Berkeley Lab

Visa Waiver Information


When entering the United States using the Visa Waiver Program, ensure that you are issued a WB entry stamp as a Temporary Business Visitor.  Be advised that entry stamps with the denomination “WT” (Tourist visa) are not acceptable documentation for your visit to Berkeley Lab. You will not be allowed access to Berkeley Lab with a WT entry stamp.

If you are entering the U.S. as a visiting researcher or an employee who will receive compensation from Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab), you do not qualify for the Visa Waiver Program. You must visit a U.S. embassy or consulate outside the United States to obtain a U.S. visa stamp in your passport before your departure. For information regarding visa issuance, please visit the DS-160: Online Nonimmigrant Visa Application page.

Effective October 26, 2004 all individuals entering the United States under the Visa Waiver Program (VWP) must present a machine-readable passport at a U.S. Port of Entry to be admitted into the United States without a visa.  A machine-readable passport is a passport that has two typeface lines printed at the bottom of the biographical page, which can be read by machine. Travelers without machine-readable passports must obtain a non-immigrant visa at a U.S. Embassy or Consulate before gaining access to the United States.

You need to obtain Electronic System for Travel Authorization  (ESTA) before traveling to the United States. Once you have done this, you will use your valid passport and your ESTA authorization to request entry into the United States.  A U.S. Customs and Border Protection Officer will issue a stamp in your passport valid for up to 90 days. Please DO NOT contact the U.S. Consulate or Embassy for this.

The Visa Waiver Program has restrictions:

  • WB status does not permit receipt of  any salary
  • The status may not be extended; and
  • The status may not be changed within the U.S. to any other immigration classification

Travelers eligible for the Visa Waiver Program may apply for a visa, if they prefer to do so. Not all countries participate in this program, and not all travelers from Visa Waiver Program countries are eligible to use the program. To see if you qualify under your country of nationality, click here.

For further information about the Visa Waiver Program or to find out if this program is appropriate for you, please contact a Visa and Immigration Services Advisor.