ESTA Visa Application Explained

The Electronic System for Travel Authorization or US ESTA Visa is an online application process for travellers who wish to travel to the United States, and who holds a passport from any Visa Waiver country . The approved ESTA application is valid for two years, or when the traveller’s passport expires before the two years has passed. Whether a traveller visits the USA for business, leisure or medical purposes, the approved travel authorisation grants 90 days of stay per visit.

An ESTA visa lasts for 2 years from the day it is approved unless your passport expires during this time frame. You can easily apply for ESTA to avoid a long US visa application process at the Embassy, for example, if you are only visiting the USA for a short period less than 90 days. The online system is not only for British nationals who wants to visit the United States, but it also applies to all foreign nationals of one of the Visa Waiver countries. If you are residing in the United States for a longer period than 90 days, or if you are ineligible to enter USA using the VWP, you are required to apply for a B-2 tourist visa. It is worth nothing that obtaining an ESTA only allows travellers to visit the United States without a visa. The travel authorisation does not grant you automatic entry. It is the immigration officer at the port of entry that decides if you can enter the country.

ESTA New York
ESTA UK Heathrow

The American visa application process is more complex, and travellers are required to visit the American Embassy. The requirements to obtain ESTA USA visa are fast and easy and can be done online. To complete the online travel authorisation application, you should prepare the following: your machine-readable passport, your credit card, and travel information. You do not need your flight details to apply the place of stay while in the USA to apply because you might not know when you will be travelling and where you will be staying in the United States yet.

There are no forms that need printing because the ESTA visa application system is entirely online. Also, there is no need to visit the American Consulate or Embassy. Note that if you are not a citizen of one of the countries participating in the Visa Waiver Program, you are unable to apply online. We recommend that you find out whether you are eligible for the online travel authorisation application before you apply. If you are, then you are at liberty to submit an application at the government website or with a third-party company. Third-party companies that offer processing of travel authorisations might charge an extra fee for their services.

Many countries are a part of the US Visa Waiver Program (VWP) of the USA (United States of America), and the United Kingdom is one of them. The VWP enables nationals from England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales to become eligible to receive an ESTA visa without visiting any American Embassy for a USA visa. With this, they can visit or travel to and within the United States without obtaining an American visa for travel (e.g. B1/B2). So rather than having a tourist visa for America, nationals from the UK can gain a travel authorization online with the ESTA form that is the Electronic System for Travel Authorization.

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