Electronic System for Travel Authorization was introduced by the US government in 2009 for all countries participating in Visa Waiver Program. ESTA functions as an electronic visa and significantly facilitates traveling to the States for tourism, business, or transit purposes.
ESTA online application means no Embassy visits and a shorter processing time - 3 business days at most. The approved ESTA is delivered directly to the eligible applicant’s email address. The ESTA processing fee is only 49 Euro. As a multiple-entry authorization valid for 2 years from the date of its issuance, ESTA enables numerous entries to the US. Each stay can last as long as 3 months.
It is important to submit an online application at least 72 business hours in advance of the US trip to receive the approved travel document on time!
Important note: ESTA does not cover employment or education purposes, or any other long-term activities to be performed in the USA. If your travel purpose is other than tourism, business, or transit, please remember to apply for a regular visa at the nearest US Embassy in your home country.
ESTA application is a very straightforward process and can be completed within minutes from whatever place as long as the applicant has access to the working electronic device and stable Internet connection. Prepare your valid passport, telephone, tablet, or any other device, and next go to the online form consisting of 3 intuitive steps that require you to:
1. Provide personal and travel details, including passport number, e-mail address.
2. Pay the service fee of 49 Euro.
3. Download the approved ESTA from the email inbox.
The requirements for ESTA to the USA were reduced to the minimum. Every applicant simply needs to have:
ESTA is an electronic multiple-entry travel document allowing travelers from many countries to visit the States. As an online visa, it facilitates all the formalities as the entire application process is online. Eligible travelers no longer need to book appointments in the nearest US Embassy and go through stressful procedures.
ESTA remains valid for 2 years from the date of its issue. Its holders can use ESTA for numerous entries to the States. However, they need to remember that ESTA’s validity automatically ends the moment the applicant’s passport expires.
ESTA is an obligatory document that all travelers from member countries of the Visa Waiver Program need to present in order to board the flight to the US. Countries not eligible for ESTA need to apply for a regular US embassy visa.
The processing fee charged for every ESTA application is 49 Euro. Applicants can choose from a wide range of online methods of payment, including credit, or debit card.
Green Card holders do not need to apply for US ESTA.
ESTA is issued only for citizens of the countries who can travel to the States visa-free. Application for ESTA can be completed entirely online from the comfort of the applicant’s house, while a regular visa application requires visiting US Embassy in person and the entire process is more time-consuming.
The US ESTA is a multiple-entry permit, which means that its holder is entitled to numerous entries throughout the entire validity period (2 years). A traveler should remember that every single visit cannot exceed 90 days (3 months).
All countries participating in the Visa Waiver Program must hold a valid ESTA to travel to the States. Before applying for ESTA, every applicant should first check the list of ESTA eligible countries.
Any single day of overstay in the USA can result in serious legal consequences. Travelers who violate the American law this way can be banned from entry to the States for from 5 to even 10 years.
The moment your ESTA is approved, you will receive an email message with a PDF file. However, it is not required to print it out. ESTA will be automatically assigned to your passport number, so you should only have its electronic copy saved on your electronic device.
All those who do not plan to stay in the US for longer, but only want to transit through the States before reaching their final destination must obtain ESTA. In practice, it means that a traveler who does not plan to leave the transit zone still needs to have a valid ESTA.
Apart from the approved ESTA, every traveler must have a valid passport. It must be the physical document as the scan or photo will not be accepted.