ESTA USA: What is ESTA and do I need to apply?

ESTA stands for the Electronic System for Travel Authorization. ESTA is an online system that determines the eligibility of visitors to travel to the USA through Visa Waiver Program (VWP) and issuance of e-visa to enter the USA by air or by sea.

International travellers who seeks to travel to the USA under Visa Waiver Program (VWP) are required to apply for travel authorization. For this travel authorization, US Department of Homeland and Security (DHS) introduced an automated system (Electronic System for Travel Authorization) with enhanced security measures. Travellers need to apply and pay an administrative fee to get visa. It is recommended to apply ESTA 72 hours prior to your travel.

How long does it take to apply for ESTA?

It takes between 5-10 minutes to complete the ESTA online application form. You will probably receive your travel authorisation by email within 72 hours of submission.

Where can I apply for ESTA?

We help you to apply successfully for your ESTA USA authorisation. It is not necessary to have a flight ticket or hotel booking in order to submit your application. Apply online here.

Visa Waiver Program (VWP)

The Visa Waiver Program (VWP) is a United States government Program that enables citizens from all the Visa Waiver Countries to enter the USA for business, pleasure or transit without obtaining a tourist visa in advance. The advantage of entering the USA with an travel authorisation is that you can travel there on short notice. However, not everybody can enter the USA under the VWP: only citizens of the Visa Waiver Countries are eligible to apply.

Requirements to apply for ESTA online
  • You are a citizen of Visa Waiver Program (VWP) country.
  • You don’t have a valid ESTA visa.
  • Your stay in USA is not more than 90 days.
  • Your travel to USA is for business or pleasure.
  • You want to apply for a new authorization for one, two or more persons.
  • Valid passport from a Visa Waiver Program (VWP) country.
  • Valid credit card to pay the fees.
  • Your contact details.
Requirements to enter the United States

Before travelling to the US, you should take some time to get to know the different regulations to avoid unexpected incidents at your arrival.

First of all, electronic devices with a low or empty battery may not be brought on board certain flights. Your mobile phone charge may be checked at any time and any infringement may mean you are not allowed to embark. During the flight, you will be required to fill out Customs form 6059-B. This form will be used to keep track of any specific items being brought into the country. When you go through Border Control, the I-94 form will be created. For travellers arriving by air, this is no longer handed out in paper form, but can be obtained electronically.

When you pass through the US Customs and Border Protection (CBP), your documents will be reviewed. In addition, a CBP officer will perform the US-VISIT process, whereby your fingerprint and a photo will be taken and your identity checked by use of this biometric data. US officials are also authorised to know details of your travel plans and you are therefore advised to bring a copy of your travel documents with you. In addition, you may have to present documents showing you have sufficient financial resources. On completion of these procedures, you will go through Customs.

You must be in possession of a passport which remains valid throughout your trip, including the day of departure. There are certain exceptions to this rule for certain countries; more detailed information is available on the CBD website. If the traveller does not have an ESTA travel authorisation, a visa is required. Routine checks of luggage and baggage are possible, even if you have nothing to declare. To make sure that you have nothing to declare, check the complete list of items to declare on www.cbp.gov. If you are travelling by land from Canada or Mexico, you may need to present your driver’s licence, vehicle documentation and proof of liability insurance.