ETA (ESTA) USA (Travel)

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ETA (ESTA) USA (Travel)


ETA or ESTA stands for Electronic System for Travel Authorization.   This is a fully automated system that can decide if a traveler can gain admittance to the United States of America.  To save confusion, in Canada this is called the ETA, or Electronic Travel Authorization.

The ESTA will do checks using data bases used by Law Enforcement Agencies. You can use this system as part of the Visa Waiver Program.  This system must be in operation before you board your flight to the USA.

Please note that under the ESTA (USA) Travel Visa,  you waver rights for appeal or review.

For any one wishing to come to the United States, this should be an important part of their planning, prior to purchasing  an air plane ticket.  This can be submitted before your intended flight to the United States.

This is part of the Visa Waiver Program or VWP.  This is part of the information you will provide to the immigration officers of the United States  Customs and Border Protection Agency.  They will determine if  you are eligible for admission to the United States.

The ESTA has two roles.

  • To collect biographical information.
  • There will be eligibility questions from the VWP, which will have to be answered.


Important Information

From the 1st of April, you will have to use an e-passport to use the  VWP program and ESTA.

How to Apply for an ESTA


The following will be needed:

  • To take part in this scheme you must come from one of the eligible countries.  A full list of the acceptable countries can be found on this link:  This includes pretty well all European Countries. In Asia and Asia Pacific, this will be Australia, New Zealand,  Japan, South Korea, and Singapore.  Only Chile in Latin America and Brunei in the Middle East, are eligible countries.
  • You do not posses a visitors visa.
  • Your visit to the US will be no more than 90 days, or a period less than that.
  • You are coming to the US for pleasure or business.
  • You may want to apply for a new authorization. This could be for one or more individuals, including a group.
  • Again, you will have to have a valid e-passport to be able to use
  • You will need one of the following in order to make payment: A credit card which is valid.  This can be American Express, Visa, and Master Card.  This includes Discover ( Diners Club and JCB).  Pay Pal can also be used.  The over all fee is $14US for each application.
  • Full contact details are also needed.
  • Full employment details may also be needed.


Filling Out The On Line Application Form



The form will ask you for your family name and first name. Also it will ask your for your gender, and your date of birth.  This will be the day, month and year of birth. It will also ask for the city or place of birth.  You will need your passport number.  Please make sure that your passport remains valid during your stay in the United States.  If this is not the case it must be renewed, prior to making this application.  You may need to enter a National Identification Number  and/or a Personal Identification number, if this applies to your country.  The date when your passport is out or date. Also, you can add insurance identification if you have it.

This is the start of the ESTA application process on line.  Make sure you have all the relevant documents,  your passport, other possible Identification Cards, depending upon your country, all to hand.  This will make it easier when you fill out the ESTA application on line.

To access your ESTA status on line you must have your registration number, passport number, date of birth, day, month and year.


E Passport

This will be needed if you are using an ESTA travel visa. The e-passport uses an embedded “chip”.  This contains all the same information that can be found in a “normal” passport, which is found on the “data” page inside a passport.  This includes:

  • Name
  • Date of Birth
  • Plus further biographical data

The E.Passport also contains a bio metric identifier.  There will also be the need for a digital  photograph. The United States and all the other counties in this scheme have measures to prevent the “skimming” or “hacking “ of the cards. Note a digital photograph must be embedded and not stuck down later.  The “embedded chip” is added to the front of traditional looking passport document. This can be “read” at passport control and/or at immigration, if needed. On the page with the embedded digital photograph, there will be a line of  coded numbers that will also have to read into a scanner.

Digital Photograph

Please visit this web site for precise details:

 There are now strict requirements for a digital photograph:

  • Use a professional and/or a certified digital photographer to take these photographs.
  • The picture must be in color.
  • The head should take up between 50% to 69% of the height of the total image. This from the chin to the top of the head.
  • The photograph should be taken in the last 6 months. This is because it has to show you current appearance.
  • A white or off white background must be used as a background for this photograph.
  • The picture must be taken full faced.  You should be looking straight at the camera.
  • Use a neutral expression. Your eyes must be kept open.
  • Wear your usual clothing.
  • You should not wear any uniform, unless this for religious purposes.
  • Hats should not be worn, unless for medical purposes
  • Sun glasses should only be worn for medical purposes.
Working Holidays Australia


It is possible to get an outside agency to help you through all this processing, systematically. This might be a good idea if you are thinking about going to the USA for a holiday, then help with getting a US ESTA.

Therefore, please get in touch with who will help you with all the processing and paper work that will be involved in getting to the United States.