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If you plan to enter the United States with a passport from a Visa Waiver Programme country, you are required to meet certain conditions. The first is to apply for an ESTA online. ESTA is short for Electronic System for Travel Authorisation, and it is a travel permit like a USA electronic visa. Online applications can be completed at USA ESTA (usaesta.co.uk). Please note that only about three dozen countries participate in the Visa Waiver Programme.*

Once you are granted an ESTA visa, you are ready to travel to the US. You can stay in the US for up to 90 days for business, pleasure, or transit. 

USA ESTA (ESTA Visa) (usaesta.co.uk) is a private website. We are not affiliated with any government agency. We provide assistance to foreigners requiring correct documentation to enter the United States by air or sea, and we help them get their ESTA Visa USA. Our service fees are $72 US Dollars, which includes the $14 fee of the United States government. You are welcome to use our USA ESTA service or you can visit the websites of the US State Department and the Department of Homeland Security and apply there for a smaller fee. The US government website can be found at CBP.gov.

Understanding ESTA

In order to enter the United States, travellers from a Visa Waiver Programme country must request an ESTA, the Electronic System for Travel Authorization. The ESTA has been mandatory since 2009.

The Visa Waiver Programme (VWP) is managed by the US Department of Homeland Security, the equivalent of the UK’s Home Office. Previously passengers travelling with the VWP were asked to fill out a green I-94W paper form, but now everything is done online prior to travel. Essentially, the ESTA is online travel authorisation issued by the VWP.

ESTA is the system used by the US to determine if a passenger is fit to enter the country. This information is subsequently communicated to the Computer System Advanced Vector (APIS), used by airline carriers to allow authorized passengers to board their US-bound flights. Passengers with an ESTA can travel across the US for up to 90 days. The ESTA is valid for 2 years from issuance, unless you have a new passport, or have changed your name or gender. Your ESTA will have the words “Authorization Approved” on it.

 Obtaining an ESTA is quicker and cheaper than acquiring a full visa. To apply for a full visa, you must go to the US Embassy by appointment. To apply for USA ESTA, you simply fill out an online form.