Travelling to the United States? Apply for an ESTA!
When you think about travelling to the United States, a few things spring to mind. Picking a destination to travel to, booking flights, booking accommodation and applying for a visa. Oh, the joys!
Today, you have one less thing to stress about. When travelling to the United States, citizens of 38 countries can apply for an ESTA. The ESTA or Electronic System for Travel Authorisation is a resource issued by the US government under the Visa Waiver Programme. It means that those eligible can enter the US without a visa.
Basically, those that are lucky enough, complete an application form online, which takes around 30 minutes. The only criteria are that the applicant is from one of the countries listed and have an electronic passport.
Once the ESTA application has been approved, the ESTA is valid for two years. Within that time frame, travellers that hold an ESTA can travel to the US as many times as they wish. Bare in mind, that you must not stay in the US more than 90 days. Also, if your passport expires before the two-year period; the ESTA will also expire as it is synchronised with your passport.
The ESTA is available to anyone seeking to enter the US as a tourist or anyone that has business to attend to. Students and workers are not eligible and must apply for a visa.
It is important to note that if you’re planning on travelling to the US, that you should apply for the ESTA at least 72 hours before you fly. Some applications may take this long to be processed.
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