Important Travel Document Information – Please Read
An ESTA (Electronic System for Travel Authorization) allows you to visit the United States for tourism, business or transit. This is for any length of time shorter than 90 days within a 180 day period. The ESTA is an automated system that determines your eligibility for the Waiver Program without the need for a complete visa.
If you are not eligible for the ESTA Visa Waiver, you can select a B Visa instead and go through the whole visa process.
Please note: receiving the ESTA to travel to the United States does not necessarily mean that US Customs and Border Protection officers will permit you to enter. Admissibility is usually decided upon the traveler’s arrival on US soil by US Customs and Border Protection officers.
If you’re a foreign citizen wanting to travel to the United States, you generally need to apply for a visa. However, the Visa Waiver Program (VWP) allows citizens from specific countries to visit the United States for business or tourism for up to 90 days without a visa. So, if your country is part of the VWP, you just need to get an ESTA to travel to the United States.
ESTA (Electronic System for Travel Authorization)
The Visa Waiver Program (VWP) in the United States uses the Electronic System for Travel Authorization (ESTA) to automatically determine if travelers are eligible to visit the United States. Each ESTA application gathers biodata and answers to eligibility questions set by the VWP.
You can apply for an ESTA at any time before your planned travel dates. However, it’s best to apply as soon as you start planning your trip to the U.S., or at least before buying airline tickets.
If you’re a citizen of a VWP member country and don’t have a valid ESTA, you won’t be able to check in for any flight, cruise ship, or ferry headed for the U.S. This rule applies to children who are citizens of VWP countries as well. The only people who can travel to the U.S. without an ESTA are those entering the country by land or U.S. citizens.
If the ESTA Visa Waiver doesn’t work for you, you can opt for a B1/B2 visa and complete the full application process.
If you want to apply for the ESTA Visa Waiver Program, you must meet the following criteria:
Must have obeyed the terms of all previous USA entries.
Not been found ineligible for a visa in the USA.
Never have been convicted or arrested for a moral turpitude crime or offense.
Must not be barred from entering the USA for any reason other than health or national security.
You must plan a vacation, business travel, or transit trip to the USA.
- Valid passport(s) from a Visa Waiver Program country.
- List of Visa Waiver Countries
- Valid email address.
- Home address and phone number.
- Emergency point of contact is phone and email.
- Payment method:
- Valid payment methods include MasterCard, VISA, American Express, Discover (JCB or Diners Club only), and PayPal.
The following information may also be required:
Aliases or other names (If Applicable).
- National ID or Personal ID number
- Global Entry ID number
- Employer address and phone number
- US point of contact name, address, and phone
You should apply for a ESTA visa waiver at least one week in advance of your trip to ensure approval in time.
ESTA is not a physical document applied for on the official online platform. To apply for it, an applicant must set aside between 15-20 minutes to put together the necessary documentation for the application, read and understand the questions asked in the form, and correctly fill out the application.
The Electronic System for Travel Authorization (ESTA) is an automated process; therefore, the wait time is short. Applications can receive approval within minutes of submission. However, submissions can take up to seventy-two hours to be approved. Applicants typically receive email or browser notifications once their submissions have received approval.
ESTA Visa Waiver Process
You can complete the ESTA visa application online; there’s no need for an in-person visit. After you submit your information, the Department of Homeland Security will review it for errors and process it.
To qualify for the visa waiver program, you must have a valid electronic passport from a Visa Waiver Program (VWP) member country. You’ll need to provide your passport number for verification. You’ll also have to give your parents’ first and last names and emergency contact details, either within or outside the United States.
If you’re traveling to the U.S. for business, you’ll need to provide contact information for the person or organization you’ll be dealing with in the U.S. This allows for the verification of your name, phone number, and address. You’ll also need to provide the name and contact details for where you’ll be staying in the U.S.
For detailed information on specific parts of the ESTA process, you can refer to the links below to find the answer to your query. If you are unable to find any particular information, please contact us via email.
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An entry 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. Visa Waiver citizens can apply for an ESTA, however those who are not eligible should apply for one of the following:
Will I get admission to the United States of America?
An ESTA visa waiver lets you go to a U.S. entry point, usually an airport, and ask for permission to enter the country. While we can make your ESTA application process smooth, having an approved ESTA doesn’t guarantee you’ll get into the United States.
The Electronic System for Travel Authorization (ESTA) works quickly because it’s automated. You usually get approval within minutes after submitting your application. However, it can take up to 72 hours for approval in some cases. You’ll typically receive an email or browser notification once your application is approved.
If you’re a citizen of a country in the Visa Waiver Program (VWP) and you don’t have a valid ESTA, you won’t be able to check in for any U.S.-bound flight, cruise, or ferry. This rule also applies to children from VWP countries.
If you have received the Travel Not Authorized notification from a previous ESTA application then you will not be eligible to apply for an ESTA again on your current passport.
In this case, you must apply for a B1 / B2 non-immigrant visa and attend an in-person interview at the U.S. Embassy.
It is vital you make no mistakes on your application to avoid an ESTA refusal.
Visitors from countries that participate in the Visa Waiver Program are able to apply for an ESTA Visitor Visa Waiver. These countries include, but are not limited to, the following:
- United Kingdom (UK), British Citizens
- Ireland, Irish Citizens
- Australia, Australian Citizens
- New Zealand (NZ), New Zealand Citizens
An ESTA is often referred to as a ‘holiday visa‘. For any vacations or holidays in America, you will require an ESTA. Regardless of age, every member of your family will require an ESTA. This is valid for 90 days and allows you to travel to multiple states. Any trip that lasts longer than that will necessitate obtaining a complete visa.
In some cases you can get an ESTA for a business visit, providing it is unpaid. It is okay for the company to pay for any expenses such as accommodation or flights. If you will be paid for any of your time spent in the US, you will need to apply for either a B1 Visa for Business Visitors or another of the many work visas available.
In some situations, an ESTA can be obtained for an unpaid business visit. It is acceptable for the employer to cover any expenses, such as lodging or flights. If you plan to be paid during your time in the United States, you’ll need to apply for a B1 Visa for Business Visitors or one of the many other work visas available.
Once your ESTA is granted it lasts for up to two years. During this period, you are allowed to make an any number of trips to the United States. Each isolated stay can last a maximum of 90 days.
You may stay in the USA for a total of 90 days. However, the ESTA lasts for 2 years after it has been granted. During this time, you can travel to the USA as many times as you like, as long as each trip is maximum 90 days.
If this is the case, you must apply for a B2 visa regardless of reason. Apply for a B1 if it is for business purposes.
You are allowed to work with an ESTA visa waiver, as long as you are not taking employment directly from an American firm. You are not allowed to take any payment for any work in the USA, your employer and payments must be outside of the USA.
A traveller must be a citizen of a participating nation that has been designated as a “programme country” by the US Secretary of Homeland Security in collaboration with the US Secretary of State to be eligible for a visa waiver under the VWP.
Permanent residents of some countries who are not citizens are not eligible for a visa waiver. Passport security, a non-immigrant visa denial rate of less than 3%, and reciprocal visa waivers for US nationals are among the requirements for programme nation status.
Beginning in 2021, people of 40 nations and territories will be able to enter the US without a visa under the VWP.
There is no ‘renewal’ process for a visa waiver. When an ESTA expires, the holder can and should make a new application if they still wish to travel to the United States in the future. The new application can be sent in before the expiration of an ESTA, but if an ESTA expires while its holder is still in the US, there will be no negative consequences for their departure.
An ESTA is valid for two years that begins from the initial date of approval. Applicants will typically receive the expected expiration date of the ESTA via email. An ESTA can, however, expire earlier. This can happen if for some reason, it is revoked or if your passport expires before the expiring date of the ESTA. This is because an active ESTA is tied to a passport, and that same passport must always be used for travel to the US.
Remember that, even though a visa waiver lasts for two years, holders of ESTA are not permitted to stay in the United States for two years uninterrupted. ESTA requires that holders stay in the United States for a maximum of ninety days per visit.