Whether you will travel for business or as a tourist in the United States and stays there within 90 days, it is mandatory to apply for ESTA (Electronic System for Travel Authorization). The USA ESTA aims to electronically organize and centralize the border security and evaluation process for qualified visitors arriving in the country. However, the travel authorization given via this program doesn’t guarantee admission to the country right away, a visitor will still subject to the U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP).
Who Should Register For An USA ESTA Visa?
To be allowed traveling in the US, visitors who are citizens of countries covered by the Visa Waiver Program (VWP) are obliged to acquire an ESTA. For the complete list of the countries covered in this program, you may check them out here.
US Government Department for Homeland Security manages the ESTA visa system and the applications are only allowed online via their website. The USA ESTA online application can only be done individually or one at a time if you are to travel in groups.
The Online Application Process
Before proceeding, it is advisable to apply and submit ETA at least 3 or more days prior to your planned visit. Make sure also that your details are readily available.
Here’s our guide for USA ESTA application:
- Completely fill out the online application form. Make sure that all details are correct, especially the passport number and country. If you’re applying for more than one traveler, make sure that their information is accurate.
- Accept the terms and conditions, review, and submit the data.
- Make your payment of $14 USD.
- Wait for the status of your application via email. CBP’s evaluation should only take a few minutes.
The whole application process will only take 5-10 minutes to complete. Then, you’ll just have to wait for approval. To begin your application, head to their official site.
Approved ESTA authorizations will be sent via email only within a few minutes up to 1 hour after submission and payment of your application. However, there are instances where approval takes up to 72 hours.
By default, 2 years is the validity of your ESTA, or your passport expires first, the latter will be applied. You will also be notified via email if your USA ESTA is about to expire.