The headline refers to an opportunity for people aged 18-50 years to come to the USA for free in 2024, including their dependants or family members.
To be eligible for this opportunity, applicants must:
- Be aged 18-50 years as of 2024. Both the main applicant and any dependants must fall within this age range.
- Be from one of the countries participating in the Visa Waiver Program (VWP). The VWP allows citizens of certain countries to travel to the US for tourism or business for 90 days or less without obtaining a visa. Countries that participate in the VWP include the UK, Australia, Japan, Singapore, and most EU countries.
- Have a valid passport from a VWP country that will remain valid for at least 6 months beyond the intended period of stay in the US.
- Obtain Electronic System for Travel Authorization (ESTA) approval prior to travel under the VWP. ESTA determines eligibility to travel under the VWP.
- Intend to stay in the US for 90 days or less for tourism or business purposes. The VWP does not allow applicants to study, work, or live permanently in the US.
- Have proof of financial means to cover expenses in the US and an intent to depart the US after the visit.
- Not have any criminal convictions or communicable diseases that could make them inadmissible to the US.
In addition to the main applicant meeting these criteria, any dependants travelling with them must also qualify.
Eligible applicants interested in this opportunity must complete these key steps:
- Apply for ESTA: All prospective travelers under the VWP must obtain ESTA approval prior to travel to the US. The ESTA application can be completed online and costs $21 USD ($17 authorization fee + $4 processing fee) per applicant. Approval through ESTA can take 72 hours.
- Make travel arrangements: Once ESTA is approved, applicants can book flights and make other travel arrangements to the US. They must have a return or onward ticket showing intent to depart the US after 90 days or less.
- Complete entry process on arrival: When arriving in the US, applicants will need to provide their ESTA approval, passport, and completed I-94W form to the Customs and Border Protection officer to complete the entry process.
Throughout the process, applicants should ensure they continue to meet all VWP eligibility requirements. Any changes in eligibility could require obtaining a regular visitor (B-2) visa instead to travel to the US.
Benefits for Dependents
One of the key benefits highlighted in the headline is that dependants are welcome to accompany the main applicant to the US.
Under the VWP, the following relatives may be eligible to travel with the principle applicant as dependants:
- Unmarried children under 21 years of age
- Unmarried sons or daughters over 21 but under 26 years old enrolled as full-time students at a post-secondary academic institution
Any eligible dependants can enjoy the same opportunities to visit the US visa-free with the main applicant. However, each dependant must individually meet all VWP eligibility criteria and obtain separate ESTA approval before travel.
Having dependants accompany you on a trip to the US can make for a more enjoyable experience. Family members can help split costs for accommodation and rental vehicles. More people also means you can divide up tasks like childcare or driving during the trip.
Opportunities in the USA
Spending up to 90 days in the US offers many exciting opportunities for visitors. Here are some of the top things you can experience during your trip:
Tour National Parks: The US has 63 National Parks across the country that showcase stunning scenery, landscapes, historical sites, and wildlife.
Parks like Yellowstone, Yosemite, and the Grand Canyon should be on every visitor’s list. What’s great is there are 6 days in 2024 when all National Parks will have free entry.
Visit Major Cities: US cities like New York, San Francisco, Las Vegas, and Miami offer world-class dining, entertainment, culture, and attractions for visitors to enjoy. Iconic landmarks, shows on Broadway, incredible food, and great shopping await.
Road Trips: Driving along scenic routes like Route 66 or the Pacific Coast Highway is a great way to see magnificent landscapes across the country.
Renting an RV also allows you to have accommodations while on the move.
Outdoor Activities: The US has no shortage of epic outdoor adventures like skiing in Colorado, surfing in Hawaii, hiking trails in Utah, or kayaking in Alaska.
The options are incredible for outdoor enthusiasts. Spending up to 90 days touring the US under the VWP gives visitors a chance to experience some incredible destinations across the 50 states. Having dependants join you makes it even better.
The opportunity highlighted in the headline offers an exciting prospect for visitors to come to the US visa-free in 2024. Taking advantage of the VWP saves time and money compared to obtaining regular visitor visas.
Just be sure all applicants, including any dependants, meet the eligibility criteria first. Once in the US, enjoying iconic attractions, cities, road trips, and outdoor adventures will make for an unforgettable trip.