The Electronic System for Travel Authorization or ESTA is an authorization system that determines whether non-US citizens are eligible for entering the country. Anyone traveling to the US by Sea or Air and is from the VWP eligible countries is required to obtain an ESTA. This is quite beneficial as you get to know your immigration status before you even book a ticket. It will also help reduce costs incurred if you are not approved i.e flight, car hire and hotel booking.
However, it is important to note that just because you have been approved for USA ESTA doesn’t ascertain entry. It only shows that you are entitled to travel to the United States and the ultimate decision for entry will be made by the Customs & Border Protection Officer. Majority of people usually gain entry, unless they haven’t reported any criminal convictions.
When applying for ESTA, expect to pay around $14. $4 is the cost of application while $10 goes towards United States Tourism. If you application happens to be rejected, you will only be charged $4 and the rest will be credited to your payment card. There are numerous sites that offer ESTA application services, but it is advisable to use the Department of Homeland & Security site only for applications. This helps ensure that you have made a legal application and avoid the extra charges that a third party website might add. MasterCard, American Express and Visa payments are all accepted for the application.
The application process might seem complicated, but that could not be further from the truth. If you have all the information in handy, the process takes around 5 minutes to complete. The site is not the most well designed, but you can choose to have the text translated to various languages.
Keep in mind that it is essential to complete the USA ESTA application before you book your flight or holiday in order to save money in case of rejection. You’ll be required to fill your Passport details, your US and Native country contact details including the address of the residence in US. You will also be asked to fill your flight number, airline as well as departure airport. Do not worry about information regarding where you will be staying as it can be amended afterwards.
When filling the USA ESTA form, keep in mind it needs to be filed on an individual basis and not in group form. However, you can apply on behalf of another person.
Head over to https://www.usaesta.co.uk for more information.