FAQ

WHAT IS AN ESTA?

ESTA is a mandatory travel authorization to travel to the United States of America without a visa. The ESTA application is also mandatory for travel to American territories, including Puerto Rico and the US Virgin Islands. As the visa application process is more complicated and takes longer than an ESTA application, most travelers opt for an ESTA. Applications can be submitted entirely online and authorization is usually granted on the same day. The ESTA is digitally linked to the passport, and the applicant receives a confirmation by e-mail.

DO I NEED AN ESTA OR A VISA?

If you are traveling to the United States of America for business or pleasure and are staying in the United States for less than 90 days, you are eligible for ESTA. Even in cases where you are just in transit and do not leave the US airport, you still need to have a valid ESTA. With a valid ESTA you don’t need a visa to enter the USA. If you want to stay in the United States of America for more than 90 days, an ESTA is not enough and you need to choose between different types of visas. Each variant has its own conditions. If you have a valid ESTA you do not need a visa to travel to America. If you have a US visa, however, you don’t need to apply for an ESTA. See the related page to learn more about US visas.

HOW IS THE REQUEST PRESENTED?

It is very easy to apply online using the digital ESTA form. After completing the application form for yourself, for another person or for an entire travel group, the application fees must be paid. This can be done securely through  credit card. After receiving the application and payment, the application will be processed immediately. Urgently requested ESTAs are granted after one hour on average. The ESTA is granted via a digital link to the traveler’s passport. Travelers also receive an email confirmation after release. When boarding flights to the United States, the airline checks the passports of all travelers to verify that they have an ESTA or visa.

WHICH COUNTRIES ARE BELONGING TO THE VISA WAIVER PROGRAM?

Currently there are 38 countries belonging to the Visa Waiver Program:  Andorra, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Brunei, Chile, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Monaco, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Portugal, Republic of Malta, San Marino, Singapore, Slovakia, Slovenia, South Korea, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Taiwan and the United Kingdom

WHAT ARE THE STRICTLY NECESSARY REQUIREMENTS TO OBTAIN ESTA AUTHORIZATION?

In addition to having to be a citizen of one of the countries belonging to the Visa Waiver Program , in order to obtain the ESTA  authorization it is strictly necessary :

  • be in possession of an electronic passport whose validity covers the entire stay in the United States. Electronic passports incorporate a microchip containing the biometric data of the holder and are equipped with an alphanumeric identification code
  • travel to the United States for tourism, business, or in transit to another destination
  • staying in the United States for a maximum of 90 days , even a few days of “overstay” can have important consequences such as the impossibility of future access to the United States or, for more serious cases, detention
  • to possess, in addition to the booking of the outward ticket, also the booking of the return ticket

In the absence of one of the aforementioned requirements, it is necessary to apply for a  non-immigrant visa

ONCE I GET ESTA AUTHORIZATION CAN I ACCESS IN THE UNITED STATES?

Obtaining the ESTA authorization allows you to access the means of transport, air or ship, departing to the United States, however, it DOES NOT guarantee entry into the United States in itself.

Upon arrival in the United States, a Customs and Border Protection agent will determine whether or not the traveler is admitted based on the principles of the Visa Waiver Program and United States laws.

HOW LONG DOES THE ESTA LAST?

The ESTA authorization is valid for a period of 2 years starting from its date of issue or until the expiry of the validity of the electronic passport

HOW LONG IN FIRST DO I NEED TO APPLY FOR ESTA?

Although Customs and Border Protection recommends applying for ESTA authorization at least 72 hours before embarking on the journey to the USA, the request can be submitted even a few hours before departure. In any case, our advice is to anticipate the request times so as to be able to cope with any difficulties

DO I NEED TO COMPLETE THE ESTA AUTHORIZATION FOR CHILDREN AND MINORS?

For all minors ( including infants traveling without a ticket) their ESTA authorization is required on the basis of their electronic passport data

ARE THE DATA AND INFORMATION I PROVIDE YOU SECURE? - IS MY CARD DATA SECURE?

The data you provide to us are collected from our site, verified by our operators and finally transmitted to the Department of Homeland Security through SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) data encryption and authentication systems.

The data of debit cards and credit cards  are not stored in any way  as they are processed  exclusively  by payment circuits through the highest  security systems (PCI-DSS) .

CITIZENS BELONGING TO ONE OF THE 39 COUNTRIES LISTED ABOVE CANNOT APPLY FOR ESTA AUTHORIZATION FOR ONE OF THE FOLLOWING REASONS:

  • Absence of electronic passport (with chip)
  • Intention to work in the United States, paid or unpaid, (including au pair or internship)
  • Intend to stay in the United States for more than 90 days
  • Intending to attend school or university in the United States
  • Current or previous possession of a green card that has not been canceled using the appropriate form I-407
  • Refusal of admission or has been expelled from the United States within the past 5 years
  • Refusal of your U.S. visa due to ineligibility other than 221 (g) or 214 (b) of the Immigration and Nationality Act
  • Arrest or conviction for any misdemeanor or crime (including drug trafficking)
  • Has been suffering from a serious, communicable disease or drug addiction
  • Participation in the persecution of any person under the control of the German Nazi government
  • Association or aggregation with any terrorist organization

Travelers who fall into one or more of these categories are not necessarily ineligible to enter the United States but must apply for and obtain an ordinary visa before traveling to the United States

APPLY NOW AND TRAVEL SAFELY