ESTA will let you travel to the USA without a visa.

So, you’ve decided that you’re going to travel to the land of the free, The United States of America.  This article will explain all you need to know about this travel authorisation.

What’s an ESTA?

ESTA or Electronic System for Travel Authorisation is a resource that was created by the U.S. government under the Visa Waiver Programme.

This resource allows citizens of 38 countries access to the United States without having to acquire a visa. No questions asked, all the applicant needs is an electronic passport.

Who’s the ESTA for?

It’s for the citizens of certain approved countries (e.g. France, United Kingdom and Germany) that would be visiting the United States as a tourist or anybody with business to attend to.

Meaning that applicants cannot work on the ESTA, they can simply travel to the United States. Furthermore, anybody that has a connecting flight within the United States needs to apply for it too.

Visa Waiver Countries

Visa Waiver Countries

What’s so special about the ESTA?

The travel authorization will cost $14.

Compare that to the price of a tourist visa, applicants can save a lot of money. Moreover, the application process is so much easier.

The applications are completed online and take a matter of minutes to complete.

Applicants will be notified if their application has been approved within minutes, too. Although, this can take up to 72 hours, so be advised to apply for an ESTA before that 72-hour window.

What’s more, it is valid for two whole years. TWO YEARS!

Within that two year period, applicants can travel to the United States an UNLIMITED amount of times. Applicants must ensure that they do not spend any longer than 90 days in the United States per visit.

Tips about ESTA:

When applicants travel to the United States, they may be asked to present evidence that they can support themselves financially during their stay.

Remember, just because an ESTA has been approved; this does not entirely mean you will be allowed into the States. Border patrol officers determine who can enter the country.

If an ESTA application is rejected, you must apply for a USA visa.

Esta Infographic - Details on how to get esta

For more information.

About the Author: 

Profile Photo of Josh HobsonHi, I’m Josh and I love travelling. Last year I embarked on a journey across the U.S after I had spent the summer at a camp.

Whilst travelling, I was on the 30-day grace period that a J-1 visa allows. I ventured into Mexico whilst on the grace period and my visa expired.

Luckily someone at the hostel I was staying at informed me about the ESTA before I travelled to Mexico, which allowed me to enter back into the U.S. I wanted to help spread the awareness of the ESTA programme so that everyone can have a brilliant time travelling and doesn’t feel limited.