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The ESTA USA stands for Electronic System for Travel Authorization, a system created by the United States Government to determine eligibility status from citizens from countries in the Visa Waiver Program. The ESTA US visa is an automated program that gathers a traveler’s passport details before they travel to the US. The ESTA visa for USA was made available on January 12th, 2009. Eligible citizens should obtain an ESTA authorization in order to enter the US. To obtain an ESTA visa for the US, applicants must have a valid passport. Upon arrival at a US port of entry, the traveler should hold a valid ESTA visa waiver.

Who needs to Apply for ESTA?

Citizens from a ESTA Visa Waiver Country who wish to travel to the United States must apply for an ESTA authorization by completing the ESTA visa online form. Australia, United Kingdom, and New Zealand are among the 38 Visa Waiver countries eligible to obtain an ESTA US visa. All travelers, including those in transit through the United States, are required to have a valid ESTA visa upon arrival and to present it upon request at the border control. The ESTA USA will be valid for 2 years from its issuing date. All travelers holding an ESTA for USA can stay in the US for a maximum period of 90 consecutive days.

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What is the Visa Waiver Program?

The Visa Waiver Program is a U. S. Government controlled program, administered by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), allowing passport holders of 38 selected countries to enter the United States multiple times for business or tourism purposes. The length of each stay should not surpass 90 consecutive days. The great benefit of this option is that applicants may travel freely to and around the US, on a short notice, without having to apply for an American visa.

The 38 Visa Waiver countries

  • The ESTA USA authorization is not a regular visa. The ESTA for USA is an electronic travel authorization to the United States.
  • The ESTA USA must be presented on trips made to the USA by plane or boat. If you travel by car it is not necessary.
  • The ESTA serves to screen a traveler and have more control over foreign visitors that come to the United States.
  • The ESTA USA is only valid for tourism, business, and medical purposes or to do a stop over to another country. Find out more info about the transit ESTA visa to USA.
  • It is strongly advised to complete the ESTA visa online application at least 72 hours before your trip. The ESTA is processed in less than 24 hours. However, in some cases, it may take longer to process, up to 72 hours.
  • If your US ESTA is denied, you will be required to apply for a B1 or B2 regular visa.
  • An individual ESTA is needed to enter in USA. Check the requirements for an ESTA family application for a family or group.
  • An approved ESTA travel authorization does not guarantee your entrance to the United States.
  • You must be citizen from one of the 38 countries in the Visa Waiver Program.
  • Your visit to the United States must be for a period of 90 days or less.
  • To obtain your ESTA visa you must hold a passport with a minimum validity of 6 months from the expected date of arrival.
  • Bear in mind that you cannot travel to the United States with a criminal record or contagious disease that could put the public health of the citizens at risk.
  • Your ESTA visa will expire 2 years after its approval or when your passport expires, whichever occurs first.
  • Children must also process an ESTA for USA. Check the requirements for the ESTA for children.
  • If you have dual citizenship, check the ESTA dual nationality can also be easily obtained.
  • Complete information and updates about the ESTA requirements.


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