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If you are flying to theUSA on a visa waiver program, you need to obtain your ESTA approval before you fly. ESTA is short form for the Electronic System Travel Authorisation. You can either go online to the ESTA website or use a company such as for ease. 


The government of United States of America has developed an online system to improve the screening of people who are traveling to the USA. The inception of this system dates to January 2009. Anyone who is travelling to USA is obliged to get the ESTA travel authorisation approval.

The credibility or eligibility of the individual entering the premises of the United States of America is approved through this system. However, this approval is not at all the confirmation for the person to enter theUnited States. After the individual arrives at the United States airport, the eligibility of a person to enter into any state is now in the hands of customs officers.

The customs officers ask all the information related to that person, from biographic to visa waiver program through the application of ESTA. This application can be submitted at any time, but, it must be done before your traveling. However, it is mostly recommended that the person must submit the ESTA application before buying the flying tickets.

Are ESTA And Visa Two Different Things?

The visa is related to the law requirements while ESTA does not include any such thing. So, they are completely different from each other. Moreover, if the person traveling to theUSAhas a valid USA visa, he/she does not require the ESTA approval application.

ESTA Validity

Is my ESTA still valid?. This question comes to the mind of every person who gets the ESTA approval for the very first time. ESTA approval is valid for two years and multiple entries into the United States until you change your passport. Most importantly, it is free. There is no charge for applying online for your ESTA approval.

Why Should You Get ESTA Approval?

The ESTA will eventually replace the green card which you fill out every time you fly to theUnited States of America. They ask the same information that is currently mentioned on the card. For a short time, at the beginning of this program, they require both the ESTA approval and what that you fill out on the green card in your flight. However, soon this card will be faced out.

What If You Personally Cannot Apply For ESTA Approval?

If you do not have access to a computer, your family, friends or the third parties, such as travel agent, can apply on your behalf. More than 1 billion British citizens till date have applied for ESTA approval. Of which 99.80% have their ESTA approved within 4 seconds. For a very small number of those, if denied, they must apply for the USA visa at the nearest American consultancy.

Although you can apply for the ESTA approval at any time, even at the date when you fly, they encourage every traveler to apply in advance to avoid any complications.