8 CFR § 217.2 - Eligibility.

§ 217.2 Eligibility.

(a) Definitions. As used in this part, the term:

Carrier refers to the owner, charterer, lessee, or authorized agent of any commercial vessel or commercial aircraft engaged in transporting passengers to the United States from a foreign place.

Designated country refers to Andorra, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Brunei, Chile, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Japan, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Monaco, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Republic of Korea, San Marino, Singapore, Slovak Republic, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Taiwan, and the United Kingdom. The United Kingdom refers only to British citizens who have the unrestricted right of permanent abode in the United Kingdom (England, Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland, the Channel Islands, and the Isle of Man); it does not refer to British overseas citizens, British dependent territories' citizens, or citizens of British Commonwealth countries. Taiwan refers only to individuals who have unrestricted right of permanent abode on Taiwan and are in possession of an electronic passport bearing a personal identification (household registration) number.

Round trip ticket means any return trip transportation ticket in the name of an arriving Visa Waiver Program applicant on a participating carrier valid for at least 1 year, electronic ticket record, airline employee passes indicating return passage, individual vouchers for return passage, group vouchers for return passage for charter flights, and military travel orders which include military dependents for return to duty stations outside the United States on U.S. military flights. A period of validity of 1 year need not be reflected on the ticket itself, provided that the carrier agrees that it will honor the return portion of the ticket at any time, as provided in Form I–775, Visa Waiver Program Agreement.

(b) Special program requirements—(1) General. In addition to meeting all of the requirements for the Visa Waiver Program specified in section 217 of the Act, each applicant must possess a valid, unexpired passport issued by a designated country and obtain a travel authorization via the Electronic System for Travel Authorization (ESTA) as provided in § 217.5.

(2) Persons previously removed as deportable aliens. Aliens who have been deported or removed from the United States, after having been determined deportable, require the consent of the Attorney General to apply for admission to the United States pursuant to section 212(a)(9)(A)(iii) of the Act. Such persons may not be admitted to the United States under the provisions of this part notwithstanding the fact that the required consent of the Attorney General may have been secured. Such aliens must secure a visa in order to be admitted to the United States as nonimmigrants, unless otherwise exempt.

(c) Restrictions on manner of arrival—(1) Applicants arriving by air and sea. Applicants must arrive on a carrier that is signatory to a Visa Waiver Program Agreement and at the time of arrival must have a round trip ticket that will transport the traveler out of the United States to any other foreign port or place as long as the trip does not terminate in contiguous territory or an adjacent island; except that the round trip ticket may transport the traveler to contiguous territory or an adjacent island, if the traveler is a resident of the country of destination.

(2) Applicants arriving at land border ports of entry. Any Visa Waiver Program applicant arriving at a land border port of entry must provide evidence to the CBP officer of financial solvency and a domicile abroad to which the applicant intends to return. An applicant arriving at a land border port of entry will be charged a fee as prescribed in § 103.7(d)(5) of this chapter for issuance of Form I–94W, Nonimmigrant Visa Waiver Arrival/Departure Form. A round-trip transportation ticket is not required.

(d) Aliens in transit. An alien who is in transit through the United States is eligible to apply for admission under the Visa Waiver Program, provided the applicant meets all other program requirements.

[62 FR 10351, Mar. 6, 1997, as amended at 62 FR 50999, Sept. 30, 1997; 64 FR 42007, Aug. 3, 1999; 67 FR 7945, Feb. 21, 2002; 68 FR 10957, Mar. 7, 2003; 73 FR 67712, Nov. 17, 2008; 73 FR 79597, Dec. 30, 2008; 75 FR 15992, Mar. 31, 2010; 77 FR 64411, Oct. 22, 2012; 79 FR 17854, Mar. 31, 2014; 84 FR 60318, Nov. 8, 2019; 85 FR 46925, Aug. 3, 2020; 86 FR 54031, Sept. 30, 2021; 87 FR 18980, Apr. 1, 2022; 88 FR 67065, Sept. 29, 2023]