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Visa Waiver Program

The Visa Waiver Program (VWP) enables citizens of participating countries to travel to the United States for tourism or business for 90 days or less without obtaining a U.S. visa. Denmark participates in the VWP.

All individuals traveling on the VWP by plane or ship will be required to obtain an Electronic System Travel Authorization (ESTA) prior to traveling to the United States. For more information please visit our ESTA page.

An ESTA is not a visa, it is a permission to travel to the United States without a visa and apply for entry into the United States.

Who can travel with an ESTA?

Individuals who are traveling with a passport issued by one of the 40 countries participating in the Visa Waiver Program, and who are traveling to the United States for business or tourism for less than 90 days, can travel on the Visa Waiver Program. Ability to travel under the VWP is based on the nationality of the traveler, not the traveler’s place of birth or residence.

Travelers who have previously overstayed in the U.S., who have previously been denied visas, who have criminal records or who believe they may be ineligible for a visa, should apply for a visa before traveling to the United States.

For information on how to apply for a visa, please visit our Global Support Services (GSS) website.

Visas are required for business travelers and tourists who wish to stay in the U.S. more than 90 days, airline crew members, crew members of commercial, private or maritime vessels, students, exchange visitors, temporary workers and intra-company transferees, treaty traders, religious workers, performers and artists, and journalists/media representatives.

If you are unsure if you should apply for a visa or you can travel under the Visa Waiver Program, please see our Visa or ESTA? page.

Passport Requirements

Before traveling with an ESTA, travelers are advised to make sure that their passport meets the requirements for visa free travel:

  • The passport must be issued by a VWP participating country.
  • Starting April 1, 2016, you must have an e-Passport if traveling on the Visa Waiver Program (VWP). An e-Passport, denoted by the e-Passport symbol on the front of the passport, is an enhanced secure passport with an embedded electronic chip. If you do not have an e-Passport you must obtain a visa prior to traveling to the United States. This requirement also applies if the passport is an emergency passport or a temporary passport.

For more information on passports and passport requirements for the Visa Waiver Program, please visit the Department of State’s main web site.

General Requirements for Visa Free Travel

In order to board a plane or a ship and travel to the United States under the VWP without a visa, the traveler must be in possession of an approved ESTA. They must also be holding a passport which meets the requirements listed above and have a round-trip or through transportation ticket issued by a carrier (e.g., airline or shipping company) that has signed a VWP agreement with the U.S. government, which takes them out of the North American continent within 90 days.

Entry at a land border crossing point from Canada or Mexico is permitted under the VWP, without an ESTA. Travelers who apply for entry at a land border crossing point are not required to present round-trip transportation tickets or arrive at the border entry point aboard a carrier that has signed an agreement with the U.S. to participate in the VWP. However, all other VWP requirements do apply to such travelers.

Furthermore, the traveler may be asked to present evidence that they have sufficient financial means to finance their stay, and that they intend to depart the United States in a timely fashion.

Visitors applying for entry under the Visa Waiver Program are allowed to remain 90 days. No extensions will be granted, and travelers may not change their status. Travel to contiguous countries (Canada, Mexico, or Caribbean countries) is permitted during the 90 days, but travelers will not be granted an additional 90 days after re-entry. Consistent with regulations governing B1/B2 temporary visitor visas, travelers arriving under the VWP may not work or study in the United States.