This is a reminder for certain US bound business travelers from Australia, Europe, Japan, New Zealand, Singapore and South Korea. The Electronic System for Travel Authorization (ESTA) Program becomes mandatory on January 12, 2009.

The ESTA Program is an automated system to determine the eligibility of visitors traveling to the United States under the Visa Waiver Program (VWP) and whether such travel poses any law enforcement or security risk. Travelers to the United States under the VWP will need to apply for authorization prior to their journey. Currently, ESTA registration requirements are limited to VWP travelers and not individuals entering with a visitor, work or student visa.

For additional analysis regarding ESTA see our October 2008 and June 2008 Immigration Alerts.