Traveling is a fun experience that opens up your world in ways you wouldn’t imagine possible. Before landing to the USA, there are certain travel nitty gritties that you have to sort out and get out of the way first.
The Electronic System Travel Authorization is an electronic system that authorizes citizens of countries under the Visa Waiver Program to apply to the United States without a visa ( in other words, without the usual visa processes involved – such processes are waived in favor of the ESTA system). There are currently 38 countries under this program. The UK and Australia are part of this program, as well as most countries in Europe. As a UK citizen, before traveling to the USA, you should make sure that you have an approved ESTA application. More on that below.
The simplest and quickest way to apply for your e visa or ESTA is using the ESTA USA platform. This is an online platform that processes e-visas in just under 5 minutes. Alternatively, you could use the ESTA from UK platform to apply for your e-visa. Like any other application process, there is certain information you would need to provide. For starters, as part of the application process, you should have at the ready your passport details and your personal identification information.
While applying online, you will be asked a series of questions as part of the application process. Upon completion of application and payment of required fees, you will see your ESTA number on screen. This number should be copied down. It is highly recommended to print a copy of your ESTA document. This document will be required upon entry into the USA. It is recommended to apply at least 72 hours before departure into the USA.
It is important to note that should your ESTA application be denied, you would need to then apply for a B-1 Visitor Visa or B-2 Tourist Visa. This is only Plan B though. Your Plan A is to apply for an ESTA visa. Please note that you do not need to go to the US Embassy for this application. The online platforms stated above will suffice, as this process is entirely online and does not require you to set foot in the US Embassy quarters.
Much like the grocery shopping checklist you write with enthusiasm, it helps to have a traveling checklist that ensures you are on the right track. Before you travel to USA, make sure all the required documents are in your possession or that you have the correct information to expedite your application for ESTA document.
What checklist should you have during the application process? Make sure you have the following:
1. Passport details
2. Personal information such as identification documents, contact details
3. Credit card details
Upon completion and confirmation of application:
1. Copy of your ESTA document with your ESTA number printed on it
2. Valid passport
3. Travel information
Now that you have taken care of the administration, enjoy your trip to the USA!