Visa Waiver Agreements
As part of the EU`s visa liberalisation policy and this specific visa waiver agreement, the total duration that an Australian citizen can hold in Europe is 3 months anywhere in the Schengen area, followed by only 3 months in Germany. The standard passport validity requirement is six months beyond the expected date of departure from the United States. However, the United States has signed agreements with a number of countries to waive this requirement.   To qualify for a visa waiver under the VWP, a traveler applying to enter the United States must be a citizen of a country designated as a “program country” by the U.S. Secretary of Homeland Security, in consultation with the Secretary of State. Permanent residents of designated countries who are not nationals of a given country are not entitled to the visa waiver. The criteria for designation as a program country are set out in Section 217(c) of the Immigration and Nationality Act (Title 8 U.S.C§ 1187).  The criteria emphasize passport security and a very low refusal rate for non-immigration visas, no more than 3% in accordance with Section 217(c)(2)(A) of the Immigration and Nationality Act and ongoing compliance with U.S. Immigration Law.
During his visit to Estonia in November 2006, President Bush announced his intention to “cooperate with our Congress and international partners to modify our visa waiver program.” . . .