What is the Visa Waiver Program?
Our Nashville, TN immigration attorneys explain the Visa Waiver Program, which in some cases can allow you to visit the U.S. without going through the lengthy process of obtaining a visa first.
Obtaining a visa that allows you to enter the United States is typically a complex process that can take many months to complete. Even then, there are no guarantees of being granted entry. To protect yourself in this situation, get our Nashville immigration attorneys at Ozment Law, PLC on your side. We can help cut through red tape. In some cases, we can even assist you in bypassing this visa application process completely through the Visa Waiver Program.
Countries Participating in the Visa Waiver Program
A visa offers conditional approval to citizens of other countries and foreign nationals to visit or travel through the United States. Having a visa does not automatically grant you admission to the United States. You will still need to request permission to enter from the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Customs and Border Protection (CBP) inspector.
Getting a visa can take long months and even if your application is approved, you could still be denied entry. The Visa Waiver Program (VWP) shortens wait times and prevents possible glitches. It enables citizens or nationals of participating countries to visit, conduct business, or travel through the United States for a period of up to 90 days or less without a visa. Participating countries include:
- Czech Republic
- New Zealand
- United Kingdom
Canadian citizens can enter the United States for visits under a different but similar program.
How Can I Obtain a Visa Waiver?
In addition to being from a participating country, the U.S. Department of State-Bureau of Consular Affairs advises that to be eligible for the Visa Waiver Program, you must be visiting the United States for either business, travel, or tourism-related reasons. The valid reasons include:
- To attend an educational workshop or obtain short term training for your job;
- To attend a scientific, professional, or business convention or conference;
- To negotiate a business contract or meet with business associates;
- To visit with family or friends;
- To participate in artistic or social events;
- To participate in amateur sports or artistic performances on an unpaid basis;
- To seek medical treatment;
- For tourism purposes, such as a vacation/holiday.
Other requirements for the Visa Waiver Program include having the appropriate type of passport and authorization through the Electronic System for Travel Authorization (ESTA) program if you plan on traveling by air or sea. The ESTA program is a brief screening application performed before a visitor on the Visa Waiver Program enters the United States by air or sea.
To Find Out More About the Visa Waiver Program, Contact Our Nashville Immigration Attorneys Today
When seeking entry to the United States, you need someone acting as a strong legal ally on your side. At Ozment Law, PLC, we protect your rights and guide you in options available, such as the Visa Waiver Program. Call or contact our Nashville immigration attorneys online and request a consultation today.