Brief Overview on Visa Waiver Program
The Department of State of United States oversees the Visa program for tourists in the U.S. Even if citizens of other countries possess a valid and current passport, they are still required to apply for a visa if they will enter the U.S. This is commonly required by most countries to ensure that international tourists meet the standards set by that country.
There are visa waiver countries though that exist because visitors on these countries are not required anymore to apply for visa. The Visa Waiver Program VWP, which is created initially in 1986, lists 35 countries which qualify for visa waiver.
The purpose of this program is to eliminate the barrier that has been set on tourists that are from countries that are friendly to the U.S. and to encourage business travelers to come to U.S.
It is under the U.S. government’s discretion whether to qualify a certain country to be part of the program after a country meets all the security requirements provided. On the other hand, the immigration officials at port entries make the final decision whether or not to allow a person to enter the country even if he has a valid passport or meets the VWP requirements.
The United States Department of State created a web page that shows the list of countries that are included in the program. To see the list on the website of Department of State, you can just simply look for the “Visa” link on the right section and click it. When you are directed to the Visa link, you will see the recent updates on the top portion.
Moreover, the list of qualified countries was expanded to include 8 more nations. Hungary, Republic of Korea, and Czech Republic are some of the countries included in these 8 additional nations. The website lists all the qualified countries already so to save the people’s time in searching if their country is part of the program or not.
Some visitors have disqualification issues that is why the countries that are approved in the program are still permitted to restrict tourists, Possible disqualifications include circumstances such as existing criminal records and tourists carrying a contagious disease. The purpose why there are restrictions allowed is to secure the public health and to ensure that U.S. citizens are safe.
There are many other information written on the visa section of the web page of the United States Department of State’s website that you should read. It surely is of great help if you have a lot more questions on visa waivers to visit United States Department of State website.