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ESTA for Italian Citizens

Italian citizens are required to have an ESTA before entering the United States of America. This article explains what are the entry requirements related to the US Electronic System for Travel Authorization when applying as an Italian.

What Is the ESTA for Italian Nationals?

The ESTA for the USA was created in 2009 as part of the Visa Waiver Program managed by the Department of Homeland and Security (DHS) of the United States, which consists of bringing together Italian applicants’ passport information with the ESTA before their arrival in the USA.

This visa waiver allows nationals from more than 30 eligible countries, including Italian travelers, to remain up to 90 consecutive days per entry in the country since the ESTA is a multiple-entry document valid for 2 years. The ESTA expires after that time or when the passport has passed its validation date.

When is a US visa waiver mandatory for Italians?

It is a mandatory requirement for Italian nationals to have a valid ESTA when landing or disembarking from a ship on the USA border controls.

Italians traveling because of business affairs, tourism, or even medical issues must bring their non-transferable ESTA as well.

In the case Italian travelers are arriving in the United States as transit passengers, it is also obligatory to get the US ESTA.

How Can I Apply for an ESTA From Italy?

Italians intending to obtain an ESTA will find the direct US visa waiver application form online.

As Italy is one of the eligible visa waiver countries which meet the requirements to get an ESTA, Italian passport holders have the possibility to fill in the online form providing personal data and their passport biographical information.

Applicants of Italy should notice that those of them carrying criminal reports or having been previously arrested are not allowed to obtain an ESTA. The same rule will be applied in case they suffer contagious diseases.

The application form does not take more than 10 minutes to complete. It is required that Italians give all the information as specified during the process.

Italian applicants must answer truthfully, making sure they are providing correct and reliable information, as all the gathered data is directly connected to their biographic passport, and later modifications cannot be made once the ESTA form is submitted.

US Visa Waiver for Italian Applicants: Where to Obtain It

The ESTA visa waiver for Italian passport holders can be required via online while having a connection to the internet and the possibility of using any of the following devices:

  • Desktop
  • Laptop
  • Smartphone
  • Tablet

Italian applicants must register an active email address for accessing the online form. The application is very intuitive and it consists of answering questions. At the end of the form, it will be necessary to pay the visa fee. After having paid it, the travel document to the US is sent to the DHS, which issues the ESTA in an email attached in a PDF format to Italian passengers.

Citizens of Italy can check the ESTA status at any time during the online process.

ESTA Requirements for Italian Travelers

One of the first requirements to apply for the ESTA is being national from one of the eligible visa waiver countries, and Italians are one of them.

The second requirement is to have a valid biometric passport. These are new passports with chips that collect all the information from the passport holder and connect it with the ESTA.

Italian nationals who have overstayed in the USA before or have been reported from this country are not able to request an ESTA.

Since 2015, travelers who have been in Syria, Sudan, Iran, or Iraq after March 1, 2011, can not apply for an ESTA.

If Italian travelers are arriving in the USA because of a transfer on the way of a third country, then the ESTA is as well mandatory.

Italians thinking on getting a US ESTA: further considerations

The ESTA must be carried on the departure day so Italian citizens can present it in the border. Travelers of Italy must know it is not possible to ask for an ESTA on arrival. It is mandatory to have it in advance.

There is a possibility of asking for a group or family ESTA. It is a good option if there are many Italian nationals traveling together to the United States because it avoids the need of carrying each individual ESTA.

The ESTA for Italian tourists or business travelers is available in 24 hours after the payment of the visa waiver fee. In the case of the transit ESTA, it can take up to 3 working days to be sent. It is important to consider the issue dates to plan the arrival to the USA.

ESTA Visa Waiver: Benefits for Italian Citizens

The US Visa Waiver Program ends with the previous appointments needed in embassies or consulates such as the ones still needed to get an American visa.

In this sense, it is worth mentioning the US ESTA is not the same as a US visa.

The waiting list for a USA tourist visa is long and have plenty of other requirements, whereas the visa waiver eligible countries, such as Italy, can find a lot of advantages when obtaining a US ESTA:

  • It is not necessary to visit a US embassy
  • It is not necessary to bring documents in person
  • It is not necessary to wait for obtaining the visa waiver

Furthermore, the ESTA allows Italian travelers to come to the USA not only for tourism, but also to join conferences, short courses, or work meetings. Italians can go to the USA with an ESTA visa waiver to carry out any activity that does not involve long-term academic studies. For those Italian applicants intending to work in the USA, the ESTA is not valid.

The ESTA is permitted for traveling across the country. There are no regional restrictions for Italians interested in visiting different cities or areas of the United States.

In case applicants of Italy have other doubts about the ESTA procedure, they are advised to learn more about the most frequently asked questions related to the US visa waiver.

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