Skip Global Navigation to Main Content
  •  
Skip Breadcrumb Navigation
Non-Immigrant Visas

DHS announces Pre-Travel Authorization Program for U.S.-Bound Travelers from Visa Waiver Countries

Department of Homeland Security

Important Information:

On September 8 2010, a fee of US$14 was introduced for a new or renewed electronic travel authorization (ESTA).  Please click here for FAQs.

On November 17, 2008, seven countries were admitted to the Visa Waiver Program.  Nationals of these countries must obtain a travel authorization via the Department of Homeland Security's (DHS) Electronic System for Travel Authorization (ESTA) prior to boarding a carrier to travel by air or sea to the U.S. under the VWP.

Effective January 12, 2009, nationals of all other VWP countries, such as New Zealand, will also be required to obtain ESTA authorization prior to boarding a carrier to travel by air or sea to the U.S. under the VWP.

ESTA is accessible online at https://esta.cbp.dhs.gov for nationals of VWP countries.

This modern system enhances the security of the VWP and will allow the U.S. government to continue, and to expand, the VWP.  The VWP allows visitors from participating countries to travel to the U.S. for business or pleasure for 90 days or less without first obtaining a visa.

Over 200,000 travellers have sought electronic travel authorization since the ESTA site went live, and 99.6 percent of them have been approved – the vast majority in under one minute.

ESTA will determine, almost immediately in most 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 be valid for multiple entries into the U.S.  DHS 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.

Eligible visitors seeking to travel to the United States under the VWP may apply for travel authorization via the ESTA Web site at https://esta.cbp.dhs.gov.

For more information about ESTA, please visit www.cbp.gov/ESTA

The seven newly admitted countries are: Republic of Korea, Czech Republic, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Hungary, and the Slovak Republic.

Important Information

  • -IMPORTANT INFORMATION ABOUT ESTA-

    On September 8 2010, a fee of US$14 was introduced for a new or renewed electronic travel authorization (ESTA).  Please click here for FAQs.