What is the Visa Waiver Program?

Immigrants who plan to visit the United States on a temporary basis typically need to obtain a visa before they enter the country. Some immigrants may wonder, what is the visa waiver program, and how can I qualify? The visa waiver program is an alternative to the visa. It is for those who intend to stay in the U.S. for a period of no more than 90 days.

Advantages of the Visa Waiver Program

The main advantage of the visa waiver program is that it allows some immigrants to bypass the usual visa process and visit the U.S. more easily. The waiver program is a much faster option, and is more convenient than getting a standard visa. The waiver program utilizes an electronic system for travel authorization, allowing better access in and out of the country.

Criteria for the Visa Waiver Program

Not everyone is able to take advantage of the visa waiver program. In order to participate, you must meet the eligibility criteria. Applicants must have a current passport that is valid for the anticipated duration of the trip. Only those visiting the U.S. as a tourist or for business purposes are allowed to apply. The applicant cannot work while in the country, and must not stay longer than 90 days. Applicants cannot have any communicable diseases.

How to Apply for a Visa Waiver

Visa Waivers are provided by Customs and Border Protection (CPB). Those who meet the qualifications may submit an application, along with the required fee. Although the time it takes to get approval for a visa waiver is less than that for obtaining a visa, it is advisable to submit an application as soon as possible before you plan to travel. Only individuals from certain countries are allowed to apply. Check with the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) for more details.

What to Do If You Were Denied

An applicant may be denied a waiver for a number of reasons. If you are denied you will be notified of the situation and informed of the reason. In some instances, the applicant may need to apply for a standard visa in order to travel. This could take some time, so it is best to plan in advance in case of a problem. If you were denied a waiver, or need help with the application, it is advisable to get assistance from a qualified immigration attorney.

Contact the experienced immigration lawyers at Udall Shumway PLC to schedule a consultation today.

This blog should be used for informational purposes only. It does not create an attorney-client relationship with any reader and should not be construed as legal advice. If you need legal advice regarding Visa Waiver Program, or other Immigration Law matters, please feel free to contact Phil D. Ortega at 480.461.5330, log on to udallshumway.com,  or contact an attorney in your area. Udall Shumway PLC is located in Mesa, Arizona and is a full service law firm. We assist Individuals, families, businesses, schools and municipalities in Mesa and the Phoenix/East Valley.