Maui is part of the state of Hawaii, which is located in the U.S., and is the second largest of the Hawaiian islands. In 2010, Maui had a population of 144,444—the third-highest of the Hawaiian Islands.
Many people from around the world vacation in Maui, or head to the island searching for job opportunities. But before packing your bags you need to know, “Do I need Visa to visit Maui? ”
Who is Eligible to Visit Maui Without a Visa?
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For select countries, it’s not necessary to apply for a visa if traveling to Hawaii within 90 days of sightseeing, short-term business trip, or transit, however, they will have to apply for an ESTA online.
The United States Government has established the Visa Waiver Program (VWP), which allows citizens of some countries to travel to Hawaii without needing a visa (full list below!).
Although a visa is not required generally for a trip to Hawaii, travelers from said countries must apply for ESTA before they travel.
Those approved for Travel Authorization through ESTA are permitted to travel to Hawaii without holding a visa.
The US Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and the U.S. embassy recommends applying for ESTA as soon as your trip to Hawaii becomes concrete. ESTA is a mandatory travel authorization system for all ages traveling to Hawaii.
Who Can’t Travel to Maui?
People that have been denied entry to the U.S. in the past, or have not had their visa application approved, or have a criminal record in the past may not be permitted to travel by ESTA, and may receive the notification, “Travel authorization declined.”
As a result, they have to file an application for a visa through their the United States embassy.
Also, under the Terrorist Travel Prevention Act, people who have traveled or stayed in Somalia, Yemen, Syria, Libya, Iraq, Iran, Sudan, or North Korea after March 1, 2011, are not authorized to travel to the U.S. by ESTA, in general.
*Due to the spread of COVID-19, the U.S. government has restricted travel since March 2020.
Which Countries are Eligible for the Visa Waiver Program (VWP)?
- Czech Republic
- New Zealand
- South Korea
- San Marino
- United Kingdom
Take note that the Visa Waiver Program (VWP) is available to British subjects only if they have permanent residency in the Channel Islands, the Isle of Mann, Northern Ireland, England, Scotland, or Wales.
What are the Conditions of Eligibility for the Visa Waiver Program (VWP)?
- You must have “Travel Authorization” under ESTA (the Electric System for Travel Authorization).
- Your staying period in the U.S, including Hawaii, must be no longer than 90 days.
- You must be a citizen of the participating countries in the VWP, and hold a valid passport of that country.
- Your purpose of travel must not be anything apart from the following: sightseeing, business, short-term training, contractual negotiations, visiting friends or acquaintances, participation in an event or contest without reward, or as part of general transit.
- You must have a round-trip ticket, or one for the next destination, when entering the United States.
- It’s recommended that you carry a copy of your travel itinerary on paper or as an e-ticket.
What Items do you need for Immigration?
- Valid passport.
- QR code created at Travel & Health form (screenshot on a smartphone or printed out paper).
- Cell phone available to contact Hawaii state health department.
- A negative COVID-19 test from PCR test taken at certain medical institutions specified by Hawaii within 72 hours of departure.
- A visa (if you are not a citizen of the countries eligible for the VWP).
- Customs declaration.
What are the Visa Types Available for Countries not Eligible for the VWP?
Those visitors whose countries don’t fall under the VWP need visas to enter the country. Below are some types of visas they can apply for :
Working Holiday Visas: this type is a short-stay visa, and it’s issued to promote international exchange and allow people to combine travel and work.
Cultural Exchange Visa: typically issued to athletes and performing artists, this type of Visa allows people to come to the U.S to take part in an established international cultural exchange program.
Athletic or Artistic Visa: issued to athletes and performing artists who are looking to take place in competitions, shows, and other types of events.
Tourist Visa: the most common type of travel visa is a Tourist Visa, issued for a limited period of time for leisure travel.
Student Visa: A student visa allows its holder to reside and study in the United States.
Temporary Worker Visa: People looking to seek employment in Maui for a fixed period of time may apply for this type of Visa. They are typically difficult to obtain. They may be valid for longer periods than Business or Student Visas.