ESTA (United States Travel Authorization) for Citizens of Belgium


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Country: Belgium

ESTA Required: Yes

Belgium is part of the Visa Waiver Program, which enables citizens of Belgium 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 application system for all travelers from Visa Waiver Countries, including Belgium. The Visa Waiver Program has simplified travel to the United States for millions of visitors by only requiring a machine-readable passport. Now, due to heightened security regulations, the same visitors must apply for a Travel Authorization (ESTA) in advance. As always, a machine-readable or e-passport from a Visa Waiver country is still required to gain admittance into the country. The entire ESTA application process is conducted online and operated by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS).

A Travel Authorization is not a visa. A person from a non-visa waiver country should not even attempt to apply for a Travel Authorization. The purpose of ESTA is to allow DHS to pre-screen all Visa Waiver Travelers before they leave their respective countries. All U.S. bound Belgian travelers are recommended to apply for the Travel Authorization at least 72 hours before 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:

  • An ESTA 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.
  • Citizens of one the 38 Visa Waiver Countries (including Belgium) entering the U.S. 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.

Do citizens of Belgium need to apply for ESTA?

  • Yes, citizens of Belgium need to apply for ESTA before entering the United States.
  • All travelers that intends to visit the United States under the Visa Waiver Program via air or sea.
  • Any traveler transiting through the United States under the Visa Waiver Program.
  • Children and infants who visit or transit to the United States under the Visa Waiver Program.

When should you apply for a United States Travel Authorization?

  • Citizens from all of the Visa Waiver countries (including Belgium) must apply and be approved after January 12, 2009.
  • Travelers transiting through the United States must also possess an approved Travel Authorization.
  • If your application for a Travel Authorization is denied, you must apply for a B-1 Visitor Visa or B-2 Tourist Visa which can take weeks or months.

About ESTA Applications

Online application process

Application takes less than 15 minutes

Over 99% approval rate (Source: DHS)

Mandatory since January 12, 2009

Valid for up to 2 years