Are You Traveling to America? January 2009: New ESTA Registration

Visitors from certain countries have been allowed to travel to America for years without having to get a visa sticker in their passport. The “Visa Waiver Program (VWP), which was implemented in 1998, allows visitors from several countries to travel to America for business or tourism purposes for up to 90 day without needing a Visa. In 2007, the United States welcomed more than 15,000,000 visitors from VWP countries.

The new ESTA program in America requires Visa Waiver Program visitors who are traveling to the U.S. to visit the country for business or tourist purposes by plane or ship to “register online prior to entering the United States. This is to determine if they pose a security or law enforcement risk. ESTA does not apply to land crossings. Officials ask that the ESTA registration must be completed at least 72 hours before departure, although it is theoretically possible to do so at the last moment. The ESTA Travel Authorization can be used for multiple entries and is free.

These are the frequently asked questions (FAQs), for ESTA Travel Authorization:

Which Countries are in the Visa Waiver Program

Andorra. Australia, Belgium. Brunei. Czech Republic. Denmark. Estonia. Finland. France. Germany. Hungary. Ireland. Italy. Japan. Latvia. Liechtenstein. Lithuania. Luxembourg. Monaco. The Netherlands. New Zealand. Norway. San Marino. Singapore. Slovakia. Slovenia. South Korea. Spain. Switzerland.

How do I apply for an ESTA travel authorization

Register for ESTA at This website is operated by the American government. The computer will compare your ESTA information with American law enforcement databases. If approved, or denied, the data is then sent to the appropriate authorities. After arriving in the United States, or at a U.S Embassy in their country, foreign travelers will not have access to ESTA applications.

What happens if I don’t have plans to travel to the U.S. yet

Does the ESTA Travel Authorization guarantee entry to the U.S.

A ESTA Travel Authorization allows a traveler only to board an aircraft or ship to travel to the U.S. as part of the Visa Waiver Program. Travelers who have obtained an ESTA travel authorization may be denied entry to the United States at a port of entry such as an American airport. A valid ESTA is and does not guarantee admissibility at American airports.

Can I Change My Travel Itinerary?

You can change the itinerary of an existing ESTA travel authorization. ESTA allows you to update certain parts at any time. Travelers without ESTA approval could be denied boarding, delayed processing or denied entry to the U.S. airport.