Visa Waiver Program Ineligibilities

Travelers with Arrests/Convictions

Under United States visa law, people who have been arrested at anytime are not eligible to travel visa free under the Visa Waiver Program (VWP); they are required to apply for visas before traveling.  If the arrest resulted in a conviction, the individual may require a special restricted visa in order to travel.  The Rehabilitation of Offenders Act does not apply to United States visa law.  Therefore, even travelers with a spent conviction are not eligible to travel visa free; they must apply for B-1 or B-2 visas.  If they attempt to travel under the VWP, they may be refused entry into the United States.

Traffic Offenses

Travelers with minor traffic offenses which did not result in an arrest and/or conviction for the offense may travel visa free, provided they are otherwise qualified.  If you are not sure whether or not you are eligible to travel visa free, the only way to resolve this question is to apply for a visa.

If the traffic offense occurred in the United States, and there is an outstanding fine against you, or you did not attend your court hearing, it is possible there may be a warrant out for your arrest, and you will experience problems when applying for admission into the United States.  Therefore, you should resolve the issue before traveling by contacting the court where you were to appear. If you do not know the address of the court, the information is available from the Internet at U.S. Courts: Court Locator.

Travelers who have been Afflicted with a Disease of Public Health Significance, a Mental Disorder or Drug Addicts / Abusers

Travelers to the United States who have been afflicted with a disease of public health significance, a mental disorder which is associated with a display of harmful behavior, or are a drug abuser or addict, are not eligible to travel visa free under the Visa Waiver Program. They are required to apply for B-1 or B-2 visas.

Note: Travelers with mental illnesses can travel visa free under the VWP provided that their condition does not render them a danger to themselves or others. They may wish to carry letter from their doctor to that effect to facilitate their entry into the United States.

Travelers who have been Denied Entry into the United States, have been Deported or Removed or have Overstayed on a Prior Visit

Travelers to the United States who have been denied entry into the United States, have been deported or removed, or have overstayed on a prior visit are not eligible to travel visa free under the Visa Waiver Program. They are required to apply for apply for B-1 or B-2 visas before traveling.

We always recommend that individuals apply for visas well in advance of their proposed date of travel. No assurances regarding the issuance of visas can be given in advance. Therefore, final travel plans or the purchase of non-refundable tickets should not be made until a visa has been issued and you have received your passport via DHL.

For more detailed information regarding ineligibilities to apply for entry to the United States, please consult the Classes of Aliens Ineligible to Receive Visas section of the Travel.State.gov website.