ESTA: Electronic System for Travel Authorization
The online system was launched on January 12, 2009, and it applies to visa-free travelers who plan to travel to the United States by air or sea. A ESTA approved application does not grant a permit to travel to the United States or seek admission. A Travel Authorization does not qualify as a visa. A person who does not possess a Visa Waiver Country’s machine-readable passport must apply for a B-1 Business Visa, or B-2 Tourist Visa.
The ESTA website allows Visa Waiver travelers to apply for a travel authorization immediately. If a travel authorization is not approved, the traveler could be denied entry or boarding if they are trying to visit the United States as part of the Visa Waiver Program.
VISA WAIVER COUNTRIES
Citizens from the following countries can enter the United States through the Visa Waiver Countries. You will need to apply for either a B-1 Business Visa, or a B-2 Tourist Visa if you don’t have a passport from one of these countries.
Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Monaco, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Portugal, San Marino, Singapore, Slovakia, Slovenia, South Korea, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Taiwan and the United Kingdom, Andorra, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Brunei, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Latvia.
Do I have to fill out Form I-94W?
The green Form I-94W is not required if you are entering by air or sea as part of the visa waiver program. However, you will need to fill out Customs Form 6059B upon entry. This form must match the information submitted via the Electronic System for Travel Authorization. The ESTA application must only be submitted online before you travel. However, the Customs form is usually provided by the airline during your flight to the United States.
Who is eligible to apply for ESTA?
Anyone who has a machine-readable passport issued by a Visa Waiver country.
How long am I allowed to stay in the United States while having ESTA?
Travelers from Visa Waiver Countries are allowed to stay in the United States for up to 90 day. The immigration officer at the entry port decides how long a visitor can stay. However, most visitors are allowed to stay for the full 90 days.
Unless the passport expires sooner, the ESTA is valid 2 years. In this case, the expiration dates on the Travel Authorizations (ESTA) will match the passport’s expiration date. Under the Visa Waiver Program, a valid ESTA is valid for multiple entry to the United States. It is recommended that you update any travel information and include your new itinerary. A passport must be valid for at most 6 months after the date of entry into the United States. If you need a Travel Authorization, or if your passport is being renewed due to a name changing, you must apply. Your passport details must match your Travel Authorization personal information.
Get the Visa Waiver Information Guide now! You can apply for your visa without an immigration lawyer’s assistance.