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Visa Waiver Program

Visa Free Travel

Visa Free Travel | VWP Conditions | German Passport Info | Eligible Countries

The information below is directed at German passport holdersGermany is a member of the Visa Waiver Program. (VWP)

Not a German passport holder? For visa waiver program information regarding other countries and their passport requirements, please visit the website of the U.S. Consulate, Embassy or Diplomatic Mission to that country; complete list at

Learn more about ESTA and how to applyFor general information about the Visa Waiver Program please visit

ESTA LogoAs of January 12, 2009, all nationals or citizens of Visa Waiver Program (VWP) countries who plan to travel to the United States for temporary business or pleasure require an approved Electronic System for Travel Authorization (ESTA) prior to boarding a carrier to travel by air or sea to the United States under the VWP.

The Visa Waiver Program applies for the United States of America including Puerto Rico, Guam and the US-Virgin Islands. 

After entering the US you may travel to Canada, Mexico or the Caribbean within 90 days and re-enter the US using any mode of transport. You may also enter the US without a visa traveling from Canada or Mexico for up to 90 days (please note that there will be a $6.00 fee, payable only in US dollars). You will have to show proof of the ability to finance your trip at the port of entry.

VWP Conditions

You may travel visa free if you meet all of the following requirements:

  • You have your own passport (everyone, including children, is required to have his or her own passport to travel VWP)
  • Children's passport (Kinderreisepass) are not eligible for the VWP, unless issued or extended before or on 26 October 2006. All Children's ID (Kinderausweis) require a visa and are not eligible for the VWP. Children must have their own e-passport to travel VWP.
  • You are traveling for business, pleasure or transit only.
  • Your intended stay in the US does not exceed 90 days.
  • You must hold a valid return or onward ticket. Onward tickets may not end in Canada, Mexico or the Caribbean.
  • You will enter the US aboard an air or sea carrier that has agreed to participate in the program. This applies to most airlines and shipping companies.
  • Private or official aircraft or vessels do not meet this requirement. You will need a visa if you travel on a private plane or yacht.
  • Your passport is valid for the duration of stay in the U.S.
  • Read the VWP guidelines handout (pdf 573kb)


Which German passports are valid for travelling on the VWP?
If your passport does not meet the requirements below, then you will need a visa.

Meets all VWP Requirements  

(Both electronic and non-electronic passports)

e-Passport e-Passport 

Yes, ePassports are valid for VWP.
Visa Free Travel

Can travel VWP if certain requirements are met  

Children's Passport

Childrens passport 

All children's passports issued on or after 26 October, 2006.
visa required

Issued on or after 26 October, 2006 require a visa.

Can travel VWP if certain passport requirements are met.
Visa Free Travel

Children’s passport (Kinderreisepass) are  eligible for the Visa Waiver Program (VWP) if issued or extended before or on 26 October 2006. The document must then meet normal VWP eligibility requirements in that it be machine-readable and possess a digital photograph of the bearer integrated into the biographical data page. 

Invalid for VWP Travel  

Temporary Passport

Temporary passport 

No, temporary passports are not valid for the VWP.
visa required

Children’s "Kinderausweis"

Childrens 'Kinderausweis' 

No, a child's ID (Kinderausweis) is not valid for the VWP.
visa required

Travel ID

Travel ID (Reiseausweis) 

No, a Travel ID (Reiseausweis) is not valid for the VWP.
visa required

Travel Document

Travel document (Reiseausweis für Ausländer) 

No, a travel document (Reiseausweis für Ausländer) is not valid for the VWP.
visa required


Eligible Countries

The Visa Waiver Program permits visa free travel to the US if you are a citizen of one of the following countries and the conditions apply to you.

Chile (starting May 1, 2014)* 
Czech Republic*


the Netherlands
New Zealand

Republic of Korea*
San Marino
Slovak Republic*
The United Kingdom

* Citizens of these countries are required to have an E-Passport to travel with the Visa Waiver Program.

Note: Citizens of Argentina and Uruguay may no longer enter the United States without visas.


  • Kinderreisepässe & Travel to the U.S.
    Children's passports (Kinderreisepässe) are not valid for travel on the Visa Waiver Program unless issued or extended on or before October 26, 2006. All children's ID (Kinderausweis) are not valid for visa free travel to the U.S. Children travelling on a Kinderreisepass issued after October 26, 2006 or a Kinderausweis need a visa to travel to the U.S. Children must have their own e-passport in order to travel without a visa.

    View full list of German passports that are valid for the Visa Waiver Program.