New mandatory Electronic System Travel Authorization for foreign travelers

On line forms needed for Visa Waiver ProgramLast year Congress enacted legislation to expand the U.S. Visa Waiver Program (VWP). The new law required that the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) develop an Electronic System for Travel Authorization (ESTA) to gather biographic information from nationals of the soon-to-be 34 VWP countries traveling to the U.S. in advance of their visit.

ESTA will become mandatory for all VWP travelers beginning January 12, 2009. Information required through ESTA mirrors the data travelers already submit through the I-94W paper form currently filled out upon arrival at a U.S. port of entry; however, it simplifies the process by allowing visitors to complete the form online prior to arrival.

Question and Answers about the program

The following countries are currently part of the Electronic System Travel Authorization program…

Andorra France Luxembourg Singapore
Austria Germany Monaco Slovenia
Australia Iceland Netherlands Spain
Belgium Ireland New Zealand Sweden
Brunei Italy Norway Switzerland
Denmark Japan Portugal United Kingdom
Finland Liechtenstein San Marino  

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