New ESTA Visa Guidelines for USA Travel

Wed, 05/11/2014 - 7:36pm
Read Time: 1.1 mins

If you’re travelling to or via the USA soon, it's highly likely that you will need to complete an ESTA (Electronic System for Visa Authorisation) visa waiver application form - required for all travellers that are from countries that don't require an actual visa, including New Zealand and Australia.

Keep reading for all the information that you need to know.

How do I know if I need an ESTA?

An ESTA application is mandatory for all travel to or via the USA, for countries that are part of the Visa Waiver Program (VWP). This includes New Zealand and Australia. An ESTA is valid for two years and covers multiple entries and must be completed a minimum of three days prior to departure.

Why has the process changed?

The application has changed to enhance the security of the Visa Waiver Program (VWP) and to gather more information about travellers from countries that do not require a visa, including New Zealand and Australia.

What's new?

As of 3rd November 2014, additional requirements include:

- Other names/aliases
- Other citizenships
- Parents name(s)
- U.S contact information (email, phone, points of contact)
- Employment information
- City of birth

If you have an existing ESTA, you may continue to travel to the USA until the ESTA expires or your circumstances change.

When do I have to renew my ESTA?

- Once it has expired (ESTAs are valid for two years)
- If your passport number changes or expires
- If your name changes
- If your gender changes
- If your country of citizenship changes

How do I apply for an ESTA?

The process of applying for the ESTA visa waiver remains the same. At least 3 days prior to your travel, apply online, pay a small fee and print the confirmation of approval. https://esta.cbp.dhs.gov/esta/

For any questions or queries, please contact a Flight Centre travel expert.  Phone 0800 24 35 44.

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