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ESTA Visa Travel Authorisation

What Is Esta

What Is The Visa Waiver Program (VWP)

Who Has To Apply And Is It Compulsory

When Should I Apply

How Do I Apply

How Long Does It Take For Approval

How Will I Know If My Application Has Been Approved

How Long Does It Last

Things You Need To Know

How much Does It Cost

Renewal

Why Do I Need To Fill It In

Applying And Application Form

If you are a British citizen and planning a trip to the USA, you will need to ensure that you have registered your details online using the ESTA form. As well as having to hold a current in date passport, you will also need to have been approved by ESTA and have received an ESTA authorisation to travel to the USA as a visitor.

What Is Esta

ESTA is short for ‘Electronic System for Travel Authorisation’ and it has been introduced by the US Government to determine whether or not an individual is eligible for entry into the USA. The ESTA visa waiver was introduced to replace the ‘Green Card’ that you needed to fill in evertime you visited the US. The ESTA is available to citizens or eligible national of any country designated in the VWP (Visa Waiver Program). When you apply for your ESTA online, your details will be processed and then you will receive a confirmation telling you whether or not your application has been approved.

Please Note: Being approved for ESTA does not actually guarantee you entry to the USA and the final decision on whether or not you will be granted entry into the USA is that of the U.S. Customs and Border Protection upon your arrival in the USA.

 

What Is The Visa Waiver Program (VWP)

The Visa Waiver Program (VWP) is a programme that is in place in the USA and allows specific countries to enter the USA whether it is on business or leisure for up to 90 day without having a Visa. To be eligible for the VWP you must be a citizen of one of the countries that has been designated by the USA Government.

Who Has To Apply For ESTA And Is It Compulsory

In order to determine whether or not you can enter the United States without a visa, you must submit an ESTA. If you are approved once you submit an ESTA application, it then means that you fit the requirements to enter the US and will not need to obtain a Visa to enter the US as a visitor for a duration of 90 days.

Yes, it is compulsory for any citizen belonging to one of the countries designated by the USA Government for the VWP (Visa Waiver Program) to fill in the online ESTA form. If you are a citizen of one of these designated countries you will be required to apply for an ESTA and if you do not complete the ESTA form online, you will not be granted entry.

If you are a British citizen, you will need to apply for an ESTA before travelling to the USA.

When Should I Apply For An ESTA

The US Government recommend that you apply for your ESTA no later than 72 hours before you travel. However, it is recommended that you apply for your ESTA as soon as possible and the best time to apply is as soon as you are sure you will be travelling.

How Do I Apply For An ESTA

In order to fill out an ESTA application, you must first visit the U.S. Customs and Border Protection website (to which there is a link at the bottom of this page)

How Long Does It Take For ESTA Approval

Although the US Government recommend you apply no less than 72 hours before you travel to the USA, you should normally receive approval within a few minutes of your application being submitted. It possible to apply on the day of travel but this really is not advisable if you can avoid it and only do this if it is the last resort!

How Will I Know If My ESTA Visa Application Has Been Approved

Once you have submitted your application for ESTA, you will receive an application number and it is advisable to take a note of this number. As you click on the ‘Next’ buttons as you complete your application, you should be notified whether or not your application has been authorised. If you do not receive confirmation, you can check to see if your application has been approved by simply going to the ‘Application Page’ and then clicking on “Retrieve Application”. However, you will need to enter your name, application number, passport country and date of birth.

How Long Does An ESTA Last

If your application for an ESTA USA Visa is successful and approved, it will be valid for 2 years from the date you applied or the date that your passport expires, whichever comes first.

Things You Need To Know

You must travel with the same passport to which you applied for your ESTA with.

There are three responses that you will receive when you apply for an ESTA and they are:

Authorization Approved: This means that you are approved to travel to the US under the Visa Waiver Program.

Authorization Pending: This means that your application is pending and you must check back with the website within 72 hours to see the final decision as to whether or not your application has been approved.

Travel Not Authorized: this means that you will need to obtain a Visa if you wish to travel to the US.

Esta Visa Cost

The application for an ESTA is not free and there is a charge of $14 (at the time of writing). This charge is a combined charge of a $4 Processing charge and a $10 Authorization charge.

Esta Renewal

You will be required to renew your ESTA every 2 years once your old ESTA expires and also if you renew your passport or the details on your passport change. You will be charge the application fee for every new application submitted.

Why Do I Need To Fill It In

By law you will be required to apply for ESTA approval prior to your travel to the US. If you do not have ESTA approval, the simple line is that you will be denied entry into the US.

Applying For Your ESTA

The process of applying for your ESTA is fairly straight forward and you can apply for your ESTA by simply clicking on the following link: ESTA Application Form

 

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