To obtain your ESTA:

  • You must apply at least 72 hours before you travel.
  • You must hold an individual machine-readable passport or ePassport (one containing a chip). If you don’t, you’ll need to get a visa instead.
  • Provide accurate information on your ESTA application.
  • Usually you will receive a response in seconds, but for very few passengers it could take up to 72 hours.
  • If your ESTA is denied, you will need to get a visa.
  • If you already have a visa for the US, you will not need an ESTA.
  • You must apply online for your ESTA - either directly with Homeland Security, or our partners VisaCentral. More information is provided below on both of these recommended options.

How long does it take to get an ESTA?

Applications are usually instantaneous. For those applications which are not immediately approved, travellers are required to continue to log in to the Government website to check for ESTA application approval.

Do I need to print my ESTA?

Once an application is submitted and processed successfully, an email confirmation will not be generated. We'd advise you to print the confirmation web page, or jot down your application number for safe keeping and future reference.

Can I get an ESTA if my passport is due to expire?

You need to make sure your passport is valid when you apply for your ESTA. If you apply for an ESTA when your passport has expired, or is about to expire, you may not receive notification from the Government that travel cannot be permitted.

Where can I find out more about my ESTA application?

For more information about your ESTA application please view the US Government's dedicated FAQs.

Applicable countries

Andorra Hungary Norway
Australia Iceland Portugal
Austria Ireland Replublic of Korea
Belgium Italy San Marino
Brunei Japan Singapore
CHile Latvia Slovakia
Czech Republic Liechtenstein Solvenia
Denmark Lithuania Spain
Estonia Luxembourg Sweden
Finland Malta Switzerland
France Monaco Taiwan
Germany The Netherlands United Kingdom
Greece New Zeland  

Certain people will not be able to get an ESTA, even if the country they're from is eligible for the visa waiver programme (VWP). This will be the case if:

  • You're a national of a VWP country who has travelled to or been present in Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen on or after March 1, 2011 (with limited exceptions for travel for diplomatic or military purposes in the service of a VWP country).
  • You have dual nationality with a VWP country and either Iran, Iraq, Sudan, or Syria. (Not including Libya, Somalia and Yemen)

If this applies to you you'll still be able to apply for a visa using the regular immigration process via the US embassies or consulates (contact details below), but you'll no longer be able to enter the US under the Visa Waiver Programme (ESTA).

If you need a US visa for urgent business, medical, or humanitarian travel to the United States, the US embassies and consulates will be on hand to process applications on an expedited basis.

If you already hold an Electronic System for Travel Authorization (ESTA) and you previously indicated that you have dual nationality with one of the four countries listed above on your ESTA application, your ESTA will no longer be valid.

Visit the US embassy website

Tel: 0207 499 9000

Opening hours: Mon to Fri, 08.30 - 17.30

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