Who Needs ESTA Visa?

If you want to obtain admission to the United States either by sea or air, then you need to get USA ESTA approval. In fact, all travelers under the Visa Waiver Program countries, including infants should have an approved ESTA.

The U.S. government has put up the Visa Waiver Program to provide entry to people of specific countries to enter their country for business, tourism, or in transit even without a visa. If you are an ESTA holder, you can travel around America legally.

Keep in mind that ESTA is different from a Visa. Each of these travel authorizations has different requirements in terms of entry to the U.S.

What Is ESTA?

Short for Electronic System for Travel Authorization, it is a form of travel authorization that is popular among citizens from VWP countries. One of the main reasons for its popularity is that it is easier to obtain a USA ESTA approval compared to getting a Visa. Also, the process for ESTA is all done on the internet.

Who Is Required To Apply?

If you are an eligible national of a VWP country and you plan to travel to the U.S. temporarily either for business or pleasure, you need to submit an ESTA before boarding a vessel or airplane bound to America.

If you are planning to transit to another country via the United States, you also need an ESTA authorization. On the other hand, if you have a valid visa while traveling, there is no need to apply for ESTA.

Under the regulations of the Visa Waiver Program:

  •         The purpose of the application should be for transit, business, or travel.
  •         You should visit the U.S. for not more than 90 days.
  •         The means of entry to America has to be by sea or air.

Note that once your USA ESTA application has been approved, you can use it for two years, as it is the period of its validity.

For VWP citizens who are traveling without getting an ESTA approval, they will likely get denied while boarding. The U.S. Customs and Border Protection advises that a traveler should apply for an ESTA at least 72 hours prior to traveling. In general, an applicant will receive a response seconds after an ESTA submission.