The Electronic System for Travel Authorization (ESTA) is more commonly known as the visa waiver program.
You are required to enrol in the Electronic System for Travel Authorization (ESTA) program before entering the United States. Please complete our online enquiry form to start the process.
To apply, you must possess the following:
- A valid passport from a country participating in the Visa Waiver Program
- A valid email address
- Your home address and telephone number
- The telephone number and email address of an emergency contact
You may also be required to enter that information if you have a Global Entry ID number or a U.S. point of contact.
The Visa Waiver Program permits nationals from 40 countries to enter the United States without a visa and stay for up to 90 days.
To qualify for the Visa Waiver Program
To be granted entrance to the United States under the Visa Waiver Program, you will need to meet all of the following requirements:
- You are a citizen of a country participating in the Visa Waiver Program
- You do not possess a Visitor Visa
- You will be in the United States for less than 90 days
- You are visiting the United States for business or pleasure
Additionally, an e-passport is required to participate in the VWP. The electronic chip embedded in an e-passport enhances the security of the document.
Advantages of the U.S. Visa Waiver Program
The Visa Waiver Program (VWP), run by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) with the State Department, allows citizens of forty countries to visit the United States for tourism or business without a visa for stays of up to ninety days. Due to this, processing times to visit the United States are shortened.
The VWP allows multiple entries, which can benefit business travellers who must negotiate contracts and attend meetings/conferences.
Restrictions of the Visa Waiver Program
Before using the Visa Waiver Program, you should be aware of the following conditions and weigh your options carefully:
- If granted entry to the United States under the Visa Waiver Program, you may not change or extend your non-immigrant status.
- You cannot appeal an admissibility determination if your admission is denied.
- If you have abused the terms of your admission, you have no right to review or appeal any removal action stemming from an application for admission under the Visa Waiver Program except based on an asylum claim.
Overall, the US VWP can be an excellent option for those wishing to visit the United States briefly. Still, you must ensure that you meet all requirements. If you do not qualify for the visa waiver program, you should instead apply for the B1 or B2 visa.