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 board an airplane or cruise ship bound for the United States. Since January 12, 2009, any person entering the United States under the Visa Waiver Program is required to hold an approved ESTA travel authorization.
Who Needs to Apply for ESTA?
All travelers entering the United States (by air or sea) under the Visa Waiver Program are required to hold a valid ESTA travel authorization. The purpose of the ESTA is to allow DHS to pre-screen all Visa Waiver Travelers before they leave their respective countries. U.S.-bound travelers are recommended to apply for a travel authorization at least 72 hours before departure.
What is the VWP?
The Visa Waiver Program (VWP) is a U.S. government program that enables citizens and nationals from the Visa Waiver Countries to enter the United States for tourism or business purposes for up to 90 days without obtaining a visa. The Visa Waiver Program allows travelers to visit the United States on short notice without the need to apply for a traditional U.S. tourist visa in advance.
Free ESTA Eligibility Test
Only citizens of the Visa Waiver Countries are allowed to apply for ESTA. It is essential to know if you qualify for ESTA before you submit your application. Use the drop-down menu to select your nationality and click on the *Submit* button.
Select Your Citizenship:
ESTA applications can only be made online. You do not have to visit a U.S. Embassy or Consulate in person. Completing the application takes less than 15 minutes on average. Travelers are recommended to print and bring the approved ESTA when traveling to the United States.
Traveling to the USA with ESTA
What is the average time it takes to apply for ESTA?
The ESTA online application takes between five and ten minutes. Within 72 hours of submitting the form, you will likely receive your travel authorization email. Be sure to submit your ESTA application three days before you plan to go on your trip.As all information in the application is compared with existing databases, it is essential to be truthful. Additional questions might be asked if the submitted data is not valid. You may also be asked other questions if the information presented is invalid. In these cases, your ESTA application could be denied.
Where can I apply to ESTA?
You may submit your online applications for ESTA using this website. You can submit your application online, and we will assist you in completing it. You don’t need a hotel or flight booking to submit your application. You must complete the application at least 72 hours before departure.
Visa Waiver Program (VWP)
The Visa Waiver Program (VWP) is a United States government program that allows citizens of all Visa Waiver Countries to travel to the United States for business, pleasure, or transit. It does not require obtaining a tourist visa beforehand. You can travel to the US quickly if you have travel authorization. But the VWP is not for everyone, because only citizens of Visa Waiver Countries can apply.
Who is eligible to apply for ESTA?
Travel authorizations are required for all travelers who travel to the United States by air or sea under the Visa Waiver Program. DHS will pre-screen Visa Waiver Travelers before they travel out of their countries. The purpose and function of the ESTA are to enable DHS to do so. Travel authorizations for U.S.-bound travelers should be applied for at least 72 hours before departure.
Apply online for ESTA
Before you submit an online application, confirming that you are eligible for an ESTA authorization is essential. These are the requirements:
A valid passport is required for the traveler
A valid passport issued by a country member of the VWP is essential. We will attach your passport details to your application, and once you have received ESTA authorization, it will be valid until your Visa Waiver expires or your passport becomes invalid. You cannot transfer your ESTA authorization from one passport to the next. You must apply for ESTA once more with your new passport if your passport is about to expire.
The US has not charged the traveler with any criminal offenses
It is essential to not have any criminal record or be involved in terrorist activities. ESTA’s primary purpose is to increase safety and security for travelers and residents of other countries. However, your ESTA application is not automatically denied if you have a minor criminal record. The interview at the port of entry may include additional questions.
The traveler plans to visit the US for less than 90 days
ESTA is only for short-term travel. No matter your flight’s purpose, you can travel to the United States for up to 90 days for:
Short study programs
ESTA cannot be used to search for a job in the USA. Studying in the USA under the Visa Waiver program is also not possible. Your application to enter the USA with the ESTA for extended stays of more than 90 days will be rejected, and you will not be able to apply for ESTA again.
The United States has an agreement in place with certain countries, and the ESTA application is only available to citizens of VWP member states. They can travel to the United States as tourists. You cannot apply if you are not a citizen from a country included in the agreement.
To enter the United States, you must meet these requirements
To avoid any unexpected situations on your arrival in the USA, you must familiarize yourself with the regulations before traveling to the US.First, you cannot bring an empty or low-powered battery on certain flights. You may have your mobile phone charged at any time. If you violate this rule, you may not be allowed to board the aircraft. You will need to complete Customs Form 6059B during the flight. This form is used to track any particular items brought into the country. The I-94 form is created when you pass through Border Control, and this form is not available on paper for travelers who arrive by air. It can be downloaded electronically.
The US Customs and Border Protection will review your documents, and a CBP officer will also perform the US-VISIT procedure. This involves taking your fingerprint and a photograph and verifying your identity using your biometric data. The US authorities are authorized to see details about your travel plans. You are advised to bring with you a copy of any travel documents. You may also need to provide documents proving your financial resources. After completing these steps, you will be processed by Customs.A valid passport must be carried with you on your entire trip, even on the day of departure. Some countries have exceptions to the rule. More information can be found on the CBP website. A visa is required if the traveler doesn’t have an ESTA travel authorization. Keep in mind that routine baggage and luggage checks are possible even if there is nothing to declare. Check the complete list at www.cbp.gov to ensure you don’t have anything to declare. You may be required to show your driver’s license, documentation, and proof of liability insurance if you are traveling by land from Canada or Mexico.