Passports issued by these countries must be e-passports and can be read by a scanning device. Depending on the place and date of issue, the e-passport must also include a digitized photo ID and an electronic chip. If in possession of a temporary or emergency passport that is not electronic, you cannot travel under the Visa Waiver Program. You must then apply for a visa before travelling to the United States.
ESTA is not a visa.
ESTA is merely an authorization prior to travel
Consequently, the Department of Homeland Security recommends that travelers receive their ESTA at least 24 hours before departure.
Prospective travelers to the USA under the VWP must meet the following requirements:
- If Travelers visiting the U.S. under the Visa Waiver Program are authorized only 90 days.
- A valid passport is required for all Visa Waiver travelers.
- ESTA is mandatory for all Visa Waiver travelers entering the U.S. by sea or air after January 12, 2009.
- The U.S. Department of State may add countries from the Visa Waiver Program. These countries are added Czech Republic, Estonia, Greece, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Malta, Slovakia and South Korea.
- Argentina and Uruguay were recently removed from the Visa Waiver Program.
- Electronic Travel Authorization is valid 2 years or until your passport expires and you can be used in multiple trips to the United States.
Citizens of 38 countries are eligible for visiting into the United States under the Visa Waiver Program: -
- New Zealand
- Czech Republic
- Republic of Malta
- San Marino
- South Korea
- United Kingdom