A citizen of a foreign country who seeks to enter the United States must first obtain a US visa which is placed in the traveller’s passport. Certain international travellers may be eligible to enter the United States without a visa if they meet the requirements for the US Visa Waiver Program (VWP). The VWP allows travellers with a valid electronic passport, to enter the United States without a visa up to 90 days for business or pleasure.
Travelers that qualify for the United States Visa Waiver program must obtain authorization to enter the United States using the Electronic System for Travel Authorization (ESTA). Travelers whose ESTA applications are rejected and still wish to travel to the United States, will need to complete a Non-immigrant Visa application.
Some travellers who are citizens of a Visa Waiver Program partner country may still be unable to travel to the United States under this program. If you have travelled to Iran, Iraq, Libya, Sudan, Syria, Somalia, or Yemen after March 2011, you are not eligible to travel under the Visa Waiver Program. Similarly, if you are a dual national of Iran, Iraq, Sudan, or Syria, you are also not eligible to travel under the Visa Waiver Program. These travellers should apply for a non-immigrant visa well in advance of the desired travel date to avoid any unnecessary delays.