Are you tired of the same view every day? Are adventure and excitement missing from your life? What if I tell you there is a quick way to get all that? Yes, you can travel to the United States without going through the whole process of visa. All you need is an ESTA (that is an abbreviation for Electronic System for Travel Authorization), which you can receive by filling an ESTA online form.
What is ESTA in brief?
Ever since January 20, 2010, passengers from the Visa Waiver Program (VWP) countries are mandated to carry an ESTA. The eligibility to travel by the travelers under the Visa Waiver Program is determined by this.
Am I eligible for an ESTA?
You are eligible for ESTA if you:
- Belong to any of the 38 Visa Waiver ProgramVWP countries which include Belgium, Lithuania, Germany, Netherlands, Taiwan, Portugal, Japan, Malta, Brunei, France, Chile and so on
- If you are planning to arrive in the United States on a cruise ship or flight
You are NOT required to have an ESTA if:
- Your arrival is on a ferry between Washington State and British Columbia
- You are arriving from Mexico or Canada by land
- You are traveling by sea or air
- You are a holder of a United States visa that is valid
Requirements for ESTA online application
- A Visa Waiver Program country passport that is valid
- Contact information of the applicant
- A credit card that is valid (VISA, Discover, MasterCard, American Express),to pay US $14 for each application (the initial $4 is the fee for processing, and the rest $10 is the fee for authorization which is refundable in case of denial)
NOTE: Always check the information entered in the ESTA online application before submitting because if you don’t do this, you could overlook a potential mistake and will have to submit a new application for which you will be charged again. If your application is rejected due to error/s in your application, wait for 24 hours before applying again.
What happens after I submit my application?
After submission 3 things can happen:
- You may receive an approval and are now eligible to travel to the United States under the VWP
- You may receive an Authorization Pending response and will require at least 72 hours to check the website for updates about the final response
- You may be denied and further asked to keep up with the U.S Department of State for the process of application for a travel visa to the United States
How long can I use my ESTA for?
All ESTA have two-year validity unless the passenger gets issued a new passport or changes their gender, country of citizenship, name
Do I need to carry my ESTA with me?
Your airline will be informed by the Department of Homeland Security about the approval of your ESTA. It is however preferred to wear a copy of your ESTA to the check-in desk.