The Kingdom of Denmark joined the United States of America Visa Waiver Program (VWP) in 1991. And later in 2009 naturally adopted the streamlining of the VWP by being able to apply online for the Electronic System of Travel Authorization (ESTA). Denmark has for many years enjoyed strong ties to the U.S. in both trading and tourism and being able to apply for an ESTA has made traveling to the U.S. much more accessible.
ESTA is not the same as a visa. It is a travel document/authorization that grants citizens of Denmark entry to the U.S. for 90 days for the purpose of business, tourism (including medical purposes) and non-credit study programs. Those that get non-approved ESTA applications have to apply for the B-2 tourist visa instead, which means queuing up at the U.S. Embassy in Copenhagen.
It is important to apply at least 72 hours before boarding your airplane to avoid being denied your flight from Denmark. So be sure to apply in good time. When you hold the approved ESTA, it is valid for two years, and multiple entries are possible with the same ESTA.
U.S. Immigration statistics about Danes (2017):
- The total amount of visitors from Denmark: 377 327
- Approved ESTA applications: 345 070
- Students and exchange visitors: 6 992
- Temporary workers and family-related applications: 11 806
- Diplomats and other official representatives: 4 412
- Other types of visitor categories: 639
How to get from Denmark to the United States
Ever since 1820, Danes have traveled to the U.S. as immigrants. In fact, there are more than 1.5 million Americans with Denmark as their primary or secondary ancestry. The old boats they used in the early days have been replaced with modern airplanes. From Copenhagen Kastrup Airport, (CPH), you can reach the East Coast of the United States in 7-9 hours nonstop with carriers such as SAS Scandinavian Airlines or Norwegian Air Shuttle.
If you are on a budget or do not mind traveling with a stopover, then make sure to check out carriers such as Air Serbia, Virgin Atlantic, WOW Air, United Airlines, Austrian Airlines, British Airways, and Finnair.
Getting to Kastrup is easy. It is only about 15 minutes away from the city center and can be reached with bus, Metro, taxi or simply driving yourself. The three-zone ticket for bus/metro will cost around DKK 38 while a taxi will cost approximately DKK 250-300. You can also travel by train from Copenhagen Central Station. The trains run every 10 minutes during the day and will take you to the airport in about 13 minutes. In the night, the trains run 1-3 times per hour. Get tickets from ticketing machines (no cash, only major credit card brands) or the counter.
When should you apply for the ESTA?
Since December 2018 it has been obligatory to apply for an ESTA seventy-two hours before boarding. To be on the safe side, travelers are recommended to apply weeks or months in advance to ensure that their travel authorization (ESTA) is approved. Those that get denied have to apply for a regular B-2 visa at the nearest U.S. Embassy, which can take a very long time to complete. If you have plans to visit the United States, apply now or well in advance. Read more about the ESTA application here.
Danish citizens with an approved ESTA can check its status or make updates. Visit this page for more information: verify/update ESTA.
Danish citizens can apply for ESTA online
The ESTA is valid for 2 years for visitors from Denmark
Danes can stay in the U.S. for up to 90 days with an approved ESTA
Denmark’s overstay rate is only: 0.36%