1. ARE NETHERLANDS CITIZENS ALLOWED TO VISIT THE USA WITH AN ESTA?
Yes, thanks to the Visa Waiver Program.
Ever since the Netherlands have been included in the list of VWP member countries, its citizens are not obligated to use Visa as the only type of travel authorization to visit the USA.
ESTA is an easily accessible online application system that permits traveling to the States to people who prefer a short-term visit.
This means that you can apply for your ESTA from the Netherlands, at the comfort of your home, no need to visit the nearest Embassy of United States of America.
Nevertheless, as mentioned before, ESTA was created keeping short-term tourists in mind, therefore, there are rules that apply for one to qualify for this travel authorization.
2. WHO QUALIFIES FOR AN ESTA?
Since the Visa Waiver Program (under which is the ESTA travel authorization) was made by the U.S. government, all member countries and their citizens must abide by a few unchangeable rules to qualify for ESTA approval.
- You are a citizen of one of the VWP countries.
- You have no serious criminal offenses, meaning, your background check will not raise any red flags.
- Your trip to the USA does not extend 90 days.
- Your reason for travel is short-term leisure, business or transit.
If you have ticked the above points as relevant to your situation, then you may apply for an ESTA.
Otherwise, you need to obtain a Visa.
Note: If you have dual citizenship – one from the Netherlands, the other from Iran, Iraq, Sudan or Syria, then you will not be able to apply for an ESTA even though one of your citizenship is from a VWP country.
Also, it is important to remember that if you possess a valid Visa, you do not need to apply for an ESTA, as you have already obtained a travel authorization (Visa) that serves its purpose.
3. MUST-KNOW THINGS WHEN TRAVELING FROM THE NETHERLANDS TO THE US.
If an individual has a special case of traveling to the USA, for example, medication-wise, then this Netherlands citizen should get acquainted with the general travel guidelines, some of which are:
- Guidelines regarding travelling with medication.
- Content of your carry-on baggage; what is and what is not allowed on board.
- Background (including criminal) checks etc.
Also, travel insurance for traveling is highly recommended, due to medical and legal regulations in the USA.
All that and more you can read either in our FAQ page.
4. WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN ESTA AND VISA?
Firstly, ESTA only applies to citizens from the countries included in the Visa Waiver Program. Therefore, if someone does not have citizenship from one of the VWP countries, they automatically disqualify for obtaining ESTA.
Secondly, the individuals that are citizens of a VWP county AND are planning their visit for no more than 3 months, as well as, only for leisure or business, further qualify for receiving an approved ESTA.
However, even citizens of a VWP country do not meet the criteria of qualifying for an ESTA all the time, since cases vary.