Since January 2009 it has been compulsory for Nationals and valid passport holders of Visa Waiver Countries (which includes the United Kingdom) to submit in its entirety, an ESTA and subsequently have this application accepted before traveling to the United States of America. This is a requirement of the Visa Waiver Program (VWP). ESTA is an online electronically formulated system which ensures greater security for the United States of America therefore giving the American Government the ability to continue the Visa Waiver Program for travelers outside the USA and part of the VWP to enter the country without a Visa. Statistics show that over 99% of all applications from travelers within Visa Waiver Countries have had their ESTA applications approved. It is an easy process. Click here to apply for your ESTA.
Do bear in mind that your ESTA application can be submitted before travel to the USA but it must be completed at least 72 hours prior to point of departure. Once approved your application is valid for 2 years as long as your passport does not expire within this period and you are able to travel multiple times to the USA within this interval but the maximum length of stay per visit is 90 days.
Following ESTA application approval, your form can be further revised and substantiated online even after successful submission.
Should you find that there is an error in your application for example; a spelling mistake in your name, inputting an incorrect passport number or date of expiry/date of issue then you will be required to re-apply for a new ESTA (Electronic System for Travel Authorization). Once you have submitted a new ESTA your original application will be invalidated. There are certain pieces of information which are able to be updated following application approval; these include updating your reasons for entering the USA (business/leisure/stop-over/medical) or updating your travel itinerary.