US Visa Online

US Visa Online or ESTA (Electronic System for Travel Authorization) is an automated system that verifies the eligibility of travellers for travelling to the United States under the governance of the Visa Waiver Program (VWP)

Texas flag The US Visa Online (or ESTA) system was created by the United States Government to determine the eligibility status of citizens from countries in the Visa Waiver Program.

ESTA US Visa Online is an electronic travel authorization or travel permit to visit United States for a period of time upto 90 days and visit United States. Foreign citizens can apply for an US Visa Application in a matter of minutes. ESTA US Visa process is automated, simple, and completely online.

Visa applications can be a very tiring process if one does not know how to go about it. There are a series of processes and a series of questions that one needs to attend to, understand and submit before a visa gets approved.

Most of the time due to a very minor glitch in the documents provided or during the question and answer session, the US Visa Online of the respective person gets disapproved. It also depends on the purpose of the visa you are applying for, the time you will be needing with that visa and your qualifications for that application.

For every country, there exist certain parameters that need to be fulfilled and these parameters vary from country to country and depend greatly on the purpose of your application. To help you understand the process of US Visa Application before you start applying for a Visa, we will be helping you out with certain intricacies that will be required to reflect upon in the US Visa Application Form. This way there are minimal chances of you making mistakes in the US Visa Application Form and lowering the chances of your application not getting accepted. You can very carefully go through the frequent questions asked by applicants provided below and make sure your application is good to go.

What is the difference between an US Visa Online (or ESTA) and the normal US Visa

Before we tell you the difference between a US Visa and an ESTA US Visa (US Visa Online), let us brief you on what these two terms stand for. A Visa is primarily a temporary and conditional authorization given by a governing polity to any foreigner who wishes to travel to different territories/countries and this Visa permits them to rightfully enter, remain within, or exit the territory/country in question.

US Visa

The US Visa that is given to such travelers has certain parameters that hold dominance over their stay in United States. For example, the duration of their stay, the areas that are permitted to visit within that USA, the dates they are expected to enter, the number of visits they make into USA in a specific period or if the person is capable enough to work in the USA for which the visa is issued. US Visas are basically permission slips allowing one to enter and stay in United States and every country has its own set of instructions given to allow any person to traverse to another country or territory.

US Visa Online or US ESTA Visa Online

ESTA stands for Electronic System for Travel Authorization. As the name suggests, it is an automated system that verifies the eligibility of travelers for travelling to the United States under the governance of the Visa Waiver Program (VWP). When a person gets authorised by US ESTA (or US Visa Online), it does not decide whether the visitor is admissible to the United States of America. The admissibility of this visitor is only determined by the US Customs and Border Protection (C.B.P) officers upon the visitor's arrival to the place.

The purpose of the US Visa Online Application is to collect biographic details and answers to Visa Waiver Program eligibility questions. This application is required to be submitted atleast 72 hours before the travel date. Although it is advised that the visitor applies as soon as they plan to make the trip or before they set out to purchase the airline tickets. This buys them ample time to avoid any kind of glitch which might occur during the process of application. Then they will have time in their hand to correct any mistakes that occur.

US Customs and Border Protection Officers United States C.B.P (Customs and Border Protection) officer

Difference between a Visa and an ESTA

A Visa is different from an authorised travel approval and they are not the same. It does serve the function of the legal or regulatory requirements with interest to the United States visa in a scenario where a visa is the only mandatory requirement that is recognised by the United States law. The visitors who carry a valid USA visa will be allowed to travel to the United States based on the validity of that visa and the purpose for which it was issued.

Those who are travelling with valid US Visa do not need any other kind of travel authorisation to traverse to the United States. A travelling visa will specify the purpose of the visit, given the traveler solely travels for the respective visa.

What is ESTA (or US Visa Online) and when is it required?

To further the existing security of tour and travel in the United States of America under the Visa Waiver Program the immediacy to travel without a Visa has been enhanced.

The passport holders of Visa Waiver Program countries are still eligible enough to travel without having to carry a visa but at the same time, they are required to get their travel authorisation approved, 72 hours before their visit to the United States. This authorisation is called ESTA ( or US Visa Online)

As soon as you get to the required biographic details of US Visa Application and payment information provided on the website, know that your application is now under process by the system to check for your eligibility to travel to the United States under the Visa Waiver Program without having to carry a visa with you. An automated response is generated by the system in which you have applied to and right before your boarding, a carrier will verify with the United States Customs and Border Protection electronically that your approval for travel authorisation exists.

The applicants who get approval should know that ESTA or US Visa Online is only valid for two years or till the time their passport expires, whichever happens first. When you plan your travel to the USA, know that you can stay for upto 90 days on a single trip.

Also note, a fresh authorization of ESTA is needed if any of the following happens:

  • If you get issued a new passport.
  • You decide to change your name (first or last)
  • You decide to redefine your gender.
  • Your citizenship changes.

Why is ESTA or US Visa Online compulsory?

The "Implementing Recommendations of the 9/11 Commission Act of 2007" (9/11 Act) made an amendment in section 217 belonging to the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA), which requires that the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) puts into force an electronic travel authorization system and initiate other required measures to strengthen the security of the Visa Waiver Program (VWP).

ESTA only acts as an added shield serving as another layer of security that permits DHS to analyse before the travel, whether the traveller is eligible to travel to the United States under the requirements of the Visa Waiver Program and whether or not such travel hints at any law enforcement or security risk.


Check your eligibility for US Visa Online and apply for US Visa Online 72 hours in advance of your flight. British citizens, Spanish citizens, French citizens, Japanese citizens and Italian citizens can apply online for Electronic US Visa. Should you need any help or require any clarifications you should contact our helpdesk for support and guidance.