American Visa Bureau   »   American Immigration   »   Tourist Visa   »  US Visa Information

US Visa: ESTA for Travellers to the United States

In most cases, the American Visa Bureau is able to process a US visa or ESTA application instantly, although we recommend visitors to the United States apply at least a week in advance of their departure.

What US visa do tourists to America need?

Travellers from Visa Waiver Program (VWP) countries entering the United States on a short-stay visit for the purposes of business or tourism they must have completed a mandatory Electronic System for Travel Authorization - the ESTA. The ESTA can be obtained by making an online ESTA application.

Please understand that despite acting in a very similar way to a typical visa, the ESTA does not meet the legal or regulatory requirements to serve in lieu of a US visa and is strictly defined as an 'authorization'. However, it is still a mandatory requirement of travel to the United States.

How long is the ESTA US visa eligible for?

If an ESTA application is approved, it is valid for multiple entries into the United States.  An ESTA is valid for up to two years, or until the traveler's passport expires.

Please note that an ESTA is mandatory, but does not guarantee admission into the United States at the port of entry.  An ESTA only authorises a traveler to board an air or sea carrier to travel to the United States.

The final decision to authorize entry will be made by U.S Customs and Border Protection (CBP) at the port of entry.