A Simple ESTA Guide for First-time Applicants

Guide for a First-time Applicants

If you are planning to visit the U.S., chances are, you have already come across esta or Electronic System for Travel Authorization. If you are not sure how to obtain it, below is a simple guide to help you apply for the travel authorization.

When to Apply

You can apply anytime before you travel. It is wise, however, to submit your application as soon as you start planning your travel. Keep in mind that specific travel plans to the U.S. are not required before applying for an ESTA.

Citizens of any country under the Visa Waiver Program (VWP) who are traveling to the U.S. must apply for this travel authorization. It includes the children, as well as the infants (both ticketed and non-ticketed). You can submit your application or have it done by a third party, which includes a relative, friend, or a travel agent. Although, you are responsible for the truthfulness of your application.

Emergency travelers and last minute applicants can be accepted if the traveler that is traveling under VWP has arrived at the airport without an approved travel authorization.

Applying for ESTA

The application can be made online, and each applicant has a separate application. Although some online application sites are available in a different language, applicants should answer online in English, and make sure to answer all mandatory fields that are marked by an asterisk (*).
Here is a quick step-by-step procedure for an esta application

Information of the applicants
Travel information
Questions for the eligibility
Application review

Application Outcome

After completing the form, you will be notified if you are eligible to go to the U.S. under the VWP. Responses are quick most of the time, and you may receive one of the three answers:

Authorization Approved: This authorizes you to travel to the U.S. However, it can’t guarantee your entry to the country.

Authorization Pending: You may need to check the website back for updates within three days for the final response.

Travel Not Authorized: This means that you need to get a U.S. Visa to travel to the country. However, you may reapply for esta after 24 hours, although the chances of getting denied are high unless your circumstances have improved since your last application.

Traveling to the U.S. should be hassle-free. Get an esta now and fly to one of your dream destinations!