ESTA- Ten Most Frequently Asked Questions

A lot of people who apply for ESTA for the first time end up feeling worried and ask truckloads of questions regarding the procedure. Here are the ten most frequently asked questions and the answers to them:


What is ESTA?

ESTA stands for Electronic System for Travel Authorization. This is part of the process for people applying for a US Visa from countries which are covered under the Visa Waiver Program of the US. The waiver program allows citizens from a certain set of countries to enter US for 90 days without going through traditional visa process.

This is an online and automated application process and no visit to the Embassy or the Consulate of USA is required as part of the process.

This is one of the recommendations of 9/11 commission which advised that the Department of Homeland Security to implement and electronic travel authorisation process to add an additional layer of security and reduce risk to US.

Which countries are eligible under this program?

The countries covered under this program are:

Andorra Hungary New Zealand
Australia Iceland Norway
Austria Ireland Portugal
Belgium Italy San Marino
Brunei Japan Singapore
Chile Republic of Korea Slovakia
Czech Republic Latvia Slovenia
Denmark Liechtenstein Spain
Estonia Lithuania Sweden
Finland Luxembourg Switzerland
France Malta Taiwan
Germany Monaco United Kingdom
Greece The Netherlands


When should I apply for ESTA?

You should apply for ESTA a minimum of 72 hours (3 days) before your travel date even though sometimes the approval comes through in seconds of completing the application.

We however recommend that you begin the application process as soon as you start planning your trip to the US. If you do not have this clearance you may not be allowed to board. You need not have concrete plans for the trip before you make the application.

The status of your application needs to be confirmed online, no email verification is sent to the applicant.

To apply for ESTA authorization, please visit

How long does it take to process the application? If you have been denied, you can re-apply after 10 days. Please check the website for the Visa Application process otherwise.

  • Once you have completed your application the approval in most cases is immediate. But if you receive a “Approval Pending” response, check the website again within 72 hours.

How long is ESTA valid?

  • ESTA is valid for a period of two years or as long as the applicant’s passport is valid whichever is earlier. ESTA is valid for multiple visits during this period.

Do I have to apply for ESTA if I am only transiting through USA?  

  • The term “United States” refers to the continental United States, Alaska, Hawaii, Puerto Rico, Guam, the Virgin Islands of the United States, and the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Island


  • Yes. Even if you are only transiting through USA on your way to another destination you need to apply for ESTA. Any carrier that is bound for USA can deny your boarding if you do not have ESTA approval. Just enter “in transit” and your final destination under “Address While in the United States.”

Can a third party help me apply for ESTA? 

  • Yes. If you do not have internet or are unable to fill your information in English a third party like a relative or an agent can help you fill up the application form. However you as the traveller are responsible under the law for the accuracy of all the information being filled in the form.

Can a group of people apply at the same time? 

  • ESTA allows application for groups up to a size of 50 people. This needs to be done one individual at a time using the options “Add New Application” or “Add Unpaid Application” once the previous application has been completed. Once you have completed for the entire group, you can submit the same. A Group Identification Number is created. The same needs to be used for tracking for status and view/make payment.

What happens if I lose or forget my identification number? You can retrieve your number on the website by entering your name, date of birth, passport number and country.

You can retrieve your number on the website by entering your name, date of birth, passport number and country.

Is the data for ESTA submitted safe and private?   

  1. The carriers only receive the ESTA status of the passenger and not the application data.
  2. This data is shared by the DHS with appropriate federal, state, local, tribal and foreign governmental agencies or multilateral governmental organizations only if it is necessary for investigating and prosecuting for criminal offenses, anti- terrorist activities and intelligence activities.
  3. The application data is maintained for as long as your ESTA is valid plus one year. This data is then archived to be retrieved only by a limited number of law enforcement or national security personnel only.
  4. The ESTA website is a US government website with same controls and security which this warrants. It is subject to the strict privacy provisions and controls as governed by US laws and regulations that have been put in place for other such screening processes.

Immigrants In The USA

America has been the highest destination for people of various foreign countries; either for college students, overseas investors or tourists. USA has been listed as the sixth best place to live within the world for the year 2014 in the aspects of Safety, financial gain and surroundings. Whereas considering the private financial gain, the US is at best place within the world whose individual financial gain is 800 % over than the last 5 countries within the list. Additional individual financial gain ends up in additional spending and it enhances the standard of life that makes US a favorite place to live and to retire.


Additionally America is at world’s largest economy whose market price of products and services, for last year is about sixteen trillion bucks and also the information resembles that America is the richest country that is additionally another reason for the surge of more foreigners once a year and also the immigration is additionally increased by its easy VISA procedures.

Rise In Immigrants

A recent analysis by pew charitable trust reveals a stunning report that Native Americans in several areas are reducing with the appearance of foreign immigrants. It’s additionally supported by the U.S office which told that the migration are going to be the chief issue for the surge in America’s population within the year between 2027 and 2038. The report includes each the legal and illegal immigrants and the report also specified that the states like Nevada, North Carolina and Washington are going to be the states which attract more immigrants than Texas, California, Florida, Illinois, NY and New Jersey. These states are additional more likely be flooded by immigrants within the current year. The immigrants are a heavy threat for Native Americans within the aspect of job. According to the report compiled by Department of Labour’s Bureau of Labour Statistics who were discovered the job statistics from the Nov 2007 to Nov 2014 found that there have been 1.45 million job reductions for native Americans and at an equivalent time the job for immigrants (legal and illegal) has raised by two million. It’s additional worsened by President Obama’s latest announcement that authorising illegal immigrants and by this amnesty proposal it’ll protect another five million people that stayed illegally in US from deportation.

Immigrants – Boon or Ban ?

This announcement can further increase the jobs of immigrants and eventually cut back the Native Americans. Also, the announcement brought dissatisfaction among certain community, however the proposal was to increase the economy by increasing the man power. The amount of foreign born workers in America is setting new record each month and it’s confirmed a recent report from Bureau of Labour Statistics (BLS) that tell the amount of immigrants in the USA increase by a thumping population that accounts for 806,000 in a period of 1 year that BLS recorded for august 2013 to august 2014. Most of the folks visit through esta, a simple procedure to enter USA that is a very important door for many people’s unplanned unexpected visits. However, the amnesty plans increase the peril on terrorist within America however the Gov agencies are more cautious regarding authorising illegal immigrants by checking their criminal records.

All About ESTA

1Safety First

To keep our country safe from possible hostile attack, we all must participate in working together to follow rules and regulations when crossing into the United States from another country. This is why esta or Electronic System for Travel Authorization was established to keep track of people coming into the United States. To understand what their purpose is for being in the United States, and how long they plan to remain.

The esta program is an extra step for travelers with a visa waiver, visitors, business travelers and travelers without a visitor visa who desire to come into the United States. The application must be completed every time one of these travelers enter the United States. Be sure to enter all information on a legitimate government website. This is to ensure that all of your private information remains private.

Before starting the five easy step application make sure that you have an up to date passport and a proper credit card to pay for the administrative costs. Answer each question with either yes or no depending upon your own particular situation. Any question that has not been answered will result in your application being denied. Proofread the application before turning it in, to save you time and money.

After your application has been processed it will take only a few minutes to find out the results. You will be sent a reference number to your email address and you can print this off and put with your passport. With an up to date passport it is easy to verify that you have permission to enter the United States even without having to print off the reference number. Some people feel more comfortable having the printed copy, while other people feel their passport is enough to use for verification.