Visa Waiver Program

Individuals from certain countries are able to travel to the United States without a visa. A list of Visa Waiver Countries and more information on the Visa Waiver Program can be found here: Visa Waiver Program

To apply for ESTA, please go to: https://esta.cbp.dhs.gov/esta/

The Electronic System for Travel Authorization (ESTA) is an online system that is part of the Visa Waiver Program (VWP). ESTA is mandatory for all nationals or citizens of VWP countries who plan to travel to the United States for temporary business or pleasure. Under the VWP, all such travelers must receive an electronic travel authorization prior to boarding a U.S.-bound airplane or cruise ship.

ESTA will determine, almost immediately in many cases, if an individual is eligible for VWP travel, and if such travel poses any law enforcement or security risks. ESTA applications may be submitted at any time prior to travel, and once approved, will be valid for up to two years or until the applicant’s passport expires, whichever comes first. Authorizations will also be valid for multiple entries into the United States. In order to facilitate the authorization process, the Department of Homeland Security recommends that ESTA applications be submitted as soon as an applicant begins planning U.S.-bound travel, and not less than 72 hours prior to travel.  Additional information can also be found in the ESTA Fact Sheet. (PDF 1120 KB)

The consular section does not answer any questions regarding ESTA, all questions concerning ESTA should be directed to the US Customs and Border Protection.

There are a number of third parties that have established websites that charge a fee for submitting your application on your behalf. If you have used one of these third party sites, we strongly suggest you use your application number to confirm with the official U.S. government site to ensure that your application information is correct in the system, and to avoid delays when you arrive in the United States.

For instructions on how to look up your ESTA, see the help topic “Checking Your ESTA Status” on the ESTA website.

CBP cannot refund the money you paid to a third party website, nor can a U.S. Consulate or Embassy. However if you think you have been victimized, contact your bank , credit/debit card company, or PayPal and request a refund of any amount over the US $14.00 required by the U.S. government by disputing the add-on charges on your statement. Please be aware that if the $14.00 charge submitted to the U.S. government is refunded, the ESTA approval will automatically be denied and future applications may also be denied.

Unfortunately, U.S. Embassies and Consulates are not able to provide details about ESTA denials or resolve the issue that caused the ESTA denial.  If an ESTA clearance was not granted, a U.S. Visa is required to travel to the United States.  Additionally, an ESTA refusal does not necessarily qualify you for an emergency appointment at a U.S. Consulate or Embassy.