ESTA united states application is not quite easy to acquire, but with the right steps you can get approval as quick as possible.
In this article, we are going to be guiding you on how you can go about the ESTA United States application.
What is ESTA?
The Electronic System For Travel Authorization (ESTA) is an electronic program that determines the eligibility of visitors to travel to the United states without a Visa. This system was introduced by the US Department of Homeland Security in 2009, in order to make travel more secure and issue authorization much faster.
The ESTA allows its holders to stay in the United States for a maximum of 90 days, this means that it is a document only for temporary stay in the US only.
The ESTA is not a visa and cannot be used instead of a visa, it is only used for tourism purposes or business purposes. If you need to enter the US for other activities, you will be advised to apply for a valid visa.
Countries Eligible for ESTA United States
Below are the list of countries that are eligible for ESTA;
- South Korea-2008
- New Zealand-1991
- San Marino-1991
- United Kingdom-1988
In 2016, the US started implementing a change in the Visa Waiver Program under the “Visa Waiver Program Improvement and Terrorist Travel Prevention Act of 2015”. Since then, certain travelers would no longer be eligible to travel to the United States under the Visa Waiver Program.The following groups of people are affected by that change;
- Nationals of visa waiver countries who have been in Iran, Iraq, Sudan, Syria, Libya, Somalia or Yemen since March 01, 2011. It should be noted that there are some exceptions for diplomats and military personnel.
- Nationals of visa waiver countries who also hold a nationality of Iran, Iraq, Sudan, or Syria.
- Starting on August 06, 2019, travelers who have visited North Korea after March 01, 2011 will not be eligible for ESTA.
Requirements For ESTA Application
You must fit in the following requirements in order to qualify for ESTA;
- You must have citizenship of one of the above mentioned countries.
- You must be planing to stay in the US for 90 days or less
- You must not posses a valid US visitor visa(B-1 visa or B-2 visa)
- You must be traveling to the US for tourism or business purpose.
Read Also: eTA Australia – How To Apply
How To Apply for ESTA United States
To Obtain an ESTA, you need to do the following steps;
Step 1: Complete The ESTA Form
The first step in obtaining an ESTA is to complete the ESTA form which is seen on the custom and boarders protection website. You can either apply as an individual or as a group if you intend traveling with family or friends. You will also need to input the following information;
- Your name and last name.
- Parent information.
- Contact information.
- Employment information and so on
Step 2: Submit the Required Necessary Documents
The next thing to do when applying for an ESTA is to submit the following;
- A valid e-Passport for 6 more months after your intended departure from the US.
- Valid payment method (VISA, MasterCard, American Express, Discover, or PayPal).
Step 3: Pay The ESTA Application Fee
The final step is to pay the ESTA application fee. The total cost of ESTA application is $21 per applicant and it is broken down in two parts;
- Processing fee which is $4 per applicant
- Authorization fee which is $17 per applicant, and it is charged to anyone who gets an ESTA approval. This means that if you will only be charged this fee once your application is approved.
How Long Does It Takes To Process an ESTA?
If you are lucky and your information does not reveal any potential security threat, and no previous criminal history, you will receive a response within 72 hours.
Can I Enter The US Multiple Times With an ESTA?
Yes you can enter the US multiple times with an ESTA for the intended 90 days. You just have to make sure that your visit is not too frequent so as not to raise suspicion with the Customs and Boarders protection official to avoid entry denial.
Is It Possible To Extend My Stay With an ESTA
It is not possible. If you enter the US with an ESTA, you will not be allowed to extend your stay, the maximum time you will be allowed to stay is 90 days.