Tips on travelling to the US under the VWP

If you are a national of a country participating on the VWP you might be able to travel to the US without a visa. Just take the following into consideration, which is solely based on my experience and should not be considered a guidance for your trip plans:

  • Your passport must be machine-readable. That is, it should have two rows of computer-printed information on the bottom of the first page.
  • If your passport was issued before October 2006, it must have a digital photograph. Not glued, not stapled.
  • If your passport was issued after October 2006, it should be a biometric passport. First pages of such documents are usually laminated on plastic, and the passport bears an eye icon on the cover.
  • It doesn’t matter where you’re coming from, or if you don’t have any stamps on your passport, or if the stamps on your passport do not reflect your trip stops. However, if you have visited specific countries you might be asked for further clarification.
  • You can only do tourism or business for 90 days in the US. You will be asked what you’re doing on the country and how much money are you carrying. Well, don’t lie. People abusing the VWP harm other nationals who are respectful of this advantage.
  • You are not entitled to appeal to a denial. If you are denied, you will be extracted from the airport.
  • If you are citizen of two or more countries, carry all your passports with you. Fingerprint scans at any port of entry will show up information about previous visits, including your stealth citizenships.
  • You are not entitled special treatment. You will have to pass all security checks, especially customs. If you are not eligible for a visa for any reason, you won’t be admitted under VWP.

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