Call Us Today: 202-787-1944


Immigration News
Changes in immigration that impact your life.

Home  >  Immigration News  >  News Archive  >  Department of Homeland Security  >  News Article

News Jump: 


ESTA Authorization Essential for all Visa Waiver Program (VWP) Countries Beginning January 12
ARTICLE TOOLS
Print This Article
Discuss This Topic
Create News Alerts
The U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) announced today that beginning Jan. 12, 2009, eligible citizens or nationals from all Visa Waiver Program (VWP) countries must obtain approval through the Electronic System for Travel Authorization (ESTA) prior to traveling to the United States under the VWP. On Monday, DHS will formally announce the addition of seven allies to the list of countries authorized to participate in the VWP. The seven countries are the Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, the Republic of Korea, Latvia, Lithuania, and Slovakia.

“We are especially pleased to welcome these allies into the Visa Waiver Program (VWP),” said Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff. “Expanding the number of countries whose citizens can travel to the U.S. without a visa increases business and social ties between our countries and at the same time deepen cooperation on required security measures.”

The administration sought authority for years to reform the Visa Waiver Program (VWP). DHS received authorization through the issuance of the Implementing Recommendations of the 9/11 Commission Act of 2007. The Visa Waiver Program (VWP) is administered by the department and enables eligible citizens or nationals of certain countries to travel to the United States for tourism or business for stays of 90 days or less without obtaining a visa. To be admitted to the US under a Visa Waiver Program (VWP), a country must meet various statutory requirements, such as more enhanced law enforcement and security-related data sharing with the United States and timely reporting of both blank and issued lost and stolen passports. Visa Waiver Program (VWP) members are also required to maintain high counterterrorism, law enforcement, border control, and document security standards.

The citizens or nationals of the following countries are currently eligible to travel to the United States under the Visa Waiver Program (VWP): Andorra, Australia, Austria, 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, and the United Kingdom.

Beginning Nov. 17, eligible citizens or nationals from the new Visa Waiver Program (VWP) countries may travel to the United States under the program provided they have an e-passport and an approved authorization via ESTA, a web-based system that determines the preliminary eligibility of visitors to travel under the Visa Waiver Program (VWP) prior to boarding a carrier to the United States.

Required authorization through ESTA will substantially strengthen the security of the Visa Waiver Program (VWP) by providing the department with the capability to conduct advance screening of VWP travelers. ESTA is key in transforming the VWP from a program that evaluates security threats on a country-by-country basis to one that is capable of making traveler-by-traveler judgments. In addition to enhancing security, ESTA will provide for greater efficiencies in the screening of international travelers by reducing traveler delays at the ports of entry.


ARTICLE TOOLS
Print This Article
Discuss This Topic
Create News Alerts



MORE DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY STORIES:
New Final Rule Regarding I-140 Priority Date Retention, Portability, and Issuance of EAD to Certain Individuals Published
OPT STEM Extension Reminder: August 8 Deadline to Apply for 7 Month Extension is Approaching
CBP Global Entry Program Extended To Singaporeans
OPT STEM Extension: District Court Extends Stay
More >>

TOP STORIES:
New Final Rule Regarding I-140 Priority Date Retention, Portability, and Issuance of EAD to Certain Individuals Published
USCIS Announces Fee Increases for First Time in Six Years
EB-5 Regional Center Program Extended Through December 9, 2016
USCIS Publishes New Form I-131A, Application for Travel Document (Carrier Documentation)
More >>

News Jump: 

U.S. Immigration Attorney - Consult Now!

IMMIGRATION CENTER
Immigration Services
  Fast, Easy and Economical Avoid Costly Immigration Errors!
Immigration Guide
 Know Your U.S. Immigration Options
Immigration Law FAQ
 Detailed Answers to Your Immigration Questions
Immigration Articles
  Interesting and Useful Articles on a Variety of Relevant Topics

How can we help you?
NEWSLETTER - FREE!
Receive latest immigration updates and free legal tips by e-mail. Sign up now!
IMMIGRATION DICTIONARY
Legal terms explained in plain English!
RELATED ARTICLES
H1B Address Change of Work Locations: When Do You Have To File H1B Amended Petitions?
H1B Visa Lottery 2016: Improving Your Odds of Success
H1B Visa Cap 2016: Things You Must Know
Filing H1B Cap 2017 Petitions:How To Get A Head Start With VisaPro’s H1B Visa 2017 Timeline
H1B Cap Exempt Employers: How Do You Find Out If You Qualify?
H-1B Cap Has Reached:How Do You Hire H-1B Cap Exempt Candidates?
2017 H1B Cap Petitions:How To Properly File With USCIS
H1B Cap Exempt – Are You Eligible?
5 Common H1B Cap 2017 Filing Mistakes - How to Avoid Them
H1B Cap 2017 Filing Secrets: Why You Should Plan Now?
More Articles...

CONSULT ATTORNEY
Get a detailed, written opinion online in less than 3 business days from a licensed immigration attorney.
Experienced Immigration Attorneys - Consult Online or By Telephone

YOUR SUBSCRIPTIONS
Alerts & Newsletter
Create and Manage your
e-mail alerts for FREE.
RSS