ESTA, the Electronic System for Travel Authorization is remarkably easy to use, and much less daunting than applying for a full visa. ESTA allows you to obtain authorization to enter the USA by simply filling out personal information online – no meetings at an embassy, and no sending away your passport.
The process of applying for an ESTA is determined by several factors. First, to even consider using ESTA, you need to check that your country is part of the Visa Waiver Program – the list of participating countries is available on the Homepage of this website. After you have established your eligibility, it is time to select whether you are travelling as an individual, or whether you are travelling as a group.
For both individual and group applications you will need valid passports, and neither you, nor members of your group should currently hold visas. For an individual application, you can apply online for an ESTA immediately by filling all of your information out straight away online. When you opt to apply, you will be taken through screens asking for your data, and you will eventually pay the application fee (which may vary depending on company used for processing your application). Your processing request is completed at that point, and you can expect to receive your results within 72 hours.
If you are travelling in a group, either with your family or your friends, you can apply by using the same email and payment information for each application. By using the same email, all travel authorizations will come to the same email mailbox, and you can easily organize the travel authorization for each traveller. The information required is exactly the same, this just means that all applications are organised in one place. This is ideal for parents who will be filling in information for their children, or colleagues who are travelling at the same time.
For both the group and the individual applications, the information needed from each person should take no more than 10 minutes to complete. This is an easy way for anyone eligible to obtain travel authorization to enter the USA. It is quick and simple, only requiring information about every traveller to be submitted online.