Visa Waiver Program

Visit the U.S. without a visa stamp

The Visa Waiver Program (VWP) enables citizens of participating countries to visit the United States without a visa stamp. You can stay up to 90 days, and you must come here either for business purposes (WB status) or as a tourist (WT status). Permissible business activities include consulting; attending scientific, educational, professional, or business conventions or conferences; short-term training; or negotiating contracts.

Where there is an official agreement in place between institutions for the specific purpose of educational or cultural exchange, we most often recommend the J-1 visa. However, in some cases the activity may be consistent with the Visa Waiver Program. The visa waiver program is not for the purpose of employment or study. Review eligibility requirements for honoraria and reimbursements.

If you have questions about short-term visits, please contact us.

Requirements, restrictions, and participating countries

You must meet several requirements to qualify for the VWP. For example, you must be a citizen of a participating country, and you must have a valid, machine-readable passport for that country. You do not need to apply for a visa stamp or visit a U.S. consulate before you travel to the United States but you will need to register with the Electronic System for Travel Authorization (ESTA).

See the Visa Waiver Program's requirements and restrictions

In December 2017, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) provided guidance about new security measures to the Visa Waiver Program.