A trip to the United States is on many people’s bucket lists, which is why the US receive millions of tourists every year. However, one thing you need to think about before starting to plan your trip to the US is the travel document that allows you to set foot within its borders. Most nationalities must go to the nearest US diplomatic mission and apply for a B2 visa if they plan to travel to the US for tourism purposes, but others can simply obtain an ESTA.
An ESTA is an electronic authorization meant for people who travel to the United States under the Visa Waiver Program. There are 38 such nationalities, and if you are one of them, you do not have to pay a visit to the US embassy in your country. Instead, you can apply for an ESTA online with iVisa.
First, you need to establish your eligibility. In order to do that, we suggest that you use iVisa’s Visa Checker. It is a simple tool that tells you what you need to know in just a few seconds. All you have to do is choose your nationality from the drag-down menu on the left, and select the United States in the menu on the right. If you are eligible for a US ESTA, you will be able to apply for it right there and then. If not, you will be provided with a list of the nearest embassies where you can go and apply for a consular visa.
How to obtain a US ESTA
The online application process has multiple benefits. For one thing, you do not have to go anywhere. You can apply from home or the office in just 20 minutes or so. Of course, provided that you already have everything you need for a successful application. Even so, you are not asked for much. Here is what you need:
Passport – you must hold a valid electronic passport with a digital chip that contains your bio-metric 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 iVisa 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. iVisa accepts credit and debit cards, but you can also use PayPal, Alipay, or WeChat; whichever you find most convenient.
The next thing on your to-do list is to fill in the application form. However, that should not cause you any headaches either. The application form is short, simple, and if you need assistance while filling it in, iVisa has an excellent support service that is available 24/7.
The form has three simple steps. The first one asks for some general information about yourself and your trip, and it requires you to select a processing time for your application. The second step consists of payment and revision, while step number three is when you must upload documents that support your application. Once you are done, you can submit your form and your effort ends there.
The bottom line is that visiting America with an ESTA is possible only if you travel under the Visa Waiver program. If not, you need to get a US Visitor Visa. The US ESTA is valid for 2 years since issue, and you have multiple entries. You are allowed to stay in the US for up to 90 days per entry.