The Visa Waiver Program

Individuals traveling to the United States for business or tourism purposes may be eligible to apply for the Visa Waiver Program (VWP) instead of requiring a visitor visa, such as the B-1 or B-2. Through this program, citizens from 38 countries are enabled to travel to the US for stays up to 90 days or less without a visa. Those countries, in turn, must allow US citizens to travel to their countries for a similar length of time without a visa. To determine your eligibility for the VWP, you must be authorized through the automated, web-based system ESTA (Electronic System for Travel Authorization) through the Department of Homeland Security, Customs and Border Protection.

If you are from one of the following countries, you may be eligible for the Visa Waiver Program:

  • 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
  • China (Taiwan)*
  • United Kingdom**

* unless also citizens or nationals of Iraq, Iran, Syria, or Sudan.
** must have unrestricted right of permanent abode in England, Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland, the Channel Islands, and the Isle of Man.


Trusted Traveler Programs

Global Entry, NEXUS, and SENTRI are the three major programs that provide expedited travel to pre-approved travelers to the US.

Global Entry

To become a member of the Global Entry program, a traveler must undergo a rigorous background check and interview process. Applicants now have the option for Enrollment on Arrival, meaning a traveler who is "conditionally-approved" may forego scheduling an interview at a Global Entry Enrollment Center, and instead complete this step upon arrival at a participating airport. As of 2016, all Global Entry travelers must have an e-passport, which enhances security. US citizens and permanent residents are eligible for Global Entry, along with citizens from the following countries:

  • Argentina
  • Canada
  • Colombia
  • Germany
  • India
  • Mexico
  • Netherlands
  • Panama
  • Singapore
  • South Korea
  • Switzerland
  • China (Taiwan)
  • United Kingdom

NEXUS

Travelers from the United States and Canada may be eligible for the NEXUS program, which allows members to use NEXUS kiosks in Canada and Global Entry kiosks in the US. Expedited processing applies at designated air, land, and marine ports of entry. US and Canadian citizens and permanent residents are eligible for NEXUS, along with Mexican nationals who are members of Viajero Confiable. To apply for NEXUS, an individual should create a GOES (Global Online Enrollment System) account and complete an application. Once it is completed, it will be reviewed by the US and Canadian border protection services and, if conditionally approved, will lead to an interview at a NEXUS Enrollment Center.

SENTRI

The Secure Electronic Network for Travelers Rapid Inspection, or SENTRI, allows members to use designated processing lanes when crossing southern land borders, use NEXUS kiosks when entering the US from Canada, or use Global Entry kiosks when Entering the US. The SENTRI program has no age or citizenship requirements, though individuals under the age of 18 must have a parent or legal guardian's consent. To apply, one must create a Global Online Enrollment System (GOES) account and schedule an interview at a SENTRI Enrollment Center.


Certain factors may be cause for ineligibility in any one of the above mentioned programs. These include providing false or incomplete information on the application, being convicted of a crime or having a pending charge/outstanding warrant, violating customs laws, being inadmissible under immigration regulation, or being of high risk. Speak to an immigration lawyer to learn more about your eligibility for the Visa Waiver Program and Trusted Traveler Programs, as well as which program may be best for you.

Call us today at 1.866.449.5904 for an assessment to see if you are eligible for visa free admission to the United States, or fill out our online assessment form.

Customer Reviews

I had an amazing experience with this immigration firm! They helped me to obtain B2 Tourist Visa to U.S. I went for legal support as in the past I was denied of entry due to working without proper authorization. The process itself was smooth, stuff was very helpful along the way. Special thanks to Renee Thompson who handle it and explained and guided through the process and helped to prepare for the interview. Would definitely recommend to anyone !!

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I hired Visa Place for my US E2 visa application. The team at Visa place understood my business very well and prepare my case accordingly. Fadi and Natalie are very knowledgeable, my main contact was Natalie, she answered all my questions and concerns in detail and in timely manner, mostly within few hours. Thanks Visa Place team for your help and support during the process that produce successful result. See you again in 5 years for visa renewal application.

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