Don’t get ripped off by websites set up to add an extra $100 to the simple online process of buying your ESTA visa waiver!
My friend told me that she’d read this post AFTER she’d paid $170 per ESTA for her and her husband. If she’d seen this post she would have just paid the US government $14. Grrrrr.
What is an ESTA Visa Waiver?
ESTA stands for Electronic System for Travel Authorization.
Who needs an ESTA?
If you haven’t travelled to the US since 2010, you will need to apply for an online ETSA Visa Waiver. The good news is, it’s easy peasy!
If you’re from a Visa waiver country like New Zealand, Australia, Britain, France, Italy, Germany, Spain and loads more (click here to see all the countries accepted), you no longer have forms to complete on the plane. But you do need to have been pre-approved to enter the United States by filing a form online before you travel.
Note: BEFORE you travel.
Tip: do not be fooled by the “agencies” out there who have websites that look like the official US government website. It should cost US$14 – AND NO MORE! (Sadly my dad paid $70 for his).
Jump onto this link to the official ESTA website (it ends in .gov/esta so you know it’s the real one) and follow the easy steps. Once accepted (which happens pretty much instantly) your visa waiver is valid for 2 years, then you must repeat the cycle.
If you are declined you won’t be able to board your outbound flight 🙁