Slovakia was accepted by the United States of America to join its Visa Waiver Program (VWP) in October 2008 by President Bush. Joining the VWP meant that Slovak citizens could visit the United States without a visa under certain circumstances. The “Electronic System of Travel Authorization” (ESTA) was introduced the next year by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security which meant that citizens of Slovakia could simply go online and apply for a 90 day stay in the U.S. without a visa.
ESTA is valid for only 2 years but can be used multiple times, and each stay cannot exceed 90 days. The visit has to be for the purpose of business, tourism (including medical purposes) and for attending non-credit study programs. If you are visiting the U.S. for more than 90 days, or other purposes, a tourist visa is required.
- The total amount of visitors from Slovakia: 61 425
- Approved ESTA applications: 49 399
- Students and exchange visitors: 4 812
- Temporary workers and family-related applications: 2 106
- Diplomats and other official representatives: 795
- Other types of visitor categories: 252
Right in the heart of Europe lies Slovakia bordered by Poland, Ukraine, Hungary, and Austria. It takes approximately 9.5 hours to fly from Slovakia to the U.S. direct. Let’s look at the travel options for the 8,572 km journey, including indirect options that might be kinder on your wallet.
Slovakia has three international airports Bratislava Airport, Košice International Airport. and Poprad-Tatry International Airport yet none operate flights directly to the U.S., but they will offer you a stepping stone to mainland Europe international routes.
Bratislava Airport has direct flights to Ireland, Italy, Germany, Greece, Russia, Spain, and cities throughout the UK. Košice International Airport have flights going to the UK and Germany, and Poprad-Tatry International Airport have flights to London seasonally. From these European cities, you can quickly fly onwards to the U.S.
From European hubs like Dublin, Düsseldorf, and London you can fly to a considerable amount of U.S. cities like Boston, Chicago, Los Angeles, Miami, New Orleans, San Diego, San Fransico, New York and Washington.
Bratislava Airport can be reached from the city center in 15-20 minutes. You can take a taxi or the number 61 bus from the main train station Hlavná železničná stanica - more info here. You can buy a bus ticket from ticket machines at bus stops or in kiosks for approximately €1.
To get to Košice International Airport you can take public transport. The number 23 bus connects the city with the airport. This journey takes 20 minutes.
Finally, there isn’t a public transport system to Poprad-Tatry International Airport, but a taxi can cost less than €5. Be sure to ask the fare before to take the trip to ensure you’re getting the best deal.
Bratislava Airport offers flights from Slovakia to Birmingham, Edinburgh, Leeds in the UK with Ryanair. Wizz Air flies to London, and Ryanair also flies to Dublin, Ireland. All these cities offer great options for direct flights to the U.S.
From Košice International Airport Eurowings flies to Düsseldorf and Ryanair and Wizz Air fly to London. Wizz Air flies from Poprad-Tatry International Airport to London as well.
If you already know that you are going to travel to the U.S. in the near future, then you are better off applying as soon as possible. In December 2018, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security made it mandatory to apply for an ESTA at least 72 hours before flying off to the U.S. Getting the ESTA is quick and easy, but if it gets denied, you would have to apply for a tourist visa. It can be time-consuming since a visit the nearest U.S. Embassy would be required. So, allow yourself plenty of time between your travel date and when to submit your ESTA application.
Slovak citizens can apply for ESTA online
The ESTA is valid for two years for visitors from Slovakia
Slovaks can stay in the U.S. for up to 90 days with an approved ESTA
Slovakia’s overstay rate is only: 0.93%