The USA ESTA and Visa Free Travel


The ESTA is a travel authorisation that is issued by the US government to people who are eligible for visa-free travel to the country. The ESTA is issued electronically, and pre-verifies that people are eligible to travel to the United States for purposes that do not require a traditional visa.

People from the UK who wish to apply for an ESTA visa are required to have an electronic passport. Most people are likely to hold one of those passports now, as they have been available for a long time, however it is possible that someone whose passport is close to expiring may still hold one of the older, non e-passport designs.

E-passports feature an electronic chip which contains a record of the information that is also printed on the data page. These passports have security features that will prevent an unauthorised party from reading the data on the chip. E-passports can help to prevent identity theft, and make it easier and quicker for people to pass through immigration by having the passport scanned electronically.

Someone who holds an older passport will need to apply for one of the new designs before they apply for an USA ESTA. It is possible to apply for an ESTA even if you do not have travel plans in the immediate future. It is a good idea to do this if you expect that you will travel soon, because the ESTA will remain valid for more than one trip.

In most cases, the ESTA is authorised within minutes. There may be some things that would impact the approval process and delay the application even for someone who is eligible to receive an ESTA, however. This means that it is a good idea to apply early, just in case there are questions about your application or there is an issue that slows down the approval process.

If you are traveling to work, compete as a professional athlete or do journalism, or to stay for longer than the period permitted under the Visa Waiver Program then you will need a visa. If you are not sure if you would need a Visa, then you should contact the embassy in your country to confirm the requirements for your trip. They will be able to tell you what you need, and help you with the application process, or put your mind at rest that a visa is not needed for your stay.

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Visit US with Your ESTA Visa


When planning for a trip to USA, there’s something new you should add to your checklist of what you should not forget before leaving your country. Apart from the dollars, the passport, and the “three Ts, that is, ticket, travel insurance, toothbrush, visitors from some countries still have to fill for ESTA form before they make their trip. For more, visit

What is ESTA?

The Electronic Systems for Travel Authorization-ESTA- is a web-based system utilized to establish the right of visitors to travel to the US. What it is not is an authorization to enter US. The final authority here rests with the Border Protection Officers at entry points and, of course, the good, old, Customs.

Is ESTA a Must?

Yes, it is. ESTA should be sought by all citizens of those countries which have signed up the VWP (Visa Waiver Program).

The program lets citizens of the participating countries to visit United States up to 90 days, without a visa. When you are from a participating country, you must have your ESTA application completed and approved prior to traveling to the US.

Why Was It Introduced In the First Place?

The United States Homeland Security-in the wake of the 9/11 terrorists attack-implemented to help in stopping undesirable people from VWP countries from setting their foot in America.

Presently, United States welcomes about 50 million individuals each year from these countries. Note: ESTA is not meant to limit tourism or commerce. It’s just to filter out those undesirables whose presence in the country is a potential threat to its security. So if you are not a security threat to the country, just go ahead and apply.

But How DO I Apply?

The only way you are going to apply is online. Visit ESTA website, and complete your application. So long as you possess a valid passport details, it should not take you more than some few hours to complete.

What Response Can I get?

You application is going to generate 3 responses:

Authorization Approved: You’re cleared to travel to US

Travel Not Authorized: You’re not cleared to travel to the United States, and should apply for paper travel visa at US Embassy or Consulate.

Authorization Pending: The application needs more time prior to a decision being made.

ESTA is Valid for How Long?

It is valid up to 2 years-less when your passport expires within 2 years-and permits for multiple entries of 90 days each. When you get a new passport during this two-year period, you should reapply for ESTA approval.

So there you are. Get your USA ESTA visa and you can come to enjoy all that US have to offer!

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