FAQS

  • What is ESTA?

    ESTA stands for the Electronic System for Travel Authorization. It is an online application system developed by the American Government to screen travelers before they enter the United States. It provides a convenient way of applying for entry authorization without the need to visit a US Diplomatic Office. Only citizens of the Visa Waiver Program countries can apply for authorization using the ESTA system.

  • Who needs to apply for ESTA?

    Anyone who is a citizen of one of the Visa Waiver Program countries. This currently covers the following countries:

    • Andorra
    • Australia
    • Austria
    • Belgium
    • Brunei
    • Czech Republic
    • Denmark
    • Estonia
    • Finland
    • France
    • Germany
    • Greece
    • Hungary
    • Iceland
    • Ireland
    • Italy
    • Japan
    • Latvia
    • Liechtenstein
    • Lithuania
    • Luxembourg
    • Monaco
    • Netherlands
    • New Zealand
    • Norway
    • Portugal
    • Republic of Malta
    • San Marino
    • Singapore
    • Slovakia
    • Slovenia
    • South Korea
    • Spain
    • Sweden
    • Switzerland
    • Taiwan
    • United Kingdom
  • What other criteria do I need to meet?
    • Your visit to the United States must be for not more than 90 days; and
    • Must be for business, pleasure or simply for transit; and
    • You must have a valid passport issued by one of the Visa Waiver Program countries as listed above; and
    • You must have a return or onward ticket.
  • How long is ESTA valid for?

    ESTA remains valid for 2 years or until your current passport expires, whichever is sooner.

  • How much does the ESTA cost?

    ESTA Travel Visa  charge $65 to process each ESTA application. This fee includes a disbursement of $14USD paid by us to the US Government on your behalf.

     
  • I have lost my ESTA details, do I need to re-apply?

    If you have applied for your ESTA through ESTA Visa Services you can submit your details in the ‘Retrieve ESTA’ form and we will retrieve your ESTA and forward it to you free of charge. If you are not an existing customer of ESTA Visa Services there is a $15.00 charge for this service.

  • Do I need to apply for ESTA even if I am not staying but just passing through the US?

    Yes. You still need to get authorization.

  • I have lost my ESTA details, do I need to re-apply?

    If you have applied for your ESTA through ESTA Visa Services you can submit your details in the ‘Retrieve ESTA’ form and we will retrieve your ESTA and forward it to you free of charge. If you are not an existing customer of ESTA Visa Services there is a $15.00 charge for this service.

  • Do I need to apply for ESTA even if I am not staying but just passing through the US?

    Yes. You still need to get authorization.

  • What should I do if the information on my passport has changed?

    If you obtain a new passport or there is a change to your passport information, you must apply for a new ESTA and pay the associated fees. The previous application will be cancelled. Before you submit your application you will be given the opportunity to double check all data entered, so please take the time to check it carefully to prevent problems later on.

     
  • What information can I update?

    Prior to submitting an ESTA with the required payment information, you can update all application data fields. Once an application is complete and submitted with all the required payment information, you can only update the following fields:

    •     E-mail address
    •     Telephone number
    •     Travel information
    •     Address while in the United States

     

    If any of the information listed above changes, please inform us using the Contact Us page.
    If you discover you have made a mistake on your ESTA application form that is not covered/listed above and is integral to the application, for example biographical or passport data, another application will need to be made, which will unfortunately carry the full charge for the application.

     

  • My ESTA has been disapproved. What do I need to do?

    If your application has not been accepted by the ESTA system, you must obtain a visa to enter the US. If you are rejected you will receive a FULL REFUND of the fees that you have paid to us and we will advise you on the procedure for applying to the US Embassy for a formal Type B2 Tourist Visa or a Type B1 Business Visa.

  • How can I find out the reason an ESTA was denied?

    The United States’ DHS (Department of Homeland Security) has carefully developed the ESTA program to ensure that only those individuals who are ineligible to travel to the United States under the Visa Waiver Program or those whose travel would impose a law enforcement or security risk are refused a travel authorization. There is a governing body that you can contact to enquire about your refused ESTA called DHS Traveler Redress Inquiry Program (TRIP) www.dhs.gov/dhs-trip however, there are no guarantees that a request for redress through DHS TRIP will resolve the Visa Waiver Program ineligibility that caused an applicant’s ESTA application to be denied.

    Please note that Embassies and Consulates are not able to provide details about ESTA denials or resolve the issue that caused the ESTA denial. Embassies and Consulates will be able to process an application for a non-immigrant visa that, if approved, will be the only way that a traveler whose ESTA application has been denied would be authorized to travel to the United States.
  • Is ESTA a visa type?

    ESTA is not a visa. It does not guarantee you entry to the US. It states that you are eligible to travel to the US under the VMP program. Your successful admission will be subject to the US Customs and Border Protection officers’ inspection and discretion. The US Customs and Border Protection officers at a port of entry have legal powers to declare an individual inadmissible under the Visa Waiver Program for any reason.

  • How long does it take to process?

    The electronic checks against the central database can take a matter of seconds to complete, and in most successful cases this applies. However, some applications will require deeper, non-automated checks to be performed, which could result in a delay of up to 72 hours. It is therefore advisable not to leave applications until the last minute if at all possible.

    How are “business” and “pleasure” defined?
     
    “Business” does not include performing actual productive work, study or training. To qualify for the ESTA, business can include looking for work, pitching one’s services, representing one’s company, looking at potential universities, etc. “Pleasure” is sightseeing, tourism, attending sporting or artistic events, etc.
  • Will a criminal record affect my application?

    It depends on the crime. Minor crimes such as some driving offences will probably be overlooked by the system, but convictions, arrests or charges for more serious crimes could disqualify an applicant from using the ESTA. This does not necessarily mean that you will not be able to travel to the USA, just that you might not be able to use this fast-track system and that you will need to apply for a visa by going to your nearest US Embassy.

  • How long does the ESTA Travel Authorization last?

    You have two years to travel to the USA without a visa once you have been accepted for ESTA.

    We will even email you a month before expiry to remind you to renew your ESTA but please make sure you let us know if you change your email address!
     
  • Am I guaranteed entry to the USA if I get an ESTA Authorization?

    No, authorization to travel under ESTA does not guarantee that you will be allowed entry into the US. It is up to an official at the US port or airport of entry to determine finally whether you are allowed entry into the US.

  • Can I track the progress of my application?

    No, you cannot track the progress of your application but most applications are instantly accepted (some do take a little longer – up to 72 hours). You will be emailed the result of your acceptance or rejection along with your authorisation number as soon as it is processed. If you are rejected you will receive a FULL REFUND of the fees that you have paid to us and we will advise you on the procedure for applying to the US Embassy for a formal Type B2 Tourist Visa or a Type B1 Business Visa.