ESTA: What information is needed to fill in your ESTA application?
You can easily fill in your ESTA Authorization from the comfort of your sofa or during lunch break at the office. All you’ll need is a computer and a good internet connection!
Although we’ve made the application form easy to complete, before starting you will need the following:
- A valid, electronic passport;
- Details of an Emergency Contact: Name, Phone Number, Email address
- Accommodation related information: Name and address of the hotel or host in the US in case you are not travelling in transit to a third country.
- Valid credit card for online payment.
- Please, note that an E-passport is required also for the children.
Understanding the ESTA Authorization
Is ESTA a visa or not?
The ESTA Authorization is not a visa and therefore does not grant access to the USA. It is an electronic entry authorization that allows the person to board the flight to the US. ESTA can be acquired only by the citizens of the Visa Waiver Program (VWP) eligible countries as they do not require a visa to travel to the U.S. Instead, they can now apply for their ESTA Authorization. Some of the advantages of the ESTA document:
- Obtaining a travel permit without having to visit the consular offices of the USA;
- The ESTA Authorization allows you multiple visits to the USA during its validity, usually of 2 years;
- The ESTA Authorization allows a maximum stay of 90 days per visit.
Why choosing ESTA instead of a tourist visa:
- You can apply for your ESTA Authorization from anywhere. All you need is a computer and a reliable internet connection;
- We will send you your approved ESTA Authorization to your personal email;
- No more printed documents needed;
- No need to queue in front of nor to set meetings at the Embassy;
- We offer a 24/7 customers support service reachable via the contact form of the website or via email.
How many days in advance ESTA should be applied?
If you have decided to travel to the USA for 90 days or less and you are a citizen of one of the 38 countries that are approved under the Visa Waiver Program then you can apply for the ESTA Authorization. There are no specific rules related to how many days in advance you can apply. However, we highly recommend our clients to apply a month prior their trip to the USA. The reason for this – although more than 90% of the ESTA Applications are approved, there are some that are denied. By applying 30 days before your trip, you will be able, in case not authorized to travel under the VWP, to apply for a regular visa at the Embassy or the nearest Consulate and obtain a tourist visa.
ESTA applications are accepted 24 hours, 365 days in a year and although the feedback is very quick, yet at times due to some technical or security issues, it might take longer than expected and therefore, it is recommended to apply at least a month before your travel to the USA.
How long does it take for the approval of the ESTA application?
ESTA applications are accepted 24 hours and 365 days. Usually the approved ESTA authorization is sent between one and 36 hours.
What are the charges for ESTA application?
The cost of processing an ESTA Authorization includes 2 fees. 14$ fee is paid to use the online immigration portal system while 60$is the cost of service.
What is the refund policy?
In case an ESTA Authorization has been denied and a client has been not authorized to travel under the VWP, we issue a 100% refund in the next 7 working days.
What is the validity period of ESTA?
The ESTA is valid for 2 years or till the expiry date of the applicant, whichever comes first.
How many times can you visit the US during the 2-years period of the ESTA validity?
You can enter and leave the US several times. But you must check the validity of your ESTA and your passport before traveling.
Is ESTA also required for transit passengers?
An authorization is required for all transit passengers to the USA. It can be a visa, or an ESTA Authorization.
How can I check the status of the application?
If you can’t find your approved ESTA document and you are not sure when it is expiring, please contact our customer service department via the contact form or email. After getting in touch with us, we will send you back a copy of your ESTA Authorization.
Can the information on the ESTA document be updated or edited?
Only the following data can be updated and changed:
- Your email address
- Your US address (optional)
The data that is optional to update is as follows:
- Your US contact person
- Change in the residential address
- Change in the details of the employer
When is it required to apply for the new ESTA?
The new ESTA application will be required in the following cases:
- If you have changed your passport
- If you have changed your names due to marriage or any other reason.
- If your passport has expired.
- If you have reported your passport as lost or stolen.
- If your citizenship has changed.
- If you have a new additional citizenship now.
- If you change your gender.
When to choose a visa instead of an ESTA:
- If you have answered one or more of the application’s eligibility question positively.
- If there is a criminal record against you.
- If, in less than 10 years you have been denies an ESTA or visa to the USA.
- If you have been travelling to one of the following countries after February 2011: Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Soudan, Syria, or Yemen.
Due to what reasons can my ESTA application be rejected?
Please find below some of the reasons one’s application can be denied:
- If you have over-stayed on your previous visit.
- If you worked in the U.S. without valid permit.
- If you have made an ESTA request less than 10 years ago, and you have been not authorized to travel under the WVP.
- If upon the time of checking, the US authorities found out false or wrong information in the application.
- If you provided the data from the passport that you had reported lost or stolen.
- If you have a second citizenship from, or if you have visited any of the following countries after February 2011: Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, and Yemen.
- If you have traveled to the US in what is considered as unusual intervals by CBP.
What is to be done if the application is rejected?
You must be aware of the fact that the ESTA Authorization allows you only to board your flight to US. As the ESTA Authorization is not a visa, it does not ensure one’s visit to the U.S. Sometimes even with an approved ESTA, one can be denied entry to the U.S. by the border protection officer. If your application is rejected, you can contact CBP for personal appointment. You can also apply for regular visa.
Which countries are approved under the Visa Waiver Program (VWP)?
The countries listed in the Visa Waiver Program are Australia, Austria, Belgium, Brunei, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Monaco, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Portugal, San Marino, Singapore, Slovakia, Slovenia, South Korea, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, United Kingdom.
ESTA: What is required
According to the Visa Waiver Program, there are many requirements that applicants must meet to get an approval of their travel authorization applications. These requirements fall under the following categories:
- Passport requirements
- Travel requirements
- Application requirements
What are the passport requirements of ESTA Application?
- You must have a passport from one of the following countries (Australia, Austria, Andorra, Belgium, Brunei, Chile, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Monaco, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Portugal, Republic of Malta, San Marino, Singapore, Slovakia, Slovenia, South Korea, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Taiwan, United Kingdom).
- Your passport should be machine-readable.
- Your passport must be valid.
- Your passport should be electronic passport and should have the chip in it.
What happens if your ESTA expires in the US?
In case your ESTA expires during your stay in the US then you will not face any problem in departure and you are not required to apply for a new ESTA. However, one thing that you must ensure is that you don’t remain in the country for a total of 90 days which means that you must depart the country within 90 days from when your passport was stamped at the most recent US border crossing.
Is it possible to renew your ESTA visa during the stay in the US?
No, it is not possible to renew your ESTA application.
Electronic Chip in Passport
Digital Photograph on Passport
Machine Readable Code on passport
Under what travel conditions ESTA can be applied?
- If you are visiting the US for less than 90 days.
- If you are visiting the US for tourism or medical treatment.
- If you are visiting the US for the business consultation or contract negotiation with your clients.
- If you are visiting the US for the purpose of attending any educational, professional or business event or to attend any training and you are not allowed to receive any payments for attending these events and only actual expenses are paid during your visit.
- If you are visiting the US for the purpose of attending any social events or sports events and you are not eligible to receive any awards that can constitute as a form of payment.
- If you are visiting the US for the purpose of any short-term recreational course.
What are the requirements of the application for ESTA visa?
- The application must be applied online.
- You should have a valid electronic passport from a country, eligible for ESTA Authorization. You should provide the right contact information.
- You should also have your most recent employment information. (if applicable)
What are the other requirements for ESTA visa?
- Travelers must hold the return ticket to your home country or an onward ticket to the non-US destination. This is applicable to both air and sea passengers.
- Travelers may be asked for their itinerary while in the U.S. You can re-enter the US in your return journey using any mode of transportation from Canada and Mexico or any other nearby islands as far as including both periods time spent in transit and in transport does not exceed the period of 90 days.
What happens if your ESTA is denied?
You will have to apply for a regular visa in case you don’t meet the requirements that are mentioned above. But there are more reasons because of which you will have to apply for a visa instead of the ESTA visa which are given below.
Who will need to apply for VISA?
- If you don’t fall under any of the guidelines of the Visa Waiver Program, you will need a US visa. If any point of the inadmissibility of the Immigration and Nationality Act 212 (a) is applicable to you, then you must apply for a non-immigrant visa.
- If you are visiting the US for any other purpose other than short-term tourism like for business or gain employment then you will have to apply for the visa.
- If you want to study in a college or university and you will receive a degree in that program you will have to apply for the visa.
- If you wish to work as a member of the foreign press radio film, journalists or any other information media then you will need to apply for a US visa.
- If you wish to become a permanent citizen of the US even then you will have to stay in the US with a visa.
How can I rectify the mistakes in my ESTA application?
If you have made any mistake like typing errors or answered any eligibility question incorrectly, then these mistakes will result in the rejection of your application. Such mistakes are the major reason for the rejection of ESTA applications. If you detect your mistake beforehand, you can contact us as soon as possible to make the changes in your application.
What are the ineligibilities for ESTA?
You will be refused for ESTA if the answer to any of the below-mentioned points is true.
- If you have any criminal record and if you were arrested, cautioned or convicted of any offence anywhere in the world, you have to declare in your application.
- If you have a disease(s) that can be transferred.
- If you have a mental disorder that is self-harming or harmful to others.
- If you are a drug abuser or an addict.
- If you have ever been denied entry to the US by CBP.
- If you have ever been deported back to your home country.
- If you have ever stayed for more than the period permitted.
- If you hold second citizenship of Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan Syria or Yemen or if you have transited from these countries or stayed in these countries after February 2011.