Are you planning a vacation or trip to the United States? If you are from a country which participates in the Visa Waiver Program, you can visit the U.S. for up to 90 days without a U.S. visa. All traveler using the Visa Waiver program must apply for ESTA for approval before entering the country. It is best to apply online for an ESTA visum to ensure you will be permitted into the United States when you arrive.
ESTA allows the U.S. Department of Homeland Security to prescreen all travelers using the Visa Waiver program and is completed before the traveler leave their home country. It is best to apply for ESTA at least 72 hours before departure.
The ESTA application is not very complicated, but if you need assistance there are private companies who will help with the application process and answer any questions you may have.
The online application process is very quick and most people can complete it within 10 to 15 minutes. Once the application is submitted, an ESTA official will review the application and then submit it for approval. If you are not approved for the ESTA, then you will need to apply for an official U.S. visa in order to enter the country.
There are several countries who are part of the Visa Waiver program and any citizen of these countries may apply for ESTA. You can determine if your country is part of the Visa Waiver program by visiting the U.S. official ESTA website.
The ESTA is valid until the visitor’s passport expires or for two years after approval. The ESTA is also good for multiple visits to the United States. It costs $14 to apply for ESTA and payment must be made by credit card.
If a traveler needs to stay in the United States longer than 90 days, they must apply for an official visa. They can apply for either a B2 tourist visa or a B1 business visa. Both of these must be approved before the traveler attempts to enter the U.S.
If a person is a frequent visitor to the United States, they may want to apply for the Global Entry program. This allows individuals who have passed an in-person interview and a rigorous background check to use automatic kiosks located at select airports to enter the United States. These are low-risk, pre-approved travelers who do not require an ESTA visum to enter the country.