The US B-1 and B-2 Visitor Visa Waiver Pilot Program

As long as you are travelling on a participating airline (i.e. most scheduled airlines from participating countries), and hold a return or onward ticket to a country other than Canada, Citizens in the country list below do not need a visa for visits to the US of up to 90 days:  Please note that you still need to apply online under ESTA (Electronic System for Travel Authorisation). 

Unfortunately there are new restrictions on the visa waiver pilot program.   Travelers in the following categories are no longer eligible to travel or be admitted to the United States under the Visa Waiver Program (VWP):

  • If you are a National of a visa waiver pilot program Country (VWP) countries and have visited Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, or Yemen on or after March 1, 2011 you will in most cases have to apply for a B-1/B-2 visa at the nearby US Embassy or Consulate.  There are exceptions to this rule for example if you have travelled for diplomatic or military purposes working for a VWP country).
     
  • In addition if you are a national of a visa waiver country and are also a national of Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, or Yemen you will also need to apply for a visit visa at the relevant US Embassy or Consulate,

List of B-1/B-2 Visa Waiver Countries:

AndorraAustraliaAustria
BelgiumBruneiChile
Czech RepublicDenmarkEstonia
FinlandFranceGermany
GreeceHungaryIceland
IrelandItalyJapan
LatviaLeichtensteinLithuania
LuxembourgMaltaMonaco
NetherlandsNew ZealandNorway
PortugalSan MarinoSingapore
SlovakiaSloveniaSouth Korea
SpainSwedenSwitzerland
TaiwanUnited Kingdom 

 

Those present in the US under the visa waiver scheme are subject to similar conditions as those on the usual B1/B2 visa scheme, except that it is limited to ninety days and it is not usually possible to extend the visa while in the US or change to another visa.

NB: Visitors on private aircraft will require a B1 and B2 visa.