ESTA Alaska: Do You Need a Visa to Visit Alaska?

esta for alaska

Alaska. Just pronouncing the word is enough to make one dream of endless natural landscapes, diverse wildlife, and pristine rivers and lakes. A single trip to the Last Frontier – as the American state is popularly known – is enough to make you feel in complete symbiosis with the natural world.


Alaska is one of the 50 states that make up the US. Therefore, you might be wondering if you need a visa for Alaska and how to obtain it. Your nationality will determine whether you need to apply for a visa to Alaska or complete the ESTA Alaska online.

If you’re looking to escape all the manmade chaos and you are a citizen of one of the countries in the Visa Waiver Program, will you need to apply for an ESTA visa to contemplate the pristine beauty of Alaska.

Can you travel to Alaska without a visa?

Whether you can travel to Alaska without a visa will be determined by your country of origin. Meaning, if you are a citizen of one of the 38 countries member of the Visa Waiver Program you do not have to apply for a tourist visa to Alaska. Instead, you can obtain the ESTA Alaska by completing an online form with your personal details and passport info.

Though Alaska is not a common destination, it is still part of the United States and travelers must follow US immigration regulations and laws. Upon arrival in Alaska, travelers will be required to present a valid passport and a valid ESTA or  US tourist visa.

What is ESTA? Does it apply to Alaska?

The ESTA program is a system that determines the eligibility of citizens of certain countries to visit the U.S. under the Visa Waiver Program (VWP). In practical terms, this means that visitors with a valid ESTA authorization can enter the country without the need to apply for a traditional visa. To apply for an ESTA, you must be a citizen of one of the 38 VWP programs, a list that includes the United Kingdom, Australia, and New Zealand.

If you’re looking to visit the United States for tourism or business reasons, an ESTA authorization, which is valid for 2 years, will allow you to enter the country and for a stay of up to 90 days without having to apply for a traditional visa. And since Alaska is an American state – no matter how far-flung it might be from the rest of the U.S. – it, too, is subject to the same immigration rules.

Requirements for an ESTA for Alaska

As mentioned above, to be eligible for an ESTA you must be a citizen of one of the 38 VWP countries. If you are not a citizen of a VWP country, you will likely have to apply for a traditional visa.

To apply for an ESTA, you must have a valid biometric passport and have the intention of traveling for tourism, business or medical purposes. Travelers transiting through the United States en route to another destination may also have to apply for an ESTA. The documentation you will need to provide will not change, no matter what American state you wish to visit.

It’s important to know that the ESTA does not authorize trips to the U.S. to study or work, or to apply for permanent residence in the United States. In these cases it is best to direct your questions to your local U.S. consulate or embassy to apply for the visa that best fits your travel purposes.

The ESTA for Alaska is valid for 2 years, but keep in mind that the travel authorization also allows you to travel throughout the United States. You can keep the valid ESTA for Alaska for a return trip in the future – whether you travel by plane, boat, or train, the ESTA authorization is valid.

How do I apply for an ESTA to travel to Alaska?

The ESTA application process is quick and simple. You will need to fill out the online ESTA application with your personal details and passport information, as well as respond to some security questions.

Whether you apply for an ESTA visa for Alaska or to visit another state, make sure that the information on the ESTA application and your passport match exactly. Also remember to answer the security questions that are located toward the end of the form. Do not take these lightly: your ESTA application will undergo close scrutiny by U.S. immigration services.

Once you’ve provided the requisite information and have confirmed your application, you will be taken to a payment page where you can pay the ESTA application fee via debit or credit card.

Approval normally takes a matter of minutes. You will receive an email that confirms that your ESTA for Alaska was approved by the Department of Homeland Security. Save this email carefully and print out your approved ESTA travel authorization to carry with you on your trip to the U.S.

Don’t forget to apply for your ESTA visa for Alaska well in advance of your departure date. Approval normally takes just a few minutes, but it’s best to have an approved ESTA travel authorization before you book your hotel or flight tickets.

Open spaces, snowmobile races, salmon fishing, whale watching – all of this awaits you in the natural beauty of Alaska. Experience life like a hunter of yesteryear or discover your wild side in an unblemished winter wonderland.

And thanks to your approved ESTA visa for Alaska, you can enjoy it all with peace of mind!

Tourism in Alaska

Now that we know that we need to obtain an authorization to travel to Alaska and we have requested the ESTA well in advance, we can start planning our trip to Alaska known as “The Last Frontier” because of its location.

While in this incredible state, the national parks of Alaska are a must. Among the parks the Danali stands out, presided by the McKinley Mount with more than 6,000 meters; and the Kenai Fjords or the Wrangell-St. Elias, recognized by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site.

If the natural parks have not convinced you, we share with you the main reasons why you should visit Alaska:

  • The Wildlife: Alaska is home to the largest bears in the world, you can find them on Kodiak Island. In addition there are moose everywhere and if you pay attention you will see the bald eagles flying over the skies. If you like animals, take advantage of your ESTA Alaska to go to the famous Bear Viewing Tour in search of bears.
  • A Wild Place: Alaska is twice the size of Texas and only has 710,000 inhabitants, half of them reside in a city. Alaska has 12 roads and 20 percent of these are accessible by car.
  • Glaciers: 5 percent of Alaska is covered in ice and has more than 100.00 glaciers.
  • Aurora Borealis: This natural phenomenon can be seen in Alaska, precisely because it is a sparsely populated area. Like many other sites located in the Arctic Circle or in its vicinity, you can enjoy the Northern Lights between October and March, although January and February are the best months to do so.
  • The Towering Mountains: Alaska is the largest mountain in North America: Denali. In addition to this, there are many mountains that can be explored and climbed.
  • Unrivaled adventures: one of the main reasons to visit Alaska is the possibility of venturing into mountain climbing, surfing or kayaking among the glaciers, hiking in the forests. There are many options for those looking for an adventure.
  • Fishing: Alaska is an ideal place to go fishing. It has specialized sites for exclusive and remote fishing. There are many companies that take visitors to fish for salmon or halibut among others.
  • Skiing and snowboarding: thanks to its long winters, Alaska is a perfect destination for Skiing and snowboarding lovers. There are variety of ski resorts from which you can choose.

Another very interesting way to get to know Alaska is to rent a car and travel 2,500 km. of the Alaska Highway, one of the most spectacular roads in the world that will make us feel small compared to the wild nature that surrounds us.

Finally, although this will surprise you, shopping in Alaska will be very cheap since you do not have to pay taxes. All products are free of tax, from food, to clothing, shoes, among other things.

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