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Visa Waiver Program / ESTA

Citizens of Visa Waiver Participating countries (like Sweden) going to the US for tourism or business* and who will stay for 90 days or less might be able to travel without a visa on the 'Visa Waiver Program' which is administrated by the Department of Homeland Security.

To be able to request admission to the US on the Visa Waiver Program, the traveler must have an approved online ESTA registration.

To apply for ESTA, please go to

The Visa Waiver Program allows the traveler to request admission to the United States for activities that would normaly require a B1 or a B2 visa. Other activities like studies, internship, journalistic work are not allowed on the Visa Waiver Program.

The Consular section does not anwer any questions regarding ESTA, all questions concerning ESTA should be directed to the US Customs and Border Protection.

When traveling on the Visa Waiver Program a general rule is that the passport has to be valid for 6 months after the return from the US. Please note that Swedish passports have a country-specific agreement and are excepted from the six month rule and can be used as long as the passport validity covers the whole stay in the US. On the State Department website you can find the full list of countries with country-specific agreement. (PDF 56.9 KB)

Please note that Swedish national characters in your name have to be entered into ESTA as it is written in the Machine Readable part (see the bottom of the ID page in your passport, between the <<>>). The letter 'Å' must be written as 'AA', 'Ä' must be written as 'AE', and 'Ö' must be written as 'OE'.

In the 'Given Name'-question, ESTA asks only for the first name written in the passport under given name, regardless of what you are called (tilltalsnamn).


You can not use the Visa Waiver Program if you:

  • Have not been approved ESTA

  • Have been previously refused entry to the United States

  • Have been refused a Visa to the United States;
  • Have been arrested (even if the arrest didn’t result in a criminal conviction)
  • Have been deported from the United States
  • If you have previously overstayed a previous visit (even by one day)

*The term "business" in this context refers to negotiating contracts, meeting clients, participating in seminars, attending expositions, and taking customer orders. It does not include accepting employment or running actual firms in the United States. For more information what is allowed on B1 status please see:

For more information on the Visa Waiver Program, please see the State Department website.