Visa Waiver Program - ESTA

The Visa Waiver Program allows individuals from certain countries (including the UK) to travel visa-free for brief visits to the US.


  1. TRAVEL TO RESTRICTED COUNTRIES: Individuals who have been present in Iraq, Iran, Lybia, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, or Yemen (or other countries designated by DHS as supporting terrorism or "of concern") at any time on or after March 1, 2011, are not eligible to participate in the VWP. Some exemptions apply, including those who were performing military service in the armed forces of a VWP country or serving in an official capacity as an employee of a VWP country government. Waivers may be available if DHS determines it would be in the law enforcement or national security interests of the United States.
  2. DUAL NATIONALS: The new law also excludes individuals who are nationals of Iraq, Iran, Sudan, or Syria, in addition to being nationals of a VWP country. Nationality typically depends on the laws of the designated country, so one may have acquired citizenship of a country, even if he or she has never resided in that country and/or does not have a passport issued by that country. To research nationality law, we recommend using REFWORLD at,50ffbce524d,50ffbce525c,,0,,LEGISLATION,.html

ILW Article: To B or Not to B: That ESTA Question

Countries Participating in the Visa Waiver Program--Currently there are 38 countries in the VWP, including the UK and ROI

Electronic System for Travel Authorization (ESTA) - Ease your VWP entry into the US through advance authorization.

  • Required from 12 January 2009
  • From 8 September 2010: $14 fee for using ESTA
  • Complete your ESTA application