Visa Information

The following information is a summary of the Visa Waiver Program (VWP). Please access the U.S. Department of State web site for complete details.

On a reciprocal basis, citizens of participating countries may enter the U.S. for short-term business visits without having to obtain a B-1 visa stamp at a U.S. Embassy or Consulate.

All VWP travelers are required to obtain an authorization via ESTA before traveling to the United States. Learn more about ESTA on the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Customs and Border Protection (CBP) website.

Please apply for ESTA well in advance in order to avoid having trouble at the Port of Entry. The ESTA application is free and may be submitted online at any time prior to travel (at least 72 hours prior to travel is recommended). Once approved, an ESTA authorization generally will be valid for up to two years or until the applicant’s passport expires, whichever comes first, and will be valid for multiple entries into the U.S. Though not required, it is recommended that travelers print out the ESTA approval and carry it with their passport when they travel.

Criteria for eligibility are:

  • Must have a Machine-Readable Passport from a participating country,
  • Passport must be valid for six months beyond the intended visit,
  • Must have a round-trip ticket, and
  • The visit can NOT exceed 90 days.

35 Countries now participating in the Visa Waiver Program (VWP) are:

Andorra Iceland Norway
Australia Ireland Portugal
Austria Italy San Marino
Belgium Japan Singapore
Brunei Latvia Slovakia
Czech Republic Liechtenstein Slovenia
Denmark Lithuania South Korea
Estonia Luxembourg Spain
Finland Malta Sweden
France Monaco Switzerland
Germany Netherlands United Kingdom *
Hungary New Zealand  

Please refer to the VWP website U.S. Department of State web site for additional information. Special restrictions apply to some countries on this list.

Travelers need to express the purpose of their visit to the Immigration Officer at their port of entry to obtain WB (Waiver for Business) status on their I-94 Arrival/Departure Card. Any error should be corrected prior to leaving the U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) inspection area. Visitors are urged to speak with a CBP supervisor, if necessary.

NOTE: Status and length of stay as a visitor to the U.S. are defined by what is written on the I-94 Arrival/Departure Card by the U.S. CBP Immigration Officer upon entry. Extensions of stay or changes to another visa status are NOT available.

No U.S.-based salary or fellowship payments are permitted to the WB visitor. However, reimbursement of normal and usual travel expenses, for business purposes, is permitted.

If your country does NOT participate in the VWP, you may obtain a B-1 visa before entering the U.S. Information on the B-1 visas can be found at U.S. Embassies or Consulates.

Travelers should request B-1 (NOT B-2, if you will receive travel reimbursements from SLAC. If you receive B-2, ask to speak with a Customs and Border Protection (CBP) supervisor, if necessary).

NB: The WB or B-1 is the appropriate status for most international visitors attending meetings or forums and discussions at SLAC.

Please note that obtaining a B-1 visa can be a lengthy process, so begin the process of obtaining a visa soon.

If you need an invitation letter or have further questions regarding your visa, please contact us.