Travel to the United States has never been easier since the introduction of ESTA. That is at least the case for citizens of 38 countries. The Electronic System for Travel Authorisation, or ESTA, is a resource that was created to screen applicants before arriving into the US, along with speeding up processing queues at entry points at the borders.
You may be questioning who ESTA is for? Quite rightly so, too. ESTA is for anybody travelling to the United States of America with business or touristic intentions. Also, those with a connecting flight that involves the US, need an ESTA too. It’s quite important to point out that ESTA is not for those intending to work or study in the US. For that, you would need a visa.
Applications for the ESTA are a lot simpler than applications for visas. That’s because all applications are completed online, opposed to applications for visas are completed at embassies. An ESTA application usually takes applicants around 30 minutes. Compare that to a visa, which can take months to be processed. Moreover, applications for ESTA yield a response within 72 hours, although this response is usually met within minutes. To find out if the travel authorisation has been granted, the applicant has to check on the ESTA website, whereby they will be informed accordingly.
Once ESTA has been granted, travellers may stay within the US for up to 90 days. They can also travel to the US as many times as they want, and the resource lasts for two years. You do need an electronic passport to apply, though. If you do not have one, you will need to apply for a visa.
As previously mentioned, there are 38 countries that take part in the ESTA programme. Some of those countries are the United Kingdom, Ireland, Sweden, Norway and Germany. To see the rest of the countries eligible, visit https://www.estaform.org/#which-countries-participate-in-esta.
So there you have it. If you’re from one of the countries participate in the ESTA programme, have an electronic and have a spare $14, you can apply for your ESTA and travel to the United States, with ease.
If you want to apply for an ESTA, click here.