What is ESTA and the Visa Waiver Program?

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John Khosravi
What is “ESTA” or the
Visa Waiver Program?
ESTA, which is short for the
Electronic System for Travel
Authorization, also known as
the Visa Waiver Program or VWP
is a program that was created
many years ago so that Nationals
of certain countries can travel to
the US without first getting a
full Visa. In essence the Visa
requirement is waived for these
However, Foreign Nationals
Entering the United States on
The Visa Waiver Program could
only stay here for 90 days and are
not allowed to change status and
in most cases not allowed to Adjust
Status or get a Green Card while
they are here on that trip. Also, if
they overstay their trip or commit
certain visa violations in most cases
they are not allowed to see an
Immigration Judge before being
Deported and are automatically
removed from the United States.
To apply for the Visa Waiver [Program]
you should go to the website and
complete the online application at least
72 hours before your trip.
It is very important that you be honest
and thorough in the answers that you
provide in that application because
mistakes can be considered
misrepresentation or fraud for
future applications.
The government fee per application is $14.
To access the website you can go to: