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CBP offers Visa Waiver Program travelers a 30-day extension due to the coronavirus pandemic

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The US Customs and Border Protection Service (CBP) has announced that Visa Waiver Program travelers can request an additional 30-day extension of their admission period if they find themselves unable to leave the United States due to the new coronavirus pandemic.

The extension is offered to those who entered the USA under the Visa Waiver Program (VWP) and face travel restrictions, flight cancellations or illness.

The Visa Waiver Program allows citizens of 39 countries (Brazil is not included) to travel to the United States for business or tourism with stays of up to 90 days without a visa. In return, these 39 nations allow US citizens to travel to their countries for a similar period without the need for a business or tourist visa.

Citizens of countries like Australia, Austria, Chile, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Portugal and Spain can apply for the VWP.

VWP travelers can seek an extension of their stay by contacting CBP or the US Citzenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) to request a departure extension before their current admission period expires. Grants of satisfactory departure are made at the discretion of the CBP reviewing officer.

Travelers staying in the United States beyond the legal admission period lose their eligibility to travel under the Visa Waiver Program and may be subject to additional fines under US law.