ESTA application

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ESTA for the United States of America

An ESTA USA is a mandatory travel authorisation to travel to the USA without a visa. An ESTA application can be submitted quickly and easily with the online application form. The costs are £29.95 per person.

Watch the explanatory video


Despite the outbreak of Coronavirus/Covid-19, it is still possible to apply for an ESTA travel authorisation. Keep in mind that the American immigration service can still refuse travellers that possess a valid ESTA if they pose a potential health risk. This applies to travellers who have been to the UK and Ireland, or any other European country in the 14 days prior to their trip to the USA. Before applying for an ESTA, read all about the coronavirus measures in the US.

How does an ESTA application work?

1. ESTA form

ESTA application

Submitting an ESTA application is easy, fast and convenient with the online ESTA form. Filling out the form does not take more than 5 minutes.

2. Online payment

Pay online

The ESTA cost can be safely paid for online through Visa, MasterCard, American Express or PayPal.

3. Official granting

ESTA by e-mail

As soon as the official ESTA USA has been granted, this will be confirmed by e-mail and SMS. In urgent cases, this can happen within an hour.

Explaining the ESTA Application

Do I need an ESTA? An ESTA USA is always required for a holiday, business trip or transfer/transit in the USA. Travellers that do not possess a valid ESTA visa are denied entry when checking in on their flight, ferry service, or cruise to the USA. Underage children are also expected to possess their own ESTA. Only travellers who enter the United States by land, or who have a US visa or passport, are exempt from this requirement. An ESTA application can be submitted entirely online, so there is no need to visit the US embassy in London. That is why acquiring an ESTA online is easier and faster than a US visa, and the application costs are substantially lower as well.

What is an “ESTA”?

ESTA is an abbreviation and stands for: "Electronic System for Travel Authorization". An ESTA is not a physical document, but an electronic travel authorisation for the USA. The requirement to file for this authorisation is a safety measure implemented by US Customs and Border Protection. In this way, all incoming travellers can be preemptively screened, and unwanted visitors barred. Transport companies, including airlines and shipping companies, check before departure whether each traveller possesses a valid ESTA visa. This happens by looking up the traveller’s passport number in the database with approved travel authorisations by US Customs and Border Protection. Travellers without this travel authorisation are denied entry.


Validity and Requirements

An ESTA is valid for two years from the moment it is granted. During this validity period travellers are allowed to make an unlimited number of trips to the USA. These can be for both tourism and business. Each stay in the USA can last a maximum of 90 consecutive days. Visits to Canada, Mexico or a Caribbean island are included in this overall period. For a longer stay a US visa is required. When the passport with which the visa or ESTA was applied for expires, the validity of the accompanying ESTA expires as well.

Validity and travel purpose ESTA

Is an ESTA sufficient for my travel purpose? An ESTA visa is sufficient for tourist and business trips, transit and visiting friends or family in the USA. Travellers with this travel authorisation cannot enter into employment with an American organisation. They are, however, allowed to perform paid labour if their employer is located outside the USA. An ESTA visa is not sufficient for performing journalistic activities, investing in American companies, or studying in the United States of America.


Important rules regarding applications:

  • Travellers have to prove on arrival in the USA that they are planning to leave the United States in the future, by providing a return or transit ticket
  • Applying for an ESTA online is also necessary for trips to Alaska, Hawaii, Puerto Rico, Guam, the American Virgin Islands or the Northern Marianas
  • Travellers suspected of posing a threat to the safety or public order of the USA can be refused entry by Homeland Security at all times, even if they have a valid ESTA or US visa
  • Travellers who after 10 March 2011 have been to Iran, Iraq, North Korea, Syria, Sudan, Yemen, Libya or Somalia, or who have ever held the nationality of one of these countries, cannot apply for an ESTA

Travellers that do not adhere to the above-listed requirements for the ESTA risk deportation and subsequent preemptive rejections of all future applications for travel authorisations to the USA.


Applying for an ESTA online

An ESTA application can be submitted 24 hours a day with the digital ESTA form on this website. It is possible to submit a group application, by adding multiple travellers to one form. Filling in an ESTA form takes about five minutes per traveller. Afterwards, the cost can be paid for, which amounts to £29.95 per person. Paying can be done safely through Visa, MasterCard, American Express or PayPal. Right after the payment has been received the application will be processed.

Urgent application?

Travellers who want to apply for an urgent ESTA can check the "urgent" box in the application form on this website. The application will then be processed with priority. This generally results in an approved ESTA visa within an hour. As soon as the application has been approved, a confirmation will be sent by e-mail and SMS. It is not necessary to print this confirmation, which means that applying can even be done at the airport.

Even urgent applications can, in exceptional cases, take longer. That is why it is advised to submit the ESTA application as soon as a trip to the USA has been planned. It is not necessary to have already arranged accommodations or designated a contact person before applying. For more information about the ESTA application procedure, check the other pages on this website, including the frequently asked questions. For other questions regarding an ESTA application, you can contact our support centre.


Summary

Miniature video ESTA
PurposeTourism, business trips or transits
Validity730 days (2 years)
StayMaximum 90 consecutive days per visit
Delivery time72 hours (urgent: on average 1 hour)
Cost£29.95 per ESTA
ApplicationOnly online: apply now

Users about the ESTA for the United States

123 people rate the ESTA with a 9,6/10 
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e-Visa.co.uk is a professional visa bureau and supports travellers in acquiring a visa for the USA. However, e-Visa.co.uk is in no way part of the US government. It is also possible to directly apply for an ESTA at the US Customs and Border Protection website ($14 per person, via esta.cbp.dhs.gov). In that case, you will be unable to use our support centre, which is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to resolve urgent issues and answer your questions. We also check applications for common mistakes before submitting them. We do this within 72 hours at the latest, but usually within ten minutes after receiving your payment. If we suspect errors or any incompleteness, we will contact you personally immediately to ensure that your application can still be processed quickly and correctly. Our services have already saved many travellers from major problems during their travels. Should an application be rejected despite our support and verification, we will refund the entire purchase cost (unless an application for an ESTA USA has been rejected for the same traveller before). Read more about our services.