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U.S. Immigration
U.S. Immigration

The online system was implemented on January 12, 2009 and is related to all visa waiver travelers that intend to enter the United States via air or sea. An approved ESTA application is only related to a “permit to travel” to the United States and seek admission to enter. A Travel Authorization is not a visa. Individuals that do not have a machine readable passport from a Visa Waiver country must continue to apply for a B-1 Business Visa or B-2 Tourist Visa.

Visa Waiver travelers can apply for a Travel Authorization immediately through the ESTA (Electronic System for Travel Authorization) website. Without an approved Travel Authorization, the traveler may be denied boarding or entry if attempting to visit the United States under the Visa Waiver Program

VISA WAIVER COUNTRIES: Citizens of the following countries may qualify to enter the United States under the Visa Waiver countries. If you are not a passport holder of one of these countries, you need to apply for a B-1 Business Visa or B-2 Tourist visa.

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

Do I need to complete Form I-94W?
Form I-94W (the green form) is no longer required to be completed if entering via air or sea under the visa waiver program. However, upon entry you will have to complete the printed Customs Form 6059B. The information completed on this form should match the information you submitted through the Electronic System for Travel Authorization. While the ESTA application must be completed online before traveling, the Customs Form is normally provided by the airline while you are flying to the United States or available upon entry.

Who can apply for ESTA (Electronic System for Travel Authorization)?
Any traveler with a machine readable passport from one of existing Visa Waiver countries.

How long can I stay in the United States with ESTA?
Travelers from Visa Waiver Countries who enter the United States under ESTA are normally allowed to stay for up to 90 days. However, the immigration officer at the port of entry decides how long the visitor is allowed to stay, but in most cases the visitor receives the full 90 days.

ESTA Validity
ESTA is valid for 2 years unless the passport expires earlier. If so, the expiration date on the Travel Authorization (ESTA) and the expiration date on the passport will coincide. A valid ESTA can be used for several entries to the United States under the Visa Waiver Program. To update an existing travel information with your new itinerary is optional but recommend. The passport should also be valid for at least 6 months from the date of entry to the United States. You must apply for a new Travel Authorization if you obtain a new passport or renew your passport due to a name change. The passport details for your current passport must match the Travel Authorization personal details.

Download the Visa Waiver Information Guide today! Learn how to apply yourself without the assistance of an immigration attorney.