Who needs an ESTA?

The Electronic System for Travel Authorization (ESTA) is a way to determine the traveler’s eligibility to enter the US and make sure that the applicants are not a threat or a security risk. If you are planning to travel to the USA you will need to apply for an ESTA which will allow you to enter the USA for Tourism, Business, Medical or Transit purposes. All citizens holding a valid passport need ESTA to enter the United States of America. ESTA will allow citizens of eligible countries to enter the USA for short stays without a visa for up to 90 days per visit. Citizens of VWP (Visa Waiver program) who are traveling to the USA by land do not need an ESTA, although citizens of the VWP who plan to arrive by sea or air must apply for an ESTA.

I hold a passport from a Visa Waiver country. Do I need to apply for an ESTA?

The Visa Waiver Program consists of 38 eligible countries, citizens of these countries may apply for a Travel Authorization (ESTA) to be able to visit the United States for tourism, medical, transit or business purposes up to 90 days without being obliged to apply for a regular visa at the embassy. All travelers entering the United States (by air or sea) under the visa waiver program are required to hold a valid ESTA travel authorization. The purpose of ESTA is to allow DHS to pre-screen all Visa Waiver Travelers before they leave their respective countries. U.S.-bound travelers are recommended to apply for a Travel Authorization at least 72 hours prior to departure.

I am from a country that is not part of the Visa Waiver Program. Am I eligible to apply for an ESTA?

Visa waiver program consists of the following countries:

Andorra, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Brunei, Chile, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany. Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Monaco, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Poland, Portugal, San Marino, Singapore, Slovakia, Slovenia, South Korea, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Taiwan, and the United Kingdom.

If you are not a citizen of one of the above-mentioned countries, unfortunately, you will not be able to apply for an ESTA and you will have to apply for a visa at the embassy to be able to enter the United States.

Other frequently asked questions

How can I check if my ESTA is still valid?

How to get an ESTA?

What is an ESTA?