The United Kingdom is one of the countries that come under the purview of the United States Visa Waiver Program (VWP). According to this program, a British Citizen is eligible for a US ESTA (Electronic System for Travel Authorization) if planning to travel to the US.
What is an ESTA?
An ESTA is open to all citizens of visa waiver countries – including the UK. The ESTA was established in 2009 for the reason for streamlining the handling of visa waiver applicants and to furnish the U.S.
Customs and Border Protection, as well as the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) with the capacity to pre-screen travelers. Since 2010, it has been a mandate to pass through US Immigration.
ESTA allows a British citizen to visit the US for under 90 days without requiring a visa – as long as the purpose is a holiday or a business trip.
It is an electronic system that enables authorities to determine the eligibility for traveling to the US. It also ascertains if the traveler poses any kind of law enforcement or security risk. The traveler is informed about the eligibility to travel to the US once the application for an ESTA is complete.
With ESTA you can go to the United States for the following:
- Tourism: Going on trips
- Business: If wishing to travel to the US for business, ESTA can provide a hassle-free entrance for you.
- Transit: For individuals transiting through the US, acquiring an ESTA is a mandate, flights cannot be boarded without it.
- Medical: Visiting for medical treatment.
Requirements for ESTA for British citizens
To the extent the necessities for the application are concerned, you don’t have anything to stress over. The list is short and include:
- Passport– all applicants wishing to obtain ESTA should be passport holders. However, the passport must be valid for at least another 6 months from the date of arrival in the US. Also, travelers must have machine-readable passports.
- Personal Information – during the online application process, the contact information of the applicant will be required. In addition, the most recent employment status is required to be provided in some cases.
- Means of payment – during the online application process, payment is required to be made via your credit card or PayPal on the platform. Once the payment has been successfully submitted, the receipt of payment can be viewed for confirmation.
ESTA Application Advices
- It is recommended that the ESTA is processed at least 72 hours prior to the scheduled time of departure. This way, one can be sure of their data reflecting on the ESTA server when verification is required.
- If already holding a valid Visa, there is no need to separately obtain an ESTA. However, it should be noted that an ESTA is not equivalent to an American Visa.
- A separate ESTA application is required for infants, children, and teenagers also.
- The holder of an ESTA is not permitted to engage in any work, full-time study or training.
- An approved ESTA does not necessarily guarantee entry to the US and it can be canceled any time. Rejected ESTA applicants can in any case still apply for a B2 Tourist Visa or B1 Business Visa.
- ESTA is valid for 2 years from the date it has been issued. Under this scheme, multiple entries to the country are allowed, but a stay there for more than 90 days per entry is not.
- Fast authorization and electronic delivery.
- The details given in the online application form contribute to providing security for an individual visiting the US as well as for the country itself.
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