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Visa Waiver Program & ESTA
 

ESTA

 

For answers to your questions about ESTA, please visit the CBP website by clicking on this link  

Can I enter the United States from anywhere in the word if traveling visa free under the Visa Waiver Program?

Yes, provided you meet all of the requirements for visa free travel.

If I enter the United States visa free under the Visa Waiver Program, can I then travel to Canada/Mexico/ Bermuda or the islands in the Caribbean?

Yes, provided you have a return or onward ticket. If your return journey will take you back through the United States, even if only in transit, the total trip, including both periods of time spent in the United States/Canada/Mexico Bermuda, or the islands in the Caribbean cannot exceed 90 days. If it does, you will require a visa.

What if I want to stay in Mexico, Canada, Bermuda or the islands of the Caribbean?

If your ticket terminates in Mexico, Canada, Bermuda or the islands of the Caribbean, you must be a legal resident of the area in order to qualify for visa free travel. If you are not and your stay will extend beyond 90 days from the date on which you first entered the United States, you will require a visa. Legal Permanent residents include diplomats, students or temporary workers at companies located in these areas.

Do I have to enter and leave the United States by a participating carrier?

No. You are only required to enter the United States by a participating carrier. Your onward or return journey may be by any mode of transport, provided you hold a return or onward ticket.

If I am transiting through the United States to Mexico, Canada, Bermuda or the islands in the Caribbean under the Visa Waiver Program, does the 90 day period begin on my initial entry into the United States, even though I am there for only a couple of hours?

The regulations are the same as if you entered the United States for a holiday. If you will transit the United States to Mexico, Canada, Bermuda or the islands of the Caribbean the total trip, including both periods of time spent in the United States, Canada/Mexico, Bermuda, or the Caribbean islands cannot exceed 90 days. If it does, you will require a visa, unless you are a legal permanent resident of the country.

If I fly into the United States and out of Canada or Mexico, do I need a visa?

It will depend on your itinerary. If you have an onward ticket for each stage of your journey, including the journey between the United States and Canada or Mexico, you may travel without a visa. Should you choose to travel this way, you must be in possession of the tickets for each stage of your journey on your initial entry into the United States. You cannot buy the ticket for the journey between the United States and Canada or Mexico on your arrival in the United States. If you will depart the United States for Canada or Mexico by private transport, you will require a visa.

Can I enter the United States by land from Canada or Mexico under the Visa Waiver Program?

Yes. If you enter by land there is no requirement that you be in possession of a round trip or onward ticket. The immigration authorities at the border crossing will issue you with the arrival/departure record card, I-94W. You will be charged a $6.00 administrative fee; the fee is payable in U.S. dollars only.

Why do I have to pay a $6.00 fee if entering the United States by land under the Visa Waiver Program?

This fee is charged to all travelers regardless of whether or not they have a visa. For those entering the United States by air or sea, the fee is included in the cost of their ticket.

If I travel to the United States visa free under the Visa Waiver Program, will I be able to get the 90 days extended?

No, the maximum period of time you may remain in the United States if you enter visa free, is 90 days.

The last time I traveled to the United States visa free, I stayed longer than 90 days; will I have a problem traveling?

As you overstayed on your last visit to the United States you are not eligible to travel visa free; you are required to apply for a visa.

I am entering the United States aboard a private plane, can I travel visa free?

If you are entering the United States aboard a private aircraft of a U.S. corporation that has entered into an agreement with the Department of Homeland Security to carry passengers under the Visa Waiver Program, you will not require a visa, if you are otherwise qualified to travel visa free. If you are entering aboard any other private or official aircraft, you will require a visa.

How can I find out if my employer can carry visa free passengers on its' aircraft?

You must contact your employer. The Embassy does not have a list of corporations that have entered into an agreement with the Department of Homeland Security to carry passengers under the Visa Waiver Program.

I am entering the United States on a private yacht; do I qualify for visa free travel?

No. If you are entering the U.S. on a private yacht, you will require a visa.

Is there a set period of time I am required to remain outside the United States before returning?

There is no set period of time you are required to remain outside the United States before reapplying for admission.  Each time you travel, the immigration authorities at the port of entry needs to be satisfied that the purpose of your trip is for a visit only and that you have a residence outside the United States which you have no intention of abandoning.  Be sure to carry with you evidence of your residence and commitments outside the United States for presentation to the immigration officer.  However, if he or she is not convinced that you are a genuine visitor, you will be denied entry.