The United States shares a strategic partnership with the United Kingdom in many areas. One of these areas is the ease of traveling between citizens of both countries. The United Kingdom is one of the countries that signed up for the United States Visa Waiver Program. The US Visa Waiver Program permits citizens from countries signed on the program to travel to the United States without necessarily having a Visa.
British citizens are qualified to use the Electronic System for Travel Authorization (ESTA) for visa-free travel to the United States of America. British Citizens can explore ESTA as a cheap and stress-free option for traveling to the United States.
The provisions of ESTA are available, but many British citizens do not know how to apply for ESTA from UK. The ESTA application process is pretty easy and is entirely done online. You do not need to make any physical interview appearances or bother yourself with paperwork. ESTA brings convenience, but, surprisingly, many British citizens are oblivious of its many benefits; hence they approach it with some extra bit of cynicism.
This article will provide some information to help you understand the benefits you can enjoy as a British citizen traveling to the United States under ESTA.
Benefits available to British citizens under ESTA
Here is a breakdown of all the benefits you can enjoy as a British citizen whenever you apply for ESTA to travel to the USA. A certified ESTA application grants British citizens the opportunity to:
- Get a visa waiver privilege that allows them to travel without any issued Visa to the United States of America.
- Explore the United States for Tourism, Medical, Business, short academic exercises, and Transit purposes.
- Gain multiple entries and exit to the United States within two years, and stay for a maximum 90-day period at a go.
- Renew their ESTA application if they want to stay longer than 90 days.
- Skip the visa application procedure for a simpler ESTA process.
- Gain entry to the United States either by sea or air.
- Complete their ESTA application in less than 30 minutes.
- Travel with minors with authorized ESTAs.
Some common ESTA Errors UK Citizens should avoid
- ESTA is not the same thing as a United States Visa. The provisions of ESTA are limited compared to a US Visa. If you are expressly required to get a US visa for your travel, then ESTA cannot cover in place of a US Visa.
- ESTA allows British citizens to stay in the USA for a maximum period of 90 days on each visit, but it is valid for two years. You can enter the US multiple times within the two years, but at no point must you stay beyond the 90 maximum days allowed. If you wish to stay beyond 90 days, you must reapply for another ESTA.
- ESTA authorization does not mean you will not be required to present appropriate travel documents. The ESTA authorization documents are different from a US Visa, and the process attached to ESTA is less complicated.
- You should ensure that your ESTA application is submitted three days before your official travel date. It will be in your best interest to make sure that you submit your application within three business days before your travel date. Do not take chances and submit on weekends.
- Always try to apply early for your ESTA so that in cases where you made errors in your application, you can easily correct such errors. Another reason you should apply early is to avoid a rush that may likely cause you to make errors. Errors can lead to a refusal of your ESTA application.
- If your ESTA application is denied, you may reapply, but in most cases, it is best to apply for a US visa instead.
- ESTA applications are not free but relatively cheaper than US visa applications.
- ESTA validity starts upon issuance and not upon entry to the United States. Only the 90-day maximum period allowed starts upon entry to the United States.
Many British citizens do not travel to the United States outside of the provisions of ESTA. That is why ESTA is very beneficial to British citizens and continues to promote cooperation between citizens of both countries.