Published on: Jun 12, 2018, Last Edited: Mar 18, 2019
A physical ESTA entry form is not available to travelers visiting the United States by air or sea. Instead, applicants must apply for ESTA online. Prior to 2008, applicants could have completed an I-94W for entry into the United States. A physical I-94W form is still used by Customs and Border Protection (CBP) to keep track of the departure and arrival dates of travelers arriving by land across the Mexican and Canadian borders. However, since 2009 eligible travelers arriving by air or sea have been required to obtain either an ESTA online or a USA visa. The ESTA was established in 2007 under the Visa Waiver Program, which was previously formed in 1986. An approved ESTA allows citizens of 38 visa waiver countries the ability to travel to the United States with an electronic travel authorization.
Eligible travelers for the ESTA are those who hold a passport to one of the 38 visa waiver countries and fulfil the required criteria set forth by CBP. New countries are added to the Visa Waiver Program infrequently, yet for an up-to-date list visit https://www.official-esta.com/visa-waiver-program/. There are also additional factors influencing eligibility including passport type, travel purpose, as wel as travel, immigration, criminal and medical history in addition to others. You can check your eligibility for ESTA by visiting: https://www.official-esta.com/requirements-for-esta
Completing an online ESTA entry form is a simple process and must be completed by travelers wishing to travel to the United States for business, tourism or transit purposes. Applicants typical need 15-20 minutes to complete the online entry form and submit it for processing. Decisions are typically made within minutes of completing payment.
Travelers not eligible for ESTA will need to apply for a U.S. visa. U.S. visa applicants can complete the DS-160 visa application form online, however, an interview at a U.S. embassy is a requirement. Applicant embassy appointments may be waived if the applicant has successfully obtained a U.S. visa in the past or the applicant is under the age of 14 or over the age of 80. When scheduling an embassy appointment, the U.S. visa application system will prompt applicants to provide the necessary documentation based on their circumstances.
If you hold a passport from a visa waiver country such as the UK, Ireland, Australia, New Zealand or other Western European Country, you may be eligible to obtain an ESTA for tourist, business, medical or transit purposes. Get started on your application, otherwise, visit the FAQ to learn more about the ESTA