Visa Waiver Program


visaflags1There are some nations which qualify as visa waiver countries under the Visa Waiver Program, which means that a visa is not required for citizens of those locations. If you're unsure what a visa is and if you need to apply for a visa to visit the United States, it's a good idea to start researching before buying your airline tickets.

The type of Travel Visa needed is highly dependent on the nature of your visit. A tourist visa is required for any type of visit that is intended to be temporary. Examples are sightseeing, visiting family or friends or perhaps to receive medical care. Service oriented trips also fall under this visa listing.

The United States Department of State has determined that a limited number of countries meet the qualifications for a waiver of a visa requirement. The Visa Waiver Program (VWP) defines 35 countries whose citizens may visit the United States as tourist or for business travel and stay no more than 90 days. This program was created in 1986 to encourage tourism and reduce travel barriers.

To see if your country is on the list of 35 who are included in the Visa Waiver Program, visit the web site for the and look for the "Visa" link. One thing you'll notice it that there have been updated changes to the program as recently as 2009. These updates include the use of the new electronic passports and changes to the approval process.

Another fairly recent change to the Visa Waiver Program is the addition of more countries to the list of 35. As of this writing, 8 more countries have been added such as Hungary, Republic of Korea, and the Czech Republic, to name a few.

Be aware that even if your country is listed, the United States has very strict requirements for eligibility. Disqualifying items can be any kind of criminal record, even if a conviction was not brought against you. Certain diseases which are contagious and pose a threat to public safety are also cause for disqualification.

A little known additional qualification has to do with whether your transportation ticket includes a round trip portion for air or sea travelers. Anyone who is holding a return ticket which ends in Canada, Bermuda, Mexico or the Caribbean Islands must be a permanent resident in that country.

These are but a few of the specifics that apply to visa waiver countries. The web site is an up to date resource which has a great deal of specifics on this topic. Take the time to read all the details carefully to know if you meet the requirements for visa waiver.

Visit often to learn more information from our updated Visa Waiver Program.

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