As of April 1, 2016, all travelers that use the Visa Waiver Program (VWP) must travel on an e-passport.
If you currently have a valid ESTA permit but do not have an e-passport,you will not be permitted to travel and must reapply for ESTA with an e-passport. If travelers want to forego renewing their passport, they may apply for a regular visa at the U.S. Embassy in Montevideo. For more information, visit this Official ESTA Page.
Visa Waiver Program (VWP) Via The Electronic System For Travel Authorization (ESTA)
If you are going to travel without a visa under the Visa Waiver Program you:
- Must have a valid e-passport from one of the Visa Waiver Program (VWP) countries (see list below);
- Your principal purpose of travel should be: tourism, business or transit;
- Can stay in the United States for a maximum period of 90 days;
- Must travel with a roundtrip ticket;
- Must have a passport valid for at least 90 days after your entry date into the United States.
- Must obtain an Electronic Travel Authorization. The Electronic System for Travel Authorization (ESTA) is accessible via Internet for citizens and eligible nationals of Visa Waiver Program (VWP) countries to apply for advance authorization to travel to the United States under the VWP.
- The ESTA application costs US$21 that can only be paid with an international credit card via the authorized ESTA site.
- If your application is denied you must apply for a visa.
Countries included in the Visa Waiver Program:
Andorra, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Brunei, Chile, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Japan, the Republic of Korea, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Monaco, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Portugal, San Marino, Singapore, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Taiwan and the United Kingdom.
Every passport from a country that is a member of the Visa Waiver Program (VWP) must have an electronic integrated chip that contains biographical information and a digital photograph of the passport holder to enter the United States without a visa.
If your passport does not contain the chip, you can still use it to travel to the United States with a visa from the U.S. Embassy.
If you desire to study, work, or visit the United States for longer than 90 days, you must apply for a visa.
You will NOT be allowed to enter the United States with an ESTA if at any time you have been denied admission or been deported from the United States because you overstayed your authorized period of stay. If your final travel destination is Canada, Mexico, Bermuda, or the Caribbean, you must be a legal resident of those countries. You are NOT permitted to extend your authorized period of stay in the United States.