For many international attendees of the annual NAB Show, the visa and immigration rules are a familiar process. However, as of 12 January 2009, U.S. Customs and Border Protection is implementing new rules for travelers from countries participating in the Visa Waiver Program.
For the 2009 NAB Show (or other travel to the United States), all foreigners visiting the United States need either a visa or electronic travel authorization. The only exceptions are citizens of Canada, Bermuda, the Marshall Islands and Micronesia.
If you previously could enter the United States without a visa, you will now need to visit the Electronic System for Travel Authorization Web site and apply for authorization at least 72 hours prior to travel. Authorization is free and the online tool is accessible in 21 languages.
Citizens of the following countries are affected by the new rules: Andorra, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Brunei, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Monaco, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Portugal, San Marino, Singapore, Slovak Republic, Slovenia, South Korea, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and the United Kingdom.
Additional information is available via the U.S. State Department or Customs and Border Protection Web sites.