WHO NEEDS ESTA?
All citizens of the Visa Waiver Program (VWP) countries entering the United States by air or by sea are required to obtain an ESTA permit, including infants, if they did not receive a visa to travel to the United States.
An ESTA is not the same as a visa, and there are different requirements for each type of entry permit. Therefore, it is important to accurately determine your travel plans before applying for an ESTA or obtaining a visa.
ESTA is a relatively new type of entry permit. However, it has gained considerable popularity among travelers from the countries participating in the VWP program. This is due to the fact that it is easier to apply for an ESTA than for a visa, and the whole process takes place online.
If you are a citizen of one of the countries included in the Visa-Free Program and plan to travel to the United States in accordance with the VWP rules, you do not need to obtain a visa. Instead, you need to apply for an ESTA.
When traveling to the USA under the regulations of VWP, you have to:
- Travel to the US for a period no longer than 90 days.
- The purpose of the visit has to be for travel, business or transit.
- You have to enter America by air or sea.
In all other situations, you will still have to get a visa, even if you are a citizen of one of the countries of the visa-free program.
It is important to remember that after your ESTA application has been accepted, it is valid for two years. You can use ESTA to travel to the United States several times during a two-year period, however, each visit should not be longer than 90 days.
Moreover, ESTA is not a 100% guarantee of your entry to the United States! There are more factors that affect your travel plans, and the final decision will be made by the US border control.
That is why it is important to learn more about traveling to the United States and how this is affected by the rules of the visa-free program. You can find out more about all this in our blog or in the frequently asked questions section.
It is important to note that in most cases, citizens of the countries participating in the Visa-free program who do not have a criminal past do not have problems obtaining an ESTA. This also means that in most cases you will be able to enter the United States without problems at border control.