The United States Visa Waiver Program (VWP) was designed to facilitate entering the US for citizens from 39 eligible countries. Nationals of VWP countries can now cross the United States border with an electronic ESTA permit.
ESTA stands for the Electronic System for Travel Authorization and makes it possible for travelers to visit the United States for up to 90 days (three months) each time. It serves as a multiple-entry permit that stays valid for 2 years from the date of issue.
The first country to participate in the VWP was the UK, which joined in 1988, followed by Japan a few months later. Since then, the US government has been adding more eligible countries to take part in the program. Every nation added is considered to be a developed one that does not pose a threat to not abide by the rules of ESTA usage.
Check if your country is listed as eligible to see if you can make an online application. Most ESTA permits are approved within 24 hours from submitting the form. Once the e-Visa is processed, it’s delivered directly to the traveler’s e-mail address in a PDF form. There is no need to print it out because it links to your passport.
Who can apply online for ESTA?
The first requirement all travelers wishing to visit the United States with ESTA must meet is for their country of citizenship to be listed as eligible.
Check the list below to see if you can apply online:
- Czech Republic
- New Zealand
- San Marino
- South Korea
- United Kingdom
ESTA requirements to meet
To apply for the ESTA entry permit, besides being a citizen of one of the eligible countries, make sure that you meet the second essential requirement.
To travel under the VW program, all travelers must have a passport that will stay valid for at least 6 months from the planned date of entering the US. Make sure that your travel document is a biometric one so that the customs officials can read your ESTA permit.
How can travelers use ESTA?
All passport holders that are eligible to travel to the United States with an ESTA can use it for all short trips. Each stay can be as long as 90 days (three months) at a time. Visit the US for transit, business, or tourism.
ESTA USA allows all tourism-related usage; read on to learn what falls under the tourism category and how exactly can you use this permit.
All ESTA holders can:
- visit their friends and family that are staying in the US
- go on a relaxing vacation
- go on a road trip across the states
- go backpacking across the country and explore the tourist destinations
- engage in all recreational activities
ESTA was also designed for all entrepreneurs who need to handle their business affairs in the United States. Although the electronic entry permit to the US allows business-related travel, it does not serve as a working permit. Do not seek employment in the United States with an ESTA permit.
- negotiate contracts with your US business partners
- attend meetings and conferences
- educate yourself at seminars
- look for new business opportunities
Another example of usage for all ESTA holders is to transit through the United States to reach any final destination. Since it’s a multiple-entry permit, you can easily use it while traveling to your selected country and on your way back home.
ESTA online application guide
The Visa Waiver Program enables travelers from the eligible countries to obtain the ESTA entry permit online. The only document to prepare beforehand is your valid passport and any working device with an internet connection.
Grab your passport and follow this simple 3-step application process to submit a successful ESTA application:
- Fill the online form with the necessary data, such as your name, surname, e-mail address, some basic travel and passport details. Double-check if every piece of information is error-free and matches the data on your travel document.
- Cover the 49-Euro ESTA fee using any of the several available online payment methods. Once your payment registers, you will receive a confirmation number at your e-mail address.
- Wait for the approved ESTA to be delivered to your inbox in a PDF form. Once it’s processed, your entry permit will link directly to your biometric passport.
Our support team is available to all applicants via e-mail and phone. Should you have any questions or doubts, do not hesitate to contact us for assistance.
Benefits of applying for ESTA instead of a regular nonimmigrant US visa
Applying for an ESTA permit will grant you numerous benefits, including:
- no need to visit an Embassy or a Consulate to apply
- approved ESTA arriving at your e-mail address in a PDF form and linking to your passport
- small costs, the fees are only 49 Euro per application
- a 2-year validity period
- availability to travel to the United States numerous times
- support team assistance via e-mail and phone
- a 24-hour average processing time and a maximum one of 72 hours
- no stressful visa interviews
- a simple, hassle-free 3-step application process
VWP travelers can visit the US for transit, tourism, or business purposes with the approved ESTA linked to their passport.
What is ESTA?
The Electronic System for Travel Authorization (ESTA) was introduced under the Visa Waiver Program. Obtainable 100% online with approved entry permits arriving at the applicant’s e-mail address in a PDF form. ESTA authorizes numerous visits to the US; each one can be as long as 90 days (three months).
Who is eligible for the USA Visa Waiver program?
There are 39 countries that can travel without a visa and with ESTA to the US instead. Check if your eligible by simply looking for your country of citizenship on the list provided earlier. Every applicant must also have a valid passport that will not expire for at least 6 months from the planned entry into the United States date.
How much is the US Visa Waiver program?
The United States Visa Waiver Program offers ESTA entry permits obtainable online. Every traveler must submit a separate application, and each one costs 49 Euro. Luckily, ESTA stays valid for 2 years from the approval and allows multiple visits to the US, so the price is adequate.