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ESTA: 3-Step Visa Application for the USA

If you are planning on visiting the US in the next few months then you will have a long list of tasks that you will need to complete. From checking that your passport is still valid, to organising your flights and accommodation, there is plenty of planning that goes into such a trip.

One thing that you cannot forget to do is your ESTA application, if you are travelling to the US from the countries listed under the Visa Waiver System and you are going to be in the US for business or tourism for no longer than 90 days. It replaces the historic visa system that was in place prior to 2010.

ESTA stands for Electronic System for Travel Authorization and is basically an online application to get travel authorization for entering the US. It does not take very long to complete and can often be processed in just a few hours. It is recommended that you leave at least 72 hours prior to travel when you apply for your ESTA USA just in case there are any issues or delays.

3-Steps to ESTA Application

There are three steps involved in completing your online ESTA application.

Step 1 – Personal and Travel Information

The first section of the ESTA form covers your personal information and travel information. You will need to provide your name, address, DOB, contact details, employment details and parents’ details.

You are required to provide details around your travel plans, including the address of the first place that you will be staying in the US. You also need to complete your passport details and emergency contact information.

You will also be asked to provide medical information, any details of criminal convictions and a series of other questions that will determine whether you pass the set of criteria for allowing travellers into the US.

Step 2 – Check and Confirm Your Details

Remember that you must have authorization to enter the US so completing the form carefully will help to prevent any unnecessary delays or a decline due to incorrect info etc. So before you submit your online ESTA USA form, make sure that you check through all of your details. Then you can confirm that they are correct.

Step 3 – Choose Your Payment Method and Pay

You will be given several options of how you wish to make your payment, so select the one that you require. Enter your payment details to pay the fee and then you can submit the application. You will receive a response usually within 24 hours via email. If you have any questions about the process or what to do if your application is declined, then there is a set of FAQs on the website that will provide you with guidance to answer your queries.

Your ESTA will be valid for 2 years from your application and can be used for several different trips, providing it is still valid.