Visa Waiver Program

If you are a citizen of a Visa Waiver Program partner but have received notice that you are no longer eligible to travel to the United States under that program, you should apply for a nonimmigrant visa at least three months in advance of your desired travel. If you do not have imminent travel plans, you should visit our visa information page at: http://www.ustraveldocs.com/sk/ to pay the nonimmigrant visa application fee, fill out the DS-160 nonimmigrant visa application form at https://ceac.state.gov/genniv/, and schedule a visa appointment. If your travel is imminent, you may request an expedited visa appointment following the instructions on that site. Please include in your request the date and purpose of your travel, as well as a copy of the U.S. Customs and Border Protection message you received regarding your ESTA status. If you are unsure of your ESTA status, please check your registration at https://esta.cbp.dhs.gov

Since November 2008, Slovaks have been able to travel to the United States on the Visa Waiver Program. To travel on the Visa Waiver Program, you will need a biometric passport, an electronic travel authorization (ESTA) and your trip must be for 90 days or less. The ESTA application Web site is available in 21 languages, including Slovak, and includes a help section providing information about the application process.

The Visa Waiver Program and ESTA are only for tourist or business travel. If you are traveling to work or study in the U.S., for official business of the Slovak government, or for any other reason besides tourism or business, you may not use ESTA. Instead, you need to apply for a visa before traveling. However, if you do already have a valid visa, then you do not need ESTA.

Please note that there is only one official website for ESTA registration: https://esta.cbp.dhs.gov

There are many other sites on the internet that offer to complete your registration for an additional fee, including some that fraudulently pose as the official ESTA website. You should be aware that there is no advantage to using such websites or having anyone apply for ESTA for you.

Passport Requirements

In June 2009, Slovakia began issuing a newer version of biometric passport. Please note, however, that Slovak travelers can still travel on ANY biometric passport, even older versions. That means Slovaks can travel on any Slovak passport issued after January 2008, from which time all Slovak passports had biometrics. Travelers who got their passports after January 2008 do NOT need to apply for new passports to use the VWP.

Beginning January 20, 2010, travelers to the U.S. on the Visa Waiver Program without an approved ESTA will not be allowed to board a U.S.-bound plane.

ESTA (Electronic System for Travel Authorization) is an online form which can enable eligible Slovaks to travel to the United States on a valid biometric passport for tourism or business stays of 90 days or less, or transit only, without obtaining a visa.

Is ESTA a visa?

No, an approved ESTA is not a visa. Individuals who possess a valid visa will still be able to travel to the U.S. on the visa for the purpose for which it was issued. Individuals traveling on a valid visa will not be required to apply for an ESTA.

How does ESTA Work?

Go to the ESTA Web site and complete the simple, on-line application in English. A traveler must provide name, birth date, passport details, and travel plans. A friend, relative, or travel agent may file an application for someone else.

Applications may be submitted at any time before travel; however, DHS recommends that applications be submitted no less than 72 hours in advance. In most cases, travelers will receive a response within seconds. Responses will be one of the following three:

  1. Authorization Approved: Travel is authorized, no further paperwork necessary.
  2. Authorization Pending: Check the ESTA website for a final response within 72 hours
  3. Travel Not Authorized: Traveler must obtain a visa at the U.S. Embassy before traveling to the U.S.

ESTA is valid for up to two years or until the traveler’s passport expires, whichever comes first, and is valid for multiple entries into the U.S. For future trips or changes, applicants can easily update addresses or itineraries through the ESTA Website.

Who is not eligible for ESTA?

VWP cannot be used by those who plan to study, work, or remain more than 90 days in the United States. Also, it cannot be used by people who have previously been refused a visa, or arrested (even if the arrest did not result in a criminal conviction); those with criminal records, those with certain serious communicable illnesses; those who have been refused admission into, or have been deported from the United States; and those who have previously overstayed on the VWP, even by only one day. Such travelers must apply for visas at the U.S. Embassy.

* An approved ESTA is not a guarantee of admissibility to the U.S. at a port of entry. Border control officers make the final decision at the border.

* Additional information regarding the VWP and ESTA is available at http://www.cbp.gov/esta or e-mail esta@cbp.dhs.gov.

The VWP allows travelers from designated countries to travel to the U.S. for 90 days or less, for business or pleasure (but not work or study) without a visa

You must have a biometric Slovak passport. All Slovak passports issued after January 15, 2008 are now biometric.

To be allowed to use the VWP, you must first fill out an ESTA application online. ESTA is an online form which can enable eligible Slovaks to travel to the United States on a valid biometric passport for tourism or business stays of 90 days or less, or transit only, without obtaining a visa. All Visa Waiver Program (VWP) travelers are now required to obtain a travel authorization via the Electronic System for Travel Authorization (ESTA) prior to traveling to the United States under the VWP. ESTA is accessible online at https://esta.cbp.dhs.gov for citizens and eligible nationals of VWP countries.

What if I have a Visa Already?

Individuals who possess a valid visa will still be able to travel to the US on the visa for the purpose for which it was issued. Individuals traveling on a valid visa will not be required to apply for an ESTA.

When can I use VWP?

Beginning in mid-November, you can use VWP as long as you have a valid biometric passport and valid ESTA. ESTA is valid for up to two years or until the traveler’s passport expires, whichever comes first, and is valid for multiple entries into the U.S. For future trips or changes, applicants can easily update addresses or itineraries through the ESTA Web site.

Who can NOT use VWP?

VWP cannot be used by those who plan to study, work, or remain more than 90 days in the United States. Also, it cannot be used by people who have previously been refused a visa, or arrested (even if the arrest did not result in a criminal conviction); those with criminal records, those with certain serious communicable illnesses; those who have been refused admission into, or have been deported from the United States; and those who have previously overstayed on the VWP, even by only one day. Such travelers must apply for visas at the U.S. Embassy.

Additional information regarding the VWP and ESTA is available at:

Individuals who possess a valid B1/B2 visa may travel to the United States with that visa for the purpose it was issued, and will not be required to apply for travel authorization through ESTA.