Visa Waivers

Under the Visa Waiver Pilot Program (VWPP), citizens of certain countries are exempt from the requirement of applying for a visa to enter the United States. The visitor must present a non-refundable airline ticket at the airport. This USA visa waiver program applies only to aliens who are visiting the United States for a purpose that falls under the B visa category and who are citizens of the following countries: Andorra, Argentina, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Brunei, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, Monaco, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Portugal, San Marino, Singapore, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, the United Kingdom and Uruguay.

The visa waiver allows a citizen of any of these countries to enter as a non-immigrant for up to 90 days. Upon the expiration of this period, the alien must depart the United States.

Generally, a person on a visa waiver may not change or extend his status; nor can he or she adjust status to a lawful permanent resident in the U.S. One exception applies where a visitor enters into a bona fide marriage with a U.S. citizen. If this happens, then the visitor may apply for adjustment of status (assuming that there are no grounds of inadmissibility barring adjustment of status). Emergency is another exception that allows the visa waiver period to be extended.

Before applying for adjustment of status or for any questions about visa waivers, one should consult an experienced immigration attorney.

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