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 | July 27, 2018

July 27, 2018

In this week’s Friday Check-In, we’ll provide 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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Travel kiosk

U.S. Travel Applauds Introduction of JOLT Act of 2018

July 26, 2018

U.S. Travel Association Senior Vice President for Government Relations Tori Barnes issued a statement on the introduction of the Jobs Originated through Launching Travel (JOLT) Act of 2018, which would update and strengthen numerous programs related to the efficiency and volume of international inbound travel: 

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Friday Check-In | July 13, 2018

July 13, 2018

In this week’s Friday Check-In, we share 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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Rolling suitcase

U.S. Business Community Submits Comments on Proposed ‘Social Media Vetting’

May 30, 2018

The U.S. Travel Association, along with other business groups, on Tuesday submitted comments to the U.S. Department of State regarding proposed information collection changes to nonimmigrant visa applicants.

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Image of Airplane tail in the sky during flight

Travel Community Reacts to U.S. Government’s Open Skies Decision

May 14, 2018

U.S. Travel Association President and CEO Roger Dow issued the following statement on the Department of State’s announcement that the U.S. has reached a deal with the United Arab Emirates regarding the two countries’ Open Skies aviation agreement.

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Passport

U.S. Travel Applauds Senate Confirmation of Mike Pompeo as Secretary of State

April 26, 2018

"The U.S. Travel Association commends the U.S. Senate on its confirmation today of Mike Pompeo as Secretary of State. We congratulate the new secretary and look forward to working with him on policies and programs that help grow our economy, advance our diplomacy and protect our security."

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