Visa Waiver Program pilot coming to LAX

Some travelers from New Zealand will be able to skip paper forms

Customs and Border Protection officials are beginning a month-long project to test the idea of doing away with the paper forms used as part of the Visa Waiver Program.

As part of the month-long pilot project, which begins Nov. 12, travelers on Air New Zealand Flight 6 to Los Angeles International Airport can pass up the standard I-94W form and instead use the Electronic System for Travel Authorization.

If all goes well early on, CBP might expand the pilot to additional Air New Zealand flights to Los Angeles during the testing period, agency officials said.

The Visa Waiver Program currently enables the nationals of 35 countries to travel to the United States for tourism or business for stays up to 90 days without obtaining a visa, according to CBP.

Under current regulations, residents of countries that are part of the Visa Waiver Program can travel to the United States without a Visa as long as the fill out the I-94W form, providing basic biographical, travel, and eligibility information.

However, since January 2009, travelers also are required to submit an application through ESTA. The current project is testing the idea of a fully electronic application process.

“CBP has received more than 13 million ESTA applications from nationals of VWP countries and compliance continues to grow daily,” said Jayson Ahern, CBP’s acting commissioner.

About the Author

Doug Beizer is a staff writer for Federal Computer Week.

FCW in Print

In the latest issue: Looking back on three decades of big stories in federal IT.


  • Anne Rung -- Commerce Department Photo

    Exit interview with Anne Rung

    The government's departing top acquisition official said she leaves behind a solid foundation on which to build more effective and efficient federal IT.

  • Charles Phalen

    Administration appoints first head of NBIB

    The National Background Investigations Bureau announced the appointment of its first director as the agency prepares to take over processing government background checks.

  • Sen. James Lankford (R-Okla.)

    Senator: Rigid hiring process pushes millennials from federal work

    Sen. James Lankford (R-Okla.) said agencies are missing out on younger workers because of the government's rigidity, particularly its protracted hiring process.

  • FCW @ 30 GPS

    FCW @ 30

    Since 1987, FCW has covered it all -- the major contracts, the disruptive technologies, the picayune scandals and the many, many people who make federal IT function. Here's a look back at six of the most significant stories.

  • Shutterstock image.

    A 'minibus' appropriations package could be in the cards

    A short-term funding bill is expected by Sept. 30 to keep the federal government operating through early December, but after that the options get more complicated.

  • Defense Secretary Ash Carter speaks at the TechCrunch Disrupt conference in San Francisco

    DOD launches new tech hub in Austin

    The DOD is opening a new Defense Innovation Unit Experimental office in Austin, Texas, while Congress debates legislation that could defund DIUx.

Reader comments

Please post your comments here. Comments are moderated, so they may not appear immediately after submitting. We will not post comments that we consider abusive or off-topic.

Please type the letters/numbers you see above

More from 1105 Public Sector Media Group