Online ESTA Application Form for the United States

The United States established a travel authorization system for its Visa Waiver program, in order to ensure visa-free travel is more secure.
ESTA - the electronic system for travel authorization, allows nationals of countries that participate in the Visa Waiver program to fill out the online application form to obtain their authorized ESTA in minutes.

Is a online applied ESTA the same as a USA Visa?

An ESTA authorization is not a visa—merely a preclearance to travel under the Visa Waiver program, which is designed to allow travellers to bypass the visa process.
An ESTA authorization is not equivalent to a United States visa, and cannot be substituted for a visa in situations where a visa for travel is required. If you do possess a valid visa for travel to the United States, a travel authorization through ESTA is not required: you can travel legally to and from the United States on that visa.

ESTA Online Application Process, Benefits and Requirements:

The major selling point of the ESTA under the VWP is the ease and convenience it allows visitors to board a flight bound for the US. The ESTA is the best alternative for visitors who are staying in the US for up to 90 days or approximately 3 months. It is suitable for following situations:

  • Businessmen, professionals and students who travel to the US for meetings, conferences, or study and internship programs can secure the ESTA instead of a visa.
  • Those with families in the US who need to visit them under emergency conditions as well as those travelling last minute can easily board a US-bound carrier with just the ESTA.
  • Tourists who wish to visit the country for a couple of weeks and who do not wish to be bothered with the requirements and process of visa application can opt for the ESTA instead.

The ESTA can be applied online and requirements are fewer than those needed for a visa so those who do not have the time to do the paperwork for a visa can apply for the ESTA. Applicants only need to prepare an electronic passport, a credit card to pay the processing fee of the ESTA application, and the application form that is available online on the ESTA website.

The form contains basic personal and security questions, as well as questions about the travel to the US. However, compared to applying for a visa, one need not yet present a final travel itinerary or hotel reservations yet when applying for the ESTA. Other details can be inputted anytime even when the authorization has already been granted. This can save visitors from unnecessary costs should they need to make changes in their travel details.


ESTA denied? Apply for a USA Visa

If your application has been denied, you should not reapply unless something in your circumstances has changed sufficiently to impact your traveller status, any reapplication to ESTA will give you the same result: a denial of the application to travel under the Visa Waiver program.

It is extremely inadvisable, as well, to offer false or incomplete information to the ESTA process in order to change a result: this will revoke your eligibility for the Visa Waiver program permanently.

But you can still proceed with your travel plans by applying to the standard visa process at your closest US Embassy or Consulate. ESTA only evaluates your eligibility for the Visa Waiver program, not for overall travel to the United States, and a denial for ESTA authorization does not constitute a denial of entry to the United States.

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