Starting March 31, 2014 (originally announced as a May, 2014 start), eligible Chilean passport holders with both an approved Electronic System for Travel Authorization, or ESTA, and an e-passport will be able to visit the U.S. without first obtaining a nonimmigrant visitor visa. Travelers may begin submitting applications via the ESTA website starting Feb. 28, 2014.
Chile becomes the 38th country to join the Visa Waiver Program. In fiscal year 2013, approximately 220,000 Chileans traveled to the U.S. for tourism or business.
The VWP permits visa-free travel to the U.S. of 90 days or less for eligible travelers for business or tourism. Eligible Chilean passport holders will be required to apply for advanced authorization through the ESTA website. The ESTA application requires basic biographical information and answers to the VWP eligibility questions, as well as a US$14 fee. Each approved application is generally valid for two years or until the passport expires, whichever comes first.
Applications may be submitted at any time prior to travel, however it is recommended to apply at least 72 hours in advance.