ESTA (Electronic Travel Authorization)
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Visa Waiver countries
Citizens of these countries are eligible to apply for an ESTA
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|Government website||Agency website (us)|
|Online application available 24/7/365|
|Comprehensive review and submission service|
|Recovery of your ESTA by e-mail|
|Ready-to-print approved ESTA in PDF format|
|Full refund insurance if your application is rejected|
|Cost-free correction of error on application|
|Encrypted and privacy protected application form|
|Apply today, and receive your ESTA instantly||Begin application|
ESTA is an electronic authorization required for visa free travel to the United States by citizens from the UK, EU, and other Visa Waiver countries. An ESTA application can be submitted online by completing an application form. It costs USD 99 per applicant.
Who are eligible for ESTA?
Citizens of Visa Waiver countries (including the UK) require an ESTA whenever traveling visa free to or through an American airport or port, regardless of the purpose of the visit. This includes those traveling for leisure, business, family visits or transit. This requirement also extends to underage travelers, even when accompanied by their parents or guardians. However, those traveling to the US on a visa (e.g. those traveling to study or work) do not need an ESTA.
How long does it take to file an ESTA application?
You can complete and submit your ESTA application within a couple of minutes. However, your application may take as long as 72 hours to process before it is issued. Remember that you will need an approved ESTA already when you are boarding your flight. Accordingly, we recommend that you apply at least a week before your scheduled time of departure, to ensure that you will receive your approved ESTA in due time, even in case your application ends up requiring additional processing.
What is ESTA?
ESTA simply means Electronic System for Travel Authorization. A ESTA authorization is not the same as a visa, but instead a way of pre-authorizing visa free travelers. This ensures that all travelers are screened ahead of times, and that those ineligible for entry are barred from boarding any planes bound for the US. For most travelers this process is both quick and convenient, and most applicants will receive a reply within an hour. Since the ESTA system is completely electronic, your authorization is also issued electronically. This means that airlines and immigration officers can look up your applications by either scanning your passport or based on your passport number. It is therefore not necessary to print out your approval letter (however, it can be good to bring just in case of any technical problems with your carrier).
What is the validity of an ESTA authorization?
An ESTA authorization is valid for two years by default. However, since it is tied to the passport with which you applied, it will automatically expire along with your passport (i.e. if you apply with a passport that expires in one year, your ESTA will also expire that day).
An ESTA authorization is valid for multiple stays in the US during this 2 year period. Each stay may last for up to 90 days. This includes stays in adjacent countries, such as Canada, Mexico and Caribbean islands. You should not return to the US immediately again after leaving. If a border agent determines that you are de facto living in the US, you may be denied entry even though you have a valid ESTA.
Traveling on an ESTA authorization
When traveling to the US on an ESTA authorization, remember that:
- You may be asked to show either a return or onward ticket to verify that you do not intend to stay in the US indefinitely.
- Even though you have been issued an ESTA, the US government reserves the right to refuse your entry if it is deemed in the interest of the public safety.
- Those who have been to one of the countries mentioned in the Terrorist Travel Prevention Act of 2015 may be asked of proof that they traveled their as part of their governmental or military role.
How do you apply for an ESTA?
Applying for an ESTA is a really fast and straightforward process. You simply fill out the online application form here, pay the application fees, and then you will receive your approval letter at the email address you provided in the form. It is thus very important that you verify that you provided a valid email address, as you might otherwise not get your reply in time. Similarly, it is important that your passport number and details are all entered exactly as they appear on your passport. Otherwise, your application may be void or considered invalid for travel.