Countries with Streamlined or Visa-Free Entry to the U.S.

Author: Ethan Wilkinson

The United States is a favored destination for many global travelers, be it for leisure, business, or study. 

Recognizing the benefits of tourism and international cooperation, the U.S. has established programs and agreements with certain countries to facilitate easier entry for their citizens. 

The primary programs include the Visa Waiver Program (VWP) and the Compact of Free Association.

Visa Waiver Program (VWP)

The VWP is a prized agreement that the U.S. has with 39 countries. Nationals from these countries can visit the U.S. for tourism or business for up to 90 days without obtaining a visa. Some key aspects of the VWP are:

  • Electronic System for Travel Authorization (ESTA): Before traveling under the VWP, individuals must secure approval through ESTA, an automated system that vets eligibility.
  • Purpose: The VWP covers travelers visiting the U.S. for business or tourism. It doesn’t cover employment or extended academic studies.
  • Passport Requirements: Travelers under the VWP must have an e-passport with an embedded electronic chip.

Some of the countries under the VWP include:

  • - Andorra
  • - Australia
  • - Austria
  • - Belgium
  • - Brunei ... among others.


Compact of Free Association

This is an agreement between the U.S. and three Pacific Island countries:

  • 1) The Federated States of Micronesia
  • 2) The Republic of the Marshall Islands
  • 3) The Republic of Palau
  • • Admission to the U.S., even under special programs, is at the discretion of U.S. Customs and Border Protection. Eligibility for a program does not guarantee entry.
  • • Travelers should always check the expiration date on their passport. The U.S. often requires six months of passport validity beyond the planned date of departure from the U.S.
  • • Constantly stay updated. Visa policies and agreements can evolve, with countries being added or removed based on various criteria, including security and economic factors.

This article provide an overview of visa-free and streamlined visa processes related to the U.S. Travelers are always advised to consult official sources or contact U.S. consulates or embassies for the most accurate and updated information.


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