The Visa Waiver Program (VWP) is a U.S. federal government program that allows citizens of the countries concerned to travel to the United States, including transit, for a maximum period of 90 days without first obtaining a visa.
However, an application in the duly authorized Electronic Travel Authorization System (ESTA) is required. A passport that meets the criteria is also required.
A list of 38 states, mainly European, with good relations with the United States, known as “safe”, is currently being defined by the American internal security agencies. Only citizens, who are nationals of one of these countries, and not only its residents, can benefit from the visa waiver program.
Discussions are underway, at various stages of development, with Argentina, Brazil, Bulgaria, Cyprus, Israel, Poland, Romania, Turkey and Uruguay to have these countries join the programme.
The European Commission asks that the citizens of the Member States not be discriminated against, so that Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Poland and Romania are also concerned. Otherwise, the Commission could ask US citizens travelling to Europe for a visa, basically on the basis of reciprocity. However, this measure, requested by the European Parliament, was rejected.
Find out more about the ESTA authorization.