Do I Need a Visa to Travel to the United States?

typically when travelling to the United States you would need a visa in order to go into. However, the Visa Waiver Program (VWP) allows people from certain countries to travel to the United States without a U.S. Visa. In order to qualify, you must be visiting for 90 days or less as a non immigrant visitor for the purpose of business or pleasure (tourism). The Visa Waiver Program was started in 1986 as a pilot program but became long-lasting in 2000.

Those traveling under the VWP must be a national of one of the 35 participating countries (listed below) and;

1. Valid authorization by the Electronic System for Travel Authorization (ESTA) prior to travel. ESTA determines the eligibility of visitors to travel to the U.S. by collecting the same information as the I-94 Arrival-Departure Record. The application may be submitted at any time prior to travel. typically it is valid for up to two years and can be used for multiple entries into the U.S. In addition, you must have a valid passport for 6 months beyond the period of intended stay, 90 days. consequently, your passport must be valid for 9 months. The purpose of your stay must be for 90 days or less, and reason for your visit must be for tourism or business. If arriving by air or sea you must have a return ticket. Additionally, you must be able to show that your intent to stay is 90 days or less and that you have sufficient funds to sustain yourself while in the U.S. You must also be found to not present a safety threat to the U.S. and have no past violation of any admission policy. Finally, you have to waive your right to proceedings before an immigration estimate, except for an asylum application.

2. Screened at a port of entry into the United States;

3. Enrolled in the Department of Homeland Security’s U.S.-Visit program.

The following countries participate in the Visa Waiver Program:

Andorra Hungary New Zealand

Australia Iceland Norway

Austria Ireland Portugal

Belgium Italy San Marino

Brunei Japan Singapore

Czech Republic Latvia Slovakia

Denmark Liechtenstein Slovenia

Estonia Lithuania South Korea

Finland Luxembourg Spain

France Malta Sweden

Germany Monaco Switzerland

Greece the Netherlands United Kingdom

What are the Advantages and Disadvantages of the Visa Waiver Program?

Those who use the Visa Waiver Program are allowed to travel to the U.S. spontaneously without obtaining a visa for the purpose of tourism or conducting business. however, those using the VWP may not change or extend their nonimmigrant position. Furthermore, if you are denied admission, you will not have the opportunity to go before an immigration estimate to argument your inadmissibility. Finally, you may not go into under the VWP if you are found to have before violated the terms of your admission. consequently, you should consult with an experienced Phoenix immigration attorney in calculating whether you should use the Visa Waiver Program.

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