ESTA (Electronic System for Travel Authorization) Application for Citizens of Australia
ESTA Required: Yes
Australia is one of the countries in the Visa Waiver Program, which enables Australian passport holders to travel to the United States without a visa. On January 12, 2009, ESTA (the Electronic System for Travel Authorization) became a requirement of the Visa Waiver Program. ESTA is an online application system available to all travelers from Visa Waiver Countries, including Australia. The Visa Waiver Program has since inception simplified travel to the United States for millions of visitors by only requiring a machine-readable passport. However, due to heightened security regulations, the same visitors must apply for a Travel Authorization (ESTA) in advance. A machine-readable or e-passport from a Visa Waiver country is a mandatory requirement to apply. Most countries issue e-passports at this time. The entire ESTA application process is conducted online and operated by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS). Only the DHS has authority to approve whether an application for a Travel Authorization is approved or not.
A Travel Authorization is not a visa and only available to citizens of a visa waiver country. Travelers from non-visa waiver countries must still apply for the B-2 tourist visa at a US embassy. The purpose of ESTA is to allow DHS to pre-screen all Visa Waiver Travelers before they leave their respective countries. U.S. bound Australian travelers are recommended to apply for the Travel Authorization at least 72 hours prior to departure. An approved Travel Authorization does not guarantee entry, but is a prerequisite to travel to the United States by air or sea carrier.
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 38 Visa Waiver Countries who are entering the United States under the Visa Waiver Program is eligible to 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?
- On January 12, 2009 citizens from Visa Waiver countries were required to 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 with new itinerary.
- It is not possible to renew a travel authorization once expired. All travelers must apply for a new application at this point or earlier.
Who needs to apply for ESTA?
- 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 required to have an approved ESTA application and travel on their own passports.
About ESTA Applications
Online Application Process
Application takes less than 15 minutes
Over 99% Approval Rate
Mandatory from January 12, 2009
Valid for up to 2 Years