Written by attorney Joel Alexis Caminero

Visa Waiver Program / ESTA

If you enter the US on the Visa Waiver Program, commonly referred to as "ESTA," there are certain things you should be aware of.

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While this information is generalized, its purpose serves to educate a VWP entrant, as some individuals do not fully understand what their status is, or how they entered - they assume the correct terminology is "ESTA," which is simply the screening mechanism to enter utilizing the VWP. Additionally, in the event a VWP entrant does overstay and accrues unlawful presence - this individual will likely face a 3 or 10 year bar from entering the United States unless a waiver is later obtained. While there are certain situations for individuals whom overstay to "adjust status (obtain a green card)," the circumstances are generally limited to immediate relatives of U.S. Citizens, as defined under the Immigration and Nationality Act.

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