Apply for USA ESTA Visa Today

ESTA, an automated system, evaluates eligibility for US travel under the Visa Waiver Program (VWP) and assesses security and law enforcement concerns. Travellers receive notifications of their VWP eligibility after completing the ESTA application.

Apply for USA ESTA Visa Today

Mandatory ESTA Application for VWP Travelers to the United States

The article states that all eligible nationals or citizens of Visa Waiver Program (VWP) countries must obtain authorization through the Electronic System for Travel Authorization (ESTA) before travelling to the United States for temporary business or leisure. 

This requirement applies to both accompanied and unaccompanied children, regardless of their age. A third party, such as a family member or travel agent, may submit the ESTA application on behalf of a VWP traveller.

ESTA requirements for VWP travellers

To be eligible for ESTA, VWP travellers must:

  • Be a citizen of a VWP country.
  • Have a valid passport from their home country with a validity extending at least six months beyond their intended departure date from the US, unless their nation has a specific agreement with the United States.
  • Be travelling to the United States for temporary business or leisure for a period of 90 days or less.
  • Not have a criminal record.
  • Not be inadmissible to the United States on any other grounds.

How to apply for ESTA

VWP travellers can apply for ESTA online at the official ESTA website. The application process is relatively straightforward and takes only a few minutes to complete. Applicants will need to provide their personal information, passport information, and travel plans.

ESTA approval

Once an ESTA application is submitted, it will be reviewed by the U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP). Most ESTA applications are approved within a few hours or days. However, some applications may take longer to review, and some applications may be denied.

Travelling to the United States with ESTA

VWP travellers who have been approved for ESTA must still present their valid passport and ESTA approval upon arrival in the United States. CBP officers will review the traveller's documents and determine whether to allow them entry into the United States.

Instructions for Completing the ESTA Visa Application Online

The process of filling out the ESTA visa application online involves a series of ten steps, which are outlined below for your convenience.

  • Visit the Official Website

Access the ESTA application exclusively via the internet. You will need a computer with an internet connection and can find the official website, hosted by the Department of Homeland Security.

  • Validate Access to the Form

Upon visiting the ESTA form webpage, you can initiate the application process. The website offers comprehensive information and online assistance to guide you through the form completion process.

  • Choose Your Option

From the homepage, you'll find various options to proceed:

- Access a new form for an individual request

- Access a new form for a group request

- Take over an existing individual or group request

  • Accept Waivers and Terms

Before beginning the questionnaire, you must read and agree to two screens of online statements. To gain access to the form, you need to confirm your understanding and acceptance by checking "Yes, I have read and understood the information and I accept the conditions" on each relevant page.

  • Provide Applicant's Data

The first section of the form requires the applicant's personal information for identification purposes. This includes details like:

- Full name

- Date and place of birth

- Passport number and validity dates

- Citizenship and nationality information

Since December 2022, applicants must upload a valid US passport directly online, which is automatically processed to verify the traveller's identity.

  • Check Your Email

After verifying your information, you must check your provided email address. Upon validation, you will receive an automatic email containing a 4-digit number. This code is valid for 25 minutes and should be entered on the screen to proceed to the form's next stage.

  • Complete Personal Identity Information
  • Fill in Travel Information
  • Answer Liability Questions

The final section of the ESTA form involves answering specific questions for which you must respond with either YES or NO.

Additional Travel Documents Required for Entry into the United States

While you may be eligible for the Visa Waiver Program (VWP), it's important to note that, to enter the United States, you must possess a valid passport from your home country. 

Additionally, unless your nation has a specific agreement with the United States, your passport must have a validity extending at least six months beyond your intended departure date from the US.

Upon your arrival in the US, officials at your designated port of entry will issue you a Form I-94W, which serves as an electronic record of your entry date.

In addition to a valid passport and Form I-94W, travellers to the United States may also need to present additional travel documents, depending on the purpose of their travel. For example, travellers who intend to work in the United States will need to have a valid work visa. 

Travellers who intend to study in the United States will need to have a valid student visa. Travellers who are seeking medical treatment in the United States may need to have a letter from their doctor stating that they require medical treatment in the United States.

The Operation of the ESTA Visa System

For travellers under the Visa Waiver Program, the process involves applying for and obtaining an approved travel authorization through ESTA before boarding a flight or vessel headed to the United States.

In the majority of cases, ESTA applicants will promptly receive notification regarding the status of their travel application for the United States. Individuals who are denied an ESTA will be directed to pursue a visa application at the nearest U.S. consulate or embassy.

ESTA Application After Visa Denial

The article states that if an individual's visa application has been denied, it is highly likely that their subsequent ESTA application will also be denied. Once a person is deemed ineligible for ESTA, the chances of regaining eligibility in the future are minimal. While the government does have the authority to reconsider this decision, such reversals are infrequent occurrences.

Why are ESTA applications denied after a visa denial?

There are a few reasons why ESTA applications are often denied after a visa denial:

  • Concerns about immigration intent: When a person's visa application is denied, it may be because the consular officer has concerns about their immigration intent. This means that the consular officer believes that the person intends to stay in the United States permanently, even though they have only applied for a temporary visa.
  • Concerns about inadmissibility: A person may also be denied an ESTA application if they are inadmissible to the United States. Inadmissibility grounds include having a criminal record, having a communicable disease, or having committed fraud in connection with a previous visa application. If a person was denied a visa on the basis of inadmissibility, it is likely that they will also be denied an ESTA application.

What can I do if my ESTA application is denied after a visa denial?

If your ESTA application is denied after a visa denial, you have a few options:

  • Reapply for a visa: You can reapply for a visa, but you will need to address the reasons why your previous visa application was denied. You may also want to consider working with an immigration attorney to help you with your visa application.
  • Apply for a waiver of inadmissibility: If you were denied a visa on the basis of inadmissibility, you may be able to apply for a waiver of inadmissibility. This is a complex process, and you may want to work with an immigration attorney to help you with your application.
  • Travel to a different country: If you are unable to obtain an ESTA or a visa to the United States, you may be able to travel to a different country. There are a number of countries that offer visa-free travel to Indian citizens.

Countries Included in the Visa Waiver Program (VWP)

The following countries are part of the Visa Waiver Program (VWP):





San Marino


















Korea, Republic of

New Zealand
















Taiwan, Province of


What is an ESTA visa?

ESTA stands for the Electronic System for Travel Authorization. It is not a visa but an automated system that determines the eligibility of visitors to travel to the United States under the Visa Waiver Program (VWP).

Who is eligible to apply for an ESTA visa?

Citizens of Visa Waiver Program (VWP) countries are eligible to apply for an ESTA to travel to the USA for tourism, business, or transit purposes.

Which countries are part of the Visa Waiver Program?

VWP includes 39 countries, such as the United Kingdom, Germany, France, Japan, and many others. It's essential to check the current list as it may change.

How do I apply for an ESTA visa?

To apply for an ESTA, visit the official Customs and Border Protection website and complete the online application form. You will need to provide personal information, travel details, and passport information.

What is the processing time for an ESTA application?

Typically, ESTA applications are processed quickly, and you will receive a response within minutes. It's advisable to apply at least 72 hours before your trip to the USA.

Is an approved ESTA authorization a guarantee of entry into the USA?

No, an approved ESTA authorization only determines your eligibility to board a carrier for travel to the USA. The final decision for entry is made by Customs and Border Protection officers upon arrival.

How long is an ESTA authorization valid?

An approved ESTA is generally valid for two years from the date of approval or until your passport expires, whichever comes first. You can use it for multiple trips within this period.

Can I update my ESTA application if my travel plans change?

Yes, you can update your ESTA application to reflect changes in your travel plans or contact information. It's advisable to keep your information up-to-date.