ESTA is a mandatory system for all travelers with any ages to be required to apply for entering the United States. ESTA, the Electric System for Travel Authorization needs to be applied online. Not obtaining an ESTA when traveling to the United States would cause the rejection for boarding the flight.
How Can U.K. Citizens Apply for an ESTA?
ESTA application is only available online therefore, by telephone, mail and fax are not available. Prepare send/receivable E-mail address, passport with valid expiration date, and credit card when applying for ESTA. ESTA can be applied either from laptop computer or smartphone.
ESTA Requirements for U.K. Citizens
It is required to meet all conditions below when U.K. and Ireland Citizens applying for ESTA.
Within 90 days of staying period in the U.S.
Either sightseeing or short term business is a purpose of the visit to the U.S.
Hold valid passport with IC tip
No serious criminal records in the past and/or not infected to specified infectious disease or an illness
Not to be employed or staying long period in the U.S. and return to visitor’s home country after completing the purpose of visit
ESTA FAQ for U.K. Citizens
What is ESTA?
ESTA is a mandatory passport control system for visitors to the U.S. for short period of sightseeing or business. ESTA is required to apply online by filling out traveler’s information, competence of make an overseas travel and health status.
Although U.K. and Ireland citizens are not necessary to obtain visa when traveling to the U.S. for sightseeing or short period of business, ESTA application is required. ESTA is subjected to the visitors planning to stay in the U.S. within 90 days. Those who are planning to stay in the U.S. over 90 days for work, studying abroad or for any reasons are not subjected to apply for ESTA, but to apply for visa.
Please click here for more information.
What is the Difference between ESTA and Visa?
ESTA, Electric System for Travel Authorization is a system established as part of passport control and has different character from visa which entry is guaranteed with some conditions. Obtaining ESTA does not necessary to guarantee the entry to the U.S. Judgment for the entry to the U.S. is entrusted to a passport control official at the arrival airport. ESTA is required for those who have foreign nationality wish to stay in the U.S.
within 90 days for such purpose of sightseeing etc. On the other hand, visa is required for those who wish to stay in the U.S. for over 90 days, and the system is mainly for those traveling for business or studying abroad. Make clear of your staying period and purpose, and then apply for acquisition whichever fit to your need before you travel. Click here for more details regard to the differences between ESTA and visa.
How Long is an ESTA Valid?
ESTA is valid for 2 years from the date you are approved for travel authorization. However, if current passport’s expiration date is within 2 years, ESTA expires in the same time with the passport’s expiration date.
Make sure to check expiration date of your passport when apply for ESTA.
For more information of ESTA expiration date, please click here.
I Have a Criminal Record, but can I Apply for an ESTA？
Questionnaires for ESTA include criminal record. Those who have committed following crime(s) and have criminal record(s) are not permitted to travel to the U.S. by applying for ESTA.
Crimes which give harm to others such as murder, accidental homicide, serious assault, kidnapping and multiple vicious traffic violation
Crimes depriving property of others such as arson, robbery, theft, fraud and receipt of stolen goods
Crimes inflict damages upon government authorities such as a large amount of tax evasion, bribery, false evidence and drug offense
Those who were arrested under crime listed above by criminal conviction need to answer “Yes” to the question.
Those who answer “Yes” would not be authorized ESTA to travel to the U.S., instead, find necessary visa for your purpose of the visit to the U.S. Those who were considered to be an illegal stay in the U.S. or any other countries, and forced repatriation in the past are not eligible for ESTA application either.
Those who have criminal record of force repatriation would not be permitted to travel to the U.S. with visa either.
Please check here for more details.
How Can I Check the Status of My ESTA?
Only those who applied for ESTA through our site are able to check their current application status and registered information here.
For checking application status, enter application ID by clicking “Confirm the situation” on the top of the site.
Enter application ID (33digit alphanumeric) you have received when completed the application, and then click ”Check”.
Application ID is listed on the auto-sent Email from us (ESTA Online Center) when completed the application.
Search by application ID is available for 90 days from the date
Is ESTA Required Even for Transit in the U.S. on the Way to the Other
ESTA is required to be in the U.S. airport for the transit/transfer as well.
It is considered as “Staying period in the U.S.” even for the short time transit/transfer via U.S. to the other country.
Apply for ESTA if transiting/transferring in the U.S. to your final destination country.
If planning on transiting/transferring in the U.S., check here for more details.
Do Infants and Minors Also Need ESTA?
ESTA is required for all travelers no matter the age. Since pre-school children including infants and minors are required for ESTA application, please apply it for all members who are traveling along.
In cases of minor traveling to the U.S. by himself/herself, with his/her relatives other than his/her guardians, or with an adult(s) not related by blood may asked to carry guardian’s travel written consent.
For method of listing for travel written consent, check “Template for guardian’s written consent for a minor traveling to the U.S.“.
What is Visa Waiver Program?
Visa Waiver Program (VWP) is the U.S.’ original immigration control system which allows travelers to stay in the U.S. without obtaining visa if it is within 90days.
VWP is subjected to specific countries which U.K. and Ireland citizens have been allowed to use the program since 1988.
Although traveling to the U.S. within 90 days without visa is allowed by applying for ESTA, travelers must meet following 3 lists as conditions for traveling via VWP.
The purpose for travel is for sightseeing or short-term business
Must hold boarding pass for returning path or for next destination
Notified as “Travel Authorization Declined” from ESTA. Is There Any Other System Available to Travel to the U.S.?
Those who received the notice of “Travel Authorization Declined” as a result of ESTA application are not able to travel to the U.S. with ESTA, therefore consider applying for visa.
Visa application is under control of U.S. embassy and Consulate.
Although to meet the requirements allow obtaining visa, those who are infected specified infectious disease or had forced repatriation in the past are not eligible applying for visa.
Several documents submissions and interview with Consulate are expected in the process of acquiring visa. Specific travel plan to the U.S. may be made after obtaining visa.
Please click here for more details of visa application.
Is ESTA Necessary for Traveling to Guam and/or Saipan?
ESTA application is required for U.K. and Ireland Citizens to travel to Hawaii, but not to Northern Marianas Islands such as Guam and Saipan where are permitted to enter without applying for ESTA.
Since traveling to Guam and Saipan is applied under the Guam-Commonwealth of the Northern Marianas visa Waiver Program (Guam-CNMI VWP), ESTA application is not required.
Instead, it is mandatory to fill out and sign the emigration and immigration card (I-736/I94) provided in the aircraft on the way to the destination.
Available staying period is no longer than 45 days when traveling to Guam and/or Saipan by applying to Guam-CNMI VWP, however those who hold ESTA are allowed to stay up to 90 days.
Also, an ESTA dedicated lane is set at Guam International Airport for those who obtain ESTA for smooth immigration procedures.
ESTA application is not required for traveling to Guam, however there are benefits by holding it.
Click here for more information regards to travel to Guam.