The USA Visa Waver Program

United States allows citizens of 38 countries to visit US territories without visa, popularly know as the visa waver program(VWP). Each of these countries were added to the program after United Kingdom signed the first deal to allow citizens from both countries into their territories for 90 day stay period.

Visitors may stay for 90 days in the United States which also includes the time spent in Canada, Mexico, Bermuda, or the islands in the Caribbean if the arrival was through the United States. The visa waiver does not apply in cases where a person had previously traveled to Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, or Yemen on or after 1 March 2011 or for those who are dual citizens of Iran, Iraq, Sudan or Syria. – wikipedi

There are certain categories such as diplomats, military, journalists, humanitarian workers or legitimate businessmen may have their visa requirement waived by the Secretary of Homeland Security.

Date of addition to Visa Waiver Program

  • 1 July 1988: United Kingdom
  • 15 December 1988: Japan
  • 1 July 1989: France, Switzerland
  • 15 July 1989: Germany, Sweden
  • 29 July 1989: Italy, Netherlands
  • 29 July 1991: Monaco
  • 1 October 1991: Andorra, Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, New Zealand, Norway, San Marino, Spain
  • 29 July 1993: Brunei
  • 1 April 1995: Ireland
  • 29 July 1996: Australia
  • 30 September 1997: Slovenia
  • 9 August 1999: Portugal, Singapore
  • 17 November 2008: Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Malta, Slovakia, South Korea
  • 5 April 2010: Greece
  • 1 November 2012: Taiwan
  • 28 February 2014: Chile

Argentina was added to the program on 8 July 1996 and removed from the list from 21 February 2002.[5] Uruguay was added to the program on 9 August 1999 and removed from the list from 15 April 2003.[6]

  •  Andorra
  •  Australia
  •  Austria
  •  Belgium
  •  Brunei
  •  Chile
  •  Czech Republic
  •  Denmark
  •  Estonia
  •  Finland
  •  France
  •  Germany
  •  Greece
  •  Hungary
  •  Iceland
  •  Ireland
  •  Italy
  •  Japan
  •  Latvia
  •  Liechtenstein
  •  Lithuania
  •  Luxembourg
  •  Malta
  •  Monaco
  •  Netherlands
  •  New Zealand
  •  Norway
  •  Portugal
  •  San Marino
  •  Singapore
  •  Slovakia
  •  Slovenia
  •  South Korea
  •  Spain
  •  Sweden
  •   Switzerland
  •  Taiwan1
  •  United Kingdom2

There are currently 9 countries nominated for status in the VWP in the “road map” status and eligibility to participate. Nominated countries may remain on the list until approved or rejected from the program. Their citizenry are to apply for visa to the USA until United States Department of Homeland Security decides otherwise.

Eligibility for the visa waiver program may be withdrawn at anytime.

By Antwi Odrey