Visa Waiver program

During 2008, the government of the United States proposed a program for Visa exemption, also known as Visa Waiver program, for some countries; this way, the citizens of those countries would have “free access” to the American country. Somehow, this proposal looks for giving freedom to transit among the participant countries; this way, they don’t need to ask for a Visa to travel to the United States, shorting the procedure required for said travel. ¿Dose it seems advantageous? Sure it does. You’ll save tedious bureaucratic process for traveling to the United States.

¿Does all the countries has “free access” way to the United States? Well, the answer is no. Not every country is included inside the Visa Waiver program. For a country to be included in this program, it must fulfill some requirements first.


Requirements to be part of the Visa Waiver program

The necessary requirements for a country to be part of the Visa Waiver program are directed to evade problems inside the United States and, in a certain way, control that anyone potentially “dangerous” to the country, for putting it someway, enters the United States using this method. The principal requirements for a country to be part of this program are:


  • Having a low rate of illegal immigration.
  • Having a stable economy and a high income.
  • Having a high level of human development.


This way, the country looks that the people entering under this “free pass” to the United States, didn’t go with bad intentions or with the thought of staying as an illegal immigrant inside the country.

Until February of 2014, only 38 countries are part of this program: Germany, Andorra, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Brunei, Chile, South Korea, Denmark, Slovenia, Slovakia, Spain, Estonia, Finland, France, Greece, Netherland, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Monaco, Norway, New Zealand, Portugal, United Kingdom, Czech Republic, Taiwan, San Marino, Singapore, Sweden and Switzerland. Therefore, we can say that the Visa Waiver program is somehow exclusive and it depends a lot on the general development level that the country has.

¿The people from these countries just have to board a plane and get into the United States? Not really, they may not have the need to ask for a Visa, but they still need a document to back up your travel to the North American country, the document in question is the ESTA. Next, we are going to explain what it is and how do we get it.


Electronic System for Travel Authorization or ESTA

The ESTA is a document, or more like an authorization; that allows the people form the Visa Waiver program’s countries to enter the United States without any visa. Of course, the destiny country has the right and the final word deciding who enters and who doesn’t.

The ESTA starts to run from January’s 12th of 2009 and became an indispensable requirement for entering the United States when belonging to the Visa Waiver program. Must be said that unlike the Visa, the Electronic System for Travel Authorization is obtained in an immediately way after requesting it through an automatic system in the Internet. You must consider that the only way to opt for this method of entry to the United States is belonging to one of the countries of the Visa Waiver Program.


Principal advantages of the ESTA

The principal advantage of the ESTA is that allows being accepted for entering the United States of America, or at least to the airport. This way, you wouldn’t need a Visa for boarding the plane.

Something that you must not confuse is that you can get to the United States thanks to the ESTA; however, this doesn’t mean that you can stay there. The country reserves the right to accept who stay; they also have the right to decide who can’t enter. Don’t worry this doesn’t happen in every case, in fact, it just happens to the great minority (less than 1%) of those who uses the ESTA to travel to the US.


How to obtain the ESTA

It isn’t any complicated, we already mentioned that the ESTA is an automatic process that can be made through internet. You just have to enter here in the ESTA page and follow the next steps:


  • Once you enter the ESTA website, click on “New Application
  • It will take you to an application form for requesting the ESTA.
  • Once there, you must fill the application form. This is very simple to do and it has certain questions that basically are personal questions (name, last name, reason for your visit, among others) and questions about your passport; together with some extra questions that are mandatory for everyone.
  • Once you finish filling the application form, you must wait for this to be approved or denied. (The percent of denied forms are less than the 1% of the applications).


Recommendations: Be sure to fill every blanket space of the application form, other way an error may occur and your application would be denied almost instantly (a blanket space is the principal reason for application denial). The ESTA must be requested at least 3 days before your travel to the United States; other way, this may be rejected. Be sure to request the ESTA as fast as you can, this permission lasts 2 years and can be easily renewed.


How to evade an ESTA application denied

The ESTA application is an indispensable requisite for all the people who wants to go to the United States under the Visa Waiver program; this document which supports that you can enter the United States either by sea or air, is highly desired. Itself, the fact of requesting said document isn’t complicated at all, the problem as such comes at the moment when you receive an answer about your application, a lot of people fear that their application could be denied, even after knowing that there are really low possibilities for ESTA applications denials.

Of course, if you have in count that according to US’s government data, a little less than 99% of ESTA applications are approved, there’s still a 1% of applications that does gets denied, and that represents a risk of 1% for your applications to get denied. Because of that, we have decided to explain you some ways for getting the approval of your ESTA application. Now you can be sure that your ESTA will be approved, just sit and keep reading this article, you’ll find the way to evade your application being part of that 1% of denied applications.

Before starting, you must have something very clear, you should not try request this document if you are not from the countries listed in the Visa Waiver program. Although this statement sounds pretty obvious, there are people who still don’t have this clear enough. Likewise, the only way for enter to the United States under said program is flying from a country of the Visa Waiver program, if not, you will not be able to enter into the US this way.

Now is time to start, let’s go to the guidelines you must follow to evade an ESTA application’s denial.

You must fill absolutely every obligatory question in the application

This is pretty important, during the ESTA application questionnaire; you can’t leave any obligatory blank space without answering. I repeat, THIS IS IMPORTANT, if you leave one blank space, your application will get denied no matter what. Remember this, even one blank space left and you can say good bye to your ESTA application’s approval.

Don’t lie in your answers

This is also important even if you don’t believe it. Remember that the purpose of the ESTA application is that you could be preselected for entering the United States, with this purpose in hand, they must be sure that you don’t represent risk for the American citizens nor the other tourist, it doesn’t matter how discriminative this may look for you. ¿Don’t you think that they are careful enough as to find the way to check if our answers are true or not? Truth be told, our ESTA application will be analyzed and inspected, they must confirm that all the information that we putted in the ESTA application is true, if not, be sure that our ESTA will be denied.

When it comes to the reason for traveling, I recommend you to choose a viable reason, that is to say, write that you are going for recreational motives; somehow, this is the best choice you can make and the one with less percent of denials (even inside the 1% of denied applications). Of course, if your reasons are merely for work purposes, you must say so in your ESTA application.

Apply for ESTA at least 3 days before your travel

If you already bought the plane ticket, and you have your fly’s date, you must request the ESTA application right away, ¿why? Because the ESTA’s official page itself says that it is absolutely necessary to make the request with at least 3 days of anticipation, otherwise, you could not make the request for the ESTA. Here enters the punctuality importance.

We recommend you to ask for the ESTA the same day you acquired the plane ticket (in case you acquired it with a lot of anticipation), this way you will be more sure and it will be more easy to get your application approved. Don’t worry about the time spent during the fly, your ESTA has an effective time of 2 years, a weak or even a month won’t make any difference.

As you can see, these are just 3 aspects you should be careful off at the moment you present the ESTA application. Take in account that the citizens of the Visa Waiver program’s countries practically have the entry to the United States granted. If you follow these guidelines correctly, is practically sure that your ESTA application will be approved and you would be able to travel to the North American country. Enjoy your travel!