Updated 01 March 2017
Disclaimer: This FAQ does not constitute visa advice. Visa advice can be obtained from the US Department of Homeland Security or US Consulate.
The Visa Waiver Program (VWP) enables most citizens or nationals of participating countries to travel to the United States for tourism or business for stays of 90 days or less without obtaining a visa, when they meet all requirements. Travelers must have a valid Electronic System for Travel Authorization (ESTA) approval prior to travel. The ESTA is a pre-screen for passengers that intend to visit the USA on the visa waiver program.
To find out if you are permitted to travel under the visa waiver program, please refer to this website: travel.state.gov/content/visas/en/visit/visa-waiver-program.html
Note: An approval given under the ESTA does not guarantee entry to the United States.
How do I apply for an ESTA?
Logon to: https://esta.cbp.dhs.gov
What information is required to obtain an ESTA?
- Name, nationality and date of birth
- Passport details
- Convictions, arrests or any communicable diseases
- Previous visa denial or denial of entry
*Please note: Legislation passed in the US in December 2015 places restrictions on travellers with certain dual citizenship. If you have a dual citizenship of certain countries you may not be able to visit the US under the visa waiver program. You may have to apply for a visitor visa. This applies even if you are travelling solely on your visa waiver eligible passport. In addition, people of any nationality who have visited Iraq, Iran, Syria or Sudan since 01 March 2011, in any capacity may also be required to obtain a visa. For more information, please contact your nearest US consulate.
When should I apply?
You must apply no less than 72 hours before you travel. However, if you know you will be travelling to the United States within the next 12 months, it is recommended you apply early in case you need to apply for a visitor visa. A visitor visa can take weeks or even months.
What if my itinerary details change? Can I update the ESTA?
Yes. Once you have obtained your ESTA you will be given instructions for how to update it.
Does the ESTA document expire?
An approved ESTA is valid for two years but must be renewed / re-done before expiration if:
- The traveller’s passport changes / expires
- The traveller’s name or gender changes
- The traveller’s citizenship changes
Can my travel consultant help me?
Each adult travelling should complete their own authorisation and the appropriate parent / guardian should complete it for each child and infant.
Providing false information when applying for an ESTA can make you permanently ineligible to visit the United States. As such it is extremely important that you carefully read the questions so you completely understand the information you are expected to provide.
Note: If you have ever been denied a visa to the USA, you cannot visit the US under the visa waiver program. You must apply for a visitor visa
For detailed information and FAQ – Please refer to: https://esta.cbp.dhs.gov