On February 28, 2014 the US Department of Homeland Security and the Department of State jointly announced the designation of Chile into the Visa Waiver Program (VWP).  Starting May 1, 2014, eligible Chilean passport holders with both an approved Electronic System for Travel Authorization (ESTA) and an e-passport will be able to visit the United States without nonimmigrant visitor visa.  Chile will join 37 participating countries in the VWP.

The Visa Waiver Program permits visa-free travel to the United States for eligible visitors for a stay of 90 days or less.  Extensions of stay are not permitted.  The purpose and activities associated with a VWP entry to the United States are similar to a B visa with regard to business or tourism.  Examples of permissible business related activities include but are not limited to:

  • Consulting with business associates or potential customers.
  • Attending a scientific, educational, professional, or business convention or conference.
  • Attending short-term training (but you may not be paid by any source in the United States with the exception of expenses incidental to your stay).
  • Negotiating a contract.
  • Attending a board of directors meeting.

Permissible tourist related activities include but are not limited to:

  • A vacation (holiday).
  • Visiting with friends or relatives.
  • Medical treatment.
  • Participation in social events hosted by fraternal, social, or service organizations.
  • Participation by amateurs in musical, sports, or similar events or contests, provided they are not being paid for participating.
  • Enrollment in a short recreational course of study, not for credit toward a degree (for example, a two-day cooking class while on vacation).