Everything you need to know about travelling to the United States with ESTA
Before we get started, I would like to proudly announce my first collaboration and guest post! I was contacted by two students to collaborate on a post informing my readers about how to apply for an ESTA to enter the USA, what it is and all the nitty gritty bits in between. – With a pretty awesome infographic and video to boot –
You can check out their website, which is EXTREMELY helpful right here. – I wish that this was available when I was applying for my ESTA before visiting the US it would have saved me SO much time and stress! –
So without further a do!
If you’re planning on travelling to the United States, you’re probably thinking that you have to get a visa to go there, right? WRONG.
Introducing… the ESTA
What is the ESTA? I hear you!
- – The ESTA is a travel resource created by the United States Department of Homeland Security that allows citizens of 38 countries to travel to the US without having to get a visa. Pretty awesome!
- – Anybody travelling to the US as a tourist, on a business trip or anybody that has a connecting flight involving the US from any of the 38 countries eligible can apply.
- – This is not useful for students or those planning to work in the US.
So how does it work?
- Basically, the ESTA application is completed online and only takes around 30 minutes. That means you don’t even have to leave your house, nevermind go to an embassy appointment.
- All you need is an electronic passport and then fill out the ESTA form.
- Once you have completed the ESTA application, you will receive an email within 72 hours, although responses usually only take minutes.
- If your ESTA has been granted you will receive an email notifying that your application has been approved.
Here’s the real beauty.
The ESTA is valid for two years. In those two years, you may travel to the US as many times as you wish, so long as you do not stay in the country for more than 90 days.
Things to consider
- If an ESTA is not authorised, then the applicant will have to apply for a visa.
- If you are unable to complete the application yourself, somebody else can do it for you. Just make sure that all of the information that is inputted is correct.
- The country of issue on the online application form is the country of your citizenship as it appears on your passport.
Here’s a pretty cool infographic that sums it up: