consular affairs in their home country.  General information about the ESTA process is available at

To travel on the Visa Waiver program, you must arrive and intend to depart the US on an approved carrier. A list of signatory carriers can be found at

Applicants that have applied online and received an "ESTA DENIAL" are eligible to make an expedited appointment request through our established procedure.  Please refer to our expedited appointment policy and procedures page. The expedited appointment request should include a copy of the ESTA denial notice received from the ESTA website.