Visa Waiver Program – Definition

Cite this article as:"Visa Waiver Program – Definition," in The Business Professor, updated May 12, 2019, last accessed October 27, 2020,


Visa Waiver Program Definition

The Visa Waiver Program (VWP) is a program run by the United States Government that enable nationals or citizens of specific countries to travel to the U.S and stay for a period of 90 days without obtaining a visa. This program is strictly applicable for tourism and business purposes.

This program covers 36 participating countries, only citizens of these countries are permitted to travel to the United States for tourism or business without a visa. VWP is administered by the United State’s Department of Homeland Security (DHS). This program stimulates tourism to the United States and eliminate certain barriers on traveling.

A Little More on What is the Visa Waiver Program

VWP does not prevent eligible persons from applying for visas, if they want to. This who are eligible for VWP are citizens of nationals from any of the participating 36 countries. Nevertheless, these individuals must meet the requirements of VWP before they can be regarded as eligibles. Participating citizens must be enrolled in the Department of Homeland Security’s US-VISIT program.

Also, without credible authorization from the Electronic System for Travel Authorization (ESTA) prior to the time of travel, citizens of the participating countries can be denied entrance into the United States for business or tourism purpose.

References for Visa Waiver Program

Academic Research on Visa Waiver Program

Visa waiver program, Siskin, A. (2004).

The Doorkeeper of Homeland Security: Proposals for the Visa Waiver Program, Vazquez-Azpiri, A. J., & Horne, D. C. (2005). Stan. L. & Pol’y Rev., 16, 513.

Economic benefits associated with the visa waiver program–A difference-in-difference approach, Hu, X. (2013).

The 2004 European Union Members and the Visa Waiver Program: Considering Free Trade and National Security, Miller, A. S. (2007). U. Pa. J. Int’l Econ. L., 28, 187.

Striking a Secure Balance: Participation of EU Member States in the US Visa Waiver Program, Gilgannon, S. P. (2006). Currents: Int’l Trade LJ, 15, 45.

Visa Waiver Program Improves Security, Bucci, S. (2015). Testimony before the Subcommittee on Border and Maritime Security in the Committee on Homeland Security, United States House of Representatives on March, 17, 2015.

Mutual Legal Assistance in an Era of Globalized Communications: The Analogy to the Visa Waiver Program, Swire, P., & Hemmings, J. D. (2015). NYU Ann. Surv. Am. L., 71, 687.

Visa Waiver Program, Siskin, A. (2012). Current Politics and Economics of the United States, Canada and Mexico, 14(2/3), 255.

The Visa Waiver Program: Enhancing Security, Promoting Prosperity, Inserra, D., & Walters, R. (2014). Heritage Foundation Issue Brief, (4273).

Expand visa waiver program to qualified countries, Griswold, D. (2007).

Building the Alliance for Freedom: An Agenda for Improving and Expanding the Visa Waiver Program, Carafano, J. J., & Weitz, R. (2005). Public Law, 107, 296.

Including South Korea in the US Visa Waiver Program, Hwang, B. (2005).

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