• Substack

The Things You Need to Know About Your ESTA Application

In the past century or so, the USA has emerged as the center of global tourism and economy. It’s only natural that you might want to visit this vast country to see what the hype is all about. For some people, tourism isn’t as much of a concern as business meetings are and they may need to travel to the USA to conduct some business. There are a variety of reasons why people have to apply for a travel or business visa but there’s another much easier method to avoid the hassle of applying for a visa and going through the arduous process. Nationals of a few countries can apply for the ESTA (Electronic System for Travel Authorization), also known as the VWP (Visa Waiver Program). 

By applying for an ESTA, you can travel to the United States for a period of fewer than 90 days for business or tourism. However, there are a lot of doubts and misconceptions prevailing about the application process for this program, and in this article, we’re going to take a look at them and clear them up. So without further delay, let’s find out how the application process works.

Image Source: https://images.unsplash.com/photo-1487637419635-a2a471ff5c7b

1. Check Eligibility

Before you apply under ESTA, you need to check whether or not you’re actually eligible for the program. Many people are surprised to discover that their country isn’t covered under the ESTA, despite being on good terms with the USA. However, the number of countries participating in this program is quite limited and you should check if your country participates in it. 

2. Validity of ESTA

Many people think that their ESTA approval is valid only for a few days until they travel and then it’s invalid. This isn’t the case at all and you should know how to check ESTA status before making any decisions. Your application usually stays valid for a period of 2 years or until your passport expires, whichever is earlier. You can make multiple 90-day trips to the USA if your ESTA is valid and you don’t need to reapply over and over again. 

3. Application Cost

The fee that you have to pay for processing your ESTA application currently stands at $14. This fee is per traveler and you’ll have to submit applications per individual traveler. Once you’ve applied for ESTA, you should keep checking regularly to track your progress because applying doesn’t guarantee that it’ll be approved. If you’re worried about the payment of this $14 charge then you’ll be glad to know that all the major payment methods including Visa, Mastercard, PayPal, and many more are accepted. 

Image Source: https://images.unsplash.com/photo-1581656702382-9ae90e68e7b7

These are some of the most common concerns people have when it comes to the ESTA application process. Traveling to the USA isn’t very difficult if you’re eligible under ESTA and you should definitely use this opportunity rather than applying for a visa which can be cumbersome. Just keep these details in mind while applying and conduct a bit more research to prepare yourself, and you’ll be good to go.

Editorial Disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities. Lifetailored has partnered with Creditcards.com for our coverage of credit card products. Lifetailored and Creditcards.com may receive a commission from card issuers Additional Disclosure: This site has affiliate links. We may be compensated when users make a purchase or register to a third party website. For more details read our privacy policy.

More in Travel