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ESTA Application

ESTA Application

ESTA stands for "Electronic System for Travel Authorization". ESTA is an online application system developed by the United States government to pre-screen travelers before they are allowed to enter the United States. Due to the increased security regulations that went into effect on January 12, 2009 - visitors traveling under the Visa Waiver Program must apply for a Travel Authorization in advance of their trip to the United States. In addition, all travelers must have a machine readable passport in order to gain admittance into the United States. The ESTA application process is entirely online and operated by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS).

Important Facts About ESTA:

  • ESTA (U.S. Travel Authorization) is not a visa. It is a pre-authorization to board a U.S.-bound ship or airplane.
  • The purpose of ESTA is to let the U.S. government pre-screen all Visa Waiver Travelers before they leave their respective countries.
  • Only citizens of one the 37 Visa Waiver Countries who are entering the United States under the Visa Waiver Program should apply.
  • It is recommended to apply for ESTA at least 72 hours prior to departure.
  • If your ESTA Application is denied, you will be required to apply for a B-1 Visitor Visa or B-2 Tourist Visa.
  • An approved ESTA Travel Authorization does not guarantee entry in to the United States.

Why should I apply for ESTA?


Who needs to apply for ESTA?

  • Starting on January 12, 2009 citizens from Visa Waiver countries must apply for ESTA (U.S. Travel Authorization) in order to be eligible for admittance into the United States.
  • The ESTA Travel Authorization is valid for up to two years and can easily be updated for future visits.

  • Any person who intends to visit the United States under the Visa Waiver Program and is entering the U.S. by air or sea.
  • Any person transiting through the United States under the Visa Waiver Program.
  • Children and infants who are visiting or transiting under the Visa Waiver Program are also required to have an approved ESTA application.

Below is an example of the successful confirmation page that you will see on your computer screen after your ESTA application is approved.

Sample ESTA Confirmation Page

About ESTA Applications

ESTA Application Online Application Process
ESTA Application Application takes less than 5 minutes
ESTA Application Over 99% Approval Rate (Source: DHS)
ESTA Application Mandatory Starting on January 12, 2009
ESTA Application Valid for up to 2 Years
Download the ESTA Application Guide and apply today!
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