What is ESTA for United States?
The ESTA USA stands for Electronic System for Travel Authorization.
It is an official document issued by U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) that enables citizens and nationals
from the 39 countries to enter the United States for tourism, transit or business purposes.
ESTA is a mandatory travel authorization for travelers visiting the United States either by Sea or Air for visits under 90 days.
The ESTA US Visa works as a Visa Waiver document for foreign nationals from certain
eligible Visa Exempt countries
who can travel to United States without having to obtain a Visa from U.S. Embassy or Consulate but instead visit the
United States of America on the ESTA which can be applied for and obtained online.
The ESTA for United States performs the same function as the U.S. Visa but it is much more easily obtained and the
process is faster too. The ESTA US visa waiver is an automated program that gathers a traveler’s passport details
before their departure to the US. The ESTA visa waiver or the USA was made available from January 2009.
ESTA is valid for upto 2 (two) years from the date of issue or until your passport expires, whichever comes first.
The validity period of your ESTA is different than the duration of stay. While ESTA is valid for 2 years,
you duration cannot exceed 90 days. You may enter United States at any time within the validity period.
It is quick process which requires you filling an ESTA US Visa Application Form online, this can be as little as ten (10) minutes to
complete. ESTA US Visa is issued after the application form has been successfully completed and fee paid by the
United States C.B.P (Customs and Border Protection) officer
Who can apply for ESTA for United States?
Passport holders of following nationalities seeking to enter United States for purposes for tourism, transit or business
must apply for the ESTA US Visa and are exempted from obtaining tradition/paper Visa to travel to the Unites States.
Citizens of Canada need only their Canadian Passports to travel to United States.
Canadian Permanent Residents, however, may need to apply ESTA US Visa unless they are already a citizen
of one of the below countries.
Types of ESTA US Visa
The US ESTA has three types, or in other words, you can apply for the ESTA US Visa when the purpose of your visit to
the country is any one of the following:
Transit or layover when you have to stop at a US airport or city for a brief period of time till your next flight to your final destination.
Tourism, sightseeing, visiting family or friends, coming to United States on a school trip, or attending a short course of study that does not award any credits.
For business purposes, including business meetings, business, professional, scientific, or educational conference or convention, or for the settling of the affairs of an estate.
Information required for ESTA US Visa
ESTA US Visa applicants will need to provide the following information at the time of filling out
online US ESTA Application Form:
- Personal information like name, place of birth, date of birth
- Passport number, date of issue, date of expiry
- Contact information such as address and email
- Employment details
- Parent details
Before you apply for ESTA USA Visa
Travelers who intend to apply online for ESTA US Visa must fulfil the following conditions:
A Valid passport for travel
The applicant’s passport must be valid for at least three months beyond the departure date, the date when you leave United States.
There should also be a blank page on the passport so that the U.S. Customs and Border Protection Officer can stamp your passport.
Your ESTA for United States, if approved, will be linked to your valid Passport, so you are also required to have a valid Passport, which can be either an Ordinary Passport, or an Official, Diplomatic, or Service Passport, all issued by eligible countries.
A valid Email ID
The applicant will receive ESTA USA Visa by email, therefore a valid Email ID is required to receive US ESTA.
The form can be completed by the visitors intending to arrive by clicking
here US ESTA application form.
Method of Payment
Since the ESTA USA Visa application form is only available online, without a paper equivalent, a valid credit/debit card or PayPal account is required.
Applying for the ESTA US Visa
Eligible Foreign Nationals who wish to travel to United States need to apply for the ESTA for US online.
The entire process is web-based, from application, payment, and submission to getting notified of the result of the application.
The applicant will have to fill the ESTA US Visa Application form with relevant details,
including contact details, employment details, passport details, and other background information such as health and criminal record.
All persons traveling to United States, regardless of their age, will have to fill this form.
Once filled, the applicant will have to make the ESTA application payment using a credit or debit card or a PayPal account and
then submit the application.
Most decisions are reached within 48 hours and the applicant is notified via email but some cases may take a
few days or a week to process.
It’s best to apply for the ESTA for United States as soon as you have finalised your travel plans and no later than
72 hours before your scheduled entry into United States .
You will be notified of the final decision by email and in case your application is not approved you might try
applying for the United States Visa at your nearest US embassy or consulate.
How long does ESTA USA Visa application take to process
It is advisable to apply for US ESTA at least 72 hours before you plan to enter the country.
Validity of the ESTA USA Visa
The ESTA for United States is valid for a max period of two (2) years from the date of its issue or lesser if the Passport that it is electronically linked to expires
before the two (2) years.
The ESTA allows you to stay in United States for the maximum of 90 days at a time but you can use it to visit the country repeatedly within the period of its validity.
However, the actual duration you would be allowed to stay in for at a time would be decided by the border officials depending upon your purpose of visit and will be stamped
on your Passport.
Entry into United States
The ESTA for United States is required so that you can board a flight to United States as without it you cannot get on
any US bound flight.
However, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (C.B.P) or the U.S. border officials can deny you entry at the airport
even if you are an approved ESTA US Visa 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
if you have previous criminal/terrorist history or previous immigration issues
If you have ready all the documents required for the ESTA US Visa and meet all eligibility conditions for the
ESTA for United States, then you should be able to quite easily apply online for the Canada eTA whose application
form is quite simple and straightforward.
If you require any clarifications read ESTA US Visa Application Process guide or
contact our helpdesk for support and guidance.
Documents that the US ESTA holder may be asked at the United States border
Means of supporting themselves
The applicant may be asked to provide evidence that they can financially support and sustain themselves during their
stay in United States.
Onward/return flight ticket.
The applicant may be required to show that they intend to leave United States after the purpose of trip for which
ESTA US Visa was applied is over.
If the applicant does not have an onward ticket, they may provide the proof of funds and ability to buy a ticket in