Immigration Law Associates
Chicago Lawyer, Attorney: Green Card, H-1B, National Interest Waiver, J-1, Spouse, Fiance, Student Visa, VAWA, Citizenship, Removal, Korean, Polish, Japanese, Spanish

New Challenges for the Visa Waiver Program

The Visa Waiver Program (VWP) enables citizens and nationals from 35 countries to travel to and enter the United States for business or visitor purposes for up to 90 days without obtaining a nonimmigrant visa.

The VWP was first established in 1986 with the objective of eliminating unnecessary barriers to travel to the U.S., stimulating the U.S. tourism industry, and permitting the Department of State (DOS) to focus consular resources in other areas.

Compared to other traditional U.S. entry visas, the VWP is a very convenient and quick option aliens to enter the U.S. While the VWP is convenient, it also has many restrictions, and abuses of the program can have long lasting consequences on the alien and his/her future visits to the U.S. It is extremely important for the alien to be aware of all VWP requirements and restrictions prior to entering the U.S.

To qualify for the VWP, the alien must satisfy the following requirements:

As mentioned above, there are many VWP restrictions that need to be considered prior to the alien entering the U.S. First, it is important to note that the alien cannot extend their VWP stay. Nor can the alien change their VWP status to another nonimmigrant category after he/she has entered. Moreover, the alien cannot adjust his/her status to that of a legal permanent resident unless the alien is sponsored by a U.S. Citizen (USC) spouse, USC parent (when alien child is under 21 years) or USC child (>21 years old). In addition, the frequency of U.S. visitations is an important consideration because using the VWP too frequently calls into question the purpose of the alien’s visit. For example, if there are too many VWP visits to the US, the CBP Officer may believe that the alien is actually working, an activity that is not permitted under the VWP.

Finally, as mentioned above, there are severe consequences for violating the terms of your VWP admission. Immigration Law Associates, P.C. has seen visa applications denied where aliens have previously stayed over their 90 day VWP admission by only one (1) day. The CBP monitors the actions of the VWP participants very closely by cross-checking admission dates with departure dates. Thus, it is very important to make sure that the alien is not violating the terms of his/her VWP admission or it could negatively impact the alien forever.


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(847) 763-8500 via email

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8707 Skokie Blvd., Suite 302
Skokie, IL 60077
(Chicago Metro Area)


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