Visa Waiver Program

Important! Please note!

If you are a citizen of a Visa Waiver Program partner but have received notice that you are no longer eligible to travel to the United States under that program, you should apply for a nonimmigrant visa at least three months in advance of your desired travel.  If you do not have imminent travel plans, you should pay the nonimmigrant visa application fee, fill out the DS-160 nonimmigrant visa application form at https://ceac.state.gov/genniv/Default.aspx and schedule a visa appointment.  If your travel is imminent, you may request an expedited visa appointment.  Please include in your request the date and purpose of your travel, as well as a copy of the U.S. Customs and Border Protection message you received regarding your ESTA status.  For more information about scheduling an emergency appointment, visit this page.

Citizens from any of the 38 visa waiver countries may travel in the United States for up to 90 days without requiring a visa provided that they have a machine readable passport. Please view an example of a machine readable passport.

The Department of Homeland Security, Electronic System for Travel Authorization (ESTA) is an automated system used to determine the eligibility of visitors to travel to the United States under the Visa Waiver Program (VWP).  It collects the same information as the paper I-94W form that VWP travelers fill out en route to the United States.  DHS recommends that travelers submit an ESTA application as soon as they begin making travel plans. An ESTA authorization generally will be valid for up to two years and allows for multiple entries into the United States. The ESTA travel information may be updated before each trip to the U.S., but it is not required. All eligible travelers who wish to travel under the Visa Waiver Program must apply for authorization under the following official website: https://esta.cbp.dhs.gov. As of September 8, 2010 there will be a new fee associated with this process.

Note: As of January 12, 2009, a valid ESTA approval is required for all  VWP travelers wishing to travel to the United States. If you do not have authorization via ESTA in advance of your next visit to the United States under the Visa Waiver Program, you may be:

  • Denied boarding by the air or sea carrier;
  • Delayed upon your arrival and referred to U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) secondary inspection;
  • Required to submit an application and pay the fee associated to waive the requirement to enter the United States; or
  •  Refused admission into the United States and returned on the next available flight or vessel.

If you are still asked to complete the I-94 form, the bottom portion affixed to your passport must be returned to the either: a U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) official or an air/sea/land transportation representative when leaving the United States. If you have returned back to Bermuda and still have the  I-94W in your passport, you may turn it into the either the U.S. Customs and Border Protection officials at the airport or to the U.S. Consulate. At the Consulate please present yourself in person at the Guard Building Monday – Friday from 9:30 -3:30 p.m. (except for holidays) with the document still intact in your passport. The guards will then remove it and ask you to sign the back. Failure to hand in the I-94W may delay your entry into the U.S. in the future.

Currently, 38 countries participate in the Visa Waiver Program, as shown below:

* Please note, travelers from these countries must travel on a passport with an integrated chip (e-passport) to be eligible for VWP travel.

For more information about the visa waiver program please go to: Visa Waiver Program.