When travelling to the USA by air or sea, the US authorities require you to travel under the Visa Waiver Programm (VWP) and to register for Electronic Travel Authority (ESTA) before you depart the UK. Passengers who have not applied for and received travel authorisation via the ESTA programme prior to travel, may be denied boarding, experience delayed processing or be denied admission at their US port of entry. You apply for the ESTA online and this establishes your eligibility to travel to the USA. The gaining of a visa or travelling visa-free with an ESTA is merely part of the travel approval process and does not guarantee you automatic entry to the USA; this is down to the immigration officer at the port of entry.
If you have any queries on the ESTA process, please address these to the US Embassy Consular department. Please remember that if you are refused boarding or denied admission at the US port of entry, in accordance with the terms of our contract with you, you will still be subject to our cancellation charges.
The application form is available online at https://esta.cbp.dhs.gov
. Prior to travel, you are required to complete the online application (currently in English only). There is a $14.00 fee charged for each new or renewed ESTA application. All payments must be made by credit or debit card when applying for or renewing an ESTA at https://esta.cbp.dhs.gov.
The ESTA system accepts the following credit/debit cards: MasterCard, VISA, American Express and Discover. Your application will not be submitted for processing until all correct payment information is received.