ESTA is an automated system that evaluates whether visitors to the United States are eligible to travel under the Visa Waiver Program (VWP). The ESTA authorization does not determine whether a traveler is accepted to the US. When tourists arrive in the United States, Customs and Border Protection personnel verify their admissibility.
The ESTA application gathers biographic data as well as responses to VWP eligibility questions. ESTA applications can be submitted at any time before a trip, however it is encouraged that tourists apply as soon as they start planning their trip or purchase plane tickets.
All ESTA applications are made online.
Typically, you will receive a decision within 72 hours however occasionally it may take longer should you answer yes to any of the eligibility questions.
Your ESTA will either be valid for 2 years or until your passport expires, whichever event occurs first.
An ESTA is an electronic travel authorization that is digitally linked to your passport. You can print out your approved ESTA document for you records, but it is not required for your travel.
Yes, you will need an ESTA if you are travelling into the USA for any reason
Yes, you need an ESTA whether you are travelling via air, land or sea.
Yes, every individual requires an ESTA regardless of their age
You cannot renew an ESTA. You must just re-apply and this will over-write your previous ESTA and be valid from the date you apply.
No you are not permitted to work with an ESTA, you will need to apply for a work visa.
In this instance, you would need to start the process for a full visa and legal advice should be sought. You can book a consultation with a U.S. immigration attorney on our site if you want expert guidance for your application. You can apply for this here and select the appropriate visa from the drop-down menu.