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How to apply for the American ESTA?

The US makes everyone dream! From vibrant city life to some of the most beautiful landscapes in the world, this country offers something for everyone. But before you book your tickets, you need to check the US entry requirements. Now the elephant in the room, do you need an esta to travel to the USA from the UK? The short answer is yes. Let us tell you everything you need to know to apply for the US ESTA today.

What is ESTA (Electronic System Travel Authorization)?

An ESTA, also known as a visa waiver, is a mandatory travel authorization required by the USA for citizens of 38 countries, including the UK. It is not an electronic or e-visa. This document is intended for those who do not need a visa to enter America. It was implemented as a means to strengthen the security of travel to the United States under the Visa Waiver Program.

Do you need help with your visa? Are you unsure of what documentation you must submit? With you can make sure you have everything you need for your holidays. Just choose your nationality, insert your desired destination, and get the piece of mind you deserve before you travel.

Who needs an ESTA?

To be eligible, you must be a citizen or national of one of the following countries:

Who needs an ESTA?

**Please note, British citizens must have an unrestricted residence permit for either England, Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland, the Channel Islands, and the Isle of Man.

As a rule, if you are a UK citizen planning to travel to the USA for business or tourism, you must apply for an ESTA. You will also need this authorization if you are planning to stay in the country temporarily while in transit.

However, applying for an ESTA from the UK may not be possible for everyone. If you have travelled to Cuba, Iran, Iraq, Libya, North Korea, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen on or after 1 March 2011, you won't be able to get an ESTA visa waiver. In that case, you will have to apply for a US visa instead.

When should you apply?

You should apply no less than 72 hours prior to boarding your flight.

How long can you stay in the USA with an ESTA?

The ESTA allows you to stay in the country for a maximum of 90 consecutive days.

The requirements and documentation you need to apply

To get this visa waiver, you will need to comply with the ESTA requirements. This means that you must:

  • Hold a valid passport with IC tip issued by the UK
  • • Prove you're travelling for authorized purposes (tourism, business, or transit)
  • • Give evidence that you plan to stay no longer than the 90-day limit. This can be done by showing a return ticket as proof of your intentions to return home.
  • • Show that you can support yourself without working by means of a bank statement
  • • Provide the address where you are planning to stay
How to apply for an American ESTA

How to apply for an ESTA

If you meet the criteria, you must fill in the ESTA online form. You will need a valid email address and a contact phone number to complete the application form. There will be lots of questions about your personal details, travel information, and eligibility. It usually takes around 23 minutes to complete the application. However, you don't need to complete the form in one go. You can save your application and continue with it later.

Once you submit your completed application, you will receive a confirmation email or message immediately. You can check the status of your application online on the ESTA homepage, by choosing the "Check ESTA Status" option and then clicking on "Check Individual Status". There are three possible outcomes to your application: "authorization approved," "travel not authorized," and "authorization pending." If your application is pending, it means the information provided was not enough for an automatic response. In that case, an answer will be received within 72hs. However, if your application is denied, you will have to apply for a visa instead.

Unfortunately, there is no email or contact number to call if you have doubts. Are you feeling overwhelmed? Do you need a hand with the application process? Use iVisa for a smooth application process.

How long does it take to get a decision?

It usually takes within 72hs to receive a decision. If you need your ESTA urgently, you can choose the "urgent delivery" option in the application form to get an answer within an hour. This has an added fee of £17.50 per person.

How long is the ESTA valid for?

Once approved, this authorization is valid for 2 years and it allows multiple visits to the United States, as long as the 90-day limit per visit is respected.

How much does an ESTA cost?

In order to apply, you must pay a fee. As of May 2022, it costs $21.00 USD to get an ESTA. You can pay by credit card or PayPal.

Did you know?

UK citizens traveling to the US are encouraged to register with the nearest British embassy. Through the embassy registration service, you will receive important information about your destination that will help you travel safely to America. Visitors who register with the United Kingdom Embassy in the U.S. will be able to:

  • • Receive important safety information about the USA
  • • Be located quickly in the event of an exceptional situation, such as a natural disaster
  • • Be contacted in the event of a family emergency in the UK

We hope the information we compiled helps you plan your trip to the US. For more information, please watch the video above. Have a pleasant trip!