1. WHAT IS VWP (VISA WAIVER PROGRAM)? IS ICELAND A PART OF IT?
The Visa Waiver Program permits a number of countries to travel into the USA without obtaining a Visa, as it is usually done. However, since it is put in place by the U.S., it also means that these member countries to be included in the program have no say regarding the rules and regulations their citizens must meet in order to qualify for an ESTA travel authorization.
Currently, Iceland is also included in the VWP, hence, ESTA for Iceland citizens is made possible.
Nowadays, changes are forever present, therefore, while no talk of changes has come up regarding Iceland and the VWP, citizens of Iceland should take advantage of the chance to travel to the USA Visa-free.
For more detailed information on the Visa Waiver Program, read here.
2. HOW LONG IS AN APPROVED ESTA VALID FOR?
The short answer – for two years.
However, to every rule there is an exception.
If the ESTA holder’s passport expires prior to the expiration date of the approved ESTA, then this ESTA will expire on the same day of the expiration date of the passport.
Once this happens, your approved ESTA will become invalid and you will need to re-apply for a new ESTA with the new passport.
Also, even if your passport does not expire before the ESTA expiration date, but you legally change your name, gender, nationality or other information that is printed on the passport, you will also have to apply for a new ESTA.
Already have an ESTA? Check its validity by using this online form.
3. DOES AN APPROVED ESTA GUARANTEE ENTERING THE USA?
No, it does not guarantee it 100%.
According to ESTA rules and regulations set by the U.S., the individual who has received approval for his/her ESTA is permitted to travel to the USA under the VWP. Meaning, it is the right to be on U.S. territory. However, it does not guarantee entrance in the USA, as a custom’s and border guard will inspect the validity of your ESTA as well as you as an individual, and then decide to allow or deny entrance in America.
The custom’s guard is an additional security step to evaluate whether the traveler is of any danger to the U.S. citizens.