Applying for and Renewing your ESTA
For those who have gone on a number of trips overseas, perhaps one of the most stressful things in the whole experience of traveling is the visa application. The visa poses a major constraint for those who wish to go to certain countries, such as the United States of America. Many fear that they will not be granted a travel visa. Others worry about renewal or if it's even possible.
Now, all thanks to the US Visa Waiver Program (VWP), more and more people can now go to the US even without a travel visa. If you're a citizen or a passport-holder of any one of the countries included in the VWP, all you need is to secure a travel authorization, also known as the Electronic System for Travel Authorization (ESTA).
The ESTA is a mechanism that evaluates and grants visa-free eligibility to passport-holders and nationals of the countries included in the VWP. The ESTA is good for a number of reasons:
- It is online, hence travelers need not worry about embassy or consulate visits which can take time.
- The requirements are simpler and fewer compared to the visa requirements.
- It is good for last minute travellers as they can secure their authorization at most 72 hours before their departure and get the results in just a couple of hours.
- The ESTA serves just like a travel visa as it is good for two years and for multiple visits to the US.
- There are no problems in cases of ESTA renewal as one undergoes the same requirements and the same process as the first application.
The ESTA only requires that you have your electronic passport which contains your biographic information, the ESTA application form, and a credit card for the payment of your application. One important item to remember is the application number given to you after you have submitted and processed your application. This application also doubles as your authorization's reference number. Upon release of your authorization, this application number appears alongside the expiration date of your authorization.
Esta Help is available online, with 24/7 customer service offering unlimited support for those with questions and concerns regarding their ESTA application.