What Is ESTA?
ESTA is the Electronic System for Travel Authorization to the United States of America. The system is used to pre-screen all travelers from previously visa exempt countries for eligibility for entry into the country. Without this travel document, visitors will not be granted entry into the United States.
However, there are other ways in which a foreign national can be eligible for travel. They can apply for a different type of visa. For example, a person who has a tourist, student, work or resident visa will not need to apply for ESTA.
Currently, the authorization is only required for visitors arriving by sea or air. Visitors arriving via a land border are not required to have this travel authorization.
What Is ESTA Expiry Period?
The visa is valid for a period of two years for multiple entries into the country during this period. It allows for a maximum stay of 90 days per visit. If this period is exceeded, the visa may be revoked and the person may not be allowed to reapply within a specified period of time.
How To Apply For ESTA
The process is entirely electronic and online and is a simple verification process. You will need to complete the necessary form providing information such as your country of origin, date of birth and contact details.
You will also need a valid e-passport as well as a credit card to pay the necessary application and approval fees. The application fee is $4 and the approval fee is $10.
You should receive an emailed approval within a few minutes of applying. However, the process can take longer and if this is the case, it is recommended to check the status of the application regularly.
Once the visa has expired, you will need to reapply for a new ESTA visa.