If you are planning to visit the United States, you will need to apply for an ESTA. This is a US government agency that offers electronic travel authorization to those who wish to enter the country from abroad.
The ESTA provides free and easy access to the U.S. without a visa, but it’s not perfect. There are some cases where you might be denied entry as well as other restrictions on your stay. The best way to make sure you get through customs easily is by getting the proper paperwork in place beforehand.
In this article we look at what you should know about applying for an ESTA before travelling to America.
We also cover how to check if you have been approved for an ESTA, and then we take a closer look at the process of applying for an ESTA when visiting the USA.
What is an ESTA?
The Electronic System for Travel Authorization (ESTA) is a program run by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS). It allows citizens of many countries to visit the U.S. without needing a visa or passport.
This is done online via a dedicated website with the ESTA application form. The ESTA is free and valid for 90 days after which, if you want to continue to use it you will need to renew it.
The ESTA lets you into the U.S. at border checkpoints without a visa. However, it does not grant you automatic permission to stay in the country.
You can only stay in the U.S. for up to 90 days within any 180 day period.
Once inside, you may find yourself subject to additional requirements depending on whether you plan on staying long-term in the U.S. and what type of work you do.
The ESTA is one part of the Visa Waiver Program (VWP), which enables citizens of certain countries to travel to the U.S. under certain conditions. You must be able to show that you have either a job offer or sufficient funds to support yourself for six months.
To find out more about the VWP and its conditions click here.
You can apply for an ESTA on the official ESTA website, by phone, or over the Internet. If you choose to apply online, you will need to provide personal information such as name, address, nationality and date of birth.
When applying on the web, you should also select your preferred method for receiving the results—a link to see if your application has been approved or a PDF file of the application document itself.
How to check if you’ve been approved for an ESTA
To find out if you’ve been approved for an ESTA you can go to the ESTA website. On the main page, you can click ‘Check Status’ to see if you have received approval or not.
If you haven’t been approved, you will see a message saying something along the lines of “You need to contact the nearest U.S. Embassy or Consulate to request an appointment for an interview.”
If you’ve already made arrangements to come to the U.S., you can still check if you’ve been accepted or rejected.
You can call the DHS hotline at 1-877-857-2423 or email them at to check your status. They usually respond within 24 hours and should tell you whether you were approved or not.
You may also receive a confirmation e-mail once your application has been processed. In this case, you will also receive instructions for how to obtain a receipt copy of your ESTA approval.
If the person want to go through the approval status of the esta form then they can reach the results. He can visit the online site and by entering the basic detail they can complete the filling of the form. The person will get some genuine results that will give him with the favorable results on time.
How to apply for an ESTA when visiting the USA
Before heading off to the U.S., you should first ensure that you have the necessary documentation to prove you have permission to enter the U.S. It is important to note that the ESTA is only valid for a maximum of 90 days.
Therefore, if you want to extend your stay beyond 90 days, you will likely need to apply for a new ESTA. In most cases, you will simply need to complete the same steps described below.
There are two ways to apply for an ESTA while you are traveling to the U.S.; you can either do a paper application or submit your application electronically using the ESTA website.
For a paper application, you will need to print out the ESTA application form, fill it in completely, sign it and send it to the U.S. embassy in your home country.
It will take around three weeks for your ESTA to arrive after you have submitted the application. When you receive it, please keep it safe until you depart the country.
If you prefer to apply online, you will need to create a login account on the ESTA website. Once logged in, you will be able to search for your nearest U.S. consulate and complete the application there.
The fastest option is to log in and apply directly on the ESTA website. If you don’t mind waiting, you can also download the ESTA application form and send it to the U.S. embassy in your home country.
After submitting your application, you will need to wait between 45 and 60 days for the results. You will be notified by either the ESTA website or the U.S. embassy in your home country.