All you need to know about travelling to the United States of America with ESTATravelling to the United States has not always been the simplest task. There are many factors that can contribute to a rather stressful experience. For example, those going on holiday to the U.S. have to pick a destination, a hotel, save up spending money, buy flights and then they have to obtain a visa, amongst other things. All-in-all, there is a lot to consider when travelling there.
In some cases obtaining a visa can take somewhere between 6-8 months. That means planning the holiday could take more than half a year. There is, however, a new resource which travellers can use when entering the U.S. At least for citizens of 38 countries that is. To find out if your country qualifies for ESTA, click here.
Introducing the ESTA
The ESTA is the perfect resource for those travelling to the US from one of the 38 countries eligible, especially for business or tourism purposes, as well as connecting flights that involve the U.S.
Unlike the longer waiting time that a visa may require, an ESTA usually takes less than 72 hours from starting the application to receiving the authorisation email, granting the applicant access into the U.S. All you need to complete the ESTA application is an electronic passport and an internet connection. The application takes no longer than 30 minutes to complete.
Once the ESTA form has been completed and the application receives a successful response, they can then travel the U.S. as many times as they like for two years. During that two year period, they should note that they must not remain in the U.S. for more than 90 days per trip!
There are certain aspects of the ESTA which applicants should take note of:
- Even if an ESTA is granted, you may not be able to enter the United States, as the officials at the border have the final say on who can or cannot enter the country.
- It is worth noting that at the border, officials may ask to see evidence of your planned journey along with evidence that you have enough money to support yourself for your proposed trip.
- If an ESTA is rejected, applicants will have to apply for a visa to enter the United States
- Once an ESTA is approved, it is valid for two years. However, if the passport of the holder expires before the two years, the ESTA will also expire.
- The cost to apply for an ESTA is $14, if your application is rejected you will only be charged $4.