New York City Visa Waiver Program Lawyer
The Visa Waiver Program allows citizens of specific countries to travel to the United States for tourism, business, or while in transit for up to 90 days without having to obtain a visa. The program applies to the 50 U.S. states as well as the U.S. territories of Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands in the Caribbean. All of the qualifying countries are high-income economies and generally regarded as developed countries. If you are interested in finding out how our firm can help you through your legal matter, contact The Law Office of Cheryl R. David.
The History of Visa Waiver Program
Congress passed legislation in 1986 to create the Visa Waiver Program with the aim of facilitating tourism and short-term business visits to the United States and allowing consular resources to focus on addressing higher risks. The United Kingdom became the first country to participate in the Visa Waiver Program in July of 1988, followed by Japan in December of 1988. All participating nations must provide reciprocal visa-free travel for U.S. citizens usually in the amount of ninety days for tourism or business. A person entering the United States cannot request an extension of the original allowed period of stay as with a regular visa. However, visitors may request to adjust status on the basis of marriage to a United States citizen or an application for asylum.
The Electronic System for Travel Authorization (ESTA)
Under the Visa Waiver Program lies the Electronic System for Travel Authorization (ESTA). This automated system determines the eligibility of visitors to travel to the United States by air and sea by collecting biographical information and answers to Visa Waiver Program questions. This system does not determine admissibility, it only collects information for the U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers to do so. ESTA requests should be completed at least 3 days before travel to the United States, but the process is almost instantaneous. Each travel authorization is valid for two years. If you are issued a new passport, change your name, gender or country of citizenship, you will need to obtain a new ESTA authorization. Entry under the Visa Waiver Program is good for 90 days. Though it can be extended, said person will need a visa. This does not guarantee entry. U.S. Customs and Border Protection will make the final determination.
Contact Our NYC Lawyers for Help With the Visa Waiver Program
Whatever your current situation, we will answer any questions you may have and help you prepare for a visa waiver. We will guide you through the process. Contact us to discuss your visa waiver potential with an experienced immigration lawyer today.