It’s easy for an ESTA visa application to fall low on your list of priorities when planning a holiday. After all, from travel to accommodation, there’s just so much to think about ahead of your trip to the US. Unfortunately, those who don’t fill out their ESTA form until the last minute risk jeopardising their entire vacation. Here are three reasons why you shouldn’t wait to apply for your ESTA visa.
It can take time to come through
The application can take up to 72 hours to process. Admittedly, you can be granted access to the country in a lot less time, however, it’s really not worth risking it. The US don’t permit anyone to enter the country without a valid visa and you could be turned away if you’re still waiting for yours to come through by the time of your trip.
You can’t check-in online without one
Many airlines now request that you check-in online before the flight. Those who don’t could risk a penalty and may have to stand in long queues at the airport. Online check-in will request that you submit your ESTA details and can’t be completed until all the information has been fully entered.
There may be unforeseen issues
The US has very strict criteria when it comes to who they let into the country. If you don’t meet the standards, they will request that you apply for a visa waiver instead. A visa waiver is a much longer process and requires individuals to attend an interview at the US embassy. The US may block your ESTA application if you have ever been arrested, cautioned or convicted of a crime. They may also stop you from entering if they believe you could put public health at risk.
Don’t waste time sorting your visa
Applying for your ESTA visa should be your number one priority when planning a trip to the US. While it might be tempting to steam ahead with planning hotels and car rental, remember the holiday might never happen if you don’t possesses a valid ESTA visa.