Embassy of the United States of America
Oslo, June 5, 2008
New procedures for visa waiver travel to the United States
Starting January 12 2009, all persons traveling to the United States on the Visa Waiver Program (VWP) will require electronic registration. This includes Norwegians traveling to the U.S. on business or pleasure with a machine-readable passport, without a visa. The requirements do not affect persons who enter the U.S. with a visa. Those procedures remain unchanged.
The Electronic System for Travel Authorization (ESTA) is a new online system that is part of the Visa Waiver Program. Voluntary use of this system is scheduled to start August 1, 2008. Once ESTA is mandatory on January 12, all citizens of visa waiver countries who plan to travel to the United States for temporary business or pleasure under the VWP will need to receive an electronic travel authorization prior to boarding a U.S.-bound airplane or cruise ship. ESTA closely resembles the already existing pre-authorization procedure used in Australia.
Currently, citizens of VWP countries complete a written I-94W form providing basic biographical, travel, and eligibility information while en-route to the U.S. With ESTA, VWP travelers will provide this same information online prior to departure for the U.S. ESTA applications may be submitted at any time prior to travel, and once approved, will be valid for up to two years or until the applicant’s passport expires, whichever comes first. Authorizations will also be valid for multiple entries into the U.S.
Find more information about ESTA here:
Find more information about travel and visas to the U.S. here: http://norway.usembassy.gov/non-immigrant_visas.html