ESTA – How is it changing the way UK residents travel to the US

The days after Brexit have begun bringing up new concepts and regulations. If you have been a UK national and have been a regular visitor in the US, you will now need to opt for ESTA. What is ESTA, and how does it change the way you used to visit the US?

What is ESTA?

ESTA stands for Electronic System for Travel and Authorization. Normally referred to as ESTA Visa, it isn’t actually a VISA as such. It is designed as an online program for authorizing the travelers who want to visit the US. This is applicable to the travelers arriving from the approved countries. 

In essence, the ESTA Visa is a travel document for the travelers from the approved countries, and you do not need to apply for Visa. You can apply for ESTA through the online mode prior to your journey, and you can stay in the US for a period of six months at a stretch. 

What makes ESTA a good option?

Well, if you are from any of the approved countries authorised to travel into the US, you would find the ESTA a great option in more ways than one. To begin with, the procedure is quite simple and easy. 

Obtaining a Visa is a time consuming process and can be a pain in the neck. Moreover, it also comes with a heavy fee structure and other associated costs. In contrast, the procedure involved in the ESTA application is rather easy and simple to follow. Even from the cost point of view, you would find it cheaper. You would just need to spend $14 for applying to ESTA. 

In essence, ESTA is a Visa Waiver program launched by the US to facilitate the residents from the approved countries to visit the US without having to go through the lengthy procedure. The procedure and the implementation is almost on the lines of ETIAS, which is designed for the EU nations. If you are looking for easier travel options, ESTA serves you the best. 

The best part of the ESTA regime would be that it will help the authorities to ascertain if the person visiting the US is likely to pose any risks to the social fabric or otherwise to the US. 

It may also be noticed that getting an ESTA approval should not mean you can visit the country. It would only indicate eligibility, and the actual assessment of your entry would be made at the border. Make sure you have your papers ready prior to your departure.