If you want to travel to the United States, you will most likely need to acquire a valid visa to enter and visit the country. However, this country has several types of visas from which you can choose. In this article, we will discuss the Electronic System for Travel Authorization (ESTA).
The ESTA serves all travelers who want to travel to the United States under the Visa Waiver Program (VWP). This document can be applied for online and obtained in a relatively short amount of time. In case of refusal, you may have to apply for a B1/B2 nonimmigrant visa, which takes longer to process.
Not sure how to apply for this type of document, or if you need to apply for the United States ESTA Authorization? We will put to rest all your doubts in this article and help you process your travel documents from the comfort of your home.
What is the ESTA for USA travel?
ESTA is what the United States refer to as the Electronic System for Travel Authorization. This official government organization electronic travel document can be obtained online. However, not everyone is eligible to receive an ESTA travel authorization, only travelers who are eligible for the U.S. Visa Waiver Program can apply.
Today, over 38 nationalities can apply for the ESTA visa waiver. However, authorization through ESTA does not guarantee entry to the United States. U.S. Customs and Border Protection officials determine a traveler's admissibility upon arrival, and a traveler can be refused admission, regardless of their ESTA status.
ESTA applications may be submitted at any time prior to travel to the ESTA visa waiver program. However, it is always recommended that foreign travelers do their ESTA application as soon as they begin preparing their travel plans or before purchasing airline tickets.
Eligible nationalities for the United States ESTA
To apply for an ESTA travel authorization, the traveler must be a citizen or national of a country designated by the VWP. The list of nationals from foreign countries currently eligible for the visa waiver program is as follows:
|New Zealand||Portugal||Slovakia||Sweden||United Kingdom|
If you belong to one of the countries in the list above, you can process the ESTA with us from the comfort of your home without any problem.
ESTA Visa Waiver validity
The ESTA is a travel document that is valid for two years and allows entry into the country multiple times. The electronic system enables you to update your travel dates, passport details, and personal information at any time. In most cases, you will receive an immediate confirmation about the information change or passport update.
Each entry into the country allows you to stay for a maximum of 90 days for tourism purposes, after which you must leave the country and re-enter if you want to continue your travels.
Requirement documents for the ESTA travel authorization application
If you meet the requirements to apply for the ESTA visa waiver program, you can start preparing the necessary documents and information that you may be asked for during the application process. These are as follows:
Valid passport: This must be a valid e-passport with a digital chip containing your biometric data. At the same time, the passport must have an expiration date that is six months from the date of arrival in the United States.
Other information: You will be asked for your address, telephone number, and email address, as well as an emergency point of contact.
Email address: The U.S. ESTA is stored online, but you will receive a confirmation of your approved ESTA by email. Although it is not mandatory, we recommend you print at least one physical copy of the document. You may also be asked for additional information via email, if needed.
Payment method: The payment must be made during the online application process. iVisa accepts credit and debit cards.
Other information that U.S. authorities may request includes the traveler's alias or other names, the traveler's national or personal identification number, the traveler's employer's address and telephone number, and the name, address and telephone number of the traveler's point of contact in the United States.
Do I need to apply for the ESTA program to transit through the USA?
Yes, all international travelers who wish to make any kind of stopover in the United States needs to have a type of visa or ESTA to enter the airport or country. The benefit of applying for an ESTA is that this document is easily obtained and can also be used for a transfer or stopover to other destinations.
How to apply for the ESTA electronic system online
Processing the ESTA for the USA is simple. We have created a quick process that should take you no more than 20 minutes to complete. All you must do is follow the below steps:
First: Fill out the electronic form with general information about you and your trip. In this step, you must choose the preferred processing time.
Second: Then, do the online payment. Do not forget to check if all the information entered is correct, before making the payment.
Third: Once you have finished reviewing the information, sit back and relax, and wait for your confirmation to arrive within the chosen timeframe.
Once the process is completed, you will receive a confirmation email. If you do not find it in your inbox, it may be in SPAM.
Costs and processing time of the ESTA visa waiver
At iVisa, we have three processing alternatives for the ESTA application process. Each has a different time frame, depending on your travel needs and budget. These are as follows:
Standard processing time: This is the standard option. It will allow you to get your ESTA in the most affordable way in just 24 hours. The cost is USD $65.99, including United States government fees.
Rush processing time: With this alternative, you will be able to get your ESTA faster than usual, in 8 hours, for a fee of USD $108.99, including United States government fees.
Super Rush processing time: This is the fastest option and recommended if you need your travel document urgently, for an express fee of USD $162.99, including United States government fees.
Do minors need a US ESTA to enter the country?
Everyone who wishes to travel to the United States for tourism purposes and meets the requirements must apply for the ESTA, regardless of age.
This includes children and infants, who must have their own passport. Parents or legal guardians are responsible for applying for their children.
COVID-19 entry rules
Foreign travelers are currently not required to present a negative PCR or COVID-19 antigen test result at Homeland Security upon arrival in the United States. This includes passengers entering the country or making a stopover.
However, if you are making a stopover, you should check the COVID-19 guidelines of the country of final destination.
Do I need a COVID-19 vaccine or vaccination certificate to enter the USA?
International travel to the United States is permitted for vaccinated travelers. The last COVID-19 vaccination dose must have been administered at least 14 days prior to travel.
In the event that you are not a U.S. national, non-U.S. immigrant and not fully vaccinated, you will not be allowed to board a flight to the U.S.
Do I need to quarantine when I get to the United States?
Foreign tourists do not have to quarantine to enter the United States.
Where can I contact you about the ESTA visa waiver program?
If you have any questions about the ESTA visa waiver program, a nonimmigrant visa to the USA, or the ESTA application process, you can contact our customer service team online or email us at [email protected]. Only apply at trusted official websites and secure websites such as iVisa to receive authorization.