What is ESTA to the USA?

Are you planning to visit the United States in the near future?

This article will walk you through all the necessary information you need to know about ESTA. ESTA is the abbreviation for Electronic System for Travel Authorization. As the name suggests, it is an online application system developed by the government of the US as a double security check procedure.

ESTA Application

Here is a step by step guide to help you with the ESTA application process:

  1. Keep your passport and credit card handy before filling out the form.
  2. Go to the official ESTA website, https://esta.cbp.dhs.gov/esta/
  3. Click on New Application and then click Individual Application, in case you’re applying for just one traveller, or Group of Application in case of many.
  4. All the information marked with a red asterisk is mandatory to be filled in.
  5. After filling out all the details, you’ll be direct to answer some security questions.
  6. Once you’ve completed this, you’ll be directed to the payment page where you’ll be required to pay an amount of $ 14..

ESTA to the USA requirements

  • Although ESTA is not a Visa, you are required to apply for it in case the United States is the only country you’re traveling to. With the help of ESTA, the traveller is pre-screened even before he leaves for the United States to check if he’s eligibility to travel to the country.
  • Whether the traveller is an adult or a child, he must apply for an ESTA. For this, it’s important that he possesses a valid passport from a Visa Waver Country.
  • 38 countries are currently part of the Visa Waver Program that waves off its citizens the mandate of have obtaining a US visa.
  • To apply for a ESTA, the traveller must not have a visitor’s visa and his purpose of travel must be for business or travel, wherein he intends to stay for a period not more than 90 days.

US Visa requirements

  • Any individual of a foreign origin, intending to visit the United State must apply for a US Visa. The type of visa to be applied depends on the nature of his stay.
  • In case your ESTA is denied or you do not qualify for the VWP, you are required to apply for a US Visa.
  • If the individual in from a country that participates in Visa Waver Programme, but you’re not traveling to the United States for the purpose of business or pleasure, and intend to stay for more than 90 days, you should apply for a US Visa.
  • If the purpose of your travel is tourism, business, studies or anything else that required you to stay in the country only for a particular period of time and to complete a task during your stay, you are required to apply for a Non-immigrant Visa.
  • In case the individual is seeking to reside in the country permanently, he must apply for an Immigrant Visa.

US Visa Application Form

Here is how to fill out the DS – 160 Non-immigrant Visa application form :

  • Select the location of where you Visa to submit your application.
  • If you’re applying for the first time, click on Start New Application button.

Fill in the required information :

  1. Personal 1
  2. Personal 2
  3. Address and phone number
  4. Passport details
  5. Travel details
  6. Travel companions
  7. Previous US travel details
  8. US contact
  9. Family
  10. Work/ education/ training details
  11. Security check
  12. Background details
  • Make sure to click on Save Application before moving on to the next session.
  • After filling in all the mandatory information, you will be directed to the page where you need to upload your photo. Ensure that the size of the photo does not exceed 240 KB.
  • Click on Save to application. Now, click on Review to review the same. If you want to make any changes in the previous sessions, click Edit and make the necessary changes. Save the application once you’re done.
  • Finally, you come to sign the application page where you are expected to enter your passport number and click on confirm.
  • In the confirmation page, you get an option to take a print of your application form. Ensure to take this printout along with you while you go in for the visa interview.