The ESTA visa for the USA is an automated travel authorization system for foreign nationals under the Visa Waiver Program. Citizens of any of the 39 visa waiver countries may apply for ESTA. If you are an eligible citizen, you might be wondering how much time in advance should you submit your application to obtain the ESTA. You might also wonder how long does it take to process an application.
The U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) recommends to always apply as soon as you know the date of your trip to the United States. Having a valid ESTA upon arrival is essential to enter the US.
It should be noted that most applicants will receive a response almost immediately, as long as all eligibility requirements are met. Despite that the majority of applications are processed within minutes, travelers are strongly advised against making a last-minute application. The standard timeframe between your flight and ESTA application should be at least 72 hours. Within this period most applicants will know whether or not they received an ESTA approval.
In rare cases, the application status may be pending longer, which means CBP is carrying out further investigation. It is advised to wait a couple of hours before seeking a status confirmation.
Traveling is something that many people enjoy. However, travel usually involves organizing and planning. Before traveling we should always check entry requirements and the validity of our passports.
If you want to visit the United States, it’s very important that you have a valid passport in order to enter the country. Besides a valid passport, citizens of countries in the Visa Waiver Program should have a valid ESTA to visit the United States.
How far in advance should you apply for an ESTA? You should apply for the ESTA at least 72 hours in advance. Most applications are processed and approved within minutes, but there are cases in which an application needs further investigation.
Once approved, the ESTA is valid for a period of 2 consecutive years and for multiple entries. An ESTA grants its holder a stay of up to 90 days within a 180-day period. Bear in mind that the ESTA can be used for leisure purposes, short-term medical treatment, business, and transit.
Applying for an ESTA is a fairly simple process that takes a few minutes to complete. To obtain an ESTA you will need to provide your personal details and your passport info. You will also be asked to answer a series of security questions.
The ESTA simply needs to be valid upon arrival in the United States, if it expires during your visit, you will not have any issues upon departure. However, if your ESTA has expired and you wish to visit the US, you will need to apply for a new ESTA.