Visa Waiver Program (VWP) / ESTA

Program for visa-free travel to the U.S./Electronic System for Travel Authorization

ESTA - Electronic System for Travel AuthorizationSince 1986 citizens of certain countries do not require a visa to enter the U.S. anymore. They now have the possibility to travel under the so-called Visa Waiver Program (VWP) that allows them to enter the U.S. as a tourist for a maximum of 90 days a year, or transit the U.S. To a very limited extent the VWP can also be used for business travel ("Business Visa Waiver"), e.g. fairs, meetings, conferences etc. All business travel beyond that, such as maintenance, installation, consulting, setting up a US company, or starting employment, is no longer covered by the program, even if the stay does not exceed 90 days. In those cases it is advisable to apply for a B-1/B-2 Visa.

Quite frequently, it can be difficult to determine whether you can travel under the VWP or will have to apply for a visa. Each individual situation with all its determining factors (like travel frequency, length of the stay and purpose of the stay) has to be considered separately to determine what exactly is best for the individual traveler. Of course, we will be happy to advise you.

  1. Which countries participate in the Visa Waiver Program?
  2. What entry documents (passports) are required?
  3. What does form I-94 W include?
  4. What does the new ESTA Program mean?
  5. My ESTA application has been denied?
  6. What can cause ineligibility for the Visa Waiver Program?
  7. Can I extend my stay on the Visa Waiver Program?
  8. What happens, if I overstay the 90 day limit?
  9. Is there a guarantee I can stay for 90 days?
  10. The form I-94W has not been removed from my passport?