USA VWP – ESTA for travel or business trip intentions
What is the US VWP?
Thanks to the Visa Waiver Program (VWP), the nationals of its 38 member countries are able to enter the United States without the need to obtain a visa and can stay in America for no longer than 90 days. The purpose of the visit must be transit, tourism or business. The program is managed and controlled by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and with the concurrence of the State Department.
On their part, all VWP countries ensure that the US citizens and nationals are permitted to enter their territories for the same period of time, with the similar purposes, and without the need to obtain a visa.
The aim of the visit by program VWP USA
The main goal of the USA VWP was to encourage traveling and tourism and it turned out to be very effective. Today, more than 40 percent of people that visit the US come from the VWP visa countries.Since its establishment in 1986, the US VWP has grown into a wide-ranging partnership between the US and its closest friends.
The VWP USA promotes cooperation and development in the areas like active tourism and recreation. It also helps to strengthen business relations between the US and all of the 38 member countries.
However, one of the main challenges faced by the VWP ESTA was the implementation of multi-step and risk-based background checks to identify and prevent criminals, terrorists, and other potentially dangerous persons from visiting the United States.
The risk assessment is done on two essential levels:
- The state level
The US government evaluates potential risks and threads of each VWP ESTA country’s membership from the perspective of the national security and law enforcement interests.
- Personal level
ESTA VWP is responsible for examining each individual traveler and determining whether he or she constitutes any danger to the security of the US citizens.
What is VWP ESTA
The VWP USA was implemented not only to encourage tourism and business relations between the United States and other developed countries; it also allowed the US Department of State to concentrate its efforts on fighting greater threats to national security.
In 2006, then President of the US George Bush stated the intention to develop a new electronic system for travelers’ authorization. The system started its work a year later and got a name Electronic System for Travel Authorization (commonly known as ESTA or ESTA VWP).
It enabled the USA VWP travelers to submit online applications with the information required for visiting the US, as well as receive authorization, aka permission to enter the territory of the US under the USA VWP visa.
That is why, today, any potential US visitor needs to apply for authorization in ESTA VWP. He or she has to provide biographic information and inform the US officials about the past criminal convictions or visa revocations.
Traveller’s identity is examined for compliance in several watch lists and checked in the database of lost and stolen passports. In case any suspicious facts are determined, the US government is most likely to reject the US VWP traveler’s application and thus force him or her to go through a visa interview.