US flag signifying that this is a United States Federal Government website   Official website of the Department of Homeland Security

Homeland Security

Visa Waiver Program and Guam-CNMI Visa Waiver Program

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
Last Published Date: June 29, 2012
Back to Top