A US ESTA is an Electronic System for Travel Authorisation to travel to the United States. It is the equivalent to a visa, but no stamp or label is placed in your passport. To be eligible you must hold a passport from one of these countries. See all countries.
The Fastest and Easiest Way to Get a US ESTA
- With VisaExpress, you can apply anytime and you will receive an email or post confirmation from VisaExpress notifying you once your ESTA has been issued.
ESTA's can take up to 72 hours to be authorised by the US Homeland Security.
You must apply for an ESTA at least 72 hours before travel.
- Once an ESTA is issued it is valid for 2 years or until your passport expires, (whichever is sooner) and will allow multiple entries into the US.
When Travelling on an ESTA You Must:
- Hold a Return/Onward tickets on a scheduled flight with a major airlines/Cruise company that is registered for ESTA’s
- Not be staying for more than/ up to a maximum of 90 days including Mexico, Canada and the Caribbean Islands
- Have no previous violations of the USA Immigration Law (i.e. overstaying the 90 day period)
Important Passport Requirements For ESTA Applicants
- To qualify for the ESTA you must have a machine readable passport.
- If your passport was issued on or after 26th October 2005 it must have a digitally applied photograph.
- If your passport was issued on or after 26th October 2006 it must be a biometric passport. Your passport will need to have an integrated chip capable of storing the biographic information from the data page. UK passports issued in the UK meet this criterion; for UK passports issued in other countries please check with that location. Other nationalities should check with their passport office.
- A passport indicating that the bearer is a British Subject, British Dependent Territories Citizen, British Overseas Citizen, British National (Overseas) Citizen, or British Protected Person does not qualify for travel without a visa. A passport which states holder has Right of Abode or indefinite leave to remain in the United Kingdom does not qualify for visa free travel.
- Citizens of the following countries: Czech Republic, Estonia, Greece, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Malta, Republic of Korea, Slovakia & Taiwan may travel free under the ESTA Program if they meet ALL of the following requirements: Obtained travel authorisation under ESTA prior to boarding the air or sea carrier and have a valid e-passport with an electronic chip.
Benefits of Using VisaExpress
- Live Assistance. If you have questions regarding your application a VisaExpress specialist is available to help via phone or email.
- Automated System Updates. If your application for an ESTA is not instantly approved our systems will automatically check for approval on the traveler’s behalf and notify the traveler when approval has been issued.
- Immediate Email Comfirmation. VisaExpress will automatically email travelers who receive immediate confirmation with the reference number via email that is saved for future reference. This keeps a secure electronic record of all personal information with the ESTA.
VisaExpress is not part of the US government. The US Department of Homeland Security (DHS) issues decisions for all ESTA applications. You can apply for an ESTA directly through the DHS website, however you will not benefit from the VisaExpress services listed above.
Not from an eligible country? Travellers holding a passport from all other countries must apply directly to the US Embassy for a visa to enter the United States. Please refer to the CIBT Service Directory for US Embassy Contact Information.