Why is authorization under ESTA required for United States-bound travel under the Visa Waiver Program?

No. The requirements for a nonimmigrant visitor (B1/B2) visa are different under U.S. statute and more complex than the requirements for an ESTA. Applicants for a B1/B2 visa must in most cases undergo an interview with a United States Department of State consular officer, submit their biometric information in advance of travel, and provide additional biographic information not required under ESTA. These requirements do not exist for VWP travelers and will not exist with the addition of new ESTA questions.

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