Essential ESTA Information for the United States
ESTA is an acronym for “Electronic System for Travel Authorization.” An ESTA is a visa-free travel authorization that allows you to fly or sail to the United States of America. Obtaining an ESTA is easier, faster, and less expensive than obtaining a full non-immigrant US visa. Those who do not meet the required criteria must apply for an B2 visitor visa.
Please be aware: If your ESTA Application to travel to the United States is approved, this does not automatically grant access. Entry is usually decided upon the traveler’s arrival on US soil. US Customs and Border Protection officers undertake this task. For this reason it is important to offer accurate information to avoid complications when you arrive at U.S. border control.
A full list of available US visas, including descriptions, can be found when you click ‘start application’.
What is an ESTA? Do I Need a Full Visa?
The visa waiver program, also known as an ESTA (Electronic System For Travel Authorization) is an online document that allows an individual to travel without the need for a ‘full visa’. It is also often refferred to as a ‘holiday visa‘.
ESTA applications were established to prevent people with ill intents from entering the United States. One of these motives is frequently endangering the safety and/or law enforcement of the United States of America.
You can submit your ESTA application online here. Once checks are made, your application will be submitted. If you are approved, the travel authorization will be electronically linked to your passport. Citizens of the Visa Waiver Program are eligible to apply for an ESTA.
With a valid ESTA Application, you are permitted to visit the USA for up to 90 days at a time. You can visit multiple times within the 2 year validity period.
If you are making multiple applications, each member of your party must submit an individual application. Once you submit an application, it will go through our 8-point check. This is done to ensure there will be no issues with your authorization. Sometimes it can take up to 72 hours for an application to receive a decision. You will be kept up to date from the moment your application is submitted.
You will be eligible for an ESTA providing you meet the following criteria:
Citizen of a visa waiver country.
No previous convictions.
No previous immigration issues.
Never visited any 'high-risk countries'.
Passport(s) from a Visa Waiver Program nation that is valid.
Traveler's genuine email address.
Home address and phone number of the traveller.
If you are travelling to any part of the United States and are from one of the visa waiver countries (i.e. UK, Ireland, Australia, New Zealand etc..) then you will need an ESTA visa waiver for your travel.
You can travel for tourism, business or transit through the country. You are not permitted to undertake any paid work while travelling on an ESTA.
ESTAs are usually processed on the same day and your result should be with you within 24 hours. In some cases it can take up to 72 hours.
When the application is granted, the validity period begins. When the passport for which the ESTA was obtained expires, so does the ESTA’s validity.
How long can you stay in the United States with an ESTA?
You can stay in the US with an ESTA for up to 90 days at a time within any 180 day period. This applies to multiple trips over the 2 year validity. It only permits travel to the United States under the terms of the Visa Waiver Program (VWP), which limits stays to 90 days or less. If you intend to stay longer than 90 days, you must obtain a visa from the U.S. Embassy or Consulate nearest to you.
A non-immigrant visa such as the B2 tourist visitor visa permits stays of up to 6 months at a time.
For detailed information on specific parts of the ESTA visa application process, you can refer to the links in the table on the right to find the answer to your query. If you are unable to find any particular information, please contact us visa email.
A Visa is required for any foreign national wishing to enter the United States. It could be a non-immigrant visa for a short period of time or an immigrant visa for a long period of time. If you are not eligible for the ESTA, you can apply for one of the following:
What if I am refused for my ESTA?
If you are refused you must instead apply for a non-immigrant B1 or B2 visitor visa. This requires an appointment with the U.S. Embassy. You have the option to contest this verdict. The embassy of the Member State that opted to deny the visa distributes a standard form to notify the applicant of the decision to deny a ESTA visa and the reasons for the denial. If you have been denied ESTA travel authorisation, you must apply for a visa. You can apply on our website to receive support for your application and avoid any further complications.
An ESTA application can be denied if you have had extensive criminal histories in the past and were convicted. If you have had any previous immigration problems such as denied ESTAs or other visa applications or you have overstayed when visiting the United States then you are likely to be rejected for your ESTA application.
Your ESTA authorization is valid for multiple travels over a two-year period (beginning on the date of approval) or until your passport expires, whichever comes first. As long as you have a valid ESTA travel authorization, you are not required to reapply throughout the validity period.
- You are a citizen or national of a country that participates in the Visa Waiver Program.
- You do not presently possess a valid visitor’s visa.
- Your trip will not exceed 90 days.
- You intend to visit the United States for either business or pleasure.
Yes, a valid ESTA permits the holder to visit the USA for multiple stays up to a duration of 90 days within any 180 day period. You are allowed to leave and return to the United States during your validity period.
If you are not a citizen of the United States and wish to travel, you must apply for a tourist visa or submit an ESTA application. The process of applying for an ESTA is fairly straight-forward and a result is usually given on the same day. Any mistakes made on your application can affect the result and processing time. Applications made on our website will be checked to ensure there are no discrepencies that may cause issues.
To begin with, it is illegal to use an ESTA to work for a company in the United States. A variety of services are not available even if the traveller continues to work for the same employer in the home country. In these cases, an ESTA will not suffice, and you will need to apply for a US visa.
Although there are no precise regulations governing how far in advance you must apply for an ESTA, you will often receive a response to your application within 72 hours or three days. Therefore, it is advised to apply at least three days beforehand. In most cases, a result is received on the same day of your application.
If your ESTA is granted, it will be electronically connected to your passport and you will be able to travel to the United States. When you arrive in the United States, your ESTA will be examined when you pass through the Border Control checkpoint. We will deliver your ESTA documentation to you for your records, however it is not required to be taken with you on your travels.
The quick answer to this question is no, an ESTA application cannot be expedited. However, if your ESTA application contains all of the correct information, there is a considerably greater chance that it will be reviewed and approved swiftly.