Our Los Angeles immigration attorneys are pleased to share Secretary of Homeland Security, Jeh Johnson’s announcement that Chile has now been designed into the Visa Waiver Program (VWP). This designation will streamline the travel for thousands of eligible Chilean passport holders, while continuing to maintain strong security standards.
When does the Visa Waiver Program for Chileans begin?
Beginning on May 1, 2014, eligible Chilean passport holders with both an approved Electronic System for Travel Authorization (ESTA) and an e-passport will be able to visit the United States, without first obtaining a nonimmigrant visitor visa.
Chile joins the now 37 participating countries in the Visa Waiver Program, which permits travel to the United States without the need to apply for a nonimmigrant travel visa from a U.S. Embassy or Consulate abroad. Travelers entering on the Visa Waiver Program may visit for 90 days or less for business or tourism purposes. In the 2013 Fiscal Year, the VWP accounted for roughly 19.6 million visits to the United States, which is approximately 60 percent of tourist and business travelers entering the U.S. by air.
Like all other VWP travelers, eligible Chilean passport holders are required to apply for advanced authorization through the ESTA website, a DHS web-based system.