New Visa Waiver Programme System when travelling to USA

Travel News 01 Nov 2014

Singapore is currently under the Visa Waiver Programme (VWP), which allows travellers to by-pass the Visa application process when visiting the U.S. Countries under VWP are only required to request a travel authorization through Electronic System for Travel Authorization (ESTA) website prior to their departure. The ESTA is managed by The U.S Customs and Border Protection (CBP).

With effect from 5th November 2014, those seeking to travel to the United States from countries in the Visa Waiver Program (VWP) will be required to provide additional data fields of information in the travel application submitted via the Electronic System for Travel Authorization (ESTA).

According to a statement made by the US Embassy, DHS Secretary Johnson on 3rd November 2014, The new information sought includes:

1. Additional passport data

2. Contact information

3. Other potential names or aliases

 

This step is taken so as to enhance the security of the Visa Waiver Program and to learn more about travelers from countries who do not require a visa. The US embassy is confident that these changes will not hinder lawful trade and travel between the United States and their trusted foreign allies in the Visa Waiver Program.

Kindly note that individuals with a current and valid ESTA do not need to reapply. However, upon the expiration of that ESTA or expiration of the passport, a new ESTA with the new data fields will be required for any future travel under the VWP.

 

You may wish to refer to the following links at the relevant Department of Homeland Security web pages:

http://www.dhs.gov/news/2014/11/03/statement-secretary-johnson-security-enhancements-visa-waiver-program

http://www.cbp.gov/travel/international-visitors/esta/enhancements-to-esta-faqs

 

For further information please contact your travel manager.