ESTA or Electronic System for Travel Authorization is an automated system that is mandatory for travelers entering the United States. This determines visitors’ eligibility to travel under the Visa Waiver Program, whether for tourism, transit, or business purposes. If your ESTA application is approved, you will be allowed multiple entries for two years as long as each visit will not exceed 90 days.

Who Needs To Apply For An ESTA?

ESTA is made to ease the access of certain countries before their trip to the US. Through this, citizens of 39 nations are permitted and have the freedom to travel to the United States of America without needing to apply for an official American visa. Australia, Denmark, Germany, France, New Zealand, Singapore, Taiwan, South Korea, and the United Kingdom are some of the countries that are eligible to seek admission to the United States via ESTA. If you are a resident of these VWP countries and arriving via land, air, or sea travel, you need to apply for an ESTA. Even if you are only transiting through the US, you must apply for ESTA.

How To Apply For An ESTA?

You can obtain this travel authorization via an online service. As seen on, you can complete the online application within 20 minutes. All you need to do is to fill out and complete the application form. Ensure that you input all the correct data, including your passport number and passport issuing country. Submit the applications and proceed to the payment.  The applications’ processing fee is $4.00, and if the application is approved, the authorization charge will be $10.00. If your application is denied, you will only be charged the processing fee.

Afterward, the agency will confirm your application status to you via email, and you will receive ESTA authorization via email. It would be best to apply for an ESTA application at least 72 hours prior to your departure. This is to ensure that your application will be processed with delays anticipated.

Can I Be Refused For ESTA?

Yes, your ESTA application can be denied due to various reasons. It can be due to overstaying on your previous visit to the country, inappropriate use of visa (you work without a valid working visa), or you previously applied for it and got denied. Another reason is you provided incorrect information on your ESTA application form. And lastly, if you have a past criminal or immigration history on your record or someone committed a crime in your name, or you are a victim of identity theft.

If you have any concerns with your application or you think you require further assistance, you can check websites online or reach through their multi-lingual support via email and telephone. Unfortunately, the US Department of Homeland Security will not provide any reason for your application denial. However, you may opt to apply on other visas such as B1 Business Visa, B2 Tourist Visa, or other forms of visa.

It is vital to learn more about traveling to the USA, especially now during the pandemic. Make use of the available resources such as online sites, books, and social networking groups.  It is much suggested to research more about the process to ensure that your application will be seamless.

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