Everybody planning to visit the USA for a maximum of 90 days must have a valid ESTA permit. ESTA stands for Electronic System for Travel Authorization and was introduced by the US Department of Homeland Security for 38 participating VWP countries in 2010. You must submit your ESTA application directly online. Please have your contact address and a credit card at hand. The application must be made at least 72 hours before departure, it is recommended to take the valid ESTA approval printed out on the trip.
ESTA USA | Application online form for UK citizens
- Your passport has been issued by a country of origin approved for the Visa Waiver Program.
- You have a valid machine-readable (e-passport) passport
- You will not travel the USA more than 90 consecutive days
- You are on transit in the US, also not leaving the airport area
1. What data is required for an ESTA application?
The first step of the online application is to transfer personal data from the passport. While applying, make sure that the passport number, your date of birth, home address and your name are correctly transferred. For an address in the USA, you can also take the hotel address.
The ESTA application requires you to answer several security questions. If you answer "yes" to a question, the application will be rejected. The health questions relate to serious illnesses. Finally, you will be asked to review the information and pay by credit card or PayPal.
2. How long is an ESTA approval valid?
ESTA travel permits are valid for two years. Unless the permit is revoked or your passport loses its validity.
You can enter the U.S. as many times as you like during these two years, as long as you do not exceed 90 consecutive days per stay. The validity period begins on the date of approval and not on the date of departure. The period ends either automatically after two years or when your passport expires, whichever comes first. Your ESTA only needs to be valid at the start of your trip to the United States. It has no effect on your departure if your permit expires during your stay in the United States.
3. How much does an ESTA application cost?
In September 2010, the US Department of Homeland Security decided to introduce an ESTA fee of 14 US dollars. This fee consists of 4 USD for processing and 10 USD for successful approval. Travellers from countries participating in the Visa Waiver Program will be required to pay these fees for the ESTA application. The fee is not charged per entry, but per ESTA application.
4. How can I update an ESTA application?
You can update all information’s on the ESTA form except the passport number and the country of issue. However, this is only possible before the application is submitted. Once you have received the electronic travel authorization for the United States, you can only update the following data:
- Email address
- Address in the USA (Only the optional address of the online form)
If you get a new passport, you will need to submit a new ESTA application.
Do children also need a valid ESTA permit?
All nationals of VWP countries who temporarily travel to the United States for business or personal reasons must apply for an ESTA permit before traveling to the United States by air or sea. Everyone must have their own passport, including babies and infants.
Which countries of origin are eligible for the ESTA Visa Waiver Program?
The following countries participate in the Visa Waiver Program: Andorra, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Brunei, Chile, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Monaco, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Portugal, San Marino, Singapore, Slovakia, Slovenia, South Korea, Spain, Sweden, United Kingdom
Is an ESTA permit a fully valid visa?
The Electronic System for Travel Authorization, as part of the US Visa Waiver Program, does not constitute a visa. ESTA is an electronic registration system for citizens of the 38 VWP countries and is limited to a maximum stay of 90 days.
If you want to go to the USA for professional reasons or active work, a non-immigration business visa is required. If you wish to stay permanently in the United States, you must apply for a visa.
Is it only possible to complete the ESTA application online?
The ESTA system without exception only works online and can only be paid directly online.
What should I do if the ESTA application has been rejected?
In case of a rejection, please check, whether all information provided was correct. If errors were made in the application, another application with correct information can be provided. If all details are correct, but the ESTA application was rejected, an appointment must be made with the nearest US embassy. You can apply for a full US visa without hesitation.
Do I need a visa to visit USA from UK?
The United Kingdom is one of the 38 nations that have been admitted to the ESTA Visa Waiver Program of the USA. This means that citizens of the UK are exempt from having to apply for a visa for the USA if they have a valid ESTA permit.
If you are travelling from the UK to the US for a longer period than 90 days, planning to do active business or any other reason that refuses to issue an ESTA permit, you are required to apply for a visa at a US Embassy.
Is my current ESTA valid?
ESTA permits are usually valid for 2 years, unless the passport expires first, then a new ESTA application must be made with a new passport.