ESTA application: for business and leisure travel
Every person arriving in the United States of America must have a valid travel authorisation. This requirement applies to travellers of any age and even for a short transit in the US. The ESTA is a digital travel authorisation that can easily be applied for through an online form. An ESTA is particularly suitable for holidays, business trips and transfers in the United States.
How to apply for your ESTA
The ESTA can be easily and completely applied for online. You fill in a digital form, upload an image of your passport and pay the costs of£49,95 per person. Payment can be made securely via iDeal, Bancontact, credit card, PayPal or Trustly You can submit the ESTA application for several people at the same time, if you have the consent of all travellers. Please note that children and babies also need their own ESTA.
Once the form has been completed, the passport image is uploaded, and the fees are paid, your application will be processed. ESTA applications are processed 24 hours a day, including overnight. In the vast majority of cases processing is completed within one day, but in exceptional cases it may take up to 72 hours before your ESTA is granted or rejected. It is also possible to submit an urgent application Urgent applications are processed within an hour on average, but in some cases delays may occur.
Temporary measures due to COVID-19 in the US
Do you not have a valid ESTA, US visa or US passport? Then you will not be allowed on the plane by the airline.
Important information on applying for an ESTA
There are several types of travel authorisations for America. Depending on the purpose of the trip, the nationality, and the duration of the trip, travellers can choose between different types of visas and the ESTA for America. For specific travel purposes, such as studying in the United States, a visa . For holidays and business trips, an ESTA is often sufficient. An ESTA (Electronic System for Travel Authorisation) is strictly speaking not a visa, but an electronic travel authorisation for the United States. If you want to apply for the ESTA, you must meet the following requirements voldoen.
The ESTA was created in conjunction with the so-called Visa Waiver Program . Travellers with the passport of a participating country are allowed to travel to America with an ESTA. The UK, Ireland, and most other European countries are covered by this scheme. A number of countries outside Europe have also joined the programme. Do you want to know for sure whether you are eligible for an ESTA? Check the list of countries that are connected to the ESTA programme.
The ESTA has a validity period of 2 years. The validity period begins at the time the ESTA application is approved, and the ESTA is issued. During these 2 years, an unlimited number of trips to America are allowed, but each consecutive stay may not exceed 90 days. Do you want to spend more than 90 days in America? With an ESTA, you may travel to America several times. However, you should not leave the country after 90 days and spend another 90 days shortly afterwards. There are no official laws on this, but the U.S. Customs and Border Control (CBP) (CBP) checks every traveller who arrives in the United States. If you are suspected of violating the rules for travelling with an ESTA, CBP may deny you entry into the country.
During the application process, each traveller must upload a photo or scan of their passport. After the application has been approved, the ESTA USA is digitally linked to the passport. The validity of the passport is therefore linked to the validity of the ESTA. If the passport expires, the ESTA will automatically expire as well. Do you still want to travel to the United States? First apply for a new passport and then for a new ESTA.
An ESTA is required for travellers of all ages, including children and infants. Parents can apply for an ESTA for their children and agree to the conditions on their behalf.
Mandatory for business, tourism, and transit trips
There are some conditions relating to the activities you may undertake with an ESTA. An ESTA is intended for tourist and business trips to the United States. It is also suitable for transit. With an ESTA you are not allowed to work, study or live in the USA. In that case, you must apply for a visa.
Make sure you meet the requirements to avoid rejection of your ESTA application, but also to avoid having your ESTA revoked between the time it is granted and your departure.
Safe travel to the US
After the terrorist attacks in America on 11 September 2001, the country increased its security measures for travellers. Since then, it has been compulsory to apply for a travel authorisation, such as an ESTA, before travelling to America. This allows all travellers to be screened by Homeland Security before they arrive in the United States. The purpose of this screening is to exclude travellers who may pose a threat to US security. Due to the large numbers of travellers to the United States, it was decided to introduce a second type of travel authorisation in addition to the visa: the ESTA USA. The ESTA was made available to residents of countries under the Visa Waiver Program, including the UK. The big advantage of the ESTA is that the screening process is fully automated, which means that fewer staff are needed to process applications. For travellers, the ESTA also has several advantages over a visa: the costs are lower, processing is faster, and the application procedure is simpler. Travellers who are not eligible for an ESTA must apply for a visa for the USA.
The requirement to apply for an ESTA before travelling to the USA enables US customs to screen travellers and quickly identify security threats.
There are still some special rules associated with travelling with an ESTA. In the following cases, you do NOT meet the requirements for an ESTA, but you may be eligible for a visa for the United States.
- You want to stay in the United States of America for more than 90 days
- You want to live or study in the USA
- You want to work for an American company
- You have been to Cuba, Syria, Somalia, Sudan, Yemen, Libya, Iran, North Korea or Iraq after 1 March 2011
- You may pose a threat to the law enforcement or security of the United States
Apply for an ESTA now
Do you meet all the above requirements for visa-free travel to America? Then apply for your ESTA by opening the online application form:
Do you need the ESTA as soon as possible? Then you can apply for an urgent ESTA. Urgent applications are approved within an average of 60 minutes, as they are processed immediately. A surcharge of £17,50 per person is applicable. The examination of a regular application takes a little longer. For normal applications, you can expect the result within 72 hours. For every ESTA application it is true that random checks can cause delays of several hours, therefore the mentioned delivery times are no guarantees. After approval, the ESTA is sent by email to the traveller and is electronically linked to the passport.