Electronic System for Travel Authorization introduced by the United States Government.
ESTA is an Electronic System for Travel Authorization introduced by the United States Government to help eligible travelers receive their travel authorization documents in a quick and easy way. ESTA USA is a multiple-entry permit that stays effective for 2 years from the day of its issuance and allows travelers to take on numerous leisure, business, and transit-related trips to the US. Travelers included in the US Visa Waiver Program are those eligible to apply for an ESTA online and make their trips to the United States effortless.
Each stay in the US with an approved ESTA can be as long as three months (90 days) after which ESTA holders should go back to their home country. They can then return to the US for another 3-month long trip as long as their ESTA and passport are still valid. The standard processing time of properly completed ESTA USA applications is 72 hours (3 business days). That is the period in which one’s application should be submitted before departing to the US to receive the approved document on time.
ESTA USA has been introduced to ease and speed up the visa application process, switching to a completely online 3-step procedure. Using a phone, laptop, PC, or tablet, eligible travelers who wish to get an ESTA should follow these simple steps:
1. Put in the required information in the application form while making sure to provide correct and up-to-date details.
2. Cover the ESTA issuing fee
3. Wait for a confirmation email to be delivered
Most ESTA applications that have been completed thoroughly with accurate data are approved within 72 hours from submitting the form online. The approved document is then delivered to each traveler via email in form of a PDF file. Moreover, processed ESTAs link directly to the travelers’ passports.
Applying for an ESTA USA does not require making visits to an Embassy at any point in the application process.
As opposed to regular US visas that do require in-person Embassy visits and sometimes even going through visa interviews, ESTA application takes place entirely online.
The whole process is quick to complete and intuitive, making it as simple as possible. ESTA application can be submitted within minutes from home or any other place with an internet connection. Travelers who prepare for a trip to the United States should spare a few minutes to apply for their ESTAs and complete this process no later than 3 business days of the planned departure.
Requirements for ESTA to USA can be divided into two groups documents and technological requirements.
1. An internet connection
2. An active email address
3. A working device
Besides these staple things, make sure to also prepare a valid passport that proves you come from a country included in the Visa Waiver Program. For your ESTA to get approved, your passport must remain valid for the next six months from the planned date of entering the United States.
Approved ESTA USA allows travelers to take on multiple visits to the United States, each one being maximally three months long. The visit must relate to leisure, business, or transit, meaning that eligible travelers can:
- Go on vacation
- Visit their friends and family
- Attend events, conferences, meetings, and trade fairs
- Take a transit stop in the United States
- Remember that each stay in the US with an ESTA can be maximally three months long.
Once approved, ESTA stays valid for up to 2 years from the day it’s been issued. However, for one’s ESTA to stay effective as long as possible, a traveler’s passport must also remain valid.
ESTA is directly connected to the passport of its holder, making the two documents equally as important for a successful trip to the United States.
Thus, make sure that your passport will remain valid for at least six months before applying for an ESTA USA to receive the approved document without any issues. If you wish for your ESTA to stay valid longer, check the date your passport expires and renew it before applying (if necessary).
Online applications for ESTA can be made by travelers who have a nationality from one of the countries included in the US Visa Waiver Program. Countries currently included in the VWP are as follows:
|Croatia||The Czech Republic||Denmark|
|The United Kingdom|
ESTA processing takes up to 72 hours. However, the processing can only be taking place during business days. That is why ESTA USA applications should be made no later than 3 business days before the planned departure date to allow for proper processing time. The approved by the US authorities document gets delivered to travelers via email in PDF form.
To assure successful approval of your ESTA USA application, make sure to avoid the most common mistakes travelers make when submitting their forms: