If you have not heard about the ESTA visa, don’t worry, we have you covered. The Electronic System for Travel Authorization or the ESTA is considered the most practical and useful latest development by the government of the United States. It is an automated system that helps in establishing the eligibility of a person to travel to the USA using the Visa Waiver Program (VWP) and if such a traveler will pose any security or law enforcement risk to the USA.
After completing the application process, the applicant is notified whether he/she is eligible to travel under the VWP to the United States of America. If you have used this system in the past, then you would remember that a person could complete the application free of charge. But now it’s not. Maybe you are asking yourself, what is the cost of an ESTA? Well, hold tight because we will answer that and all the other questions you might have about the ESTA as we discuss the benefits of using this system to travel to the United States.
It is faster to apply
When you compare the traditional period a visa takes to be processed and the time it takes for your application to be reviewed and you be notified, it takes relatively less time to apply for the ESTA. A visa requires you to apply, go for an interview and wait much longer before it is finally given out while the ESTA requires you to only apply, wait for the reviewing and maybe a few calls and you are good to go.
It is cheaper
When applying for a passport, there are three categories you can choose from.The first one is the standard processing. This takes approximately 9 days and costs USD 200.00. There is the Rush processing which takes approximately 7 days to be processed and will cost you USD 230.00. The third category is the Super Rush category which will take 5 days to process and will cost you a cool USD 250.00. This is way expensive compared to the ESTA that takes 72 hours to receive the Authorization approved status. This means that you are eligible to travel to the United States without a visa for a cost of USD 14.00. I think the ESTA is a champion for the price compared to the hustle of waiting for 5 days to pay USD 250.
It is easier to apply
From the application, processing, payment up to the feedback of applying ESTA is faster and much simpler. You can pay the required amount through your credit card or any other payment service and wait for the review of your application. As we mentioned earlier, it usually takes about 72 hours meaning it’s taking even lesser time than a standard visa.
Using ESTA to travel to the United States will guarantee you a cheaper, faster and stress-free experience. From the application, everything speaks of convenience up until the authorization period. Make use of the VWP when traveling to the United States and save up some cash today.
This is Aparna a freelance Mom Lifestyle blogger, Author of Latest Lifestyle Trends and a married mother who lives in Kolkata, India. In the last few years, I’ve been lucky to turn my passions into full-time work both online and offline in sales and marketing, writing and editing, with plans to leave the workforce and focus on working online and staying home with my son.