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. Also, all travelers must have a machine-readable passport 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 38 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 into the United States.
Why Should I 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.
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 also required to have an approved ESTA application.
About ESTA Applications
Online Application Process
Application takes less than 15 minutes
Over 99% Approval Rate (Source: DHS)
Mandatory Starting on January 12, 2009
Valid for up to 2 Years
Complete the ESTA Form in Four Simple Steps
Travelers holding a passport from a Visa Waiver country can enter the USA with an approved ESTA travel authorization. Do you own a passport that allows for travel to the United States under the Visa Waiver Program? If the answer is “yes,” you will need an approved ESTA. Here are four simple steps to complete the form:
- Step 1 - Start the ESTA form by clicking on the “CLICK TO APPLY”-button. Enter all the required information, such as the applicants’ name, gender, email, date of birth and passport number. Once you have entered all the needed information, you may continue to the 2nd step.
- Step 2 - Continue entering the required information, such as other citizenship, emergency contact, and address in the United States. Once you have entered all the needed information, you can continue to the 3rd step.
- Step 3 - In the 3rd step, you may enter your first name, last name, your payment details, and billing information. Submit secure payment for your application to complete the 3rd step.
- Step 4 - In the 4th step, you will see that you have successfully submitted your application for review and processing. You will receive your ESTA by email in PDF-format if you are approved.
What information is needed to complete the online ESTA form?
- Your name, date of birth and a working email address.
- Your parents’ names.
- Your passport details (number, country of issue, expiry date).
- Your emergency contact.
- The address of your stay in the United States as of the time of application (not needed if you plan to transit via the U.S.).
- Information about your history of infectious diseases, if any.
- Information about your history of arrests or convictions for certain crimes, if any.
- Information about your history of deportation or visa revocation, if any.
Check here if you already have an approved ESTA application.