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How to enter the US without a Visa

Travel Without a Visa

U.S. visa policy permits citizens of certain countries to travel to the U.S. without a visa. This is called the Visa Waiver Program.

Visa Waiver Program

The Visa Waiver Program allows foreign nationals from certain countries to be admitted to the U.S. for 90 days or less for business or pleasure without obtaining a visa.

What Countries are Included?

The following countries are currently in the program (please note that countries may be added or removed at any time):

Andorra, Austria, Australia, Belgium, Brunei, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, Monaco, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Portugal, San Marino, Singapore, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, The United Kingdom*, and Uruguay.

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

Who is Eligible?

To qualify, you must:

  • Intend to enter the U.S. for 90 days or less;
  • Have a passport lawfully issued by a VWP country that is valid for six months beyond your intended visit;
  • Have a return trip ticket to any foreign destination other than a territory bordering on the United States or an adjacent island (unless you are a resident there);
  • Present to the Immigration inspector a completed and signed Form I-94W, Nonimmigrant Visa Waiver Arrival/Departure Form;
  • Arrive on a carrier that signed an agreement guaranteeing to transport you out of the U.S. if you are found to be inadmissible or deportable;
  • Waive your right to review or appeal an immigration officer's decision about your admissibility, other than on the basis of an application for asylum; and
  • Waive your right to challenge your removal, other than on the basis of an application for asylum.
You also cannot pose a safety threat to the U.S. and have no previous violation of U.S. admission policy.

Advantages of the Visa Waiver Program

The advantage of entering the U.S. under the VWP is that tourists and people wishing to conduct business in America can travel to the U.S. spontaneously without obtaining visas, unless they are otherwise inadmissible.

Disadvantages of the Visa Waiver Program

  • If you are admitted under the VWP's simplified entry, you cannot change or extend your nonimmigrant status.
  • If you are denied admission, you will have no right to administrative or judicial review.
  • If you are found to have violated the terms of your admission you also forfeit the right to contest a removal order.

Entering the United States Using the Visa Waiver Program

Via Airport

You must satisfy the eligibility requirements listed above, which includes arriving on a commercial air carrier with a signed VWP agreement, Form I-775. A list of participating VWP carriers is maintained at the USCIS' National Fines Office located at 1400 Wilson Blvd. Suite 210 Arlington, VA 22209 and is available upon request. The telephone number of the National Fines Office is (202) 305-7018 and the fax number is (202) 305-7049.

Via Land (Border)

The VWP permits arrivals from Mexico and Canada at land border ports of entry (POEs). The documentary requirements are the same, except there is no requirement for round-trip tickets and signatory carriers, as there are no carriers involved. You must satisfy the inspecting officer that you have funds to support yourself during your stay and to depart the United States. If you enter at a land POE you must complete and sign the Form I-94W (Nonimmigrant Visa Waiver Arrival/Departure Form), usually issued in the secondary inspection station, and pay the land border fee. You must also be admissible to the United States.

Can I Be Readmitted to the U.S. After a Trip to Canada, Mexico, or a Nearby Island?

Generally, if you were admitted under the VWP, you may be readmitted to the U.S. after a departure to Canada, Mexico, or adjacent islands for the balance of your original admission period, provided you are otherwise admissible and meet all the conditions of the VWP (including your valid, unexpired passport reflecting admission to the U.S. under the VWP). However, if you arrive on a signatory carrier, USCIS officers have the discretion to grant you entirely new periods of admission.

What Islands Are Included Within the Meaning of �Adjacent Islands"?

The term "adjacent islands" for the purposes of the VWP includes: Anguilla, Antigua, Aruba, Bahamas, Barbados, Barbuda, Bermuda, Bonaire, British Virgin Islands, Cayman Islands, Cuba, Curacao, Dominica, the Dominican Republic, Grenada, Guadeloupe, Haiti, Jamaica, Marie-Galante, Martinique, Miquelon, Montserrat, Saba, Saint-Barthelemy, Saint Christopher, Saint Eustatius, Saint Kitts-Nevis, Saint Lucia, Saint Maarten, Saint Martin, Saint Pierre, Saint Vincent and Grenadines, Trinidad and Tobago, Turks and Caicos Islands, and other British, French and Netherlands territory or possessions bordering on the Caribbean Sea.


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