Guide to Applying for ESTA for USA Travel

When you are not a citizen of USA and you think of going there, you must have an idea about how hard it is to undergo the entire process and acquiring requirements. But thanks to ESTA, because a system called ESTA or Electronic System for Travel Authorization is there to make the process easy and swift for you. It is designed to make assessment on the travelers before they are permitted to go to US. Not all non-US citizens are qualified to apply for this, since this is only for those countries under the so-called Visa Waiver Program (VWP). Visa Waiver Program allows the citizens of countries included in an agreement with US to enter the US territory without using visa.

The application process is simple and easy to complete, as it is just a four-step process. Applicants can go through the process anywhere and anytime because the system can be accessed online and there’s no need to go to the U.S. Embassy. The first step is to fill out the application form thoroughly and it’s important for the passport to be readily available as some details from it will be required. The next step is to just complete the application form before submitting then it’s followed by paying the processing fee, which is only $4. Most feedback and messages regarding the application are sent back as soon as a few minutes, but some applications may take 72 hours before the applicant will hear about the result. An approved application may move on to the next processes but a $10 processing fee will be asked by then.

If the result is negative, the traveler is still allowed to travel to U.S. using a visitor visa for being rejected from ESTA. This means that the traveler is not granted with the benefit of VWP. Recent changes to the program, though, could possibly explain why the ESTA USA won’t be approved. First amendment provides that citizens of countries included in VWP but have dual citizenship with Iraq, Sudan, Iran or Syria and even if they do not hold passport under the mentioned countries are not permitted to take entry using VWP and they should have to acquire a visitor visa.

Another change of the program bans the people from countries under VWP and had traveled to Iran, Iraw, Syria or Sudan on March 1, 2011 and onwards from entering US territory without visitor visa. However, there is an exception to those who visited the said countries through active military services. Although some technicalities make the process difficult, the ESTA USA method helps lessen the hassle of applying for travel to the U.S.