Must I go to an American embassy to apply for an ESTA?
iVisa | Updated on Jul 07, 2022

Please note that as of June 2022 the CDC no longer requires travelers to present a negative COVID-19 test or documentation of recovery from COVID pre arrival to the US

As stated in the US visa policy, the citizens of 38 countries can travel to the United States by sea or by air under the Visa Waiver Program. This means they do not have to apply for a visa, but for an ESTA. What you should know is that you do not have to go to an American embassy to get your ESTA. Instead, you can apply online with and get it in as little as 6 hours if that is how soon you need it.

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How to apply online for a US ESTA

Now that you know that you do not have to go to the nearest American embassy for an ESTA, you need to know how to apply online for one. The online application process is not complicated. Actually, it is quite the contrary. It is a lot easier than a visa application process at a consulate. All you have to do is fill in an application form. Nevertheless, make sure that you have everything you need before you get started. You will need the following:

  • Passport – you must hold a valid electronic passport with a digital chip that contains your biometric info. At the same time, the passport needs to be valid for at least another 6 months from the date of arrival in the United States.
  • E-mail address – the US ESTA arrives via e-mail, which is why you must have a valid e-mail address to which you have access. Once sends you the ESTA, do not forget to print out at least one physical copy of the document.
  • Means of payment – the payment must be made during the online application process, which is why you must have a method of online payment. accepts credit and debit cards, but you can also use PayPal, Alipay, or WeChat; whichever you find most convenient.

The application formon is not your usual government form. Instead, it is short and straightforward. Not to mention that has an excellent support service should you need assistance. The service is at your disposal 2/7 and is free of charge.

There are three steps you need to complete. First, you must insert your personal information, passport info. It also includes some details about your trip like departure date. This step also requires you to select a processing time for your application. You can choose how fast your US ESTA can arrive. Just keep in mind that the sooner you want it, the more you have to pay for it. Your options are as follows:

  • Standard processing time – This is the slowest option. Your application is processed within 2 days from submission, and you will be charged just $29.
  • Rush processing time – if you are looking to get your US ESTA sooner than 48 hours, the Rush option guarantees that you have your document in 12 hours. The cost this time is $59.
  • Super Rush processing time – since this is the fastest option you have at hand, it is the most expensive as well. You will be charged $79, but you can have your ESTA in as little as 6 hours.

The next step asks you to make the payment and take a quick look at the information you inserted in step one. It is essential that your form does not contain typos or other errors. That can invalidate your ESTA].

The third and last step is when you upload the supporting document for your application. Once you are finished, you can submit your application. takes it from there. So, to answer your question, you do not have to go to an American embassy for your ESTA. You can apply online with, and you will invest as little effort as possible in the process.

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