ESTA US Visa Requirements

ESTA US Visa Requirements

Certain foreign nationals are allowed by United States to visit the country without having to go through the lengthy process of applying for the United States Visitor Visa. Instead, these foreign nationals can travel to USA by applying for the US Electronic System Travel Authorization or US ESTA which works as a Visa waiver and allows international travelers coming to the country via air (through commercial or chartered flights), land or sea to visit the country with ease and convenience.

The ESTA US Visa serves the same purpose as the US Visitor Visa but is much faster and easier to acquire than the Visa which takes a long time and much more hassle than the Canada eTA the result of whose application is often given within minutes. Once your ESTA for United States has been approved it will be linked to your Passport and will be valid for a maximum of two (2) years from the date of issue or a period lesser than that if your Passport expires before two years. It can be used repeatedly to visit the country for short durations of time, lasting no more than 90 days, although the actual duration will depend on the purpose of your visit and will be decided by the U.S. Customs and Border Protection officials and stamped on your passport.

But first you must be sure that you meet all of the requirements for the US ESTA which make you eligible for the ESTA for United States.

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It is fairly easy and straightforward to apply for US ESTA however does require some preparation ESTA US Visa Application Process.

Eligibility Requirements for US ESTA

Since United States allows only certain foreign nationals to visit the country without a Visa but on the US ESTA, you will be eligible for the ESTA US Visa only if you are a citizen of one of the countries that are eligible for the US ESTA. To be eligible for the ESTA US Visa you are required to be:

  • Citizen of any of these visa-exempt countries:
    Andorra, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Brunei, Chile, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Korea (Republic of), Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania (holders of a biometric passport/e-passport issued by Lithuania), Luxembourg, Malta, Monaco, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Poland (holders of a biometric passport/e-passport issued by Poland), Portugal, San Marino, Singapore, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Taiwan (holders of the ordinary passport issued by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Taiwan that includes their personal identification number).
  • British citizen or British overseas citizen. British overseas territories include Anguilla, Bermuda, British Virgin Islands, Cayman Islands, Falkland Islands, Gibraltar, Montserrat, Pitcairn, St. Helena or the Turks and Caicos Islands.
  • Holder of a British National (Overseas) passport issued by the United Kingdom to persons born, naturalized or registered in Hong Kong.
  • British Subject or holder of a British Subject passport issued by the United Kingdom which gives the holder the right of abode in the United Kingdom.

If your country is not in the list of visa-exempt countries for United States then you might be eligible for the United States Visitor Visa instead.

Passport Requirements for United States ESTA

The US ESTA will be linked to your passport and the type of passport you have will also determine whether you are eligible for applying for the ESTA for United States or not. Following passport holders can apply for the US ESTA:

  • Holders of Ordinary Passports issued by countries eligible for the US ESTA.
  • Holders of Diplomatic, Official, or Service Passports of eligible countries unless they are exempted from applying at all and can travel without the ESTA.
  • Holders of Emergency/Temporary Passports of eligible countries.

You cannot enter United States even if your ESTA for United States has been approved if you are not carrying proper documentation with you. Your passport is the most important of such documents which you must carry with you when entering United States and on which the duration of your stay in United States will be stamped by the U.S. Customs and Border Protection officer.

Other Requirements for Application of US ESTA

When applying for the US ESTA online you will be required to have the following:

  • Passport
  • Contact, employment, and travel details
  • A debit or credit card to pay the ESTA application fees

If you meet all of these eligibility and other requirements for the US ESTA then you will quite easily be able to obtain the same and visit USA. However, you should keep in mind that U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) can deny you entry at the border even if you are an approved US ESTA holder if at the time of entry you do not have all your documents, such as your passport, in order, which will be checked by the border officials; if you pose any health or financial risk; and if you have previous criminal/terrorist history or previous immigration issues.

If you have ready all the documents required for the US ESTA and meet all eligibility conditions for the ESTA for United States, then you should be able to quite easily apply online for the US ESTA whose ESTA Application Form is quite simple and straightforward.

If you require any clarifications you should contact our helpdesk for support and guidance.