Visa Waiver Program

The Visa Waiver Program enables citizens from certain countries to travel to the United States for periods of up to 90 days without obtaining visas. Find a complete list of eligible countries on the Department of State website.

Important: All visitors coming under the VWP are required by law to obtain travel authorization prior to entering the United States. This authorization is obtained online through the Electronic System for Travel Authorization.

VWP status allows the visitor to stay for a period of up to 90 days. No extensions are allowed. Change to another status in the U.S. is not allowed.

When planning for an overseas visitor who receives an honorarium payment or reimbursement of expenses, the hosting department should contact the Nonresident Alien Taxation Office for a preliminary review of the visitor’s tax obligations. During the brief stay, the visitor also must meet with the office.

Entering the U.S. in VWP status

  1. Visitor receives a letter of invitation from the hosting MU department (sample letter. The letter must include:
    • Statement of invitation
    • Exact dates of visit
    • Purpose of the trip
    • Activities during the visit
    • Funding source information
  2. Visitor obtains travel authorization through ESTA.
  3. Visitor enters the U.S.
  4. Visitor presents to the customs officer:
    • Passport
    • MU letter of invitation
    • Proof of funding/support

For more information about claiming tax benefits, tax treaty exemptions from withholding of federal tax and payment for persons in visitor status, consult the Nonresident Alien Taxation Office.