4 Things You Need To Know Before Obtaining an ESTA Visa


Electronic System for Travel Authorization or ESTA is an automated system that determines the eligibility of visitors to travel to the United States under the Visa Waiver Program or VWP.  If you are planning on traveling to the United States, here are four things you need to know before getting an ESTA Visa. 

Who Should Apply for The Visa?

If you are traveling to the United States for less than 90 days, and you are a citizen of a country within the Visa Waiver Program, you may not need a visa. Instead, you can travel to the U.S. with just an Electronic System for Travel Authorization, or ESTA.  You are also eligible for an ESTA if the purpose of your visit to the United States is for leisure or business, and the duration of your trip will not exceed 90 days.

The process

The online application process should take no longer than 15 to 20 minutes. Follow the application prompts to complete the ESTA form in these 5 simple steps: Enter your personal information and then enter your travel information. Fill out the eligibility questions and don’t forget to review all entered information to ensure that it is honest and correct. Lastly, submit payment. You can pay through your credit card or Paypal.

Once they have seen that there are no problems with your eligibility, your ESTA for USA application should be processed and approved within 72 hours. Because of this, it is important to apply for your ESTA more than 72 hours before your departure. If you do not have a valid ESTA approval when you check-in for your flight, you will not be permitted to board. 

When Is An Immigration Lawyer Needed? 

You don’t need to use an immigration lawyer to apply for travel authorization via ESTA. The application is straightforward and takes about 15 to 20 minutes and $14 to complete. That said, if you have been arrested, or who have experienced immigration issues in the past, you may need the assistance of a lawyer to ensure that you answer the questions correctly.

In Transit

Citizens of countries that participate in the Visa Waiver Program require travel authorization to transit through the United States. If you are only planning to transit through the United States going to another country, you must get an ESTA Visa and declare that you will be ‘in transit’ and say which country your final destination will be. If you have any more questions and would like to know more about how to easily obtain an ESTA Visa, just visit the USA Travel Authorization Agency’s website