Entry Visas and ESTA
Applications for the U.S.
U.S. Entry Visas
Under U.S. law, all travelers using the visa waiver program to come to the U.S. by plane or ship are obliged to get an electronic travel authorization (ESTA) before boarding the aircraft or ship.
Saipan is covered by both ESTA and a separate Guam-Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands visa waiver program.
If you do not have an ESTA or U.S. entry visa, you can enter the country by filling in/applying for an I-736 (immigration form).
Passengers are responsible for checking the latest information on travel documents necessary.
Please see the U.S. Embassy in Japan website for details.
The U.S. Visa Waiver Program and ESTA
This system allows foreign visitors (including from Japan) to stay in the U.S. for business or tourism without a visa for up to 90 days. The system is administered by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS).
Please see the U.S. Government official website for details.
ESTA stands for Electronic System for Travel Authorization, a pre-departure check to confirm that persons traveling to the U.S. under the visa waiver program are not a threat and are eligible for entry.
Obtaining an ESTA beforehand makes immigration easier, as you can skip filling in the I-736 (immigration form) and having it examined, so we recommend getting an ESTA. There have been cases where the application takes over 72 hours, so we recommend applying well in advance.
Guam-Northern Mariana Islands Visa Waiver Program and I-736
You must present an I-736 (immigration form) when entering Saipan under the Guam-Northern Mariana Islands Visa Waiver Program for a short business or tourist visit. An ESTA is not required in this case.
Please prepare the document in one of the following ways.
- Enter your details on the I-736 website before traveling. Sign the printed form and present it to the immigration officer on entry.
*Use a form printed no more than 7 days prior to the day of departure. Forms printed more than 7 days previously are invalid.
- Fill in an I-736 (immigration form) handed out on board and present it to the immigration officer on entry.
Conditions of use of the visa waiver program
Under the Visa Waiver Program Improvement and Terrorist Travel Prevention Act, passengers who fall under any of the following classifications cannot use the visa waiver program and need to get a non-immigrant visa. Please consult your nearest U.S. Embassy or Consulate.
- Citizens of countries in the visa waiver program who have traveled to or been present in Iran, Iraq, Sudan, Syria, Liberia, Somalia or Yemen on or after 1 March 2011
- Citizens of countries in the visa waiver country who have dual nationality for Iran, Iraq, Sudan or Syria
- *Individuals who travel on behalf of an international organization, regional organization or sub-national government on official duty, on behalf of a humanitarian NGO on official duty, as a journalist for reporting purposes, or to Iran or Iraq for legitimate business-related purposes may be eligible for a waiver on a case-by-case basis.