How can I apply for an ESTA?
If you have a valid passport from one of the participating countries in the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Visa Waiver Program, you will need to apply for an ESTA rather than a VISA. This process should be much simpler and is usually extremely fast, with the vast majority of applicants accepted virtually immediately, although it does add an extra layer of security too.
How do I apply for an ESTA so I can travel to the United States?
ESTA is an online service, so you will need to go to our form and fill out an application. You will be asked for basic biographical details, your passport information, as well as other questions, with which the Department of Homeland Security will judge if you pose a risk to the security or safety of the U.S. The vast majority of applications are accepted quickly and easily through this method. The website is highly secure and your information will be confidential.
How can I apply if I do not have access to the Internet?
If you do not have access to the internet, a third party, such as a travel agent, can make the application on your behalf. You will still be responsible for providing the Department of Homeland Security with accurate information for the questions asked.
What information is needed so I can complete the application?
You will be asked basic details such as your name and date of birth, information about your passport, as well as questions such as whether you have a criminal record or have had any VISA issues in the past.
Are all answers required in English?
Yes. It is mandatory to complete the form in English. If you cannot read and write in English, or if your computer cannot type in English, you will need to find a third party to complete your application on your behalf, such as a travel agent. Be aware that you will still be responsible for all information given on the ESTA form to be correct.
How long ahead of my travel will I need to apply?
Although most applications are accepted and reviewed extremely quickly, the Department of Homeland Security advises that applicants complete and send their form no later than 72 hours before the time of travel. If you feel that you may need to travel at very short notice, however, you can still fill out your application in advance. ESTAs are valid for a period of up to two years, and you will not need to change or amend any information about your intended destination should this change from the time of your initial application. You do not need to have any specific plans to travel to the USA to apply for an ESTA, so once your application is accepted and you have your ESTA approved, you can travel to the USA on it whenever you wish, so long as it is still valid.
Is there a cost involved to the traveller?
Yes. Currently, you will be charged a fee to process your application. You can find all of the latest information about pricing on the application site.
What do I do if I have more than one passport?
You will need to make an application for an ESTA with a valid passport from a country participating in the Visa Waiver Program. You cannot make an application on a passport from a non-participating country – you must use one from the full members of the system. If you change your passport, or any of the details on your passport, for any reason, you will need to make a new ESTA application.
Do I need to go through any processes if I am only passing through the U.S.?
You will need to go through the same process. The U.S. does not operate a system currently to pass through the country without a VISA, so you will need to apply for an ESTA just the same if you hold a passport from a participating country. When asked for your destination on your application form, you will need to write “In Transit” and your intended destination after the U.S.
What if my travel plans change after I submit my application?
After your application is approved, there is no need to amend it or re-apply should your travel plans for your journey to the U.S. change.