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ESTA Requirements

Securing the approval of travel authorizations is a process that requires certain requirements to be met by the applicants. These requirements come from the introduction of the Visa Waiver Program, and some of the most recent changes by the Department of Homeland Security are also updated on this page for your convenience.

The following are the requirements for any applicants:
  • The applicants passport must come from one of the countries listed here: United Kingdom, Liechtenstein, Czech Republic, Australia, Andorra, Austria, Belgium, Brunei, Chile Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, San Marino, Slovakia, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Monaco, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Republic of Malta, Slovenia, South Korea, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Taiwan, Denmark, Singapore.
  • The passport needs to be valid when you apply for your ESTA and by the time you plan on traveling to the US. If your ESTA expires duringyourUSA visit, you must ensure that you leave the country before the 90 days are over. If you have a plan to stay for more than threemonths, you are going to need to apply for a visa that is appropriate for this situation.
  • The biographic page needs to contain a machine-readable section.
  • The passport needs to have a chip that contains all of the biometric data of the holder. This means that you need to replace your passport with a new one if you don’t have this chip as you may end up being denied access to any aircraft or ship that is headed to the USA.

Requirements For ESTA

The travel requirements include:
  • The visitor is to remain in the U.S. for no more than 90 days.
  • The visit can be for business purposes.
  • The visit can be for purposes of tourism and vacations or to visit family and friends.
  • The visit can be for medical treatment.
  • The visit can be for professional events such as educational, scientific, or business conventions.
  • The visit can be for social events that are hosted by organizations or contest as long as the awards are not seen as a form of payment.
  • The visit can be recreational and for short studies in courses, but these cannot be credited to a degree.
The application requirements include:
  • Applying for the ESTA online
  • The application needs to take place before you travel to the U.S. In most cases, you will get a reply within minutes, but some situations may require at least 72 hours.
Other important requirements:
  • You need to hold a return ticket when you arrive inthe U.S. by either Air or Sea. If you have an electronic ticket, you need to consider the importance of keeping a copy to have it for the U.S immigration when entering the country.
  • If you arrive by land, you need to have the I-94W form with you when coming from Canada or Mexico.
  • Those who are transiting through the U.S with destinations to Canada or Mexico can always return to the U.S during their trips as long as their time spent in the country does not exceed 90 days.
  • Anyone who goes to other countries and islands outside of Canada or Mexicowill have to request a new application for admission for future travels.

For visa applicants:

If an individual is not able to meet the requirements above they are going to have to re-apply for a visa

Anyone that is looking to spend more than 90 days in the U.S or is looking for a long term college education or seeking employment is going to have to apply for an appropriate visa as this is not included in the Visa Waiver Program parameters. The same goes for those who are seeking U.S. residency.

If ESTA is denied:

If anyone got rejected after applying for ESTA, they will need to apply for a visa to travel to the USA.

Mistakes in the ESTA application:

If a person makes a mistakes or provides incorrect information on their form, they must send an email to the CBP to ensure that the form can be amended.

Ineligible situations for ESTA:

Anyone who has minor traffic offenses that have not led to arrest or convictions can apply for the ESTA as long as other requirements met.

A person who has a criminal record is going to have to find out if their particular case is eligible or not. Many variables would determine if they could opt for an ESTA or not. The following criteria are also going to be used to determine who is not eligible:

  • Anyone with a prior arrest
  • Anyone with a criminal record
  • Anyone who has certain diseases
  • Anyone who has been refused U.S. entry before
  • Anyone who has stayed longer than expected with a prior visa
  • Anyone who has been to Iran, Sudan, Syria, Yemen, Iraq, or North Korea after the month of March 2011.
  • Anyone with dual nationality from the eligible countries and the countries mentioned in the point above.

Apply for ESTA