Adding Countries to the Visa Waiver Program: Effects on National Security and Tourism [Updated October 27, 2021] [open pdf - 1MB]
From the Introduction: "The U.S. government's Visa Waiver Program (VWP) allows eligible nationals from 40 countries to enter the United States for stays of fewer than 90 days for tourism or business purposes without applying for a visa from a U.S. embassy or consulate. Originally established in 1986 as a pilot program, the VWP was made permanent in 2000. VWP countries account for the largest group of visitors to the United States other than travelers from neighboring Canada and Mexico. In FY2019, 22.9 million VWP visitors were admitted to the United States, the largest number of people ever to enter under the program in a single year. This report offers an overview of the VWP. It discusses the potential effects on national security and considers the likely economic effects on the U.S. travel and tourism industries if more countries were to be added to the program. The report also reviews recent legislative proposals related to the expansion and implementation of the VWP, and legislation targeting U.S. travel promotion, including the Brand USA program, which Electronic System for Travel Authorization (ESTA) fees partially fund."
CRS Report for Congress, R46300
Congressional Research Service: https://crsreports.congress.gov/