The U.S. must find ways to ensure a safe, efficient visa experience for international visitors while maintaining the highest national security standards.

Quick Facts

Our visa process is an important element in welcoming international visitors.

THE VISA WAIVER PROGRAM

The Visa Waiver Program (VWP) combines a strong security process with our nation’s long-standing desire to attract both business and leisure travelers to our shores. Eligible applicants who are residents of 38 allied countries are vigorously pre-screened and vetted against multiple law enforcement and security databases before they are approved by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security for visa-free travel to the United States for up to 90 days.

VISA REFORM

While many international travelers to the U.S. arrive from countries participating in the VWP, millions of visitors come from expanding markets such as China, Brazil and India, which are not VWP members—and therefore must obtain a U.S. visa before their trip. While progress has been made to reduce the average wait time of visas, if the process remains cumbersome the U.S. risks losing qualified international travelers.

U.S. Travel is continually working with our federal partners to make obtaining a visa to the U.S. more efficient and accessible.  

about_the_visa_waiver_program

Recommendations

Expand the Visa Waiver Program

Establishing a process for more qualified countries to join the VWP will help the U.S. welcome more international visitors whose spending grows the economy and creates U.S. jobs while also improving national security and diplomacy

Set Goals for Visa Processing

Expanding opportunities for legitimate international travelers to obtain U.S. visas, and ensuring that consulates are appropriately staffed so that visa applications can be processed expediently, will greatly benefit both the U.S. economy and national security effort

Protect J-1 cultural and work exchange visa programs

These programs give U.S. attractions, parks and hotels in remote areas a valuable source of seasonal staffing, enabling them to serve more visitors.

Research, News and Commentary on Visa Reform / Visa Waiver

Friday Check-In

Friday Check-In | September 28, 2018

September 28, 2018

In this week’s Friday Check-In, we’ll discuss a recent development toward expanding the Visa Waiver Program and recap how our industry engaged with Interior Department officials in support of National Public Lands Day. You’ll also learn about a positive step for air travel.

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Friday Check-In

Friday Check-In | July 27, 2018

July 27, 2018

This week's Friday Check-In will share updates from U.S. Travel’s summer Board of Director’s Meeting, discuss some recent policy activities in Congress and tell you what’s in store at our upcoming ESTO in Phoenix.

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Friday Check-In

Friday Check-In | July 13, 2018

July 13, 2018

This week’s Friday Check-In shares findings from our recent Travel Trends Index, provide updates on the National Parks Service funding bill and the upcoming ESTO event coming to Phoenix, Arizona.

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