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What is the ESTA?

The Electronic System for Travel Authorization (ESTA) is an automated program checking potential visitors prior to travel to the U.S. ESTA defines the eligibility of visitors to travel to the US under the Visa Waiver Program (VWP) that allows citizens of indicated countries to stay in the U.S. for 90 days without a visa. If you're planning to visit the U.S. under the VWP, you have to have the ESTA.

Should I apply for the ESTA?

If you're traveling to the U.S. under the VWP, you need to get the ESTA permission in the following cases: 1. Transit through the U.S. or 2. if you're a tourist and you're planning to stay in the U.S. up to 90 days or stay for business when visa is not required. Below you can find a list of countries eligible for the VWP. If you have a visa for tourism, work or study in the U.S., you don't need to apply for the ESTA.

When should I apply for the ESTA?

You can apply for the ESTA as soon as you start to begin planning you trip to the U.S. If you want to apply for the ESTA, you don't need to have the travel itinerary for tickets. Please, keep in mind, if you want to board your flight, you have to have the ESTA permission, and if you're waiting until the last minute to apply, you risk being denied boarding. The advantage of early applying is that in case of failure there is will be enough time to apply for an appropriate visa.

How long can I use the ESTA?

The ESTA authorization is valid for two years, pre-approving you for any trips of 90 days or less to the U.S. during that time. The ESTA is only valid for the specific passport it was issued for, which means you do have to reapply if your passport is lost, stolen, or expires within this two-year period.

Does the ESTA guarantee my entry to the U.S.?

Taking part in the ESTA means that you can plan your trip to the U.S., but it does not guarantee that you will be admitted to the country. Only Customs and Border Protection officers can give you a final permission upon your arrival to the U.S.

How do I apply?

The ESTA application process is completed online. There are no forms to print and you don’t need to go to a U.S. embassy or consulate. For the online application, you’ll be required to provide basic information including your name, birth date, and passport number, as well as answer questions about any history of communicable diseases, convictions or deportations.

How long will it take to receive my ESTA?

After completing the application, you’ll receive one of three possible responses: Authorization approved, authorization pending, or travel not authorized. Most applicants will be approved immediately, while some will need to check again in 72 hours for the decision.

What can I do if I have been denied the ESTA?

If you have been denied in the ESTA application, but you still want to travel to the U.S., you can apply for a non-immigrant visa at the U.S. embassy or consulate. There are a number of situations in which you may not be able to visit the U.S. under the VWP, but can visit after obtaining an appropriate visa.

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Visa Waiver Countries in Europe

  • Andorra
  • Austria
  • Belgium
  • Czech Republic
  • Denmark
  • Estonia
  • Finland
  • France
  • Germany
  • Greece
  • Hungary
  • Iceland
  • Ireland
  • Italy
  • Latvia
  • Liechtenstein
  • Lithuania
  • Luxembourg
  • Monaco
  • Netherlands
  • Norway
  • Portugal
  • Republic of Malta
  • San Marino
  • Slovakia
  • Slovenia
  • Spain
  • Sweden
  • Switzerland
  • United Kingdom