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Press Release

Electronic System for Travel Authorization

The United States expects to implement the Electronic System for Travel Authorization (ESTA) registration program soon.  ESTA is a new Department of Homeland Security (DHS) online system that is an element of the Visa Waiver Program (VWP).  All nationals or citizens of member countries who plan to travel to the United States under the VWP will require an approved ESTA prior to boarding a carrier to travel by air or sea to the United States. 

DHS anticipates implementation of the mandatory ESTA requirements for current VWP member countries on January 12, 2009.  New VWP member countries will be required to use ESTA as of the date of their admission to the Visa Waiver Program.  Information about ESTA in the languages of current and proposed VWP member countries is available at