VWP – The Visa Waiver Program allows citizens of specific countries to visit the United States without a regular travel visa. As of January 9th, 2019, citizens of 38 countries can travel under the VWP to the USA for business, tourism or medical reasons. Each visit cannot exceed 90 days. Visitors that wish to visit under the VWP will need to hold an approved ESTA (Electronic System for Travel Authorization) before check-in at the airport and boarding an aircraft bound for the United States.
The concept of visa-free travel was initiated in 1986 to facilitate travellers from foreign countries to enter the USA for short-term business travel. The first country to enter the VWP was the United Kingdom. They were followed by Japan, France, the Netherlands, Italy, and others. Other European countries joined in 1991, such as Finland, West Germany, and Denmark. Rules and regulations were set to be approved as a VWP country.
Not only does the traveller need to hold a passport from a VWP country, but also obtain an approved ESTA. Here’s a list of rules that has to be followed:
As of the year 2018, the following 38 countries are eligible for free visa entry into the United States. VWP countries include:
One of the main benefits of being a VWP country is that citizens of such countries don’t need a visa to visit the US. There’s no need for spending hours with paperwork or at the Embassy or even spend a significant amount of money on visa processing fees. It is especially useful for travellers that frequently visit the USA for business purposes. Ultimately, the Visa Waiver Program grants travellers access to the vast land of the free, home of the brave: The United States of America.