Restricted entry to the United States

The Executive Order restricting the entry of foreign nationals into the United States from six countries (Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, and Yemen) has been in effect since 16th March 2017. If you are a citizen of one of these six countries, you may enter the United States provided you meet the following conditions:

  • If you are in possession of a valid US visa that is not physically marked as revoked or cancelled
  • If you have dual citizenship and are entering the United States with a passport for which no restrictions apply
  • If you are a holder of a valid US permanent residence card (Green Card)

Please note that individual citizens from these six countries might not be accepted on board US bound flights. The passengers concerned are requested to contact the nearest US consulate or embassy for further information and advice.

Visa-free entry

Provided you comply with all of the criteria listed below, you can enter the United States without a visa.

  • You are a citizen of a country covered by the Visa Waiver Program.
  • You hold a passport that adheres to the criteria required by the USA.
  • You have an Electronic System Travel Authorization (ESTA).
  • You provided the required API details during check-in or when booking your flight.*

*Airlines are obliged to transfer the Advance Passenger Information (API) to the US authorities immediately following departure of the respective flight. The required API consists of the following personal passenger data: surname, name, biometric data, date of birth, nationality, passport number and gender.

Which passport do I need for the United States?

Please check first to see whether your passport meets the requirements of the US authorities and is valid for a sufficient length of time. You will need a biometric passport to travel to the United States.

Visa Waiver Program (VWP)

38 countries –including Switzerland- are currently included in the Visa Waiver Program (VWP). Citizens from these countries are eligible for visa-free entry to the United States for stays of up to maximum ninety (90) days.

Electronic System for Travel Authorization (ESTA)

ESTA travel authorisation is a requirement for entry without a visa. Please make sure you apply for it at the latest 72 hours before departure.

ESTA travel authorisations that have already been issued will become invalid if you were in Iraq, Iran, Syria or Sudan on or after 1st March 2011, or if you are a citizen of one of the aforementioned countries.

Apply for a US visa

Please get in touch with the US embassy in your country to apply for a US visa. Important links regarding visa:

Transportation Security Administration (TSA) Pre-Check

Edelweiss is part of the TSA Pre-Check programme. For TSA Pre-Check registered passengers, this means easier departures from more than 200 US airports. Additionally, as a member of this programme, you benefit from expedited security screening with shorter queues and without having to remove shoes, light jackets, belts, liquids and laptops. No separate approval is needed for children under the age of 12 if they are travelling with a parent or guardian who has TSA Pre-Check.

After being registered, you will receive a “known traveler number” (KTN) which you will need to provide at every check-in. If you are member of the Global Entry programme, you will automatically be registered for TSA PreCheck.