ESTA ~ Entry requirements for the USA

A few years back I had an opportunity to travel to the USA for work, I remember how flustered I was about it. Mostly because I had no one to guide me or even advice me on how I can apply for an ESTA. It did take me a little to get my head around it all so today I am pleased to be sharing this guest post.

ESTA

Travelling to the United States is a lot more simple than you may think. For example, there are 38 countries eligible to travel to the US without a visa. Those countries include the UK, France, Italy, Spain, Germany and many more. Instead of applying for a visa to enter the US, citizens that participate in the Visa Waiver Programme can enter the United States by applying for an ESTA.

Now you may be wondering… What is ESTA? You’d be right to wonder, as it isn’t very well-known. It stands for Electronic System for Travel Authorisation, and it’s an electronic resource that allows nationals of the aforementioned countries access into the US without a visa. The process of applying for is very straightforward, especially when you compare that to the process for a visa.

For example, when applying you only have to complete one online form which takes roughly 30 minutes, from start to finish. Within a matter of seconds, applicants usually know whether their ESTA has been accepted or not. The cost of an ESTA: $14.

*When applying, you must ensure that you have an electronic passport. Failure to meet this requirement means you would have to apply for a visa to enter the US.

Now, to apply for a visa; you have to complete numerous application forms, online and in person. Not to mention, you have to actually travel to the embassy. Furthermore, applications can take up to three months before you know if your visa has been accepted or not. Talk about time-consuming. The cost of a visa: upwards of $100.

The main benefits are simple.

Once your ESTA has been granted and have the go ahead to enter the US, you can travel to the US as often as you please, for TWO WHOLE YEARS. That is, of course, unless your passport expires before that two-year time frame. In which case, you would have to apply for a new ESTA. When you enter the US, you can stay there for 90 days per visit.

Unfortunately, if you’re looking to work or study; you will need a visa.  ESTA’s are only for tourists, business matters and those with connecting flights. Nothing more, nothing less.

To apply for your ESTA, visit official website: https://esta.cbp.dhs.gov/esta/

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7 Comments

  1. August 9, 2017 / 7:49 pm

    I just got my passport for travel outside of the US. I am excited to start traveling, I like your procedure!

  2. Adaleta Avdic
    August 7, 2017 / 9:11 pm

    wow what a smart post, I know this would be very helpful

  3. Catvills
    August 7, 2017 / 3:51 pm

    This is good news. ESTA looks like a better and more efficient way to process visa-free entry to the US. This would work well for short visits to relatives or for training/seminars for businessmen and students as well.

  4. Annemarie LeBlanc
    August 6, 2017 / 6:18 pm

    I think this is a better option to enter the US as a tourist. The process is simpler and cheaper too. This is great news for business travelers and for those wanting to be with relatives for a short period of time. Thanks for the information.

  5. Margarette Puno
    August 5, 2017 / 11:05 am

    This is a very informative post. ESTA is such a good way to avoid hassles for US visa application. Thanks for sharing.

  6. Nicole Cochingco Escat
    August 4, 2017 / 4:42 pm

    Such a nice article. This is a great help for people who want to go with US but no visa. ESTA is such a great idea, For tourists who do not have to wait for their visa just to get to the US. ESTA is affordable and easy to get than Visa. Such a nice and helpful idea. Thanks for sharing!!

  7. Travel Blogger
    August 4, 2017 / 1:12 pm

    This is so helpful! I have actually never heard of an ESTA before. Thanks for sharing your experience.

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