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ESTA Application - Citizens of Brunei

Country: Brunei

Capital: Bandar Seri Begawan

ESTA Required: Yes

The Nation of Brunei, the Abode of Peace, joined the United States of America’s Visa Waiver Program (VWP) in 1993 as the second Asian country to be admitted into the program. Brunei passed the VWP-eligibility set forth by the U.S. government where they check whether a state has a high-income economy and a very high Human Development Index. Brunei passed the test and is a developed country that the U.S. approves of.

Citizens of Brunei naturally adopted the Electronic System of Travel Authorization (ESTA) as it was introduced in 2009. Since then, Bruneians have enjoyed a hassle-free immigration process for visits that relates to business, tourism (including medical purposes) and partaking in non-credit study programs. The ESTA is not a visa, but a travel document that gives access to the U.S. for Bruneians for up to 90 days. The ESTA itself is valid for two years, and a new application is required when it expires. If an ESTA application gets denied, then a B-2 tourist visa is needed to get through immigration. Getting a B-2 tourist visa means queuing up at the nearest U.S. Embassy and can be quite time-consuming. ESTA is very different. The ESTA can only be applied for online and make the process of visiting the U.S. less taxing.

U.S. Immigration statistics about Bruneian citizens (2017):

  • The total amount of visitors from Brunei: 1 479
  • Approved ESTA applications: 1 034
  • Students and exchange visitors: 133
  • Temporary workers and family-related applications: 27
  • Diplomats and other official representatives: 188
  • Other types of visitor categories: 5

The best way of traveling from Brunei to the U.S.

Brunei International Airport (BWN) is the main airport of Brunei and all flights to the U.S. has to start here. Flight time is at least 18 hours with one stop-over required, and there are quite a few carriers to choose from. For the first leg of the trip, these are the most popular carriers: AirAsia, Cebu Pacific, Lucky Air, Malaysia Airlines, Royal Brunei Airlines, and Singapore Airlines.

The fastest route towards the U.S. is to fly with a stopover that is located eastwards. With Cathay Pacific, you will fly through Hong Kong, with Asiana Airlines you will fly through South Korea, and with Singapore Airlines you can fly from Changi Airport (long haul flights). Unless you are planning to stay in your stopover destination for a while, traveling eastwards will be your best choice.

When should Bruneians apply for ESTA?

Since December 2018 it has been obligatory to apply for an ESTA 72 hours prior to boarding. Although, travelers are recommended to apply weeks or months in advance to ensure that their travel authorization (ESTA) is approved. Non-approved applications mean that a regular B-2 visa must be obtained at the nearest U.S. Embassy, which can take weeks to complete. If you have plans to visit the United States, apply today or well in advance. Read more about the ESTA application here.

Travelers with an approved ESTA can check its status or make updates. Visit this page for more information: verify/update ESTA.

Quick facts

Citizens of Brunei can apply for ESTA online

The ESTA is valid for 2 years for visitors from Brunei

Bruneians can stay in the U.S. for up to 90 days with an approved ESTA

Brunei’s overstay rate is only: 0.78%