VWP – Visa Waiver Program allows citizens of specific countries to travel to the United States without a visa. Currently, citizens of 38 developed countries listed under VWP can travel to the USA for business or visiting purpose for 90 days without a visa. Anyone who wishes to apply for VWP should have an approved before flying to the US.
Why the concept of VWP countries came into existence?
The concept of VWP was initiated in the year 1986 to facilitate travelers from foreign countries to visit the USA for short-term business purpose. The first country to enroll in VWP is the United Kingdom followed by Japan, France, Italy, and the Netherlands, among others. In 1991, other European countries such as Finland, Denmark, West Germany, etc. were added to the VWP countries list.
Rules, regulations and the method that needs to be carried out for being into a VWP country
Travelers with an approved ESTA can travel to the US without the visa. Some rules to be followed for those that partake in the VWP are as follows:
1. The applicant should be from a VWP country authorized by the Government of the United States of America. Further, a valid passport is also mandatory to travel to the US for business or visit.
2. The applications are valid for two years from the date of issue or until the passport expires.
3. The applicant can travel to the USA multiple times without taking applying for a new ESTA (ESTA is valid for two years).
4. The time between the visits should also be reasonable, and there is also no extension of stays.
List of the countries that participate in the Visa Waiver Program:
As of the year 2018, the following 38 countries are eligible for free visa entry into the United States. VWP countries include:
7. Czech Republic
26. New Zealand
29. San Marino
33. South Korea
38. United Kingdom
Benefits of being a VWP country
One of the main benefits of being a VWP country is that you need not apply for a visa to visit the US. You need not spend long hours doing a lot of paperwork or spend money on visa processing if you are a citizen of VWP country. The Visa Waiver Program grants access for one to enter into the United States without the hassle of filling out piles of paperwork to receive a visa. Corporates who frequently need to travel to the US can make use of VWP. Last, but not least, visitors from VWP country has the options to take a short trip to Iceland, Canada or Mexico during their stay in the US.