The Department of Homeland Security oversees the VWP initiative, which enables citizens of Switzerland to visit the US without a visa. Visitors covered by the VWP can enter the country for up to 90 days with a tourist, business, or other non-work-related agenda.
The Visa Waiver Program only allows citizens of the 40 participating nations to apply for an ESTA. The following list of nations is among those taking part:
Andorra, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Brunei, Chile, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Monaco, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Republic of Malta, San Marino, Singapore, Slovakia, Slovenia, South Korea, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Taiwan, United Kingdom.
Citizen of Switzerland are indeed in luck as they are eligible for Visa Waiver or eligible for USA Online ESTA Visa. The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) was required to implement an ESTA to increase security in the Visa Waiver Program. This came after the Implementing Recommendations of the 9/11 Act of 2007 amended Section 217 of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA).
In essence, ESTA is a sophisticated security tool that enables the DHS to confirm a visitor's eligibility for the VWP before they enter the US. With ESTA, the DHS can eliminate whatever danger the programme might have posed to law enforcement or travel security.
A visa is not an ESTA, no. In numerous ways, an ESTA differs from a visa. For instance, the Electronic System for Travel Authorization (ESTA) enables visitors to the United States without needing to apply for a conventional non-immigrant visitor visa.
However, those who are going with legal visas do not need to file for an ESTA because their visa will be sufficient for their intended purpose. This means that an ESTA cannot lawfully be used as a visa for entry into the United States. Where US law requires one, travellers will need a visa.
Complete your application with confidence by following US Visa Online Application Process guide.
To travel to the United States, you will need a visa.
Travellers to the USA from Switzerland are required to have an ESTA in order to be eligible for the Visa Waiver Program (VWP). This means that those who are travelling to the US by land or air without a visa must apply for an ESTA in order to be allowed admission. Infants and kids without tickets are included in this.
Note: The ESTA application and fee must be submitted separately by each traveller. Additionally, a VWP traveller may have a third party submit an ESTA application on their behalf.
Beginning in January 2009, visitors entering the United States on business, transit, or vacation must get a US ESTA (Electronic System for Travel Authorization). There are around 39 nations that can enter the US without a paper visa; these are known as visa-free or visa-exempt countries. With an ESTA, citizens of these nations can travel to or visit the United States for up to 90 days. Citizens of Switzerland do need to apply for US ESTA.
The United Kingdom, all the member nations of the European Union, Australia, New Zealand, Japan, and Taiwan are a few of these nations .
All citizens of these 39 nations must now have a US Electronic Travel Authorization. In other words, obtaining a US ESTA online before going to the US is required for nationals of the 39 countries that do not require a visa.
Note: Citizens of Canada and the United States are exempt from the ESTA requirement. If a Canadian Permanent Resident holds a passport from one of the other nations exempt from requiring a visa, they are eligible for an ESTA US Visa.
An ESTA is only valid for two years from the permission date or until the day that your passport expires, whichever comes first. As a citizen of Switzerland you can use this ESTA Visa for two years . The permission date of your ESTA is shown on the Authorization Approved screen once you have submitted your ESTA application. Your ESTA's validity expires if it is revoked, though.
When you successfully gain approval, it's crucial to print off your ESTA. Although it is not necessary upon arrival in the United States, it is crucial for keeping records. The US immigration authorities will have a copy of their own electronic copy to confirm your entry permission.
Throughout the two-year validity term, your ESTA is valid for use on multiple travels. This indicates that it is not essential to submit a new ESTA application during this time. If your ESTA expires while you are in the US, it won't stop you from leaving the country, so you still have an opportunity to get home. Although your ESTA is still valid for 2 years, it is important to understand that this does not give visitors permission to stay in the US for that long. Your time in the US must not exceed 90 days in order to meet VWP standards.
If you plan to stay for more than 90 days, you might want to think about applying for a visa at a Consulate or U.S. Embassy.
Also, keep in mind that changing any of the information on your passport—including your name, gender, or country of citizenship—will render your existing ESTA invalid. As a result, you will have to pay a charge to apply for a new ESTA.
Note: DHS will not require a copy of your ESTA, but it is imperative that you retain a copy of your application for record-keeping purposes.
Your entrance into the United States is not assured if your ESTA application is approved. Your eligibility to go to the US under the VWP programme is the only thing that the application confirms. Customs and Border Protection Officers examine travellers covered by VWP upon entry into the country. The inspection is an examination of your paperwork to determine whether or not you are eligible for the VWP based on specific international travel laws. International aircraft passengers are likewise subject to the standard immigration and customs screening procedures.
As a citizen of Switzerland, you are regarded as a traveller in transit if you are departing for a third nation that is not the United States. If your country of origin is on the list of nations that have signed up for the Visa Waiver Program, then you must submit an ESTA application under these circumstances.
The person entering another nation through the US must indicate that they are in transit while completing the ESTA application. An indication of your destination nation must also be included with this declaration.
Yes, when travelling under the Visa Waiver Program, a passport is required. Among these requirements is the need for machine-readable zones on the biographic pages for VWP passports issued prior to October 26, 2005.
For VWP passports issued on or after October 26, 2005, a digital photo is required.
E-passports are required for VWP passports issued on or after October 26, 2006. This means that each passport must carry a digital chip with biometric data about its user.
As of July 1, 2009, temporary and emergency passports from VWP nations must also be electronic.
All citizens from the following VWP nations must display an electronic passport with a chip when entering the United States:
Customs and Border Protection advises passengers to submit an ESTA application as soon as they arrange a trip, even though anyone can do so at any time before travelling to the US. Particularly, this should be completed 72 hours prior to departure.
You will need an average of 5 minutes to finish the ESTA application process. You may complete the process in as little as 10 minutes, provided you have all the required paperwork on hand, including a credit card and passport.
Note: It's also critical to be aware that a number of variables, including technological problems with the CBP systems, may have an impact on how quickly your ESTA is processed. Other problems, such as those payment processing and website faults, may also impact the processing time for ESTAs.
If your application is not finished and submitted within 7 days, it will be deleted.
With a credit or debit card, you can pay the ESTA application and authorisation fees. Currently, American Express, MasterCard, Visa, Diners Club International, and JCB are accepted by the ESTA. Your application may only be handled if it contains all the needed fields and your payment has been authorised properly. Alpha-numeric characters must be used to enter the information in the fields designated for paying by card. These specifics are:
A child must have a current ESTA to enter the United States if they are a citizen of a nation that participates in the Visa Waiver Program . In the same manner that adults need an ESTA to enter the US, this rule applies to kids of all ages, even infants.
Children cannot travel on their parents' passports as they can in several other nations since they need their own passports .
The child's biometric or electronic passport must not be expired (one which must be machine-readable and possess a digital photograph of the bearer integrated into the biographical data page).
At least one blank page must be present in the passport for the stamp. The authorization granted through ESTA, typically for two years, will only be valid until the day the passport expires if the expiration date is within six months.
A parent or other responsible adult must complete the ESTA on behalf of a person who is under the age of 18. Any application submitted by a youngster without adult support will be instantly denied. If you are applying for multiple ESTAs at once, such as for a family vacation, you can submit the application as part of a group application.
If a child travels with a parent whose surname differs from their own, the parent should be able to show proof of their parentage, such as the birth certificate. It is advisable to bring a letter of authorization signed by the other parent and a copy of that parent's passport.
When a child travels with adults who are not their parents, like grandparents or close family friends, the adults must present additional formal documentation in order to obtain the child's consent to travel with them.
A letter of authorization to leave the nation signed by the kid's parents or legal guardians is required when a youngster travels alone without their parents, together with photocopies of the child's passport or identification card.
Note: It is important to travel with copies of all the documentation proving your relationship to any children who may be with you to avoid any problems.
It is not necessary for the person whose name appears on the form to complete the form themselves. Thus, a third party may fill out your ESTA form on your behalf. It is allowed a third person to complete all or a portion of the form on your behalf, such as a friend, parent, partner, or travel agent.
There are a variety of situations when someone might ask someone else to fill out an ESTA on their behalf. For instance, parents may fill out an ESTA on behalf of their children, or a person with visual impairment may do the same. If the following guidelines are followed, anyone may nominate someone to complete an ESTA on their behalf:
It is the applicant's obligation to make sure that the data they provide is accurate and that the person they choose to submit their ESTA application is reliable. This lessens the chance of application errors, identity theft, credit card theft, and other scams like virus dissemination. It also helps to reduce typos in the application.
You may always check the status of your ESTA. Your ESTA should still be valid if it has been less than two years since you applied and if your passport is still valid.
If you have already applied for an ESTA, you can check its status to ensure it is still valid before travelling or when making flight reservations.
You receive the message "Application Not Found" when you check the status of your ESTA application. If so, it was probably because the original ESTA application form contained inaccurate information.
It might also indicate an issue with the application, such as if your internet connection dropped while you were submitting the form. Instead, the application fee payment might not have been successful, making it impossible to complete it.
The CBP is examining this message as you read it. The final status of your application won't be available to you for a little while. Wait at least 72 hours before making any further moves because it typically takes up to that long for your application to be processed.
Your application has been processed, and you now have a valid ESTA that allows you to go to the US if you check the status of your ESTA and it reads "authorization approved."
To know how long it will be valid, you should also be able to view your expiration date. You should be aware that even though the ESTA has been authorised, Customs and Border Protection officers may still decide to withdraw it and deny you entrance into the US.
If the ESTA status for your application reads "Application Not Authorized," it has been rejected. There may be a number of explanations if you checked any eligible boxes and the result was "Yes."
The authorities will not grant you travel authorization if they believe you to be a security or health threat.
Even if they reject your ESTA application, you can still travel to the US by applying for a B-2 tourist visa. It will depend on why your ESTA was rejected; typically, a visa application will be rejected if you have a major criminal record or infectious disease.
Let's say you believe a mistake you made on your ESTA application caused it to be rejected. If that happens, you might be able to correct the error on the application or apply for an ESTA again 10 days later.
Your ESTA authorization must be current at the time of entry into the United States and will let you remain on American soil for up to 90 days after landing. So long as you do not stay longer than the permitted 90 days in the United States, it is acceptable if your ESTA expires during your visit.
Remember that even if your ESTA authorization is valid for two years or until your passport expires (whichever comes first), your ESTA will never let you stay more than 90 days. You will require a visa if you intend to stay in the United States for an extended period.
A statement on the U.S. Customs and Border Protection agency's official website that reads, "If the ESTA expires while you are in the U.S., it will not affect your admissibility or the amount of time you are permitted to remain in the U.S."
Although you should try to prevent it, if it does happen, there are only consequences if you stay longer than the permitted 90 days. So, if you have not exceeded the limit, there are no repercussions if your ESTA expires midway through your journey.
As long as you don't remain longer than the 90 days that the Visa Waiver Program allows you if your ESTA does expire while you're travelling, it won't have an adverse effect on your subsequent trips to the United States. Be advised that while your passport must be current up to your departure and for six months following your arrival, your ESTA does not need to be valid for the full time of your stay.
Whenever possible, try to schedule your travel so that it is not too near to the expiration date of your ESTA in case your aircraft is delayed, and your ESTA expires before you reach the US border control. In this situation, the airline will typically deny your request to board the aircraft because they are aware that you lack the necessary authorization to enter the US.
It is a good idea to apply for a new ESTA before your trip if your current one is about to expire because it will simply replace the older one; you don't need to wait until it has already expired.
Note: Your ESTA will no longer be valid if a new passport has been issued since you applied for it. An ESTA cannot be transferred from one passport to another; a new ESTA is necessary. An ESTA is connected to the passport information you supply when applying.
Depending on elements like how long you exceed the 90-day restriction and the cause of your overstay, there are various repercussions. Those who decide to remain in the US after their visa has expired are considered unlawful immigrants and are subject to the laws governing illegal immigration.
Although you should get in touch with your embassy as soon as possible to receive advice on your position, the authorities will be more understanding if the overstay was unintentional and unavoidable, such as if you suffered an accident and are currently unable to fly. Another situation where an overstay can be beyond your control is if flights are postponed for a while for any reason.
If you want to apply for another ESTA or a US visa in the future, you can run into problems because the authorities might reject your applications if they determine that you abused your first one.
Although you can renew your ESTA, it is not feasible to extend it. Your ESTA is valid for a maximum of two years from issuance or until the earlier of your passport's expiration date. You must submit a fresh application in the same manner as you did with your prior one to renew your ESTA.
Your travel schedule shouldn't be affected by the ESTA renewal procedure because it often takes only a few minutes. U.S. Customs and Border Protection advises applying for or renewing your ESTA when you arrange your trip or at least 72 hours before you intend to travel.
Before your current ESTA expires, you can apply for a new one. You may do this at any time before, on, or after the date when your current ESTA expires. If you see the following 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."
If you decide to move forward, the remaining days will be cancelled and replaced with your new application. The ESTA will then be extended for a further two years or until the expiration of your passport, whichever comes first.
Resubmitting an ESTA application is a simple procedure. Just as you did when you initially applied, you must follow the instructions to complete all of the questions and submit a fresh application for travel authorization.
You will not be allowed to apply for an ESTA if you are a citizen of Switzerland and hold a post-dated passport that won't be valid until a specific date (because of a name change, for example), as you must have a passport that is valid at the moment the application is submitted. You won't be able to use your post-dated passport to apply until the date of the detail change (marriage, divorce, gender change, or civil partnership ceremony), as it is only valid from that date.
To ensure everything is in order, you should verify the expiration date on your passport well before the day you fly and before submitting an ESTA application. You should always travel with a passport that is good for at least six months after the date of your intended trip.
If a new passport is issued to you or your name changed after you first applied, you must submit a new ESTA application. You can still travel using your old passport if you don't have a new one but have altered your complete name or gender but not your gender identity.
You may also travel using a passport bearing your old name and gender and a ticket issued in your new name and gender. Ensure you have all the paperwork you'll need to confirm your identification at border crossings. They comprise records like:
Absolutely, all ESTA candidates must possess current, valid, and up-to-date digital passports. Infants and children of all ages are included in this. Throughout your whole stay in the United States, the passport must be valid. If your passport expires while you're still inside the country, you'll be breaking the rules of the Visa Waiver Program.
Your passport must be digital to meet the standards of the Visa Waiver Program, with different features depending on the time period it was issued.
Your passport qualifies for travel under the Visa Waiver Program if it was issued, reissued, or extended before October 26, 2005, and is machine-readable.
If your machine-readable passport was issued, reissued, or extended between October 26, 2005, and October 25, 2006, it must include an integrated data chip (e-Passport) or a digital photo printed directly on the data page without being attached to it. Please see the integrated data chip section below.
If a machine cannot read your passport, you will not be eligible for the Visa Waiver Program and will need to obtain a visa to enter the United States using your current passport. As an alternative, you can convert your current passport to an e-Passport to meet the Visa Waiver Program's passport requirements.
A biometric passport will include personal information and identifiers such as fingerprints, nationality, date of birth, and place of birth, among other things.
On the identity page of this type of passport, there is a section that has been encoded in a way that computers can read. The identity page's information is contained in the encoded data. This makes data security possible and aids in preventing identity theft.
Yes, you need both your passport and your ESTA to travel to the US because the authorization is based on the passport number. This must be an electronic passport (ePassport) with a machine-readable zone on the biographic page and a digital chip carrying the owner's biometric data. If your passport has a small emblem with a circle and a rectangle on the front, like this, you probably have a chip.
Two lines of text at the bottom of your passport's information page designate it as a machine-readable passport. Machines can read the symbols and letters in this text to extract information. A digital photo, or one that is printed directly onto the data page, must also be included in the passport.
Note: Please be advised that if a machine cannot read your passport and you are a national of a country that participates in the Visa Waiver Program, you will need to obtain a normal visa to enter the United States .
Please apply for a USA Visa 72 hours in advance of your flight.