ESTA: What Exactly do You Need to Know
Any travellers among you that are planning a trip to the United States of America soon will need to know all about ESTA. ESTA stands for Electronic System for Travel Authorisation and it is the way travellers from visa waiver countries, like the UK, have of registering when they travel to the United States.
Simple 5 Step Process
Certain coutries have healthy diplomatic ties with the United States and consequently the citizens of these countries can avail of the USA's visa waiver program. This is good news as it eliminates the need to go through an arduous visa application process at the US embassy. However, under ESTA, those eligible for a visa waiver must register and apply for authorisation to enter the States so that the US government are aware of your plan to visit.
ESTA is very easy to complete and consists of a 5 step process that can be carried out online from the comfort of your home. The first step is to fill in the online application form and then hit submit to complete the second step. For step 3, carefully take note of your application number for future correspondance. The 4th step is the payment stage and if approved to enter the States the traveller must pay a fee of $14.
For those of you from the UK, it is highly unlikely that your application will be rejected unless you have had issues in the United States during a previous visit or if you have a criminal record in the UK. If for any reason your application is rejected then you will be charged $4.
Fifth and Final Step
Once you have completed the ESTA payment step then you have arrived at the fifth and final step, checking on the status of your application. You need to use your application number you jotted down in step 3 and once your status is changed from pending to approved then your application will be valid for two years from that date.