What Is The Future of VWP And ESTA's: Experts Opinion

Ever since the launch of Visa Waiver Program, it has been a huge success as a program that provides for faster and easier travel authorization.

For anyone who intends to visit the USA for travel, business or transits, for a relatively short period of time, this program provides significant benefits.

However, the USA is far from allowing providing more travel freedom for everyone who wants to visit the States. For the most part, we could actually be looking at stricter rules being effectively put in place in the future.

We like it or not, there is a good reason for the USA to be doing just that.

Which means there are also no guarantees that the VWP will continue to serve as it has been so far! And even though there are no specific news regarding some major changes in the program, it is something we have to keep in mind and analyze.

And of course, it is also important to you!

The people who travel to the USA for different reasons.

Simply because changes in the VWP or ESTA application process could significantly influence the way you travel to the US in the future.

So what is the future of VWP and how sure can we be about ESTA as the travel authorization for citizens of certain countries?

International Relations

All decisions related to VWP and therefore ESTA’s are made by the USA government. And other countries simply follow the rules they set because it is the only way to make it easier for their citizens to visit the US.


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This might seem a bit one-sided, but the truth is that VWP is simply a program created by the US and therefore they are the ones setting the rules when it comes to letting visitors into their country.

Therefore when it comes to making decisions related to travel restrictions, it all comes down to international relations between the USA and other countries. And it is exactly where we have to look in order to understand if any changes could be implemented in the future.

This is particularly important now when the Trump administration is in the office.

Simply because they are notorious for making quick and highly one-sided decisions.

If we look at the VWP countries and their relations with the US, there are no real signs that some major changes could happen. So far, the Trump administration has been putting more effort into restricting Muslims entering the country! Which has, of course, caused a lot of controversy! 

However, when we look at the VWP countries, the only restrictions implemented so far have not been related to obtaining travel authorization, but rather with the process of traveling itself. In this case, we are talking about new restrictions regarding the carry-on baggage and what can be taken on the plane with you.

However, there is a good reason to think that some changes still might be implemented, because of different ongoing processes in the world, that will most likely affect international relations between the US and other countries to a certain degree, in the future!

Post-Brexit changes

The UK leaving the EU is definitely one of the major topics within the international relations right now and will be for some time to come. And there is no doubt that this process could in a way affect travel freedom to the US.


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Traveling to the US in the post-Brexit era might be a bit more challenging, but only if the US decides to restrict visitors traveling from the UK.

If EU had any right to affect the VWP, there is no doubt that the UK would sacrifice great travel freedom. But in this case, when talking about the VWP, it is the USA that dictates the rules. And this is why it is important for the UK to keep good relations with the US in order to remain listed as one of the VWP countries.

So far there have been no signs that after leaving the EU, UK could be taken out of the VWP, which means we’ll have to wait and see how all the trade-deal talks work out which will eventually lead to talks about travel freedom.

However, there is more to look for when it comes to travel freedom and in this case, the USA has a good example to learn from.

Illegal immigration: EU Example

Over the past few years, illegal immigration into the EU has skyrocketed. Mainly due to the open borders and “refugee welcome” policies which work as a cover for illegal immigrants to get into the EU.

This is something that the US can take as an example and there is no doubt that they will. Simply because it shows what greater travel freedom and less control of the borders can lead to. Plus, we have to take into account that these immigrants are mainly from pro-Muslim countries. Which puts it in the spotlight for Trump administration!

This situation could be further used as an example for why the US needs to strengthen its borders and improve travel authorization.

And yes, in the long run, this could also affect the basis of the Visa Waiver Program meaning that the citizens of VWP countries could face stricter authorization.

Homeland security

To understand the overall situation it is important to keep in mind that these kind of changes in travel restrictions and border controls are not being implemented without a reason.

Behind all of this stands homeland security.


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Which means that as long as there will be any kind of threats to the security of US and its citizen safety, we will have to face travel restrictions! And as the situation intensifies on an international level, we can only expect new forms of restrictions to take place.

Therefore, if you plan on traveling to the US, it is worth thinking about doing it sooner rather than later. What is more, wherever you are traveling from, including the VWP countries, you should still make sure that you are not a subject of new, stricter travel rules!

It is worth mentioning here, that background checks will definitely become a lot stricter over time. Therefore you have to be careful with your actions not only while traveling, but also leading up to your visit.

With any more questions regarding travel safety, travel restrictions and upcoming changes, please feel free to contact us.