US Visa Online Frequently Asked Questions

Do I need ESTA US Visa?

Starting from January 2009, US ESTA (Electronic Sytem for Travel Authorization) is required for travelers visiting United States for business, transit or tourism visits. There are about 39 countries that are allowed travel to United States without a paper visa, these are called Visa-Free or Visa-Exempt. Citizens from these countries can travel/visit United States for periods of upto 90 days on an ESTA.

Some of these countries include the United Kingdom, all European Union member states, Australia, New Zealand, Japan, Taiwan.

All the nationals from these 39 countries, will now require a US Electronic Travel Authorisation. In other words, it is mandatory for citizens of the 39 visa-exempt countries to obtain US ESTA online before traveling to United States.

Canadian citizens and United States citizens are exempt from ESTA requirement. Canadian Permanent Residents are eligiblle for ESTA US Visa if they are a passport holder of one of the other visa-exempt countries.

When does ESTA US Visa expire?

The US ESTA visa will be valid for a period of upto two (2) years from date of issue or until the date of Passport expiry, whichever date comes first and can be used for multiple visits.

USA ESTA Visa can be used for tourist, transit or business visits and you can stay for upto ninety (90) days.

How long can the visitor stay in the United States on the ESTA US Visa?

The visitor can stay up to ninety (90) days in United States on the US ESTA but the actual duration would depend on the purpose of their visit and would be decided and stamped on their passport by the U.S. Customs and Border Protection officer at the airport.

Is ESTA US Visa valid for multiple visits?

Yes, US Electronic Travel Authorization is valid for multiple entries during the period of its validity.

What is the eligibility requirement for USA ESTA?

Countries which did not require a United States Visa i.e. formerly Visa Free nationals, are required to obtain ESTA US Visa in order to enter United States.

It is compulsory for all nationals/citizen of the 39 visa-free countries to apply online for a US Electronic Travel Authorization application before traveling to USA.

This US Electronic Travel Authorization will be valid for a period of upto two (2) years.

Canadian citizens do not require US ESTA. Canadian citizens do not need a Visa or an ESTA to travel to United States.

Do I need US ESTA for Transit?

Travelers must apply for and receive ESTA even when transiting in the United States to another country without a visa. You must apply for ESTA in any of the following cases: transit, transfer, or stopover (layover).

If you are citizen of a country that is not ESTA eligible or not visa-exempt, then you will need a Transit Visa in order to pass through United States without stopping or visiting.

Is my information for US ESTA secure?

On this website, US ESTA registrations will use secure sockets layer with a minimum of 256 bit key length encryption on all servers. Any personal information provided by the applicants is encrypted at all layers of the online portal in transit and inflight. We protect your information and destroy it once no longer required. If you instruct us to delete your records before the retention time, we immediately do so.

All of your personally identifiable data is subject to our Privacy Policy. We treat you data as confidential and do not share with any other agency / office / subsidiary.

Do American or Canadian citizens need a ESTA US Visa?

Canadian Citizens and United States Citizens do not need ESTA US Visa.

Do Canadian Permanent Residents require US ESTA?

Permanent Residents of Canada need to apply for ESTA US Visa to travel to United States. Canadian residence does not grant you Visa free access to United States. A Canadaian permanent resident is eligible if they are also a passport holder of one of the United States visa-exempt countries. Canadian citizens however are exempt from ESTA US Visa requirements.

What are the countries for ESTA US Visa?

The following countries are known as Visa-Exempt countries.:

Do I need a US ESTA if arriving by a cruise ship or by driving across a border?

Yes, you need ESTA USA Visa if you intend to travel on a cruise ship to United States. An ESTA is required for travellers whether you are coming by land, sea or air.

What is the criteria and evidence for getting ESTA US Visa?

You must have a valid passport, no criminal history and be in good health.

How long does it take to get an ESTA approved?

Most US ESTA applications are approved within 48 hours, however some could take upto 72 hours. U.S. Customs and Border Protection (C.B.P) will contact you if further information is required to process your application.

Is my ESTA US Visa valid on a new passport or do I need to apply again?

An ESTA is directly and electronically linked to the passport. You will need to again apply for a US ESTA, if you have received a new passport since your last ESTA approval.

In what other situations does one need to re-apply for the US ESTA?

Other than in case of receiving new passport, you also need to re-apply for the USA ESTA in case your previous ESTA has expired after 2 years, or you have changed your name, sex, or nationality.

Are there any age requirements for the ESTA US Visa?

No, there are no age requirements. All travellers irrespective of age must apply including children and infants. If you are eligible for the US ESTA, you need to obtain it to travel to United States regardless of your age.

If the visitor has both the United States Visitor Visa and a Passport issued by a Visa-exempt country, do they still need the US ESTA?

The visitor can travel to United States on the Visitor Visa attached to their Passport but if they so wish they can also apply for the ESTA USA Visa on their Passport issued by a Visa-exempt country.

How to apply for the US ESTA?

The application process for the US ESTA is entirely online. The application has to be filled with relevant details online and submitted after the application payment is made. The applicant will be notified of the result of the application via email.

Can one travel to United States after submitting the ESTA application but not having received the approval?

No, you cannot board any flight to United States unless you have obtained the US ESTA approval.

What should the applicant do if their application for the US ESTA is rejected?

In such a case, you can try applying for the United States Visitor Visa at your nearest US Embassy or Consulate.

Can the applicant correct a mistake on their US ESTA application?

No, in case of any mistake a fresh application for US ESTA must be submitted. However, if you hadn’t received the final decision on your first application, a fresh application might cause delays.

What does the US ESTA holder need to bring with them to the airport?

Your ESTA will be electronically archived but you will need to bring your linked Passport to the airport with you.

Does an approved US ESTA guarantee entry into United States?

No, an ESTA only guarantees that you can board a flight to United States. The U.S. Customs and Border Protection official at the airport can deny you entry if you do not have all your documents, such as your passport, in order; if you pose any health or financial risk; and if you have previous criminal/terrorist history or previous immigration issues.