The US government implemented the Electronic System for Travel Authorization (ESTA) in 2009. Its introduction was aimed to facilitate entry to the United States for travelers from member countries of the Visa Waiver Program. Eligible travelers do not need to obtain a regular visa to travel to the US for business, tourism, or transit purposes. Nevertheless, they need to hold a valid US ESTA. Application for ESTA is a very short and intuitive process since applicants can make it from home using any electronic device with Internet access. No Embassy visits are necessary - the approved ESTA is mailed to the applicant’s inbox. Every ESTA application requires covering the processing fee of 49 Euro.
Holders of ESTA are allowed multiple entries to the States throughout its 2-year validity period. Every single stay in the US can last even up to 90 days. All applicants must remember to apply for ESTA at least 72 business hours prior to their intended trip to the US in order to receive the approved authorization on time without any issues. Important note: ESTA does not entitle to take up any form of employment and cannot be used for any other long-term travel purposes. If you need to visit the US for other reasons than business, tourism, or tranist, you should contact the nearest US Embassy in your country to arrange a regular visa.
ESTA application should not take more than 15 minutes and can be completed from whatever location. It is necessary to have a working electronic device with a stable Internet connection to go through all the application steps and receive the ESTA approval. These steps require every applicant to:
Enter all the required personal and travel information into the online form, and check twice if all the provided data is correct.
Cover the ESTA processing fee, which is only 49 Euro.
Check an email inbox for the confirmation number and approved ESTA.
Every ESTA application entails covering the service fee of 49 Euro. There are many methods of online payment available.
Only citizens of eligible countries can apply for ESTA, which requires just filling out and submitting an online application. In turn, a traditional visa application means booking an appointment at the US Embassy in person. The entire process takes definitely more time than the ESTA application.
ESTA is issued for 2 years and can be used for multiple entries to the US. Its holder must remember that any change of the passport assigned to ESTA, will automatically make it invalid.
No, holders of Green Card are exempt from the requirement to have a valid US ESTA.
As a multiple-entry authorization, ESTA allows you to enter the US numerous times. Every visit can, however, last maximally up to 3 months (90 days).
Make sure to also take your valid passport for your US trip. It must be a physical document. It cannot be an electronic copy like in the case of ESTA.