What is an ESTA - officially: Electronic System for Travel Authorization?International travellers who are seeking to travel to the USA under the Visa Waiver Program (VWP) are now subject to enhanced security requirements and will have to pay an administrative fee. All eligible travellers who plan to travel to the USA under the Visa Waiver Program must apply for travel authorisation. For this reason the US Department of Homeland Security (DHS) introduced an electronic method - ESTA (Electronic System for Travel Authorization). We recommend to apply for ESTA 72 hours prior to departure.
Please consider before applying for ESTA-USA Visa:
- You are a citizen or national of an ESTA Waiver Visa Program country
- You are currently not holding a USA ESTA visitor's visa
- You are planning to stay for 90 days or less
- You plan to travel to the United States for business or pleasure
- You wish to apply for travel authorisation (visa) for one, two or more persons (groups).
Three simple steps to get your ESTA Application
Complete your ESTA Application
Make your payment
Check your status
Member countries of Visa Waiver ProgramAustralia, Austria, Belgium, Brunei, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Monaco, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Portugal, San Marino, Singapore, Slovakia, Slovenia, South Korea, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, United Kingdom
Why do I need an ESTA-Application?
The USA authorities implemented this authorization procedure in order to secure travel for citizens from relevant countries who meet the necessary security standards. Furthermore, it filters those people from the authorization process who do not require thorough examination for their travel to the US - for example, those who do not meet the necessary standards must apply for the official USA Visa.
Why do I need a valid ESTA to travel to the USA?
Today the ESTA-registration has replaced the previous entry form provided on aeroplanes or on ships arriving in the USA.
How long is an ESTA-Authorization for the USA valid?
The approved ESTA is valid for two years or until the expiry date of the passport. Multiple entries to the US are available within this time period.
Do I need an ESTA to transit the US?
Yes - even if you are travelling through the USA for example to Cuba, then you are required to hold a valid ESTA Application.
When did the regulations come into force?
The ESTA (Electronic System for Travel Authorization) was implemented by the Department for Homeland Security (abbreviation: DHS) on 7th November 2008 by law.
When should I register for an ESTA before departing to the USA?
It is advised to apply for an ESTA at least 72 hours beforehand so that in case of rejection you still have time to apply and receive a full US Visa. Please note, that there is no express service for a visa at the US consulate.
My ESTA was approved - what now?
A valid application permits foreigners to travel to the USA within the span of two years for a maximum stay of 90 days. It is important to mention, that a valid ESTA does not guarantee automatic entry on arrival. The final decision to determine whether entry is permitted lies with the border control authorities at the Customer and Border Protection.
Do children also require an ESTA registration?
Children who are traveling to the United States are in need of a valid ESTA, they also need an own digital passport (e-passport) in order to apply for the ESTA.