Visa Waiver Program participants may travel to the United States without a visa, but must obtain an approved authorization prior to departure.
The Electronic System for Travel Authorization (ESTA) is a procedure for determining the eligibility of visitors to travel to the United States.
Any traveler with an approved ESTA will be allowed to travel to the United States under the VWP.
We recommend that you apply for ESTA at any time but at least 72 hours before your trip. Generally speaking, you will receive a response to your ESTA request within minutes.
It is important to know that ESTA is by no means a visa.
On 12 January 2009, ESTA became mandatory and from that date the approved applications remain valid until the expiry of the passport or for a period of 2 years.
The ESTA allows travelers to travel multiple times to the United States without making a request each time.
Each stay authorized by an approved ESTA should not exceed 90 days and should be spaced a sufficient period to clearly show that you do not live in the United States.
In case the validity of the passport expires before the end of the 2-year period, the traveler will receive an ESTA that is valid until the expiry date of the passport.
You must apply for a new ESTA if you change your passport, name, gender, nationality or if your situation has changed..
The Travel Promotion Act of 2009 authorizes a processing fee ($4) and an authorization fee ($10) for each application. If your ESTA application is refused, you will only be charged the processing fee.
We recommend that you print a copy of your accepted application even if it will not be requested by the agents upon your arrival.