What Countries Are A Part Of The Visa Waiver Program?
The Visa Waiver Program is an arrangement between a certain number of countries around the world, that allows citizens of those countries the right to waive the necessity of a visa, by having instead an ESTA. This is only under the circumstances that you visit the country for business or tourism purposes, and the trip lasts no longer than 90 days. This Visa Waiver Program is a reciprocal arrangement, meaning the countries that are part of the Visa Waiver Program must also ensure that US Citizens are allowed to visit their country for a maximum of 90-days at a time. There are a currently 38 countries in the Visa Waiver Program, and these include:
Andorra, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Brunei, Chile, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Monaco, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Portugal, San Marino, Singapore, Slovakia, Slovenia, South Korea, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Taiwan and the UK.
Using The ESTA For Work, Study Or Living
You cannot use the ESTA visa under the Visa Waiver Program if you are planning to work in the country – even if you are travelling while working. The ESTA visa purpose is to secure short-term trips, and it is not a legal pathway for you to work, study or live in the United States while you are there. It is also important to remember that you must leave the country no later than 90-days after entering, and any short ‘reset the clock’ trips will also be noted, which could leave you unable to re-enter the country.
These trips include short trips across the border to Mexico or Canada as the 90-day period is about to end, and re-entry after a short period of absence. If you do wish to work, study or live in the United States, then you must ensure that you have the relevant visa to do so. It is illegal to attempt to work, study or live in the US under the ESTA Visa, and this will result in deportation, and a possible ban from entering the border in the future.
Visa Waiver Program Passport Requirements
As of April 2016, all travellers from Visa Waiver Program countries must carry an E-Passport with them when trying to enter the United States, alongside their Visa Waiver. This passport has specific security features, which contain digital chips and bio-metric information, that can help with the country’s security. It is important to ensure that you check all of the requirements prior to travelling, to ensure that you meet the criteria.
You can apply for an ESTA online today.