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ESTA for Chilean Citizens

Nationals of Chile are able to apply for authorization to enter the United States of America by registering their details online with the Electronic System for Travel Authorization (ESTA).

The ESTA, or visa waiver to the USA, is an active program created in 2009 and managed by the Department of Homeland Security of the US. It permits visitors from a number of countries, including Chile to ask for an electronic travel authorization to enter the US for tourism, business, and transit.

What Is the ESTA for Chileans?

The ESTA has some differences compared to an embassy visa, or tourist visa for the US. Chilean applicants intending to travel to the US can apply for an ESTA directly from their homes by using an online form.

Chilean citizens do not have to make an appointment or visit the embassy of the US in Chile before their trip, as is the case for nationals of countries that are not part of the Visa Waiver Program.

The ESTA is valid for 2 years. During this time, Chilean travelers can enter the US as many times as they want, and they can remain up to 3 months in the country. The ESTA is required when arriving by plane or cruise. It has to be printed and shown when the Chilean traveler crosses the border controls, along with their passport.

Chilean citizens with an ESTA can visit all the states of the USA, including Hawaii.

As the ESTA is electronically linked to the traveler’s biometric Chilean passport, the travel authorization is no longer valid if the applicant’s passport expires.

How Can Citizens of Chile Apply for ESTA?

The application for getting the ESTA is done online. It is necessary to have an email address and a credit or debit card to pay the ESTA fee.

Chilean applicants must start the application by choosing if they want a single ESTA or a group ESTA, the second option being for families or groups traveling together. It allows all family members to complete their ESTA forms together.

During the online process, there are some questions regarding personal data and security. We recommend double-checking all the answers provided, as a mistake can lead to the ESTA being rejected.

If the ESTA is denied, the Chilean applicant will be notified by email. It is important to check the inbox and spam box while waiting for the ESTA.

The US ESTA is sent in PDF format. It is advisable to print a copy to bring to border control.

ESTA Requirements for Chilean Nationals

Chilean nationals must meet certain requirements for obtaining an ESTA to receive authorization to enter the United States.

The following items must be provided during the application process:

  • Valid Chilean passport
  • Current email address
  • Credit or debit card to cover the ESTA fee

For security reasons, Chileans that have been in Iraq, Iran, Sudan, or Syria after 1 March 2011 will not be granted an ESTA.

Chilean nationals who carry criminal records or have been deported from the USA previously cannot ask for an ESTA either.

In these cases, they would have to request a visa from a US embassy.

ESTA Processing Times for Chileans

ESTA approval usually takes no more than 2 business days to process. Occasionally, it may take a little longer due to a high volume of applications or because of errors or inconsistencies on the form.

Chilean applicants are advised to check their answers thoroughly before submitting the online ESTA form to avoid delays or rejections.

Chilean applicants will receive updates on their ESTA status by email after having completed the application.

It is usually necessary to show confirmation of registration with ESTA when checking in for and/or boarding a flight to the United States.

If the ESTA is going to expire before entering the USA, applicants must reapply. If it expires once Chilean nationals have entered the country, it is not necessary to ask for the renewal.

ESTA US Visa Waiver Benefits for Chileans

The ESTA has many benefits for travelers from eligible countries, such as Chile, including the following:

  • Quick processing time (usually within 2 business days)
  • The application can be completed from the comfort of the Chilean applicant’s home
  • Only a valid passport is necessary (visas require more supporting documents)
  • Valid for 2 years

In addition, the ESTA is electronically linked to the Chilean passport registered in the original application and copies of the PDF can be printed off as needed.

The ESTA also makes the process of passing through American border control much quicker and smoother, with minimal checks compared to visa holders.

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