How Both Operate in Guam and the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands (CNMI)
As of November 28, 2009, both the Visa Waiver Program (VWP under INA § 217) and the Guam-CNMI Visa Waiver Program operate in Guam and the CNMI.
- Nonimmigrant visitors may be able to apply for admission to Guam or the CNMI under one or both programs, depending on the nonimmigrant visitors’ nationality or citizenship.
- The permitted length of stay will depend on whether the nonimmigrant visitors are admitted under the VWP (INA § 217) or under the Guam-CNMI Visa Waiver Program (INA § 212(l)).
- VWP: admission not to exceed 90 days
- Guam-CNMI Visa Waiver Program: admission not to exceed 45 days
- Nonimmigrant visitors who are not eligible for admission under either the VWP or the Guam-CNMI Visa Waiver Program must possess a valid passport and obtain a visa from a U.S. Embassy or Consulate.
- Nonimmigrant visitors to the CNMI no longer will be able to enter using the CNMI Visitor Entry Permit.
Comparison of Programs – Key Differences
Visa Waiver Program (INA § 217):
- 36 participating countries/geographic areas
- Admission not to exceed 90 days
- Admission to the United States, including the 50 states
- ESTA electronic travel authorization required
- Requires completed and signed Form I-94W
Guam-CNMI Visa Waiver Program (INA § 212(l)):
- 12 participating countries/geographic areas
- Admission not to exceed 45 days
- Admission only to Guam and/or the CNMI
- No electronic travel authorization currently required
- Requires completed and signed Form I-736
- Requires a completed Form I-94