US Visa Online

Online US Visa is a required travel authorization for travelers visiting United States for business, tourism or transit purposes. This online process for Electronic System for Travel Authorization (ESTA) for United States was implemented from 2009 by U.S. Customs and Border Protection.

ESTA is a mandatory requirement for foreign nationals with visa exempt status who are planning to travel to United States by air, land or sea. The electronic authorization is linked electronically and directly to your Passport and is valid for a period of (2) two years.

Applicants of the eligible countries must apply for the ESTA US Visa Application minimum 3 days in advance of the date of arrival.

What is US Visa Online (ESTA)?

America Visa Online (eVisa) is a special way of applying for a visa to enter the United States. It is called US Visa Online (eVisa) because people do not have to go out and apply for a visa at the US embassy, or mail or courier their passport, or visit any government officer.

USA ESTA is a formal document providing the user with consent to travel to United States of America. This document is authorised and approved by US Customs and Border Protection Agency. This provilege is allowed for the citizens of Visa Waiver countries. The duration for which USA ESTA is allowed is for 90 days. Additionally, US Electronic Visa or ESTA is valid for both Air route as well as Sea route to enter United States.

It is an electronic authorization to enter United States like a Tourist Visa but with simpler process and steps. All steps can be done online, which saves time, effort and money. US Government has made it easier and this type of eVisa is an encouragement for transit, tourist and business travelers.

USA Visa Online, or US ESTA, when successfully issued to eligible nationals, is valid for a period of 2 years. In case your passport expires sooner than two years, in that case US ESTA Visa will expire on the date of your passport. Even though US ESTA Visa is valid for two years, the permit to stay with USA is only valid for 90 days consecutively. If the passport is valid for two or more years then you are allowed to enter multiple times over the next two years on US Visa Online.

Where can I apply for a US Visa Online (eVisa)?

Applicants can apply online at US Visa Application Form.

There are many countries around the world that offer eVisa, USA is one of them. You must be from a Visa Waiver Country to be able to procure a America Visa Online (eVisa).

More countries are constantly being added to the list of countries that can avail the benefit to get Electronic US Visa also known as eVisa. US Government considers this a preferred method to apply for a visit to US which is under 90 days.

Immigration officers at C.B.P (Customs and Border Protection) will review your application, and once it is approved, they will send you an email saying that your US Visa Online has been approved. Once this is done, all you are required is to go to the airport. You do not require any stamp on your passport or mail/courier your passport to the embassy. You can catch the flight or cruise ship. To be safe, you can take a print out of the US eVisa that has been emailed to you or you can keep a soft copy on your phone / tablet

Applying for the America Visa Online

The entire process is web-based, from application, payment, and submission to getting notified of the result of the application. The applicant will have to fill the US Visa Application form with relevant details, including contact details, employment details, passport details, and other background information such as health and criminal record.

All persons traveling to United States, regardless of their age, will have to fill this form. Once filled, the applicant will have to make the US Visa Application payment using a credit or debit card or a PayPal account and then submit the application. Most decisions are reached within 48 hours and the applicant is notified via email but some cases may take a few days or a week to process.

It’s best to apply for the US Visa Online as soon as you have finalised your travel plans and no later than 72 hours before your scheduled entry into United States . You will be notified of the final decision by email and in case your application is not approved you might try applying for the United States Visa at your nearest US embassy or consulate.

What will happen after entering my details for US Visa Application?

After you have entered all of your personal information into the US Visa Application Online Form, a Visa Officer from the C.B.P (Customs and Border Protection) will use this information along with security measures around your country of origin and through Interpol databases to decide if the applicant can get the US Visa Online or not. 99.8% applicants are allowed, only a small fraction of people 0.2% that cannot be allowed into a country for eVisa have to apply for a regular paper based visa process through the US Embassy. These people are not eligible for an America Visa Online (eVisa). However, they have the option to re-apply through the US embassy.

Read more at After you apply for US Visa Online: Next steps

America Visa Online purposes

The US Electronic Visa has four types, or in other words, you can apply for the America Visa Online when the purpose of your visit to the country is any one of the following:

  • Transit or layover: If you only plan on catching a connecting flight from the US and do not want to enter US this US Visa Online (eVisa) is ideal for you.
  • Tourist activities: This type of US Visa Online (eVisa) is suitable for those who wish to enter the United States for recreation, sight seeing.
  • Business: If you're planning a short trip from Singapore, Thailand, India etc. to have commercial discussion in the United States then the US Visa Online (eVisa) will allow you entry into the United States for up to 90 days.
  • Work & Visit Family: If you're planning to visit friends or relatives residing in the United States already on a valid visa/residency, then eVisa will allow entry for up to 90 days For those who plan a longer stay such as a whole year in the US we recommend considering US Visa from the Embassy.

Who can apply for America Visa Online?

Passport holders of following nationalities seeking to enter United States for purposes for tourism, transit or business must apply for the US Visa Online and are exempted from obtaining tradition/paper Visa to travel to the Unites States.

Citizens of Canada need only their Canadian Passports to travel to United States. Canadian Permanent Residents, however, may need to apply US Visa Online unless they are already a citizen of one of the below countries.

What are the complete eligibility requirements of US Visa Online?

There are very few criteria for appling for the US Visa online. The prerequisites below should be met by you.

  • You are in possession of a current passport from a nation that is part of Visa-Waiver program.
  • Your journey must be for one of the following three reasons: transit, tourist, or business (e.g., business meetings).
  • To receive the Online US Visa, your email address must be valid.
  • You need to have a Debit or Credit card to make online payment.

The following details are required from US Visa Online applicants while completing the online US Visa Application Form:

  • Name, birthplace, and date of birth are examples of personal data.
  • Passport number, issue date, and expiration date.
  • Information about previous or dual nationality.
  • Contact details like an email and address.
  • Employment information.
  • Parent information.

Things to remember before you apply for the Online US Visa or the US ESTA Travel Authorization

Travellers who want to apply for a US visa online must meet the requirements listed below:

A valid travel-ready passport

The passport of the applicant must remain valid for at least three months after the departure date, which is the day you leave the United States.

In order for a U.S. Customs and Border Protection officer to stamp your passport, there should also be a blank page on it.

You must also have a valid passport, which can be either an ordinary passport or an official, diplomatic, or service passport issued by one of the qualifying nations, since your electronic visa for the United States would be attached to it if it is accepted.

Valid email address

A working email address is necessary since the applicant will obtain USA Visa Online via email. Visitors planning to travel can fill out the form by clicking here to access the US Visa Application Form.

Method for Payment

A valid Credit/Debit card is necessary because the USA Visa Application form is only accessible online and does not have a printed counterpart.

Note: Rarely, the border control may inquire further about the lodging address in order to support the ESTA paperwork needed.

How long does the US Visa Online application or the US ESTA Travel Authorization take to process?

Applying for an US visa online is advised at least 72 hours before your intended entry date.

Validity of the US Visa Online

The maximum validity of the USA Visa Online is two (2) years from the date of issue, or less if the passport it is electronically connected to expires earlier than two (2) years. You are only permitted to stay in the United States for a total of 90 days at a time with an electronic visa, but you are permitted to return to the nation many times while it is still valid.

The length of time you are actually permitted to stay at a time, however, will be determined by the border officials based on the reason for your visit and will be stamped on your passport.

Entry into United States

The US eVisa is a mandatory document that needs to be approved by the U.S. Customs and Border Protection (C.B.P) for any incoming flight into the United States of America. Either you require a physical paper stamp visa on passport or you need an electronic ESTA in digital format to enter USA. Without ESTA, permission to enter United States is denied. Government has recommended this as the preferred method.

Additionally, you will be checked at the US Border for the following:

  • whether your documents are in order including your passport,
  • whether you have any existing health condition,
  • whether you are financially distressed or pose a financial risk,
  • your existing criminal history in USA or overseas prior violation of immigration laws and over staying in any country beyond the visa period

The most convenient mechanism of entering USA as on 2023/2024 is the US Visa Online or ESTA, which is a luxury offerent to Visa Waiver countries for electronic issuance of Visa. You are not required to get a stamp on your physical passport, nor are you expected to courier your passport. Once the eVisa or ESTA is sent to you by email, you will be eligible to board a cruise ship or flight to USA. If you have any doubts, or require clarifications, please contact the help desk or customer support.

Documents that the US Visa Online holders may be asked at the United States border

Means of supporting themselves

The applicant may be asked to provide evidence that they can financially support and sustain themselves during their stay in United States.

Onward/return flight ticket.

The applicant may be required to show that they intend to leave United States after the purpose of trip for which US Visa Online was applied is over.

If the applicant does not have an onward ticket, they may provide the proof of funds and ability to buy a ticket in the future.

2024 Updates for US ESTA Visa

Applicants planning an entry into United States of America must mind the following points:

  • USA Visa Application has undergone minor change this year, the process takes under few minutes to complete
  • A good quality of passport page photo is required to complete the electronic Visa for US
  • Visit to Cuba has been added on the watchlist and questions are asked about previous visit to Cuba
  • Department of Homeland Security (D.H.S.) will allow up to 90 days of visits
  • You must apply for new US ESTA Visa once you are outside the border of USA, ESTA cannot be renewed when inside USA
  • If you have multiple passports, then you must travel on the passport used to fill the ESTA Application
  • Note the important information if your name has changed after you are issued ESTA Visa such as after marriage
  • Apply few days in advance of your trip as it can take a few days of processing time
  • Lastly, read about how to avoid rejection of US Visa