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ESTA for UK Citizens

Do I need a visa for USA from UK?

The short answer is Yes. All UK citizens need an ESTA to travel to the USA. But what is an ESTA for UK citizens? Why is it important to obtain an ESTA before visiting the US? And how can you get the ESTA for UK citizens? The travel authorization is quite easy to obtain.

Read on to find out more about the process of obtaining the US visa waiver, the visa waiver requirements for UK citizens and how to apply for the ESTA from the UK.

The ESTA for UK citizens is a mandatory requirement to visit the United States. The ESTA is not a US visa for UK citizens, it is a travel authorization that allows British nationals to enter the United States.

An ESTA holder can travel to the country for a period of up to 90 days. Read further to find out more about the ESTA US visa for UK citizens.

Do British citizens need a visa or ESTA for the USA?

British citizens do not need a visa to visit the US, but they do need to apply online for an electronic authorization. All UK citizens need an ESTA to travel to the USA.

You might be wondering what is the US ESTA for British Citizens? Why is it important? How can you get the ESTA for UK citizens? Obtaining an ESTA visa waiver for a UK citizen is a simple and straightforward process.

In order to apply for an ESTA to visit the US, a British citizen must have a valid passport. Learn more about the process of obtaining the US visa waiver authorization, the visa waiver requirements for UK citizens and how to apply for the ESTA from the UK.

What is the ESTA US visa waiver for UK Citizens?

ESTA stands for Electronic System for Travel Authorization and was first put into place in January 2009. The ESTA is an obligatory travel document for citizens of 39 different countries.

It is a Visa Waiver Program (VWP) introduced as an alternative to a standard travel visa for visitors to the USA from certain countries, including the UK.

This means that if you are planning your holidays in the US or you have a business trip lined up stateside you will need to apply for an ESTA before departing.

Regardless of the reason for which you are traveling to the USA, if you comply with the following, you are eligible for the quick and easy ESTA visa waiver:

  • Have a valid electronic passport
  • Are regarded as a British citizen
  • Your trip does not exceed 90 days’ duration

The ESTA application for UK citizens is straightforward and quick to complete.

Being able to apply online for the American visa waiver for British citizens speeds up and facilitates the process immensely.

After completing an online form with your personal information and passport details, you will be required to answer a few security questions and cover the issuance fee. Once your request is processed, you will be sent the confirmed ESTA US visa for British citizens by email.

The ESTA program allows not only UK citizens but also foreign nationals from the 39 visa waiver countries to travel to and around the US for any of the following travel purposes for a maximum stay of 90 days from the date of entry:

  • Tourism
  • Business
  • Medical
  • Transit

The ESTA validity period is 2 years. It is important to bear in mind that although the ESTA for UK nationals is valid for 2 years, you must consider the ESTA expiry date in case you need to renew your American visa waiver before traveling to USA from UK or another country of residence.

The ESTA for UK Citizens is necessary for tourism and business purposes, but it is also required for transit.

Note that as a British citizen who has a connecting flight in the US, you are also required to obtain a transit ESTA. Even if you are just spending a few hours at a US airport during an overlay, you will need to apply for the transit ESTA for British citizens.

Some UK travelers wonder if they need an ESTA for a Caribbean cruise. This will depend on the trajectory of the cruise and whether it departs or arrives at an American port. If you will be stepping on American soil, you will need an ESTA for a UK citizen.

If you’re travelling to the USA from the UK for study, employment as foreign press, permanent residence or your trip is for a longer time period than the 90 days of validity, you must apply for a different visa from your local US embassy. This process tends to be more complicated with a longer waiting time, therefore it is preferable, whenever possible, to apply via the ESTA online application form, which is available to all eligible British e-passport holders.

ESTA requirements for UK Citizens to travel to the United States

Now that we have established that all British citizens need an ESTA visa waiver for the US, you need to know about the ESTA requirements for UK citizens in order to travel to the USA.

Eligible British travelers who wish to visit the United States under the Visa Waiver Program have to obtain the ESTA in order to enter the country for tourism, business or transit purposes.

As a British citizen you must meet the following requirements in order to get the ESTA:

  • You are currently not in possession of a visitor’s visa,
  • Your expected length of stay does not exceed the 90 days
  • You plan to travel to the US for business, pleasure or transit
  • You need a valid UK passport to apply for the ESTA
  • You have a debit or credit card.

To complete the ESTA form for UK citizens you will need to provide:

  • Your contact information, including an email address you have access to
  • Your most recent employment information

Once the ESTA form for UK passport holders has been completed, you are advised to carefully revise the information entered in order to ensure it is void of errors. You will then be required to pay for the ESTA fee using a credit or debit card.

Documents required for the ESTA British Citizen Application

  • Valid biometric passport
  • Flight ticket information
  • Booking accommodation
  • Credit/Debit card

How can I apply for ESTA from the UK?

Applying for the ESTA visa waiver for UK citizens visiting the US can now be done through a much simpler process that can be completed in under 10 minutes from the comfort of your own home.

The online application for ESTA means UK nationals no longer need to send their passport along with various travel documents for US holidays to apply for a visa for the USA from the UK.

Before beginning your online request, you will need to confirm your ESTA eligibility. The applicant must have a valid UK e-passport.

An e-passport contains an electronic chip that holds the same information detailed on the biographical page of your British passport. The electronic chip allows the ESTA to be electronically linked to your travel document, which enables the British ESTA holder to travel without the need to print out their US visa waiver.

Once you are sure that you are eligible to apply for an ESTA from the UK, you will need to follow this simple 3-step process:

  • With your e-passport in hand, you must access the online ESTA form in order to begin the application. Fill in your personal details as well as the information from your passport, then, answer the travel and security questions and carefully review the data entered in your form
  • Once you have completed the ESTA application form, you will be redirected to the payment page where it is necessary to cover the application fee using a credit or debit card
  • Next, you will receive a confirmation e-mail once your ESTA application has been accepted by the US Department of Homeland Security

With your confirmed ESTA visa waiver for UK citizens, you will be ready to set off on your trip to the United States.

Although the ESTA does not guarantee entry into the US, it is a prerequisite. Travelers from the UK not carrying a valid ESTA will not be allowed to depart towards US soil.

Applying just takes a few minutes, so go ahead and apply for your ESTA visa waiver today.

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