- What is ESTA?
- What is Visa Waiver Program?
- Who needs ESTA?
- What is the difference between ESTA application and Visa?
- When do I need VISA?
Citizens of the Visa Waiver Program countries do not need visa for traveling to the U.S.; instead, they have to receive an ESTA application approval.
ESTA is Electronic System for Travel Authorization, approval of which permits arriving at the U.S. in scope of the Visa Waiver Program. This system establishes traveller’s compliance for traveling to the U.S. ESTA system assesses if the candidate does not rise any risk to implementation and safety of the USA rights protection.
In case the ESTA approval is received, you are entitled to use an operator for arriving at the U.S. in the scope of the Visa Waiver Program.
If the traveller has a valid U.S. visa, he/she is entitled to arrive at the U.S. with the purpose of this visa; and, additional ESTA approval is not required.
Since 12 January 2009, the ESTA approval is a mandatory requirement to all citizens of the Visa Waiver Program countries for traveling to the U.S. If you have received the ESTA approval and plan to travel to the U.S. by air or sea, you do not have to fill in the green card I-94W.
The ESTA approval is valid for two (2) years or until expiration of the passport validity period. You are entitled to stay in the U.S. with a valid ESTA approval for up to ninety (90) days in one visit.
In scope of the Visa Waiver Program, foreign citizens from definite countries are entitled to arrive at the U.S. if the purpose of the trip is leisure or business visit. The length of the visit may not exceed ninety (90) days. All travellers who have received the permit in scope of the Visa Waiver Program, agree to waiver their rights, review or appeal them as provided for in the informative text before the data submittal.
If you plan to travel to another country using the U.S. for transit, you need a travel permit or visa. If you plan to apply for receiving of the ESTA permit with such intention, mark the question “Are you traveling to the U.S. in transit to another country?” with “Yes” definitely.
All citizens of Visa Waiver Program (VWP) countries who enter the U.S. by air or sea are required to receive the ESTA approval including infants if they have not received visa for travelling to the U.S.
The ESTA approval is not a visa. In cases when the U.S. visa is required, the ESTA does not comply with legal or legislative requirements. If the traveller has a valid U.S. visa, he/she may enter the U.S. with this visa purpose and an additional ESTA approval is not required.
There are several exceptions when ESTA approval is not applicable for arrival at the U.S.:
- If you intend arrive at the U.S. aboard a Visa Waiver Program non-signatory air carrier;;
- If you intend to visit the U.S. for more than 90 days;
- If you believe any grounds of inadmissibility of the Immigration and Nationality Act § 212(a) apply to you, you should apply for a non-immigrant visa;
- If you are travelling to the U.S. for a purpose other than short-term tourism or business.
Travellers who want to enter the United States of America need to receive a non-immigrant visa for a definite period of stay. Citizens of the Visa Waiver Program countries may have permission to travel to the United States of America using visa free program. If you plan to use the visa free program, you have to receive the approval of Electronic System for Travel Authorization (ESTA) before entering the United States of America.
If you cannot qualify for the visa free program, you can apply for non-immigrant guest visa B1/B2 if:
- The purpose of the trip is business (B1)
- The purpose of the trip is leisure, medical treatment (B2)
B-1 Visa is usually issued if the purpose of the visit to the U.S. is visiting of seminars and conferences, meetings with business partners, conclusion of different agreements and deals.
B-2 Visa is usually issued if the purpose of the visit to the U.S. is leisure, travelling, medical care, treatment, visiting of friends and relatives, participation in social measures.
If you need to apply for (B1/B2) visa, please, contact the nearest U.S. embassy.
Andorra, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Brunei, Chile, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Island, Ireland, Italia, Japan, Latvia, Lichtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Monaco, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Portugal, Malta, San Marino, Singapore, Slovakia, Slovenia, South Korea, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Taiwan, United Kingdom.
According to Electronic System for Travel Authorization (ESTA), you are entitled to travel to the United States of America pursuant to the Visa Waiver Program. When entering the United States of America, an official of customs and border guard will examine you and decide about approval of your entrance.
You can submit your ESTA application at any time; however, it is recommended to submit it at least 72 h before travelling to the U.S.
If any of your circumstances have changed, you can submit the ESTA application repeatedly after 10 days. If you have included false information in your ESTA application, you will lose the right to travel in scope of the visa free program irrevocably.
If you cannot qualify for visa free program ESTA, contact the nearest U.S. embassy or consulate and apply for non-immigrant visa B1/B2.
The U.S. government expense composes $ 14,00. Our service fee includes the U.S. government fee.
You can change the travelling route information in the application you have submitted. The ESTA application system permits updating the travelling data. You do not have to book plain tickets and a hotel before submission of the ESTA application.
Since implementing of the ESTA program, if you enter the U.S. by sea or air, the I-94W permit does not have to be filled in; the data are being registered electronically now.
According to the US regulations, it is not mandatory for one to carry with him a copy of the ESTA authorization in order to travel under the Visa Waiver Program. It is however necessary to have a copy for your records. Some airlines may require you to carry one and this may require you to have a printout. If you forgot your ESTA application number, you can obtain the application by just entering your applicant name, date of birth, passport number and the country issuing the passport in the ESTA website.
The requirements for Visa Waiver Program are:
- The passport must be an electronic passport with digital chip carrying biometric information about the holder of the passport;
- It should contain a machine readable zone on the biographic page;
- Taiwan passport holders are required to provide the Passport Number and the Personal Identification Number (PIN);
- There is an exception effective July 1, 2009; Visa Waiver Program countries’ temporary passports and emergency passports must be electronic.
Medications should be in their original containers with the doctor’s prescription printed on the container. It is required that you only carry personal use quantities which are no more than ninety day supply. In case the prescriptions are not in their original containers, you are required to carry a copy of prescription or a letter from the doctor. All medications entering the United States must have a doctor’s prescription. The FDA is mandated pharmaceuticals admissions. Any queries about specific pharmaceutical may be imported to the United States, contact FDA, Division of Import Operations and Policy, at (301) 796-0356. For one to travel with instruments such as oxygen gas, or items that could be a threat to the security, one must have a prescription letter from a doctor. For more information about additional requirements, contact Transportation Security Administration.
Incase biometric information about your passport, for example, the name or sex, or date of birth, expiry date, country or citizenship has errors, you should make a new application or reapply in order to correct such an error. This will only be possible if your previous application had been approved.
Yes. Accompanied or unaccompanied children require their own ESTA before travelling to the United States being a citizen of a visa waiver country. You should know the terms of ESTA on behalf of your children and answer questions honestly as a guardian. Children are required to have their own unexpired passport to qualify for ESTA. Children’s passports are not eligible for ESTA unless issued before 26th October 2006. The document should meet Visa Waiver Program requirements.
No. Your departure will not be affected but you will be required to renew your ESTA to re-enter the US after your departure.
Many communicable diseases are not a hindrance into entering into the US under the Visa Waiver Program. If you have any of the communicable diseases, you should indicate in your application. After being cured, you can indicate that you are healed although you will need a proof that you are not contagious.
Below are the communicable diseases under consideration:
- Granuloma inguinale
- Leprosy, infectiousma
- Lymphogranuloma venereum
- Syphilis (infectious stage)
- Luberculosis (active)
The ESTA system does not retain any information ones a transaction has been carried out.
Travel authorizations are normally valid for two years since the date of authorization or until expiry depending on which comes first if not revoked. The screen will always show the expiry date of the travel authorization. ESTA authorization allows for several trips for a period of two years or until expiry of the passport. After receiving ESTA travel authorization, you do not have to reapply during the validity period. Having ESTA does not guarantee you to stay in US for two years but allows you to stay there under the terms of Visa Waiver Program. You can stay in the US for ninety days or less. If you wish to stay for longer, you must obtain a visa from the US Embassy. Change of the name or citizenship or gender or obtaining a new passport will require you to apply for a new travel authorization. It also applies if any of the answers to any Visa Waiver Program eligibility questions changes.
In case your ESTA has expired, you can reapply by submitting a new application at Already existing applications can never be extended. You don’t have to wait for your ESTA to expire, you can apply at any time before the expiry. If you receive the message "A valid, approved application with more than 30 days remaining has been found for this passport.” Submitting this application will require payment for this application and will then cancel the existing application. You will be required to start your new application.
According to section 214b of the Immigration and Nationality Act, individuals must demonstrate that they do not intend to migrate to the United States and that they qualify for visitor status.
No. You must not have a travel plan at the time of application but you will need a U.S. point of contact. You will be required to provide address of where you will be staying in the US to complete the application. If there are several places you will visit, you can enter the name of the first place you will visit.
You can apply for a visa instead of an ESTA if:
- You wish to arrive in the US aboard non signatory air carrier;
- You wish to stay in the US for more than ninety days;
- Travelling to the US for other purpose other than short term tourism or business;
- You believe that any grounds of inadmissibility of the Immigration and Nationality Act apply to you.
In case you have several passports, enter details of the most recent passport even if it is expired. Dual citizens who do not have passport from another country, should select a country from the drop down list but do not fill in the passport Number field.
Travelers seeking admission and are determined to be inadmissible to the United States under Visa Waiver Program will be returned to their country of origin or third country where he holds a round trip ticket, aboard the carrier on which the traveler arrived in the United States and denied admission.
The application of ESTA must be done in English and the computer used must be configured for American English with suitable font for keyboard input. If the operating system of the computer is Microsoft Windows 95 or higher, please refer to the Conversation Exchange website for computer configuration.
If the computer cannot support Windows operating system, seek help from the information provided by the operating system vendor or read the documentation.