We currently have the following tags:

Does it make sense to synonymise into ? Are there any other VWP's that we should know about, and cover with the or with their own tag?

  • Also, should something be done with the closely related esta tag? Many posts that are about the Visa Waiver Program get tagged with esta and vice versa. Oct 2, 2016 at 23:20
  • @NateEldredge you're probably aware that ESTA is strictly speaking not the same thing as VWP; it's possible to use the VWP in some circumstances (namely, land border crossings) without needing ESTA.
    – phoog
    Oct 5, 2016 at 21:39
  • @phoog: Yes, I know that. The problem is that many people don't, and I wonder if maintaining the distinction between them is worth the tradeoff of having many posts mis-tagged. Since ESTA is used only as part of the VWP, as far as I know, it wouldn't be completely unreasonable to just use vwp for questions about ESTA. Oct 6, 2016 at 13:51
  • @NateEldredge that seems like a good idea. I suspect though that a new user who is unfamiliar with the term "vwp" is going to be looking for an "esta" tag. Maybe they should be synonyms; esta is in fact part of the VWP as you say, in that the use of ESTA implies the use of the VWP.
    – phoog
    Oct 6, 2016 at 14:28

1 Answer 1



Keep . It is specific and frequent enough.

Either synonymise or delete . Synonymise if there is no other relevant visa waiver programme. Delete if at least one other country of similar relevancy here has one. Maybe also blacklist.

If other countries do have one, add a as necessary. However, for rare programmes of uncommon countries stick to + .


Tags are supposed to ease searching and categorise questions. At the same time, tags are not supposed to be inherently hierarchical, but sub-tags are allowed for sufficiently relevant sub-topics.

The fulfils the condition of being a sufficiently relevant sub-topic to warrant its own tag in my humble opinion. It applies to a very large country that counts lots of international tourists, a sufficient number of nationals are eligible for it and both sides are very likely to frequent Travel.SE. Indeed, it has sparked so many questions (174 excluding Closed as of right now) and sufficient answers to have a tag badge. Its name is good since it’s descriptive and non-ambiguous.

is not a good name for a tag as it is potentially ambiguous. As of its current tag wiki, it is meant to mean the same thing as . However, the abbreviation’s full name is short enough to be allowed as a tag so that should be used to prevent mistaggings, misconceptions and misunderstandings.

I am unaware of any other sufficiently important countries that have a similar programme as the US do with their Visa Waiver Program. Thus, in its current state it seems like synonymising is the course of action to be taken. It is, however, very possible that I am just not knowledgeable enough and that other countries do have a similar yet distinct programme under the same name. If that is the case, then deleting and blacklisting the tag is the better solution, since keeping it could again allow mistaggings.

‘Sufficiently important’ is purposefully arbitrary. The UK is a rather small country but they are well-known on a global level and attract a high number of tourists each year. If the UK adopts such a programme, giving it a corresponding tag will be the correct choice of action in the long run. Papua New Guinea is twice the size but has a significantly smaller population and significantly less tourism. If they adopt such a programme we likely won’t realise for quite some time and a separate tag is not necessary. The extensive grey area in-between is where judgement will have to be used.

Finally, why would we want other tags for sufficiently important countries? It’s basically the same argument as above; if something sparks enough questions (and the US Visa Waiver Program certainly does) then it warrants a tag.

  • 1
    @pnuts I just jumped over to Stack Overflow (where I am not a regular user), opened the tags page and typed in python. There is a very large number rather specific tags and also a smaller number of rather broad tags. I think that backs my argument more than it invalidates it.
    – Jan
    Sep 30, 2016 at 12:52
  • 1
    @pnuts I did somewhat. In my opinion there is still enough merit to the tags.
    – Jan
    Sep 30, 2016 at 13:27
  • 1
    @pnuts And that’s also well and good; I’m democratic enough to adhere to the majority’s opinion :)
    – Jan
    Sep 30, 2016 at 13:32
  • 1
    Is there any technical difference between "visa waiver program" and "visa free entry" other than the first being the official name the US uses? More specifically when I as an Australian enter the EU or UK without a visa is there a visa being waived or not? Would their system/scheme/etc of which persons don't need a visa and what rules pertain a program? Even if there is a technical difference is it one the average person would habitually keep clear? Is the difference that with one there is at least a notional visa if not a physical one and the other doesn't have even a notional one? Oct 1, 2016 at 5:19
  • Here's a Wikipedia article that uses the term "waive" or "waiver" in relation to visa-free-entry into Vietnam. So it seems at least this word is used at least in unofficial sources. Even better, following a link from that page I found this article which goes further to include the exact phrase "visa waiver program" in relation to Europeans visiting Vietnam. Oct 1, 2016 at 13:13
  • The UK is the 21st most populous country in the world -- I wouldn't call that "rather small". Oct 2, 2016 at 9:23
  • @HenningMakholm It’s rather small by area, though.
    – Jan
    Oct 2, 2016 at 18:00
  • @pnuts I see you deleted your answer … since I can’t see deleted answers yet, what was its final score? (NB, I don’t think it should have been deleted; this is discussion after all …)
    – Jan
    Oct 2, 2016 at 19:18
  • @pnuts Oh, so you did. I didn’t even bother checking vote counts ^^'
    – Jan
    Oct 2, 2016 at 19:59
  • 1
    @pnuts I would have rolled back already if I had disagreed. I now feel a little proud that I didn’t even use an incorrect comma or anything. (One of the mods over at German is really good with noticing missing commas that hit me once in a while so … yeah ^^)
    – Jan
    Oct 2, 2016 at 20:10

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