Visa Waiver Pilot Program (VWPP)

The necessity of obtaining B-1 and B-2 Visas may be waived for the nationals of the following countries:

Andorra Germany Netherlands
Argentina Iceland Norway
Australia Ireland San Marino
Austria Italy Spain
Belgium Japan Sweden
Brunei Liechtenstein Switzerland
Denmark Luxembourg United Kingdom
Finland Monaco
France New Zealand

The criteria for including countries in the VWPP are as follows:

  • Very low refusal rate
  • Provision of reciprocal arrangements for US nationals
  • Certification that they have or will have machine readable passports

The foreign national must be in possession of a valid passport from one of the designated countries.

The VWPP allows an alien to enter the United States without a B-1/B-2 visa for a

maximum of 90 days.

One of the conditions attached to the VWPP is that the foreign national waives any right to administrative or judicial review or appeal of an immigration officers determination as to his or her admissibility with the exception of an application for asylum.

Another condition is that one cannot change to another visa status.

In addition, no extensions are given.

The foreign national completes a Form I-94W on the plane agreeing to the above conditions.

Caution: If you are ever refused a visa for any reason, Visa Waiver becomes much more problematic since Form I-94W asks this question. A positive answer is likely to trigger questioning at the port of entry and possible refusal of entry.

The grounds of inadmissibility which are applicable to any visa still apply to the foreign national using the VWPP i.e. you must not

  • have a criminal record
  • have a contagious disease
  • suffer from mental illness
  • pose a threat to the security of the United States
  • be a drug addict
  • traffic in drugs

In certain circumstances, waivers are available for some of the above grounds of inadmissibility