ESTA: Electronic System for Travel
the Implementing Recommendations of the 9/11 Commission Act of 2007, the United
States made ESTA (Electronic System for Travel Administration) mandatory for
all foreign nationals visiting the country via air or sea.
is basically an automated system that determines the eligibility of foreign
nationals to travel to the United States under the Visa Waiver Program (VWP).
The system was introduced by the United States authorities to strengthen the
security in the country following the 9/11 terror attack.
should be noted that an ESTA approval is enough for a traveler to board a
carrier for travel to the United States under the VWP. Travel experts recommend
all foreign nationals under the VWP program to apply for an ESTA at least 72
hours before the scheduled travel date.
In the ESTA application, the foreign
national will be asked to answer certain biographical questions, and VWP
should also understand that ESTA is not a valid visa, and this travel document does
not meet the legal requirements to serve in lieu of a U.S. visa when a visa is
required. It means, authorization via ESTA does not determine whether a foreign
national is admissible to the United States. The admissibility of a foreign
national to the United States is determined by the U.S. Customs and Border
Protection (CBP) officers.
An ESTA is not needed if a foreign national is arriving to the United States
from Canada or Mexico via land. However, foreign nationals should be asked to
fill an I-94W paper form.
per latest updates, citizens of 39 countries including nationalities of the
United Kingdom are eligible to participate in the Visa Waiver Program. However,
British Subject passport holders with permanent abode status (The holder has
the right of abode in the United Kingdom: written on their passport) are not
eligible to apply for ESTA under the Visa Waiver Program.
is the validity of an Electronic System for Travel Authorization?
approved ESTA application will be valid for two years, or until the passport of
the foreign national gets expired. It should be noted that foreign nationals
visiting the United States using an ESTA are allowed to stay inside the country
for only up to 90 days.
If the foreign national wants to stay more than 90
days, he or she should return to their home land, and should again visit the
United States with a fresh ticket.
note that there should be a reasonable amount of time between your visits to
the United States. If you visit the United States continuously without a gap between
each visit, CBP officers may think that you are trying to live inside the
United States, and they may deny your entry to the country.
certain cases, a foreign national may be asked to apply for a new ESTA, and
those circumstances are mentioned below.
the foreign national is issued with a new passport from his motherland, he or
she should have to obtain a new ESTA to enter the United States.
a traveler changes his or her first name/last name.
the traveler changes his or her gender.
the country of citizenship of the traveler changes.
the traveler gets caught for any criminal activities.
the traveler develops any contagious disease.
can I apply for an ESTA?
the steps to complete the ESTA application can be completed online, and there
is absolutely no need to visit the embassy. In order to complete the ESTA
application, the foreign national should hold a valid passport from a Visa Waiver
This passport should be valid throughout your intended
duration of stay, and it should also have sufficient blank pages for visa
applying for an ESTA, the traveler should provide a valid email address, home address,
and phone number. It is also necessary to submit details of traveler’s
emergency point of contact, email address and phone number.
from the above-mentioned details, it may be also required to give the
aliases or other names may be asked to enter in the ESTA application form.
may be necessary to enter traveler’s national ID number.
applicable, the traveler may be asked to enter his or her Global Entry ID
ESTA application may ask details about the traveler’s employer and other
applicable, you may be also asked to enter the name of your point of contact in
the United States, his or her address, contact number and email id.
you face any queries while filling the ESTA, you can contact Visa Genie, and we
will be glad to assist you.
Foreign nationals should understand that United States authorities are issuing
ESTA for travelers who intend to visit the country only for tourism and business-related
activities. If the foreign national is planning to enter the country for other
activities, it is mandatory to obtain a visa. If authorities nab a foreign
national for violating the rules, he or she will be compelled to face strict
legal actions, and it includes immediate deportation.
to take care while visiting the United States with an ESTA
visiting the United States using an ESTA, you should make sure that the
below-mentioned conditions are met.
traveler should make sure that he or she is traveling with a passport that has sufficient
period of validity and adequate blank pages.
is necessary to hold onward/return ticket on a scheduled flight with a major
airlines/Cruise company that is registered for ESTA’s.
traveler should make sure that he or she is not staying in the United States
mainland, Mexico, Canada and the Caribbean Islands above 90 days.
foreign national should not have broken US immigration laws in the past, and it
includes overstaying beyond 90 days in the US using an ESTA.
many days should I need to wait to get the ESTA after completing the
submitting the application form, you will get the ESTA within three days. So,
it is highly recommended to apply for this Electronic System for Travel
Authorization before 72 hours of your proposed travel date. Once your
application is processed, you will receive the ESTA on your registered email. Please
note that real time approvals are no longer available, and arriving at the
airport without an approved ESTA will result in immediate deportation. To get
ESTA in a very hassle free manner, you can contact Visa Genie, and our visa
processing experts will assist you in each steps of completing the application